Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reveal! Before and Afters!!

Let me begin this post with a lovely picture of the rainbow that arched over the end of my street on Monday.
There will be decidedly less lovely picture later in this post...a whole lot less lovely in fact.

Now last week I posted my "inspirations" for some long over due interior decorating that I was tackling:

This fabric was my inspiration for a complete overhaul of my laundry room!

A giraffe, hearts, cats...just the thing to get my mental wheels a' turning.

Boy did I ever need inspiration to tackle this mess.
Our basement laundry room.
Ugh ugh ugh ugh.....

It also served as the cat's dining room
And the cat's litter box room.

Our house was built in 1954.  People (OK..women mostly) have been slaving away over their washing machines down here for over 57 years at least.
At some point one of them painted the walls a turquoise green. I don't think that would have been much of an improvement.
Later, probably the last owner, painted the room a shade of deep tan.
The cave like effect was stunning.  
Isn't being able to do laundry in a cave every woman's dream??

While we were painting the other basement rooms (family room, office, hat room, hallways) we slapped a bland beige on the walls just so I could almost bear to be in the room long enough to throw a load of laundry in to the wash, feed the cats, scoop the litter and RUN AWAY!

I used to joke that if they ever had to find another place to house terrorists for waterboarding, my laundry room would be just the place.
I was sure the terrorists would crack in no time if they had to spend time in this room.

Battleship gray is my least favorite color in the whole wide world. 
Naturally someone had decided at one point to "cheer" up the room by painting the floor exactly that color.
They must have done a terrific job; the floor paint was chipped everywhere, revealing the floor paint color history. 
Frankly I think plain concrete would have been just fine.

The other MAJOR problem:

The floor drain in the middle of the room.
The floor slopes down on all side into the middle.  I guess in 1954 the washer wash plopped dead center in the room?

The drain pipe size of 1954 was smaller than modern drain pipes which are designed to take on the high speed washing machine water flow. 
This means that every time my washer drains, the floor drain can't keep up.  A space about three feet wide fills with water and suds for about three minutes.  

And of course remains slippery for long after.

The solution would be to jack hammer out the floor drain, re-plumb the pipes and re-concrete.  
With the sloping floor this would not really work unless we jack hammered out the whole floor. 

The mess on the walls: The heater/air filter/ac unit are all housed in the basement as well, and need to be kept open for air flow.
We discussed dry wall, partitions and kept coming back to the problem of how to keep access to those units free.
Plus the cost for jack hammering, plumbing, framing, dry wall, doors just left us stubbornly refusing to creak open our check book.
Huge sigh. 
Much grumbling continued by both of us every time we did laundry (yes, my darlin' Mr. B. is just as likely to throw in a load as I am.)

Two and a half years of this grumble, revisit ideas, discard ideas, slip on the floor, avert eyes every time we walked through the room

Then suddenly...I had a brain storm.

Step one: Paint everything except the floor and ceiling good old Navajo white.
(Only took me an hour to figure out I wanted that paint color at the big box store.)

Step two: Paint ceiling and door a high gloss white.
Step three: Select Armstrong's Pietra Grande White self stick floor tiles.
(Part of the hour selection time at the big box store. Wished I had my blogging buddies there with me to help with the decorating decision making....)

Step four:  Hire a cat to assist with the floor tile work.

Step five: Enlist helpful knowledgeable Mr. B, who explained to me why I couldn't just slap a tile up in the corner and then go from there.

I wore the same white tee shirt and old pull-on pj bottoms for the whole project. 

Tate's job was to remind me to take lots of breaks...

The room was built four months after I was born. We both are showing our age.
My body was only able to do this work with the help of regular doses of Aleve.
Did you know you can take up to four of those tablets at once?
I checked with a medical professional and got the OK.
And found if you wash them down with a glass of wine before going to bed it also helps to make one able to fall asleep without pain.

I had scrubbed the floor clean before installing the tile.
Yes...that is the floor clean.

