Just Another Moodboard Monday (whoa-whoa): The Lovely Laundry


October 8, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Last Monday, I decided to give myself a little challenge and start a series of Moodboard Mondays.  My first foray into creating a moodboard was a nautical boy’s room, wherein I asked for your requests to create a moodboard for you, just for fun.  Of course, my rules were that I could only use paint and items found on my local Craigslist advertisements.  As in life, my mother was the first [and only, I might add  😦  …. ]  person to make a request.  I love a good challenge, so please send me your request.  It could be fun!

So, today, I will share with you my mother’s laundry room.  You see, she has laundry room, but it doubles as a utility room and overflow for pantry items, as well as a home to the upright freezer.  The laundry/utility room also serves as a hallway of sorts to the guest half bath. To add to the chaos, the laundry room’s layout is odd as it was not originally planned to be a laundry/utility room.  My father had good intentions, but sort of just placed items, such as the washer, dryer, furnace, and water heater in locations that are not logical.  For example the washer and dryer are not adjacent to each other, they are actually on two different walls at a 90 degree angle to each other and separated by both a utility sink and a water heater in the corner of the room.  The overflow freezer resides in the opposite corner adjacent to the home’s furnace – not a well-designed layout.  It really isn’t worth it to take the appliances and utilities out and reorganize, but a small makeover could make it more functional.  Here is a simple sketch I made to explain the odd layout.

My mother’s laundry room layout. (The two oblong shaped items in the upper left corner represent the massive furnace.)

Here is what I have come up with:

Moodboard of Mother’s Laundry/Utility room:

Giving this space a more finished feel for both my mother and guests alike using only a gallon of paint and items found on my local Craigslist.

As with most of my redecorating projects, paint was the first decision to make for this project.  Given that my mother’s kitchen is to the right of the laundry room and the guest bath is to the left, I thought it best to choose a color that would bridge the two rooms.  My mother’s kitchen is painted in a soft, cream color with country blue accents.  In addition to blue countertops, she also has country blue window blinds and country blue and cream toile window valances.  My mother loves sunny, bright, yellow rooms. Unfortunately, despite my many years of offering to paint for her, she and my father can not agree to paint the kitchen any color but cream.  The half bath is a sky blue with white accents.  Besides just having a cheery place to do laundry, I want my mother to have a laundry room that has the same feel as the rest of her house.  Sometimes on my way to the half bath, I feel like I am walking into an unfinished space.  Almost as though I am a customer at a restaurant walking through the industrial kitchen area to get to the restrooms.  I don’t want guests to feel that way in my parents home, especially since my mother is one of the most gracious people I know.  To help achieve a welcoming look and feel, I have chosen is Behr’s ‘Daffodil’:

Behr’s ‘Daffodil’

I think the ‘Daffodil’ color is the perfect shade to compliment both the kitchen and the half bath, but also give the laundry room a much needed lift.  The next item that has the biggest impact in the room are the pair of folding screens or room dividers:

Two pairs of room dividers @ $50 each. These will be used in front of both the furnace and hot water heater to hide the unsightly utilities, as well as to provide additional color and style.

These room dividers are actually the jumping off point for me.  Once I found them, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  I think hanging the room dividers from the ceiling would act more as walls, but still provide ventilation around the utility units and provide clearance at the floor level for sweeping and mopping.   The first divider would be suspended from the ceiling in the corner concealing the water heater.  As the dividers are really three panels hinged together, I think I would use the second divider in a slightly different way.  Two of the panels (2/3 of one divider) would create a wall obscuring the furnace, which is the first thing one sees upon entering the room.  The remaining third panel of the second divider would be hung from the ceiling, to the right of the washer, to act as side wall.  This would essentially create a closet or cubby for both the utility sink and the washer.   Here is a sketch to show you what I mean intend to do with the room dividers:

Note the wall looking features in black that are room divider panels hiding the utilities and flanking the utility sink and washer to create much needed overhead storage.

So, it seems that we are moving forward with a cream, blue, and yellow color scheme.  Currently, my mother has white mini blinds on the window, but I thought to use this blue gingham message board with small ‘L’ brackets to create a fake window valance.  Sorry, I didn’t provide the link, as it has already been purchased, but the seller was asking $4.00.

