laundry room remodel | pt. ii

progress report.

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It's time for a quick update on our laundry room remodel!  there was a time when I jokingly said that I hoped we'd have this project completed by the end of the year, thinking how in the world could we not? these days, I think it will be a Christmas miracle if this thing wraps up while we're still in the year 2018.  if you're just tuning in, catch yourself up on our laundry room remodel by reading part one here.

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To be sure, we have made progress.  after all, this wouldn't be much of a progress report if there was no progress.  the new countertops are nearly complete.  all that's left to do is a final coat and sealant once they have cured, which takes thirty days.  if you're just joining us, we covered our laminate countertops with concrete.  sounds a little crazy, right?  it probably is, but my thinking behind that is that nothing can be worse than the dusty blue counters we began with.  I mean, even with a risky DIY such as this, it's hard to mess up something like that and have a worse outcome. we were willing to take that chance, anyway.  I will share more about this process in the final reveal post.  for now, I am really pleased with how things are looking.

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After removing the upper cabinets, which were glued to the wall, there were quite a few spots that needed to be patched.  a little drywall tape and joint compound fixed that right up.  a fresh coat of paint and several true crime podcasts later, the wall looks brand new.

a couple weeks ago marked our five year wedding anniversary.  we spent the evening celebrating the most romantic way I know how—DIYing. with a little research and absolutely zero experience under our tool belts, we installed a tile backsplash ourselves! I would bet a million dollars that five years ago, my husband never would have imagined that's how we'd spend any anniversary.  in my mind, though, we're right on track!  I'm teasing… sort of.

would you believe we actually both enjoyed this project?  I know this because Drew actually started on it without me.  typically when it comes to home improvement, I am begging/having to consult and formally schedule with my husband to begin a project.  not so this time around... while I was chasing our youngest through the house, I passed by the laundry room to find Drew spreading thinset on the wall with a trowel and putting the first subway tile in place.  "what do you think you're doing?" I demanded.  he turned with a smile, "I just couldn't wait anymore." though I appreciated his enthusiasm, I had been dreaming of this moment for months and wanted to be a part of every second of the tiling process.  needless to say, we tucked our boy into bed shortly after and headed straight to work together.

a couple days after the thinset dried, it was time for grout!  to be totally honest, this part was not as fun as I had hoped and neither of us much enjoyed it.  but it is a necessary step and we got it done and that’s what that counts.  it was our very first time to tackle a tile project; and though it was a small area that didn’t require too many cuts, I’m happy to add this skill to our resumé. I’m sure a professional could take a look at our work and spot imperfections immediately, but I think it looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I’m proud of us for trying something new and tickled that the results were decent. I'll share more details in the reveal post about products used, tips, etc. 

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The wood brackets for the open shelving have been painted, as you can see.  the lumber for the shelves has been cut.  I need to prime and paint the boards.  and the plan is to install it all this week. I am extra excited about this part!

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I hung a few woven trays on the wall near the desk, so we've got that going for us as well.  I am so happy to see this room slowly coming together!  I think it's shaping up to be a really lovely space. I need to pick up some spray paint and lock my other handyman [aka my father] down. he’s always been skilled in spray-painting, so I’ve recruited him to help me give the old metal lockers a fresh coat of paint. here’s hoping we knock that out in the next week or two! if we do, it looks like there may just be a chance we could wrap things up before the clock strikes twelve on 2018. I’ll keep you posted…

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if you want to keep up with all the little details between blog posts, give the tiny white house a follow on instagram.  I post there more frequently,  and almost always share as things are happening on the laundry room remodel... as well as in other rooms + projects taking place!


laundry room remodel | pt. i

the before.


I tend to wait until a project is complete to share it here on the blog.  but this time, I decided I'd share this project as we go, updating you along the way... because honestly, when it comes to home improvement projects, things can move a little slow at the tiny white house.  that's not necessarily the speed at which I like to do projects, but that's just life right now.  and slow progress is better than no progress, right?


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Despite the desperate need for updates throughout our home, there were several features that stood out the first time we saw our house.  it had good bones, if you will.  the laundry room was a prime example.  at 8' by 10' with two windows, it is an open, airy space, far different from the tiny laundry closet in our first home.  I had big dreams for this space the second I laid eyes on it.  I knew it held such potential.  one of the main reasons I want to make the most of this room is because it is seen.  while we don't exactly "hang out" in it, our laundry room is directly off the kitchen and open to the side entry, or friend's entry.  it also leads to the garage.  plus, there is no door to the laundry room, so there's no hiding what's in there.  we might as well make the most of it!

