Saturday, June 1, 2013

{My Old House}: My *NEW* Laundry/Mud Room

So, I have an awesome landlord.  I mean, there's probably not many who would pretty much give you free reign in adding on a room while paying for all of it.  As long as we don't use "wild" colors {his words, not mine, ha ha!}.

I have wanted a laundry room for, like, ever.  The closest thing I ever had to a laundry room was in my husband and mine's first apartment after we were married.  It was basically a large walk-in closet with the washer on one side, dryer on the other, facing each other with space in between where we had a chest of drawers for extra storage {the one used here for hubby's dresser}.  It was so nice because it was inside, enclosed and convenient   Our previous home had the typical garage set-up, and we had discussed options for creating an actual room.
But when we moved to our current home, we encountered a totally new set-up:  outside.  Remember I mentioned this house was built probably in the 50's.  While renovating the kitchen, we discovered the drain pipe where the washer used to go.  Which makes sense if you think about it.  And there probably would have been no dryer since clotheslines were the go-to then.  {Which I've been pestering hubby to get my clothesline re-strung.  Nothing like air-dried clothes while saving money!}  We initially tried the washer in the kitchen {so it wouldn't be outside} but the drain pipe was blocked somewhere, and I ended up with soapy bleach water all over my kitchen.  Not the best way to wash clothes!  So, we set things up like we had them when I grew up here:  outside.  It wasn't the best situation, but not the worst.  I mean, it was under cover.

But here's why I hated it:  it wasn't weatherproof and it was creepy.  Doing laundry in winter was a pain.  I would have to bundle up to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  When it rained, my appliances got a bath, but still somehow ended up muddy.  It was a constant battle to keep them clean.  And then, there was the nighttime.  

Ok, confession.  I grew up here, in the country, and I love it.  But the dark out here freaks me out.  You never know what is in your yard at night, and believe me, we've had some interesting wild animals VERY near the house, so I wouldn't be surprised at what actually comes in the yard.  I would do whatever I could to not go outside to deal with the laundry after dark.

So, with all those factors in mind, we petitioned our landlord to add on a small laundry room, with the focus being protection for our appliances.  {I tugged on his practical side.}  He willingly agreed, and actually suggested we expand the room to give ourselves potentially more storage inside.

The newly added room!  Pardon the construction mess!
And, after a few months of planning and a few days of my hubby's step-bro helping out with the construction {he's a pro so it took no time at all, woo hoo!}, we had our laundry/mud room!!  {The interior details took a little more time! (;}

Now, generally, you think of a laundry/mud room being near the back of the house, like coming in from the garage or driveway, not the front door.  That's how ours is, too, but our back entry is in the front.  Huh?  Yeah.  See, whoever built this house, I believe, built on the site so that it would catch the north and south winds so you could just open the windows and get a breeze throughout all the house all year.  Which is great, but that means when you drive up to my house, you drive up to my back door.  The actual front door faces the pasture with no walkway for people to enter {which we are trying to remedy}.  So, when people come over, they come in through my back door.  Which wasn't that bad, but now they'll be coming in my laundry room.  Ugh.  Not the best scenario, but hey, we make due with what we got, right?

My front, back door
So my laundry/mud room has to be more like a laundry/mud/entry room.  It still serves it's main purpose:  doing laundry and a place to drop stuff & muddy shoes, but it has to be pretty enough to welcome people into.  And I think I accomplished that.  (:

With a new room, we needed a new door.  I wanted something to go with the aesthetics of the house, so I really didn't want to buy new if it could be helped, plus I was trying to keep the expenses low to do this room on a minimal budget.  Our landlord may have been footing the bill, but I didn't want to go buck wild.  A trip to our local Habitat Restore landed us a pretty cool door {solid wood for $20!  can't beat that!} as well as the windows that almost perfectly matched the windows in the rest of the house.  Granted, they probably aren't the most economical as far as energy efficient, but caulk will help that and they keep those aesthetics I'm such a fan of.  And again, $5 a piece!  I love that place!!

Our new "Restore" door.  Look for a post soon on the lace screen!
I kept the color scheme the same as the bedrooms, which I have yet to show you guys I know, so here's a sneak peak, ha ha.  But clean and fresh, using accessories to bring in pops of color.  We moved the washer and dryer to be on the outside wall, then ran a shelf above them across the whole wall for storage.

The window above the shelf was actually a vertical window that we turned horizontal to fit above the shelf.  I wanted natural light coming in on that wall, and this was the best way to accomplish it.

We also moved the cats "personal business" to the new laundry room, so we leave the window propped open for their access.  They have also adopted this as "their room," as you can see on the right in the picture above.  They love the new window up high.

Because this was also to serve as a mudroom/entry area, I wanted to create a space for dropping all that stuff you bring in with you: mail, keys, drinks, bags, etc.  We had this butcher-block island in storage from my mom's house that worked perfect, and even created more enclosed storage for those everyday necessities you don't want to see.

I also redid the bulletin board from this baby shower, but kept the clothespins so we have a place to hang out-going mail as well as keeping things out in the open we need reminding of.  Things have a tendency to get buried in our house, so hopefully this will keep us a little more organized.  

