Wanted: My Own Beautiful Launderette

One of the first things I learned when I first entered the design business is that there is a seasonal design demand cycle:  in the spring, when people start cleaning their houses and planting their gardens, the nesting instinct takes over and the decorators' phones start ringing.  Then, as summer hits, vacations start, and the kids leave school, most clients are distracted and, as projects end, the phone stops ringing.  However, as soon as the kids get back in school, the holidays approach, and cooler weather again starts the nesting instinct, business revs back up.  The point to this info?  Spring is here, and I'm ready to tackle another problem room in my home: the laundry room.
While my laundry will not be this elegant, this is the feel I want:  cottage inspired, bright, a vintage feeling.

I'm really excited about  this project because I love laundry rooms.  In fact it probably speaks to my peasant roots that, while I admire grand dining rooms and elegant living rooms, what I'm most enthusiastic about are service areas---impeccably organized closets, efficient kitchens, thoughtfully furnished workrooms, etc.  While I'd much prefer to LIVE upstairs at Downton Abbey or Gosford Park, I was much more interested by the service areas and servant's lives.  At any rate, after almost 5 years back in the house, I'm ready to tackle my laundry room.  Note:  this is kind of a bittersweet project though.  It's going to be my last major home project for a while.  I've gotten to that wonderful, but sad place where I've perfected my home as much as possible (well at least as much as my budget and current lifestyle allow).  I've still got plenty of small projects: organizing closets and drawers, remaking slipcovers, painting some stripes, etc., but other than that, I'm happy with the colors and room layouts.  On the one hand, it will be nice to be able to simply enjoy my home without the feeling that I need to do SOMETHING about this or that problem room, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'd miss the need to decorate just a little.
I know it's a kitchen, not a laundry, but it's the feel I want:  muted colors, some aqua, mix of old materials.  I love it, except those hideous stools---what were they thinking?

But enough moping.  To paraphrase Pollyana, if having a decorated home that doesn't need any major work is my big problem, I have no problems.  I'll show you a pic of the laundry room later, but suffice to say, disaster is the best way to describe it.  It's actually in a lean-to addition to the house, and has some assets:  it has a window with the original, delightfully distressed wood frame.  It's a decent size, about 8 by 12, and has a deep laundry sink.  But of course, there are issues.  Number one, it has a toilet.  While this is great for outdoor parties, it does distract from the look of a cottage like laundry.  Number two, in addition to storing laundry supplies, I need to also store a barbecue pit and the variety of coolers and the trash can we ice down beer in since I use the free-standing garage as an art studio.  It also has miss-matched appliances.  *quick story:   We ran into many problems and delays on the house, some unavoidable, some the result of human error.  At any rate, I was having one of those days when I COULD NOT COPE.  But trying to be all Pollyana, I had one thought, "For the first time in almost 20 years since leaving home, I would not only have my own laundry room, I would finally have a matching washer and dryer."  That thought had me calm and happy when the phone rang.  It was Thomas, excited over finding an expensive front load washer and dryer on a major clearance as they were floor models.  Then he dropped the bomb, " I mean, they're not the same color, but I was like who would care about that........."
I definitely want a counter and skirts to hide my mismatched washer and dryer

The vintage poster I'm thinking of replicating large scale on the accent wall
Anyway, a plan is evolving.  I'm planing to partition a corner and hang a drop cloth curtain to serve as a closet for the coolers and provide hidden storage, sell an unwanted bookshelf that is just taking up space, repaint the sink cabinet, hang a shelf with a rod for hanging clothes to dry, make a counter to cover washer and dryer, which I will then skirt, and finally paint a vintage travel poster inspired piece of art.  I'm also planning to paint the accent wall (the back wall where the art will hang) to look like reclaimed wood.  I'll keep you posted on progress.
I'm planning to use this palette and paint the back wall to resemble these boards.
My whole inspiration board so far is at pinterest.

1 comment:

Vickie H. said...

Mitchell, this is going to be such a fabulous project for you...so many pieces of it to bring out the best of your amazing talents! I can't wait to see that poster re-created on the wall! And all the rest of your dreams coming true as well....do keep us posted with your progress!!