Have you ever known something, or someone, that wasn’t living up to its full potential? Well, that was the case with our laundry room. The room was very neutral, had newish floor, and a folding area. There really wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I felt it could be better, both in style and function. Today I am sharing with you some simple, yet impactful, changes we made to the laundry room in our home. First, a look at the “before.”
Once I decided that the room could be better, I talked to my husband about adding some board and batten to the “mudroom” side of the laundry room, with a shelf over the top. Luckily, he loves a good project, so he was all in. We measured the wall, then decided how far apart to put the battens. By spacing the battens at 20″ there was room for five. We then measured how long we wanted the shelf, stopping it short of the doorway so it didn’t become a head knocker.
With our drawing and measurements in hand, it was time to head to Home Depot. We purchased already primed pieces of batten and a piece of raw pine for the shelf. We also purchased black hooks to mount to the battens and one to the side of the shelf, for a total of 6 hooks. The last purchase was for three corbels to mount under the shelf. They provided a sturdy place to nail the shelf to and added a little more decorative aspect to the installation.
My husband got to work cutting the pieces of batten to size, which was a quick and simple process. Next, using his power nailer and a level, he attached the battens. He cut a dowel to 20″, so I would hold that between the battens for proper spacing, first at the top and then at the bottom and he would nail. Having the spacing dowel really saved a lot of time measuring.
Next, the shelf was attached to the ledger board, using the corbels to nail into. Then it was time to caulk all of the seams and putty the nail holes. This step really makes it look built in. The next day, I painted the entire wall, including the shelf, brackets, battens and spaces in between. I timed myself for the painting, telling myself I’d give it an hour and then quit. Well, as luck would have it, I finished the entire job in exactly an hour, including a second coat of paint on many areas. One thing that made the painting easier was using the same color as the existing wall color.
When I started the project, my inspiration pictures were all in shades of green. Fearing that it would be too trendy for the walls, I opted to use a palette of green, brown and black in the accessories and keeping the walls in Sherwin Williams Patience, like the rest of the house. I took the existing shabby chic cream bench outside and gave it a coat of Oregano spray paint. Boy, it looks so much better with the green popping off the cream wall!
Everything dried overnight, and then we attached the black hooks. After that, it was time for the fun stuff, also known as decorating:) I went shopping for a couple of new prints that I hung on the wall and brought in some artwork from other rooms in the house. On the shelf, I placed a vintage birdhouse with some old books under it, a basket and a couple of artificial plants. The focal point is a new framed print I found at Hobby Lobby.
My goal was to keep the shelf under the window as clear as possible so that I could use it as a folding counter. On the left are laundry supplies and my Garden Tool metal container that has all of my gardening items in it. The cigar box holds dryer sheets and lavender scented bags. BTW, if you haven’t used these Lavender dryer bags from Trader Joe’s, they are divine; especially on sheets and towels. Under the window, I put a houseplant in a pot from Walmart that was my inspiration for the entire color scheme of green, black and cream. Two weeks later, the more streamlined folding counter has worked out perfectly.
On one of the hooks, I hung a basket full of hand towels for the utility sink and the wool dryer balls. I intentionally left the other hooks empty to hang clothes on them as they come out of the dryer. My husband couldn’t resist using the one at the end of the shelf to hang one of his hats, and it looks perfect there, feather and all.
In between a couple of the battens, I hung two prints and a framed W. I purchased a new floor runner in a green/brown color, with a matching rug by the door into the garage. The wall above the utility sink and at the end of the room remained unchanged. Fun fact…the old glass and wood washboard was my grandmothers, and the handwritten price says 69 cents. I have had it in every laundry room in every house I’ve owned for the past 40+ years as a constant reminder of how much harder laundry could be!
So that is my refreshed laundry room. It was really a simple project, but the results look so much more attractive than before, and the functionality has really improved. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to give a room a whole new look and feel. I don’t have the exact total, but for the wood, rugs and accessories, the total cost was less than $200. We already had the wall paint, so that was free. I felt that was a pretty good value in today’s remodel/redecorate environment. But the true value has been how I feel every time I’m in the room…happy to do laundry!!