Bernie tackled the floor drain cover...he even bought me a nice new one!

And now...without further ado...

The new improved basement laundry room!
(Note the new white and stainless drain covers at the base of the drier unit!)

I have moved my sewing machine into the room now.  It was in the orange Marley room before; the light in there is not as good.
The door leads out to the patio and our hot tub, hence the need for robes and a basket of assorted swim suits at the ready.

My brainstorm for hiding all the storage items while still allowing air flow and easy access to the heater/ac/air filter:
Good old IKEA Fabler Kamrater curtains, found in the baby/children's department were hung on the IKEA wire curtain hanger system. 

The wire is tensioned between the walls so there is no sag and the curtains need not be separated by a curtain rod holder mid way on the wall.
I liked the heavy cotton smooth finish curtain fabric, and thought the butterscotch colored plaid trim on each panel would break up the "wall o' fabric" feeling.
Plus the cat, giraffe, heart, and other motifs were adorable.

Since I don't sew every day...
The cat's litter boxes sit out of the way beneath the sewing desk.
I purchased an inexpensive vacuum cleaner to vacuum up stray bits of litter daily.
Their food dish is hidden behind the curtains. 

My view out the door...I have a removable screen that goes up on tension rod for days when I want the door left open.

I might get a folding table eventually. For now, the sewing desk chair can hang out in the corner.
I notice the cats seem to be enjoying having a chair to sit on, or under in this case.

A small "beachy" painting above the robes gets one in the mood for a splash in the hot tub.
My mother-in-law, who has a swimming pool at her house, taught me the trick of having a few extra swim suits in various sizes available for guests.  I think I will try to find a squarish basket to hold the suits eventually.

Too cute huh.

Can you believe we actually like being in our laundry room now?
Two and a half years of thinking, a week of work and finally we have a room that works for us.

Totally cost?

Around $300.

That kind of price tag works for us too!


Lovella ♥ said...

I think is is an amazing transformation. It is amazing what a difference a little elbow grease and some modern ideas can do. The curtaining effect is great and I can sure see why you would want to sew under that window. Well done to the two of you ..or three if you count the feline assistance.

Kate said...

Wow!!! I need you to come and get me going on my bathroom project! In the meantime, treat yourself to a fixture of 4 daylight flourescent tubes over your sewing machine. Bright, natural light and energy efficient. I LOVE mine upstairs in my Studio - now the brighest room in my house. My electrician found them at Lowes and even he was amazed at how bright they are. Enjoy! K Q;-)

Vicki said...

Yay, Jill! It turned out great! You did a super job on the hem, too. :)

You deserve a huge pat on the back for your hard work!

Now, may I send you photos of my problem spaces? Heehee...

Kathie said...

Very nicely done!! It looks terrific.


I have a basement laundry room that makes your original look good - no window in mine - it's a deep dungeony motiff. Perhaps you, bernie and the kits might like to come for a visit?? and bring your tools???


ellen b. said...

You did a wonderful job. The new look is very peaceful compared to the before shot. My girlfriend who has a pool has a basket of suits and trunks, too. Good idea...

Vee said...

Wonderful job! It doesn't even look like the same room at all.

I have a cave laundry room in a house built in 1955 and I have not even allowed myself to dream... Perhaps I can start.

Oh dear. Your daughter the nurse gave you the go ahead on four Aleve. My sister the nurse gave me the go ahead on four Tylenol...IF I felt as if I had been run over by an 18 wheeler. I can't tell you how many times this week that I have felt that way. Oh, and your outfit looks a lot like three for me. Ha!

Again, you two did a fantastic job! I'm so impressed.

Anonymous said...

The laundry room looks so bright and pleasant. You did a wonderful job! Such clever ideas, you are amazing, Jill! Love, mom S.

Anonymous said...

(insert standing ovation here)!!!!!! applaud! applaud! LOVE it!
~your approving, impressed daughter who misses you!