Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Laundry / Mud Room

I haven't posted in over a year, that's just sad folks.  And I apologize, sort of.  Priorities cycle around at different times in different ways.  If you know me at all though, you KNOW that does NOT mean we haven't been DIYing it up around here.  I keep thinking I will do a full photo shoot of the house and how it has come along. I am so thankful I can truly say our home is lovely, and very imperfect, but I'm glad we've had the opportunity to make it more and more "us."

So today's feature is my husband's very impressive laundry room build he did for me last Christmas.  He wanted to try built-ins, and we had leftover butcher block from the kitchen counter tops.  I'd say he succeeded!  Unfortunately, I don't have a wide angle lens so you'll have to take it in very small snips at very strange angles.

If you didn't catch it the first time around, here was the first attempt:

I told Mike I wanted as much counter/bench surface area as possible.  I like to be able to fold and organize right in the laundry room.  Especially since all our bedrooms are upstairs and the laundry is down.  I also wanted cubbies with baskets for shoes and socks.  You can get far more shoes in a basket than lined on a shelf.  And who wants to send your 4 and 5 year olds upstairs to get shoes and socks?  You'd NEVER GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

My very talented man built me cubbies for baskets below and above, staggered hooks for hanging, racks my laundry baskets could slide over and a hanging bar for dry-cleaning etc.
** Word to the wise, find the baskets first and build to them!  We did the cubbies first and after the 4th basket store I started to panic.  I found these at TJ Maxx.

Have I ever mentioned I really love having a nasty utility sink in my mud room?  I used to wonder why people put these in their house.  It's a glorious thing to have a designated space for cleaning paintbrushes, drying wet dirty shoes, and cleaning greasy hands.  However, that doesn't mean it needed to be ugly on the outside too!  I just hot-glued on a drop cloth with fabric trim and made a matching window treatment.  

Move above.  

More below.  Ignore the dirty laundry, this is a hard working room people!

My little sign relocated.  I'd love to change out these strangely small cabinets for a tall or double set with more cottage feel but it's not worth the spend to me.

I also mentioned in passing it would be pretty cool to have one of those fold out drying racks and my handy man whipped this baby up!  It is all kinds of spectacular and useful!

This is our dirty little secret that hides behind the door and no one sees unless they come into the laundry room and shut the door behind them.  These metal racks are a pantry dream, you can see everything you have and it holds a lot of canned goods.  No more digging in deep shelves to figure out what you've got and what you need.  Yes, the iron hides too.

All I can say is I LOVE this remodel.  Not because it's a focal point like our kitchen, but because it has changed our daily lives.  If ever we build I will spend some serious time considering our laundry and mud areas.  This room organized our daily lives and makes sure everyone knows where their bags and shoes and coats belong.  It keeps my kitchen from becoming a dumping ground.  It makes the task of laundry a little more enjoyable.  

Happy laundry and mudding to you friends!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rainbows and Pinwheels Birthday Party

This week my little 'big' girl turned 3.  She wanted a rainbow themed birthday party, she also wanted pink as always.  I pinned lots of ROY-G-BIV and in the end decided to be a bit more relaxed about the theme using a pastel pallet to fit both requests.

I also went more relaxed on the food and loosely followed the theme.  Everything except fruit was in individual cups so you could just grab and go.

Chocolate and rainbow sprinkle pretzel sticks
7 layer dip
Lucky Charms (the kids said "Look!  Rainbow cereal!  How could I resist?)
Rainbow Goldfish
Rainbow popcorn
Mini waters wrapped in scrapbook paper and mini sodas

My little girl felt totally special and ooohed and ahhhed over every detail.  I'd call that a success!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pantry Hallway

Wall filling is an ongoing project when you move into a house.  Especially when you move into a house with significantly more wall space than your former home.  Slowly but surely I've been working a wall at a time.

This little hallway leads to my pantry and laundry room.  It was getting along ok naked, but it's so much happier now that it has some adornment.  

The sign above the pantry, the totally awesome cool postcard/butterfly cork board and the key hooks were from Homegoods and TJMaxx.  If I've never expressed my love for these stores I will state it now.  Love them.  Period.  No one is paying me to say it…unfortunately because that would be pretty cool.  

