Monday, September 12, 2011

The $10 Laundry Room Makeover

You know how you have that mile long list of home projects? And then one day you wake up and do something completely off the map? Just because? That was how I spent Labor Day. I couldn’t stand the mess that is my laundry room One.More.Second.

So I set about cleaning it up. No visions of a complete overhaul or anything, just your basic de-junque-ifying. I pulled out everything in there that didn’t belong. Then I stood looking at the craft cabinet that I’m not in love with and that crowds the washer.

It’s a handy little piece that I rescued from the dumpster many years ago and refreshed with some paint. It’s shallow and holds a lot of my sewing and other craft supplies and it even served as the focal point in my old fireplace-less living room.

But I just haven’t found a place for it since moving. Technically it “fit” perfectly along the back wall of the laundry room, but it just didn’t look good there. I have a cute little étagère shelf – also a dumpster rescue that I redid with paint and that looks a lot like one Ballard Designs used to sell for several hunder dollars.

My cute little shelves were languishing in the closet, holding boxes and boxes of shoes (a noble profession). But I missed them – they used to be in my old, much larger, kitchen and made a nice little display of my milk glass.

So I pulled them out and put them in the laundry room. Oh yes! They are perfect there.

And so it began. As long as I was now “decorating” the laundry room, it was time to do something with the wall above the shelves. The electrical box is a hot mess of old drippy paint and I had purchased a thrift store bulletin board a while back to cover it with. I pulled that apart so I could cover the cork with muslin and paint the frame with oil rubbed bronze spray paint and while I was at it with the paint, I also sprayed two picture frames that could go on that wall and another small bulletin board for a small bedroom project I have in mind (more on that soon). I had been reorganizing some of my Pinterest pins earlier in the weekend and this image from Pottery Barn was kind of stuck in my head for inspiration.

Unlike the gallery wall I did in the living room, I didn’t measure or plan anything with this. The bulletin board obviously needed to go over the electrical panel so that was hung first, and then I just added other elements that I already had on hand by holding them up to get the approximate placement and then just hammering in my nail or hook – I actually have a pretty good eye for this and can usually do even small symmetrical projects without measuring too much – but if patching a wayward hole here and there isn't your thing and you’re more comfortable laying everything out in advance and/or measuring then by all means, do it that way.

I reframed two prints of pictures I had taken in a produce market in Paris in 1996 in the newly painted frames. I considered spraying the mats a brighter white but was too chicken (and it was a drizzly day so I was lucky to get the frames done(ish) before it rained. When I first framed these photos, I had taped strips of grosgrain ribbon inside the opening to give a sort of “double matted” look but I was over that so I pulled the ribbon out and just went with the cleaner original opening.

I moved one platter from the kitchen and added another above it and ran out to purchse wooden “Q” and “C” initials for Quincy and Chloe since this is their “dining room” too. On the shelves I put (bottom shelf) a short squatty jar full of catnip toys (so far no one has tried to help themselves) and a small wooden bench I use to reach stuff above the washer or on the top of the pantry shelves, (middle shelf) a vintage Samsonite train case that is currently empty but I’ll figure out something to store in there, a small candle lantern, and rolls of plain white paper towels (does anyone really buy the country ducks, hearts, and ivy?), and (top shelf) a couple of candle lanterns and a bowl where I plan to pile bills as they come in so I’m not madly searching the house for them when it’s time to pay the piper.

I may add some of my ironstone platters or other things when I get around to de-junque-ifying the kitchen cabinets, but for now, I just want to keep the random miscellaneous clutter off of them and contained behind the curtain that hides the washer and dryer. It took me a while to get this post finished and I have to say I've been pretty good in the past week.

I’d also like to do something about the ugly old light fixture that is in there, but since this was a spontaneous, budget makeover using mostly things I already had, I settled for cleaning off the dripped ceiling paint that came with it and changing the bulb to a normal incandescent (the compact florescent that was in there when I moved in always made the paint color, which is the same as the adjacent kitchen, look a lot more orange and it always bugged me.)

So that is how I spent my Labor Day, on a spontaneous, almost free, laundry room makeover. Briefly interrupted by a quick trip to the pool.

And just a reminder, here is where I started.

And in case you're wondering how I spent my Alexander Hamilton the budget breakdown is as follows:

1 yard unbleached muslin to cover bulletin board - $1.99
"C" and "Q" initials - $2.49/each
4 pack of foamy brushes - .99
3 bottles of craft paint - .59/each
Shelves, spray paint, artwork, accessories  - free/already owned

With tax my total was $10.31 but I still have half the muslin, the foamy brushes and paint left to use for other projects.

I'm linking this to Thrifty Decor Chick's September Before and After Party and Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday.
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