Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The super exciting laundry room reveal

I know for a fact that all of you guys wanting to see a picture of something finished in our new house are hoping the laundry room comes first.  So this is for you!

Of COURSE I am kidding... who wants to see a laundry room?  Or even be in one?  Unless you've been using a rock and a stream to do your laundry and are totally enthralled with the joy of a modern machine.

Or, unless you knit and have a gorgeous new piece to wash and block.


Meh, probably none of us want to see this, but I'm pretty proud of how my ideas (and more significantly Ray's hard work) came out.  Plus it really is nearly done, unlike the rest of the house.

Let's start with the side that has plumbing:

As you can see, I was able to repurpose the old custom shelf from our previous, undersized kitchen which is now an oversized entry.  This was not easy - it was flush to the wall on the left side in the old kitchen and I had to figure out a place where it could have the same placement in the 'new' house, while still being flush to the ceiling, which ruled out my office. The ceilings are just too high, I'd be able to reach exactly nothing on it.  Finally I decided to risk getting the measurements right in the laundry room to install a single upper cabinet for the shelf to butt up next to, and still have space for a folding treadmill on the other side of said cabinet.

(We still don't have the treadmill.  For one thing, we are still exhausted enough just walking up and down stairs after two+ years in a condo.  For another, custom drapery is super expensive especially if you are choosing reproduction English prints on heavy linen fabrics.)

You are probably also noticing all the bright yellow detergent bottles.  They are not there for staging and this is just a few of the bottles in my possession.  Hey, don't judge me!  I can get this stuff only from Walmart now that my local shops have given it up for hipper Arm and Hammer offerings, and I live in fear of the day it is discontinued entirely because it's the only detergent other than Soak that I'm not allergic to.

And since you are 90% likely to be a knitter if you're reading this at all, I suspect you are also noticing I found a place to hang freshly washed handknit socks!!!

That's the exciting bit.  I sourced the rails from IKEA - they're meant to be installed in a kitchen with their backs to the wall and their rods laden with hooks for hanging ladles and spatulas, but I wanted them installed face-down for my socks, and the odd linen hand towel.  Dryers are not kind to linen.  Once I explained what I was after Ray figured out how to install two together with the seam barely showing, for maximum drying space, and the result is pretty fabulous, I think.  Not least since we didn't have the relevant conversation until AFTER he installed the shelf.  It would have been a much, much easier job if I'd realized how close he was to installation while he was still giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Want to step a little further back?

From here you can see that I managed to squeeze in a clear horizontal surface for dropping off a laundry basket, a nice sink (if you don't count the paint stuff I can't scrape off the stainless steel bowl now - all tips welcome), a trendy faucet, some lower behind-door storage, and two shiny new top loader machines.  More on those another day but for now: SO MUCH LOVE. 

What do you think of the paint colour on the walls?  Now that I'm using the sink a lot I can see I need some sort of backsplash, but in the meantime I have to tell you - the walls are my second favourite part of this room.  It's Farrow and Ball's 'Elephant's Breath', which looks grey most of the time but warm lavender for the rest of it.  It brings out a warm grey in the otherwise stoney beige tile floor, and feels downright calming under the LED spotlights Ray installed.

These walls were always Elephant's Breath but this room shares a double door entry with another room that was originally painted Clunch - the green-based beige we painted most of the rest of the house.  And when I saw the two side by side - you can't help it, they are so linked - I just felt angry.  I don't mean about the paint job or whatever, but just as a visceral reaction to the colour, which was odd because I absolutely love it everywhere else!  The light is just different in this part of the house I guess.  Trish came over and confirmed that the Clunch had to go so we asked nicely and now the whole area is painted purpley grey.  Ahhhhhhhh.

And finally: a closeup of the vintage 1940s kitchen knobs I found at the St. Lawrence antique market a while back, in use again after being reclaimed from somebody else's house.

I installed these myself - it was super easy to to thanks to their original doors having been the same depth as the new IKEA ones.

Okay, let's look at the other side of the room, which now that I think of it, also has plumbing.

This is the magical  HVAC system that keeps our house comfortable, plus the water supply.  I thought I would never want to look at this, and planned to hang a drape in front of it originally, but now - I kind of feel like it's art.  There are so many cables and copper pipes and shutoff valves, all fit so tightly and neatly together to ensure I got my wish for the other side of the room to stay clear for the dryer to vent directly outside with no bends in the exhaust pipe.  I know it was a lot of work and took tons of planning by our awesome HVAC team.  That's a water tank on the left with ventilation/heat recovery unit on top, and an on-demand water heater on the wall, and all the other bits and bobs are for the in-floor heat throughout the house.  There's also a drain for the in-floor heat system's drip drip drip of condensation; a fetching blue bucket; and sump pump underneath the table.

The table is not only perfect to keep me from tripping over those floor bits, while improving the functionality of the room - it's just plain important to us.  It was built by injured WWI veterans and owned by Pete's grandparents, who used it as an extra work surface in the summer kitchen on their farm.  Gramma knew Pete liked it and marked one drawer 'FOR PETER' in blue ink, which I think is extra special because he is one of I think 1,532 grandchildren?  Okay, maybe only about a dozen.  Or somewhere in between but it is definitely a lot of kids.

The biggest reason Pete liked it is because the family used to write notes for each other in pencil on the enamel top, then wash them off later with a wet cloth, like it was a blackboard.  I only recently got him to accept that there isn't enough enamel left on top now to make the cleanup part possible, let alone 'easy'.  It was a sad day but the table is still gorgeous and useful and we both love having it.  

I especially love having it in the laundry room because I get to go on using it every day.  When we first got it we were in a big apartment and it was our hall table, where all the mail and library books accumulated.  When we moved to the house it was our kitchen table until we put in a new kitchen.  After that there wasn't space for it there, so it became a desk in a bedroom.  At the condo, it was a kitchen table again.  But it's just a little too low to sit under comfortably so I am really happy we were able to make sure there was space for it in here.  I've already used it a lot for painting small wall shelves and later on it will be fantastic for setting out blocking mats and drying handknit scarves and shawls.

There's just the one small problem...

It really needs a different kind of drawer pull.  The antique market ones work well but they look a lot like eyes, and they keep creeping us out.

(You're welcome, and good luck keeping them out of your nightmares tonight!!)


gapsdd said...

What a lovely, well thought out laundry room.

Try a paper towel saturated with 409 on the paint. Leave it to sit. It should soften up the paint. I removed all the paint off a door once with 409.

If that doesn't work then try "Goof Off" It is an orange oil based solvent found at most hardware stores.

Mary Keenan said...

Goof Off - that's a great idea! I see that all the time and never thought to try it. I managed to scrub off most of the paint speckles but there's a stubborn patch at the drain that is bugging me, and there is still SO much more painting to do so I may just mess it all up again. I used to do a standard white or red for all my little shelves etc. but now I want them blending into the wall and that means endless paint, and endless cleanup, ugh.