I needed one more to fill the space.  I picked up this glassless frame at a garage sale for $1.  It was dark brown with some fabric on it.  I whitewashed it.  This simply means I mixed some white paint with water, painted it on and wiped it off.  The result blended well with what I had.  Next I stapled some twine on the back and have used it to hang fabric, seasonal post cards, etc. from clothespins.  This little $1 piece has received more than it's fair share of attention from visitors, it's a popular piece.

I'd love to see how you adorn your odd spaces.  Post a link to your blog in the comments and we'll share the love!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Displaying Treasures

I have to share an incident with you, maybe more of a confession.  I think it will help you understand why this little project was so critical for my household.

My two little ones are in preschool.  This means they bring home approximately 400 pieces of "art" a week.  Fine, maybe more like 20 but that is a lot considering they want it to be prominently displayed on our refrigerator.  Apparently I am a bah-humbug mama because I don't want stuff on my fridge.  Truly, it could be a Renoir and I would still feel like my kitchen was cluttered.  So all art is relegated to the side of the fridge, which leads to some weeding out by mama.

Some time ago my sweet little 2 year old girl went to our kitchen trash and pulled out one of her masterpieces.  She came to me near tears "Mama, why you throw away my picture???"  I of course lied through my teeth.  "NO!  I would NEVER!  I LOVE this picture, I will hang it up right now!  I don't know HOW it got in the trash!"

My husband says I'm evil because it was in the trash 24 hours later, but well covered with other trash.  I aint' no fool.

So I took a trip to Ikea, bought a wire hanging device and clips.  I framed a couple of the more stellar pieces they did this year and I hung it all up in our otherwise empty upstairs hallway.  It is lovely and it allows the kids to come with me and switch out what will hang.  The rest goes into a box if it's keep-worthy.

It both solves our display problem and gives our hallway a little character.  (In case you are wondering, that is our family laundry basket.  I got tired of emptying 3 different baskets upstairs, all dirty clothes and towels go one place now.)

And just for kicks, here is my 3 year old's first ever picture of our family.  He wasn't even instructed to draw it, he was just inspired.  This one's a keeper.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Laundry Sign

I made this sign to go up in my laundry room for about $6.  You can do it too.

Step 1- Buy a piece of white board wood from your local home improvement store.  I bought a piece that was 1" thick, 8" tall and 6 feet long.   Total cost, under $6.

Step 2- Cut the board to fit the space you want to use it in.  I used a chop saw, turned it over and chopped again.  Basically I didn't want to wait for my husband to get home and cut it for me with a circular saw.

 Step 3- Stain or paint a dark base coat.  As the name suggests, the wood is white, or very near it.  If painted white directly, the distressing will not give the desired contrast.  I did not do this carefully, I just rubbed it on until it was dark.

Step 4- Once dry, take a candle and rub it all over the stained piece of wood.  This will cause the paint to rub off more easily when it is time to distress.  I used this method for my kitchen cabinet painting as well, it worked like a charm.

Step 5- Paint the board white.  Again, I used latex I had on hand and a brush.  It was not perfect, I wasn't too worried about perfect.

Step 6- Print out the letters for your text.  I set my font effect to "outline" so I wouldn't waste ink.  Tape it to your board.

Step 7- Using a ball point pen, trace your letters pressing firmly.  This will indent the wood.  White board is very soft, so this method is very effective.  If you are using a harder wood you may need a different transfer method.  I have read you can use newspaper in between and it will transfer. 

Step 8- Paint your letters.  You will need good light to see the indentions you made and small brushes.  I used a black enamel paint because it was what I had on hand.  I am sure using vinyl or making stencils with card stock and an exacto-knife followed by spray paint would give you a more even product.  I was using what I had on hand and I wasn't too worried about perfection.

PS- I did the "25 cents per load" part with a Sharpie marker.

 Step 9- When everything is dry, sand it with a coarse piece of sandpaper until you are satisfied.

 Step 10- Nail hanging hardware to the back.  Make sure you measure down so they are evenly placed, otherwise you will have a very difficult time hanging it level.

Step 11- Hang and enjoy!

If I did this again I would try doing a three layer effect with a dark stain, turquoise paint then white paint so some blue would show through.  Please post a link if you have done something similar or decide to give this a try!