A few months back we had a (very minor, but still rather scary!) fire in our basement laundry room (actually, technically the fire was in the washing machine itself) that started a bit of a mini laundry room reno, because:
a) the laundry room was dark and dreary
b) due to its apparently flammable nature, we decided the old washer might not be the safest appliance on the block
c) because our dryer was nearly as archaic as our washing machine, we figured we may as well buy an entirely new pair (my first ever new, and not just new-to-me, appliances – yay!)
d) see point a :)
The whole shebang ended up seemingly taking for-ev-ver. There were (rather expensive) decisions on new machines to be made (read about that HERE.) And then there was the sad sad moment when I noticed a scuff on top of my brand new shiny washing machine (I whined a wee bit about that HERE.) I even succumbed to some Pinterest-inspired daydreams over what my little laundryroom could look like (HERE.) And then there was painting and patching and shelf-hanging and all that fun stuff in between.
BUT, I’m happy to say she’s done. Well, done-ish. Our little laundry room doesn’t look A THING like my inspiration images (I’m blaming the smallness and lack of windows for that!) but it looks a lot better. :)
Here’s where we started (prepare yourself for overall laundry room ugliness)…
Ack, eh? Not a pleasant (little) room for doing ANYTHING, let alone something already as arduous as laundry.
A couple coats of Benjamin Moore Gossamer Blue paint (leftover from my dining room painting project – aka free paint), a shelf, and a few other additions later (baskets! I love baskets!) and it’s a far more pleasant place to be…
For the record, the room is TINY. In case you’re wondering why all of my laundry room pics only show a few feet of the room at a time. Without removing walls (which I’ve considered, but I don’t think Sweetie would approve) this is just the way it is! Here are a few other angles (for the really ambitious, I’m pretty sure if you cut and pasted all of these pics together, you’d get a pretty complete picture of the room!)
I painted the wooden pedestal our laundry tub is perched upon (and bolted to, we found out!) Just made things look a lot cleaner (Snowfall White paint fixes everything!)
The shelf is just a piece of knotty pine that Sweetie picked up and put a routered edge on for me (that Sweetie is pretty handy, you know!) and then I gave ‘er a good painting. It’s amazing how a little organization can make a laundry room a much friendlier place!
I repurposed a couple old jars (leftover from my pre-Slom-ed pantry) to hold paint brushes and that sort of thing. And the white basket holds extra roller refills quite nicely!
And, of course, no room in our house is complete without a picture of one of the cats. (We’re a little weird like that.) This picture was taken over 10 years ago (when Jacob was just a young lad!) with our very first ever digital camera.
I hate ironing. A whole lot. But at least my ironing devices are nicely organized in the newly organized laundry room. It almost makes me want to iron. (OK. I’m totally fibbing. The room could be clad in marble and platinum and I’d still avoid my iron. But at least it has its own spot now. Where it will probably stay, untouched, for a really really long time.)
As the wife of an electrician who seems to collect electrical stuff throughout the day, I was constantly making little piles of marrettes and screws and other random electrical things (ie: I have no idea what they are, but I’m pretty sure Sweetie uses them for something) on the washer. Oh. And piles of change too. Because apparently electricians carry a lot of change around in their pockets. These jars (also leftover from the Slom-ification of our pantry) have meant the end of the random change/doodad piles. Thus making me a rather happy electrician’s wife!
We even replaced the light in the room (er, rather, the naked hanging lightbulb) with a sweet (and inexpensive – I think the globe part was only $5) light fixture. I don’t have any pictures of the light installed in the room itself (since, well, that would involve turning off the light, which would plunge the room into darkness, which would make picture taking a bit of a challenge!) but here she is before Sweetie got all electrician-ish and got her all functioning and stuff…
(I think the design kinda looks like lace. Prettiest $5 light ever!)
And there you have it! My tiny little laundry room (divided up into many many images.) I mean, I wouldn’t want to hang out in there for HOURS, or anything like that, but it’s better at least, and (quite importantly!) neither dark, nor dreary now (such a pretty paint colour could never be dreary!) The best part (I guess, from a practical position) is that we are pretty sure this washer will operate sans fire. (Excuse me while I go knock on wood.) And it gets to do so in a cheery little room (because I’m sure that having pretty teal walls makes my washer happy too.)
Have a great weekend all!
