In today's post I will give you an advance sneak peek into our Laundry room. For many years I've been anticipating and patiently waiting to create an assigned area in the basement for laundry. The area is more corridor than room. As in an area that measures 19 feet long by 8 feet wide! Turning a corridor that is intersected in half by stairs took some design planning to function well. I envisioned fun, light and clever. Although not finished yet, here we go... You be the judge.
Walking down the stairs this photo is the first thing you see. John printed all the Laundry rooms Black and White photography on canvas and then gallery wrapped it around foam-core. I wanted to set the tone the moment you walk downstairs - Announcing hey it's the Laundry room.
Some may think doing laundry is domestic drudgery. But not me ... Problematic stains? No problem, I delight in the challenge of removing them. The door downstairs is in our Kitchen and is a bi-fold. The front is painted with blackboard paint and there is a pet door in it.
The back of the door I've painted in a Harlequin design. Harlequins repeat throughout our home. The door moulding has been purchased but not yet installed.
July 4th weekend the stairs were addressed, masked and painted in a checkerboard pattern. Much of the renovations in the laundry room have been the preverbal 1 step forward 2 steps backward. We had put charcoal textured carpet treads down, looked cool but within 3 days John ripped them off. I had become very ill, very quickly. A toxic off gassing had hit my central nervous system like a wrecking ball. The treads were made from Polypropylene a synthetic material that contributes to Greenhouse gas emissions. The treads were releasing toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC) in our home, even with air purifiers on each floor. I was sickened from the new smell, 4PC- off gassing. Simply put, if it smells it's off gassing toxic fumes.
The checkerboard pattern was painted by the end of the Holiday weekend and awaited my faux painting on them. The stairs are utilitarian in a practical craftsmen style kind of way. Built on site 90 years ago. Built with a shelf under the steps and ledge that runs the side near the washer. John wanted to tear off the steps and replace them. But I protested with my legacy defense and convinced him to give the faux checkerboard painted look a try.
On Tuesday I started to faux glaze them with their first color named Barn-wood. Best described more a Taupe and that's when I freaked after only 2 steps. I guess I lost my confidence feeling totally exhausted and tested by things out of our control in our laundry room. I quickly emailed my friend Doré from Burlap Luxe blog a photo and quick note saying I hate it... Please help!!! I often discuss my creative ideas with Doré and I find artists who bounce their ideas off another artist usually process through the insecurity of possible failure on a project much better. Doré assured me it would turn out fantastic and made a few suggestions. The first was to introduce one of the warm colors from our handmade terra cotta kitchen floor into the second glaze color. I did, I used raw Siena and within minutes I knew it was the right advice. She also suggested I fog the steps with a light grey or cream. I used cream to soften the appearance. There are nail marks, scratches, dents you name it on them because of the constant 90 years of use. Doré also said I could sand them in the square corners and round them off with a brown paint to appear as an old and dirty patina. Well the original paint was a Forest Green lead base when the stairs were new. After my experience of toxic off gassing I wasn't about to sand them to bear wood and I am trying to achieve a look of fresh, clean, bright and fun in the room. Below is how they are turning out.
Just a peek, we love the effect, but I still have another 5 steps and the landing to complete. Thanks for your confidence boost and suggestions Doré. Tuesday was my I'm fatigued and need to vent day! Finally on each riser I will paint a 4 inch Goudy font number in Charcoal.
Staying with Black and White photography in the Laundry room the mood is playful. Remember Coke cans as hair rollers?
Our French chair I've faux weathered the Oak and is now downstairs sporting a Black and White ticking pillow I sewed. The pillow has a inch flange all around and is an envelope style sham. We still need to wax and polish the concrete floors (this weekend) and when that's completed we will place a small cowhide rug on the floor.
We hung a 48 inch shelf purchased from Amazon. I found the stainless wire baskets and White liners at Crate and Barrel. The double set of faucet hooks I purchased from Amazon, they were love at first sight.
A closer look at the patina.
Another peek. What a fun 3 bag rolling wheeled laundry cart. Guess where? Amazon!
The Amazing Pegzini Family high wire laundry pegs. I purchased them over a year ago and finally can enjoy them. I guess I was thinking about a Black and White room even in my dreams.
A vintage Laundry detergent (Lavender scented) tin I purchased from Williams Sonoma back in the early 90's. Loved the detergent, adored the can and stashed it away for 20+ years.
We installed stainless wire Elfa shelves from the Container store over the washer. More Elfa will appear when completed.
Samsung Bleu front loader we purchased 3 years ago, a true work horse! Plus when the cats are bored it entertains them by watching the clothes spin around.
Cast iron water handle faucet hooks found on Decor Steals. 3 of the set of 4 mounted above our Stainless Steel utility sink. I have an affection for White flour sack towels, I own dozens and dozens of them, I think 6 dozen. I use them on all three floors of our row-home. What can I say I buy them on Amazon and adore their rustic simplistic look and textural feel. Be it casual napkins for daily use, or just used for towels that can be bleached and have become my favorite everyday no fuss towels.
Another hook over the dryer. This area is still being worked on. I enjoy all the industrial touches and John has designed a piano hinged counter top for folding to be mounted over the dryer. Waiting on a Citroën dashboard clock from overseas to be delivered and the back door awaits my attention to be painted a very lovely shade of Bleu.
But first I think I better go fold that load of Whites in the dryer! I'm guessing you sense my exhaustion and here is my poetic announcement.
I'm exhausted and excited as if these two words really should ever go together!
I'm frazzled and hot in the city of brotherly love because of our very humid weather.
Since April there's been lots of power tools, dust, dirt and debris - it seems it's taken over our row-home.
I'm feeling like a vacation is long over due - be it away or just with John where our imagination can roam.
So this is to announce a month long blogging break to began this weekend (July 11) that's very long overdue...
I will not be checking my favorite blogs but I'll return in August, hopefully rested and ready to once again share with you.
Sending kisses and happy Summertime wishes to you!