Small, rectangular message board to be used as a faux boxed valance. It is only two inches wider than the window itself.

To balance things out and make it a little cozier, I think a bold, blue rug is in order. The seller is asking $75.00.

A bold, blue rug with a graphic trellis pattern in off white is perfect to bring a touch of blue to the room’s cold, white, tiled flooring.

As for storage, I found the motherload of Closetmaid 12″ wire shelving for only $20.  There is more than enough to create three, wide shelves over the washer and utility sink area and also use the additional shelving for above the refrigerator or elsewhere in the home, such as closets. Sorry, I would have included this link as well, but they were gone within the hour.

Closetmaid 12″ wire shelving. Plenty for additional storage.

To hide the shelving above the washer and dryer and give the room a softer, less cluttered look, I am combining two inexpensive Craigslist finds to create a fabric window shade that can be pulled halfway down the wall in front of the storage.  These sets of roller shades at $4.00 each are perfect.  Of course we are only interested in one that is the same size as our opening.  I would adhere to the roller shade fabric in the form of a blue shower curtain, being sold for $5.00, in a similar pattern to the dividers, but with a smaller scale.

Using only one of the inexpensive roller shades attached to the divider panels to conceal the storage area created by the wire shelving above the washer and utility sink.

This blue floral shower curtain would be cut to the size of the roller shade and adhered to the roller shade with fabric glue to create a custom fabric shade to conceal the storage area.  It is both pretty and practical for the laundry area.

Lastly, I would provide additional storage next to the furnace area for items that my mother currently keeps stacked under the utility sink.  This stainless steel storage tower is perfect for all of the under-sink clutter as well as any overflow pantry items.  Again, this item has already sold for the $60 asking price.

Stainless steel wire storage tower is perfect to squeeze between the freezer and furnace for any overflow pantry, laundry, or utility items. Best part, it will be easily accessible, but obscured by the room divider panels.

With just these few simple additions, the room will instantly go from bare and boring to light and lovely.  Here are a few sketches to give you an idea of the new layout.

In addition to the soft furnishings (rug, faux window box valance, diy storage shade – all not shown in sketch), stainless steel storage tower, shelving, and room dividers, my mother already has a white pantry cabinet against the entry wall. All of the aforementioned items make the room a much nicer place to be in and walk through.

A general three-dimensional view as one enters the room looking towards the window and the furnace area concealed by two room divider panels.

A view of the furnace area, rolling stainless steel shelving tower (black cabinetry is a stand in for placement and scale), and upright freezer. If my mother wished, she could create the same shelving area, as over the washer and utility sink with the additional Closetmaid wire shelving and another smaller, roller shade covered in the remaining shower curtain fabric.

View of the entrance of the room, the existing pantry cabinet, and the washer/utility sink wall that has some added storage and style.

Of course, due my limitations with the Homestyler program, none of the soft furnishings, nor paint, are shown in the sketches or three-dimensional renderings.  The budget breakdown, assuming we were able to obtain everything and paid full asking price:

  • $35 for one gallon of Behr’s ‘Daffodil’ paint in a satin sheen
  • $100 for two blue floral screens (really what transformed the room)
  • $4 for the blue gingham message board turned faux box valance
  • $75 for the blue trellis rug
  • $20 for the Closetmaid wire shelving, with extra for other projects to boot!
  • $4 for one large roller shade ($8 total, if we decided to use two to include concealed storage above freezer)
  • $5 for blue floral shower curtain
  • $60 for the stainless steel shelving tower on casters

TOTAL BUDGET:  #307.00 (if we decided to go all the way with the secondary shelving area, otherwise $303.00)

Well, that concludes this edition of Moodboard Monday with a lovely laundry.  The point is, these things are possible with a little digging, elbow grease, and a plan.  You too could revamp a room in no time at all with little know-how and a tight budget.  Until next time, happy painting and Craigslisting!

2 thoughts on “Just Another Moodboard Monday (whoa-whoa): The Lovely Laundry

  1. […] Moodboard Monday, three weeks ago, I have tackled a nautical boy’s room and my mother’s laundry/utility room.  The catch is that the moodboard can only be completed with freebies, paint, and any items found […]

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