Feb 28, 2012

DIY - Laundry Room Makeover

My best friend Karen and I met by happenstance - we were pot luck roommates in college and have been friends ever since.  Do colleges know that opposites make for great roommates and friends?  I don't know but it sure worked with us.  Here we are after my rehearsal dinner. 

I was lucky that Karen and I both lived in Charlotte for a long time.  After she got married a few years ago, she moved Wilmington, NC.  Oh, I miss her!  But I do enjoy seeing all the great things she and her husband are doing with their house.  Here is a little bit about her laundry room.  I love the way it turned out!
Karen writes:
Hi Sarah – thanks for having me on your blog!
They say opposites attract and that couldn’t be a better description of my friendship with Sarah!  She is the type B to my type A and the right brain to my left!  I think our differences are what make us such great friends – it’s nice to find someone who balances me that way.

I love finding ways to make my everyday exceptional and what could be more “everyday” than laundry?  Our 1968 brick ranch came with a hideous laundry room and attached half bath.  With that came a washer and dryer that were who-knows-how-old.  By the time Christmas got here the dryer sounded like a jet engine!  It was time to bite the bullet and invest in a new set.

Well nothing is ever simple when you buy a fixer-upper so we figured now was as good a time as any to remodel those two rooms before the new washer/dryer was to be delivered on January 11th.  Who wants to put a shiny new set in a beige, blah, depressing laundry room!?  Here’s the “before” shot of the laundry room:

We just don’t have much time to take on house projects without hiring some help.  I love to paint and don’t mind small DIY projects, but we just simply don’t have the time to do entire rooms by ourselves.  In this case, we hired some friends (one is a plumber, one is a tile-layer-guy and both are trustworthy so they come to our house and work while we’re at work) to lay new ceramic tile and install a new pedestal sink and toilet.  Here’s the powder room before:

Here’s what we planned to do:

·          Replace vinyl stick-on square tiles with ceramic tile.  We chose a tile (Montagne Lugano from Home Depot) with a busy pattern and dark grout (New Taupe from Home Depot) since this is the pathway from the garage to the rest of the house. 

·         Paint the cabinets black and install new hardware (knobs and hinges) to update them.  The cabinets are original to the house and solid wood so we wanted to salvage them.

·         Replace the vanity and toilet in the half bath with a pedestal sink and toilet (comfort height, less water use, etc.)

·         Paint all the trim bright white instead of the cream-ish color it was.

·         Paint the paneled walls Seasalt from Sherwin Williams. 

·         Hang new blinds and a new curtain.

·         Install a new towel rack, mirror and light fixture.

·         Paint the doors and update the hardware to brushed nickel.
We painted all day Sunday (walls and cabinets) moved out the old washer and dryer (no love lost there!) and got the rooms ready for the tile guys on Monday.  By the time we got home from work Monday evening we had new tile.  We did some more painting, spackling, etc. and by Tuesday night the grout was done, the sink and toilet were installed,  the tile was cleaned, the wall behind the washer and dryer was painted and the laundry room was ready for the new washer and dryer on Wednesday.
Whew.  Who’s tired yet?
Saturday (with the help of my parents who were in town) we finished painting the walls and trim and Sunday we hung the blinds, curtain, mirror, towel rack and light fixture.

Don’t be fooled – every project has snags along the way.  Ours worked out easily, but just so you know remodels don’t always go perfectly here’s a list of our “blunders” that we dealt with:

·         The black paint I used on the cabinets doesn’t have the hard finish I hoped for.  In hindsight I should have bought a different brand (I used Behr and I’m a Sherwin Williams girl so I should have known better), but I’m okay with the results.
·         The mirror I picked out didn’t work – it was too big.  So I hung it over my mantle and used the one over the mantle in the bathroom.
·         The hole for the light fixture wasn’t centered above the sink so it had to be moved.  Luckily all it took was patching a small hole and cutting another one and moving the wires.  Still, not part of the original plan and a bit of a slow-down.

·         The curtain rod I had was too long.  Luckily my Dad had the idea to just take off the decorative ends and cut it to the correct length – good as new!
We love how it turned out and we’re always impressed when these things happen in a matter of a few days. 
Oh - in case you’re wondering…the everyday task of laundry now feels exceptional! 

Thanks Karen for sharing!

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