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Have I ever showed you the befores of our living room? No? I didn’t think so. I’m thinking I may have skipped that step entirely (bad blogger Joy, very very bad!) In my defense, I was just so excited to show off our new faux fireplace, I went straight to the grand finale and totally skipped the prelude. But let’s make up for that now, k? :)
Let’s travel waaay back in time to October 2010. (Insert Wayne and Garth doing their squiggly doodle-oodle-oo… doodle-oodle-oo… flashback thing.) (I tried to find that clip via Youtube btw, just to give you a visual, but alas, normally-dependable Youtube failed me this morning.) (If you find that clip somewhere, please let me know!) Because the house was an absolute disaster for the first few months we lived here (I’m definitely not one of those people who moves in and immediately has everything unpacked. My friend Jess is. Oh how I envy her!) (we still have un-unpacked boxes in the basement, in fact… shhhh… don’t tell…) I don’t have many pics from the living room’s orange days. But here’s one I did find from Christmas right after we moved in…
…ah Christmas. :) Happy sigh.
(Aside: that picture kinda makes me want to rearrange our furniture – I rather liked our living room like this. Hmmm…) (See what happens when you venture into the past? You earn a fun furniture rearranging session!)
And here’s a (rather sterile-looking) shot from the original house listing…
While the orange wasn’t terrible, per se, it just wasn’t me. At all. I like orange (quite a lot actually!) but just not on my own walls. On your walls though? Awesome! :)
So that’s when I got my paint on. Needless to say, it took a good couple coats of primer to dull our glowing pumpkin walls. But a wee bit of Edgecomb Gray paint later, and I think it was all worth it.
(Please ignore the messy laptop and cords on the little green side table… Let’s call this an au naturel image, taken this morning, sans any staging k?) :)
So there you go! Just a quick little prequel post to show you where my living room all started. It still has a ways to go (SOMETHING needs to go in the far left corner, but I’m still not sure what), but it’s a far calmer space now than it was when we moved in (screaming-orange walls aren’t especially soothing.) Jacob agrees.
Now please excuse me while I go rearrange my furniture. Again.
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My grandmother’s hope chest was once passed down to me with the proviso: “Just don’t paint it.” Yep. I’m THAT person (and apparently it’s well known.) And while I’m sensible enough to know not to paint family heirlooms, I do have a bit of a penchant for painting pretty much anything . And why not? If you’re not happy with an accessory or a piece of furniture or, well, pretty much anything, a coat of paint can bring instant pizazz (does anyone say pizazz anymore? They should!) to a sad looking something-mer-other.
Case in point. I present to you… a mirror. Tada!
I’ve had this mirror since my early university years (so it’s at least 15 years old) and I think it was a $9.99 Zellers special originally. The frame is definitely some sort of plastic, and over the past decade and a half, it’s done that yellowing thing that white plastic does over time. It’s also been marred by the occasional renegade mascara wand…
But, despite being ugly, there’s otherwise nothing wrong with it. The glass isn’t wonky (you know, when mirrors get to the point where they’re just SLIGHTLY warped and they make your toosh look ginormous? Yep – hate that!) and it’s sturdy and it’s survived about seven moves since my tiny little university apartment days. This mirror is definitely a trooper. (An ugly trooper, but a trooper nonetheless.)
So, my solution? Paint. Of course. Did I bother to scuff ‘er up at all? Nope. A light sanding probably would have been a great idea, but it was an extra step that I didn’t feel like taking for a once-$9 mirror (I’m super lazy like that.) That said, I did indeed prime it with a high adhesion primer (my beloved Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer.) And then a couple coats of Snowfall White paint later (to match my trim and baseboards) and I suddenly have a much nicer looking mirror specimen…
Easy eh? It’s obviously not perfect (I had a moment of dirt-blows-in-fresh-paint-panic while painting the mirror in my backyard – one of the hazards of painting outdoors), but it was free (since I already owned both the paint and the mirror) and it’s absolutely fine for the top of our stairwell (which seems perfectly suited for a full-length mirror!)
So see? You can paint anything, really! Except maybe your grandmother’s hope chest. :)
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Our stairwell painting project is definitely not a wow-er. I wish it was – I put a lot of work into that silly little dark stairwell! Sadly, it pretty much looks the same as it did before, just better and cleaner and neater. Wanna see? Let’s consider this my not-so-big reveal…
Here’s where we started…
(See all those patches? Yep. Our stairwell was just that disasterous.)
