Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Covet: Part III

In this final post, you will find all the "after" pictures you've been demanding. But first, I must wax eloquent about the process of choosing the paint.

It's always been interesting to me that you spend far more time prepping to paint than the actual painting. Yagotta put on the ratty clothes and spread the drop cloths and assemble all the tools you'll need to do the job right. Yagotta prime and tape and caulk if you want the even finish and crisp lines. The actual painting takes but a fraction of all that time and effort. I love painting walls and trim. The immediate gratification, watching the new crisp clean color cover the old tired surface and bring it to instant life, is very satisfying to me. Especially when painting with a cool color like Lime Sherbet Green.

My lovely, creative teenagers were the inspiration behind this color choice. I had been leaning in the orange direction, based on a showroom on the IKEA website. (I heart IKEA, btw. More later.) Then, a week before the walls were ready for paint, we went to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. And the walls were green. The girls began a vigorous lobbying campaign to use that color in our new laundry room. I guess I'm easily influenced, because I ultimately agreed.

Tom was opposed to using any bright glaring color. He's a restful neutral shades type of guy. But I stood firm. After all, how much time does he spend in the laundry room? He only goes in there occasionally to get clean socks. He doesn't sort, he doesn't wash, he doesn't fold, nor does he sew or craft . If there is any room in the house that I can claim as MINE, the laundry room is it. I wanted a bright, cheerful color, even if it made the room seem smaller.

Now, this is a small room. It is just under 9 feet wide and 15 feet long. The furnace, water heater, and water filter take up half of one wall. So, Tom's concerns about a dominating color making the walls close in were valid. But I figured, hey - if I paint and I hate it, that's only $25 wasted. I'm gonna live on the wild side for once in my life.

And with that unnecessarily long but oh-so-gratifying-to-write introduction... Here we go.

Remember the East wall?


And after: transformed into a craft center. Now, when Megan has a complicated art project going, it doesn't have to be spread across the kitchen table, which causes Megan's mother to gnash her teeth and rant upon the earth when dinner time comes. Now, she can park her cute little bottom on the stylish birch chair from IKEA, and paint her watercolors on the birch-laminate worktop with adjustable legs from IKEA to her heart's content. When she's finished, she can store the paints and paper in the glossy white cabinets, also from IKEA.

But what happened to the ironing board, you ask? Two words: Deseret Industries. And it was succeeded by THIS:

Wall mounted foldaway ironing board with outlet and light on a timer, BABY! The iron stores on the shelf right inside it. How cool is that?

Look, it even has a "sleeve board". I'll bet you and your creased sleeves feel inferior now.

West Wall, before:

And after:

Better, don't you think? All that drab, formerly wasted space above the appliances is covered in shelves (from IKEA) with a bin for every type of thing that comes through the laundry: items to mend, seasonal stuff to store, items to donate, stray socks, towels and aprons waiting to go up to the kitchen, and more. The folding area is now on top of the washer/dryer.

Check out the gnarly galvanized boxes (with lids!) from -- you guessed it -- IKEA. There's nothing in them yet, but I liked them. And thus, I simply had to buy them. I swear, I had no choice! Afterall, it was IKEA! That place is like, dangerous in an addictive sort of way. I counsel you to avoid it at all costs. Unless you want a cool laundry room like me.

To the left of the washing machine is a drawer unit (from you know where) which is the perfect location for my detergent and powdered bleach (remember all those paint cans? They now live behind there).

And here to the right of the dryer is one of my most favorite aspects of the new setup -- a sorting system for the kids' clothes (also from that evil, cash sucking store): One large drawer for each, and their clothes go in as they are folded. When a child wants clothes, he/she comes down, gets the bin full of clean clothes, and then returns it with dirty clothes from his/her room. That's the theory. The "returning with dirty clothes" part needs a little more training before it becomes a consistent reality (hence the empty spot where -ahem!- Karianne's bin should be). But hey - I love not having leaning Towers of Pisa on my folding table. It makes me feel so organized. And superior. Which is the goal of my entire existence, as you well know.

Here's a closeup of my magnetic/hooks board from IKEA, where I store my prewash and other stain removing concoctions (note the wood glue-it's amazing stuff!), as well as dryer sheets, scissors, and pens. And other assorted stuff that is found in pockets, for which I charge exorbitant fees when the former owners come looking for said "stuff". They tend to protest, but I tell them to think of it as a tip for excellent service.

Here is my new sink and cabinet (do I need to keep telling you where it's all from?). Big improvement on the old one, don't you think?

Check out how deep it is. Righteous, dude.

On both sides of the ironing center, there are shelves with clothes rods underneath: one side is for clothes waiting to be ironed, the other for clothes ready to be put away. The sewing cabinet on the left is on the project list to be painted white at some point in the future, or whenever the mood strikes me.

I bet you're wondering what those horizontal wire thingies hanging under the right clothes rod are....

Wallah! Collapsible drying racks! Now my girls' spandex camisoles will not lose their elasticity from being dried in the dryer. No longer will their size three "Barbie" jeans shrink until they are far too tight for this mother's sense of modesty, thus necessitating the expenditure of yet more of their father's hard earned shekels to buy new ones. Hallelujah!

And last, but not least, take note of my painted floor (from Home Depot--the paint, not the floor.) with recycled plastic flakes. Much better than the old stained cement, yes?

And now that you are as green as the walls of my new productivity center, we're done here. That's it, show's over. Move along now, folks. I need to go do some laundry!


  1. Well, it was well worth the wait. And I am green with envy as you predicted. Way to go on such a life changing project. My laundry room is only half as big as yours and not anywhere as cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! You should send these pictures into IKEA and try to recoup some of Tom's hard earned cash. Can I ship some dirty clothes so you can have even more moments of glory?


  3. I had a chance to see this being biult during most of the stages. I was there so much, I just about got recycled....or hung out to dry....or sorted and stuffed....or
    I'd better quit, I'm coming down again for Tom's big day!

  4. Whoops, misspelled built, and there is no eraser!!!

  5. Wow Lisa! What a great job. I think I'll bring some extra dirty laundry when next I visit. I also wish I could hire you folks to do some work in my basement. It could use some brightening up! I love all the storage you have created. I better go buy some stock in IKEA!

  6. Um that is pretty much the most awesome thing of ever. I love it. Plus also i love that funky chair.

  7. I LOVE IT but you already knew that. and with envy. we will have to go to ikea together when we ever get around to doing ours. and I LOVE THE NEW PICS DOWN THE SIDE. great job!

  8. I love your new laundry room!!! I am so happy for you and can't think of a more deserving person! CONGRATS!!!!!

  9. That is awesome. I love the color. Laundry would be such a dirty word if all laundry rooms looked like that.

  10. Jealous. Not just of your fantabulous new laundry room, but of the fact that you HAVE AN IKEA IN YOUR AREA!! :'(