Laundry Room Makeover

The laundry room has been kind of chaotic lately. We got some big bins to store bedding in -- especially the guest bedding that we want to keep relatively fur free -- but they take up a lot of space on the floor. Add in less time for me to do laundry with the day job, plus more clothes being used (the clothes changes I go through in a day make me feel like Mr Rogers), and things were kind of out of control. Noel suggested we build more shelves going around the corner, to get the big bins off the floor.

Laundry room looking like a total mess

Here's our before picture. The shelves as they were were actually quite organized, with bins of supplies for spinning, knitting, weaving, and dyeing (among other things I get up to in my copious spare time), plus other bins with wrapping paper and assorted related wrapping stuff. The main issue was down lower.

To go forward you must go backward

We took everything off the shelves to be able to rebuild the shelving as a whole. Noel wanted to make some changes to how the original shelves were put together, so this was the right time.

Shelves taken apart

Taking the shelves apart took a while, and was pretty noisy. Once they were down I was reminded of how much of a dark pit the laundry room is. I'd love to get the time and energy and so forth to take everything out (again!) and repaint in a lighter colour, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.

Noel construction the shelves

Then Noel got to work putting everything back together, adding the new shelves as he went. The two shelves are attached with seismic nailing plates, because we have a pile of them left over from the foundation work, and they did the job.

Finished shelves

The whole process was over fairly quickly; only a couple hours from taking everything off the shelves to the shelves ready to use again.

Shelves reloaded

I managed to get almost everything that was originally in the room up onto shelves. I even cleared off the small bookcase I use for laundry detergent, though obviously I need to start working through some extra bottles of detergent or spot cleaners: there is no way I need four of everything. I also want to make a place to hang up the ironing board, and maybe make a fold-up folding table for processing laundry.

It's nice to have floor space again.

posted by ayse on 05/29/12


Is the shelving not flat back against the wall?

I think if you did something with that curtain it would make it look like you had more space. Lop off the bottom extra inches and a less noticeable color, maybe. Do you need a curtain there?

We absolutely need a curtain there, because otherwise the direct southern sun coming through that window fades everything (including and especially textiles, the care of which are the entire purpose of the room).

I hate the green in that room. Take a nice pine green, then dim and gray it, and add some brown. It's a terrible colour, both unflattering to people and dark and depressing for a room. The floor is also dark green. The thought of matching it with curtains is just depressing. I've done white and the orange, and the orange works better for me. More flattering for Mr Kitty, too, who spends a lot of time in that room.

And yes, the shelving is not flat to the wall. The bins are 15 inches deep and the shelves are only 11 1/2 inches, so flt to the wall gives you the feeling that the whole thing is about to fall down on your head.

You should mount your folding table on the wall under the shelves and have it hinged so you can just lift it into place, then drop it back down when done so it's out of the way. Like a drop-leaf.

Gayle, I was actually thinking of putting a fold-down table on the wall under the window, so I had the room above for enthusiastic folding and leaning into a good scrub with the scrub brush.

Perhaps painting the ceiling white would help brighten things a bit? Especially if the floor is also a dark green, the white might allow the light to reflect a little. It wouldn't mean needing to take everything down again, just the top shelf items...

Yeah, it's mostly about time, since this room is such a low priority. We're literally putting every free minute into the deck as it is, and then we have to move on to bathrooms.

I;m wondering if there are window films that would block the fading part of the sunlight but still let light through and do away with the need for a curtain.

@Karen Anne,

There is, do a web search for UV Blocking or Filtering window film. You can get it in clear or various colors/shades at $8-25 a package/roll depending on size and length of the roll/package. The better grade stuff claim they can come close to curtain level UV reduction.

They also make products like "heat guard" film to help reduce the heat gain from windows, the draw back being that lower radiant heat levels means colder winter conditions.

Both products only reduce UV and/or heat gain, to completely stop fading due to sun light.. you need to black out/wall-up the window.

Regarding the curtain and fading--since your textiles are mostly stored in boxes in there you could line the clear boxes with thick paper to block the UV...or replace with opaque storage boxes. Just depends whether you care more about light in the room or seeing what's in the storage boxes.

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