Fast forward a couple of months and a lot of paint (BM Edgecomb Gray on the walls, and Snowfall White on the stringers, trim and doors) and here’s what that same little stairwell looks like now…
One of my favourite improvements is the mirror at the bottom of the stairs. It’s called Melissa (yep – that’s half the reason why I bought it!) and I found it on clearance at Sears a while back (the other reason why I grabbed it up!) Rona still sells this same mirror at full price (see here), so I’m quite proud of my lovely little bargain. :) It’s a dark, windowless little stairwell and this just seems to brighten the landing up a bit (plus I just think it’s pretty!)
Oooh! And see those lovely stringers near the bottom of the pic? They weren’t always so lovely. That loveliness is the result of a whole lot of filler (there was a huge gap between the stringers and the wall originally that yours truly fixed up with loads of caulking), careful (crazy time consuming!) taping (click here for pics of the groovy green tape stripes I had going for a while) and a lick of paint.
Just looks so much cleaner now. :)
The boob light at the top of the stairs has been replaced by Ikea’s amazing Alang…
(Alang is indeed a-lovely, non?)
And I painted both the doors to the upstairs bedrooms. They were originally wood-grain and coated in what appeared to be a gazillion layers of 1940s varnish. The white is way better (if you ask me!)
I heart our doorknobs. They’re old and aged and imperfectly perfect.
Lastly we added a mirror at the top of the stairs. Afterall, one must make sure she’s presentable before greeting her public. ;)
And poof! The stairwell is done. Ish. I’d like to eventually replace the thick brown (leaf-patterned) runner with something fun or striped or something like that, but for now it’s in good shape so despite that it’s brown (did I mention that it’s brown? Yep. It’s brown…) it’s staying, for a while at least. And I’d like to add something to that wall at the very bottom of the stairs (a pic from our wedding [almost 4 years ago] perhaps? We should really start printing those at some point…) but that’s not an urgent stairwell upgrade at the moment either.
For now, it’s better! If you didn’t know I’d put weeks (and weeks and weeks) of weekend-work into that little dark stairwell, you’d just think that it’s a fresh clean stairwell. But it’s the projects that you don’t notice that add the most value, I think. At least I hope. :)
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Permission to indulge in a “look what I did!” moment? Thank you! :)
The living room in our last house was a lot larger than our living room now. And so our living room furniture has never really seemed to fit in our new space here. The culprit? Our ginormous Ikea Lack coffetable. While amazingly functional, it was just far too large for our room.
And so began the search for a new place to rest my coffee. :)
Then, one day, while scouring the local Kijiji-pages (er, website) I found a listing for a rather beat-up looking glass-topped coffeetable. Price? $15. My reaction? Sold!
Here’s what the beast looked like when I picked ‘er up.
She was scratched. She was dented. She had random patches of forest green peeking out from under her white exterior. She was a sad looking coffeetable indeed.
So I pulled out my primer (BullsEye in the blue can is my go-to primer for everything – it rocks) and my Snowfall White paint (all the trim in my house is painted BM Snowfall White, so I seem to always have some on hand) and one weekend later (following the accepted furniture painting rules: sand, prime, paint, admire), I now have a much prettier place to rest my coffee. :)
I switched out the old pull (it was wood, it was icky) on the (fake) drawer for an inexpensive ORB pull I picked up at Rona. Much better. :)
Some of the drips from the previous owner’s (rather abysmal) painting job still show through (even though I sanded the dickens out of the table before priming it) but I’ve decided that they add character. And, really, unless you’re taking a ridiculously closeup picture of my pretty new pull, you don’t really notice the drips in person. :)
Sadly, in all honesty, I’m not 100% sure (after alllllll that) that this is the right coffee table for our space. While our Ikea table was too long, this one is too… square. And also too big. Again. Sigh. It too seems to take over the entire living room.
And I’m already missing the handy-dandy storage shelf that was under my large Lack Ikea table – it always came to the rescue whenever I needed to quickly move things (remotes, my laptop, random bills, my copy of Blogging for Dummies) out of sight.
And, well, I’m also sort of wishing I would have jumped (just a wee bit) outside of my paint-it-white-and-it’ll-be-alright comfort zone and painted the table dark (since EVERYTHING in our living room is white now. I’m all for uniformity, but this might be a little much.)
BUT, it’s BETTER. For now. At least until I decide if it’ll become a permanent fixture in our room, or if it’s hitting the selling-block once again, or getting another (sigh) coat of paint, this time in deep charcoal or something snazzy like that. Or maybe I’ll just give in and get a larger living room (unlikely, but it could happen!) I’ll letcha know what I decide. :)
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