See the pops of color?
And of course a mud room needs a place to hang hats and coats.  And my aprons.  (:

As the room got closer to completion, I began to see another problem.  Our previous exterior door had a large clear window, which I had covered with a curtain to prevent people seeing straight into my house.  Now, that door was an opening from one room to the next, and aesthetically {there's that word again} I didn't want a curtain on it.  But I still wanted some kind of covering on it because the door was inline with one of the new windows in the laundry room, so I felt like people could still see straight into my house.  

I decided to "frost" the glass using Contact paper, since that would be a less permanent solution should Mr. Landlord want to have clear glass again.  But I didn't want just plain frost.  I wanted a design of some sort.  And I wanted a graphic.  It took me a while to decide and find what I wanted.  I didn't really want words because it would be backwards from one side, so I set out to find an image that would be funky, not laundry room specific, and would match our style.  I ended up taking two graphics I found from The Graphics Fairy {found here and here} and, using Photoshop, combined them to create a new, funky graphic.  I traced it onto the Contact paper, and we ended up with a pretty cool laundry room door.

And it doesn't look backwards from the other side!  Woo hoo!

I'm really pleased, and excited about how this room turned out.  I felt like I pushed myself creatively while still trying to keep to a tight budget, all the while creating a space that is functional.  Now, doing the laundry isn't creepy!

Just a couple more little details:

I lucked out with this fabric:  a lacey-striped jersey, the perfect contemporary vintage feel.
I could never find the perfect clock, so I made my own:  chalkboard paint on an old tin cake pan.
Texas, My Texas:  I love my DIY art.
We used those foam puzzle-piece like mats for flooring.  Without going too much into it, it worked best on the existing concrete slab and is a great sound absorber when the washer and dryer are running.  I made a canvas rug painted with random stripes to break up the gray floor.
Porker Weathervane:  my favorite element, I think.
My hubby and I have commented that this room is how we want our whole house to feel, and I think we are well on our way there.  What made this room so easy I think was that it was completely from scratch, whereas the rest of the house already had floors, walls, windows and furniture, but we are slowly matching the rest of the house to the laundry room.  I love the evolutions, but like I mentioned in my last post, I can't wait to be done and be able to relax and enjoy what we've created.

So, whadya think?

Really, I think just about anything would have been an improvement, but I really love it!  And I think, even though it is a laundry/mud room, it is a welcoming space for those that come into the house through this door.  Now to get the clothesline finished, and I'll really be a happy camper, ha ha!  

Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour!
Have a good one!


Linking Up Here:


  1. Amazing! Wish I had the know how and energy to accomplish what you two do! I'm proud of you (and I bet Mr. Landlord is too!)

    1. Thank you! Although I feel a little zapped out, it was definitely fun to put together. (:

  2. job well done. And I think your landlord is very lucky to have you and your husband as tenants.

    1. Thank you! I feel pretty lucky that he lets me "play"! (:

  3. What a transformation! I guess it is bound to be a transformation when it is built from scratch!! You sure did a fab job personalizing it and adding so many little touches!! Adorable room:)

    1. Thank you so much! It definitely makes doing laundry more enjoyable (if laundry can be enjoyable ha ha!). And thanks for taking a look around. Have a great day! (:

  4. Great job! So many cute touches, but I love the pig/contact paper window covering the most...well, except for the kitty on the shelf, looking out her window-haha!

    1. Thank you! (: I think the weathervane is my favorite too. I should have known as soon as the shelf went up and my kitty hopped up there, she was claiming it as her own, ha ha! She's a sweetie though. Thanks for taking a look around! (:

  5. I think it turned out fabulous! It's got such a charming appeal, I really like it.

    1. Thank you so much! I never thought my laundry room would be my favorite room, but it's quickly climbing up there! So glad you stopped by! (:

  6. Looks amazing! I love the colors and that you kept the window leading to the rest of your house. Stopping by from Someday Crafts.

  7. Wow! Fantastic! If might even be fun to do the laundry now that room is so cute. Thanks for sharing it on BeBetsy Link and Hop!

    Have a great weekend! ~ Sharon and Denise
    Follow us:
    Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin ~ Pinterest

    1. Thank you! It does make the laundry a little more enjoyable. (:

  8. Forgot to mention - Thanks for the link back!! You rock. S and D

  9. Wow! I love what you did to the space! And it is a win win for the landlord anyway, because the next renter will appreciate that laundry room just as much as you do!

  10. I am astounded! The room looks amazing, but the fact that you BUILT! Great work.

    1. Thank you! I have to say I am a bit proud (: but I don't think I could have done it by myself! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Wow, you did a great job on this room! Like you said, anything would be an improvement, but it looks really good.

  12. this turned out great, a much needed addition. I know in the south that lots of houses have this type of set up. but I'm with you, outside at night just isn't safe or practical. you all did a super job and it's so cute!!

    1. Yes, it has helped, too, not having to do laundry in 100 degree heat, now that Texas is in full-swing summer! Thank you so much for the compliments, and for stopping by and taking a look! (: Have a great day!

  13. Congratulations on having your own laundry room, Jenni! I have to agree with you that your laundry area before needed a lot of work. I'm so glad that you had a new one constructed inside the comfort of your house. You made a good move in placing the window that way since it will provide you with natural lighting. The new door looks awesome too! Thanks for sharing this. I wish you luck in your future endeavors!

    Willene Fagen @ Roofing and More INC


So what did you think? I'd love to know!

Related Posts with Thumbnails