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With so much else on our to-do list [see extensive list pictured above], though, the laundry room just got the basics: popcorn ceiling scraped, wallpaper border removed, a fresh coat of paint, a new light fixture, and new tile flooring.  this did wonders for the room, of course; but my vision was far from complete.

since this is larger than the average size laundry room, I really wanted to take advantage of the space in this room, using every single inch.  here is the game plan:

  • replace upper cabinets with open shelving
  • refinish laminate countertops
  • paint lower cabinets + update cabinet hardware
  • install some type of locker system, whether it be wooden built-ins or metal lockers
  • create a home office + command center
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CABINETRY

the cabinetry, though dingy and worn, provides excellent covered storage.  I considered keeping the existing cabinets and getting new cabinet doors, but the upper cabinets were small and the shelving was practically useless—too short to store cookbooks or a box of detergent upright.  of course, I could lay books sideways; but the more I thought about it, I really wanted to have a little open shelving.  I know this is very "in" right now.  as a rule, I tend to steer away from anything trendy.  but since this is a small space, I thought it would be a good place to experiment.  besides, I am fairly confident I can create open shelving that is both timeless and traditional.

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COUNTERTOPS

the lovely, blue laminate counter boasts a stainless steel sink, albeit small.  but that dusty blue obviously has to go.  I considered painting it, but am leaning more towards refinishing it using a concrete overlay.  there are roughly one million blogs giving detailed tutorials on this and reviewing why concrete countertops are awesome and/or horrible, so I'll leave that to them.  for us, the choice was easy and meets all our criteria:

  • it fits the budget
  • I like the way it looks
  • my husband doesn't want to do it

that's how I know it's the perfect fix.  but seriously, after much research, this is our best option.  many of the articles I read mentioned scratching + staining as one of the downsides of concrete countertops.  since this isn't a high traffic area and since it is in our laundry room, I'm simultaneously not too worried about that and preparing myself to be okay with such things happening.  after all, this is a laundry room and a scratch or stain on the counter is far from the end of the world.

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LOCKERS

I also wanted some type of locker for storage, whether it be built-in or actual metal lockers.  there is a perfect spot for this, in the corner right next to the door that leads to the garage [pictured above].  for awhile, I was set on built-in wooden cubbies.  it seemed like it would be more difficult to find the kind of metal lockers I liked for a reasonable price, so I thought built-ins would be easier.  again, this was not at all a priority and we never even got around to getting measurements or supplies to build lockers.  then one day last February, I found some for sale on Facebook.  an old gym in town was being remodeled and they had tons of lockers they were getting rid of.  I got a set of six for $72.  I had been looking for awhile and never seen any that I liked as much and none as cheap, so that seemed like a good deal to me.  here they are, sitting in our garage... where they've been for the past seven months.  they still need a little work, but I think they'll be perfect for this space.

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HOME OFFICE

my husband gave me a beautiful, antique table for Christmas a few years ago and I knew it would be perfect as a desk.  I tend to write, draw, make lists, jot things down in my planner, etc. from the comfort of my bed.  now don't get me wrong—I don't ever mind snuggling up in bed for any reason.  however, it would be nice and more practical to have a spot specifically for these tasks—a command center, if you will.  eventually I'll clear this pretty little piece off.  until then, it makes for an excellent catchall.

PROGRESS

the last week of August, we decided to make September a no spend month.  I was itching to do a project [shocker, right?] and with the boys at their grandparents' overnight, it seemed like the perfect time to get started on our laundry room!  of course, since we're on a spending freeze, there's only so much we can do.  lucky for us, demolition is F-R-E-E.  early Saturday morning, we got to work and removed the upper cabinets.  our home renovation didn't require much demo, so this was kind of a first for us.  it took a little elbow grease as the cabinets were glued to the wall, but we got the job done.  since I was in work mode and had leftover paint from other projects, I went ahead and painted the lower cabinets.  our house was built circa 1980, never updated, and the cabinets didn't get a fresh coat of paint when we moved in in early 2017, so it was much needed.  I can't wait to pick out new hardware and install it!

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it's exciting to see my vision come to life... slowly, but surely.  maybe when October rolls around and we can spend money again, we'll knock more things off the to-do list.  I can't wait!  stay tuned for progress reports...

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 sources:

wall color | Wool Skein by Sherwin-Williams
light fixture | Lowe's