Sunday, May 1, 2011

Laundry Love

I am one of those people who ooh and aah over the adorable utility/mudroom/laundry makeovers that are all over the web and design mags. I always imagine those rooms belonging to some adorable mom with perfect nails who simply laughs and pooh-poohs the wet smelly dog, muddy kids, and piles of schoolbags and stinky soccer cleats, for she posesseth the most glorious and lovely space in which to handle the mess and clutter. Not me. Here's what I'm working with:
Builder beige walls, scary old washer and dryer, yellowed, scuffed linoleum, and an oh-so-styish roll-up shade, complete with fringe. And, yes, those are overflowingly full laundry baskets and clean stuff piled on that beaut of a clothes dryer. Ain't no shame in my game, people. Go ahead. Drink it in. Lucky for me the laundry room has a door on it.

Anyhoo, rewind to a few weeks ago when as usual I was procrastinating on doing the laundry when the dryer, which takes two cycles to dry clothes on a good day, just completely up and died on me. Considering that my parents bought it when I was in braces and zip-ankle Guess jeans, and then passed it to me after college, I figured it likely wasn't worth calling the repair man. It had a long, hard life, and besides, I was certain that some kind soul would gladly take it off my hands if I posted it and it's prettier friend the washer on Le List de Craig.

Not 24 hours later, a jolly fella who said he could fix it up and re-sell the pair gladly took it off our hands. But what to do with the empty space before my new schwoopy high efficiency friends showed up? Well, the moolah I made off of the old W/D carcasses was more than enough to change out lighting. flooring, and paint. So it was off to the home store I went!

A quick stop at Old Time Pottery (on the way to the home store) was unexpectedly fruitful. Dwell Studio fabrics for $4/yd!!! I had no idea what I was going to do yet with the laundry room, but when I found these fabrics, I was inspired. A while back I had read a great post by Centsational Girl about making a fixed flat roman shade (you can read her post here) and since I already had the window hardware and a shade I could repurpose, it was actually a little easier than hers. Also, I used Sulky spray fabric adhesive to attach my fabric to the backer, which I highly recommend. Sulky isn't permanent, but once everything's sewn it doesn't matter. So, here's the shade, at about 2 AM on Saturday of Easter weekend when I had finally finished it:

I then went to the paint store and took a piece of the green ribbon and green and white fabric with me. Good thing I did, too, because while the paint dude mixed up a custom sample I looked at paint chips and couldn't find any that were close! I have to admit, I was skeptical about the color, both in the can and swiped on a card. But, paint dude said that if I got home and put it on the wall and hated it, he'd re-do it free of charge. Here's how it turned out:
It's a happy green, no? Oh, yeah, you can also see the new floor in that shot. It's predominantly a coppery brown, but has green and grey in it, so I think it turned out pretty good. Since the switchplates had to come down anyway I spray painted them a dark bronze with a can of RustOleum. Some more shots of the finished space:

I collect aprons, and these are some of my favies. It started out as a joke, because although I love to cook, I certainly am no Donna Reed. But I do love the fabrics and colors- and they remind me of my Grandmere, who DID cook in heels and was always tres chic.

Last but not least, a pic of my new high efficency friends. Note that I already tested their limits by stuffing a queen-sized down blanket into the washer to check out the steam clean function, then into the dryer to see if it would really get the job done (you can see it tumbling in the dryer in this shot). Suffice to say, I am not disappointed!  Did I mention that they chime a happy little tune to let you know when the cycle is done? No more "BLAAAAAAAAAT!" at 11 pm when I'm catching up on my DVR shows. It's a whole new world, laundry-wise.

The hidden benefit of waiting forever to purchase a new set is that the price has come down significantly, and there's a lot more info out there on reliability, true repair costs, etc. I ordered this set from an appliance dealer in Denver, and not only did they have the best price anywhere, but delivery was free and fast! Email me if you're in the market and I'll happily pass on their info. 

Anyway, that's all for now. I think I hear the dulcet tones of my dryer calling me from the laundry room...


  1. Wow! Your laundry room looks great! I love the green. It is happy! I have laundry room envy. Of course since the Army thought no one would mind walking down 4 flights of stairs to get to 3 sets of shared washers and dryers, I'd be happy with a laundry closet at this point.

  2. BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog. Keep on Rockin' the Casbah!

  3. I am beyond jealous that you have a W/D that doesn't buzz at you! I have a long running diatribe about how dryer buzzers were invented by a man who hated housewives. Really? In all this time no one thought to fix that? I am both jealous and hopeful for the future that someone finally has done something about this cruel injustice.