Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Laundry Room Envy

For years, I've had laundry room envy.

I covet things like this system from Pottery Barn:

And I'm really envious of Ashley's laundry-room makeover at Domestic Imperfection:

These scenes make it look like doing the laundry could actually be fun!  (Well, let's not get carried away--Ashley has two toddlers, and at this stage of my life I might envy her laundry room but not her laundry).

But when you do your laundry in the basement (cellar would probably be a more accurate term) of a 1930s bungalow, it's tough to orchestrate an attractive setup.

The floor is concrete, artfully decorated with colors dripped from the many paint jobs I've done down there using, appropriately enough, an old plastic laundry basket as a "table" for whatever door or trim strips or piece of furniture I was working on at the time. The walls are damp cinder block, and Rubbermaid shelves store everything from light bulbs and Goof-Off to Doug's extensive collection of cheesecake pans (I think he has 35 or 40, counting everything from individual size to the standard 10-inch).

Since I hated the basement so much, I let it get cluttered and I had dirty clothes strewn about on the floor.

But last week I decided I had had enough.  I couldn't have a pretty laundry room, but I could at least have one that was cleaned up and somewhat organized.

So I bought this gem on Amazon for about $65:

I was so excited about my purchase that I ripped open the box as soon as it arrived, dumped all of the parts on the living room floor, and then looked pleadingly at Doug to help me sort it out.  He had it together in less than 10 minutes, and I was off to do battle with the basement.

It's still not pretty, but I do have nice modern machines:

And now my laundry is neatly sorted into Doug's, mine, and household:

I should have mentioned that this lovely basement is also my gym when the weather is too awful to walk or run outside or to drive to the UD gym.  So my motivation to make the area neat jumped a few notches during last week's snowstorm.  If I have to ride the damn exercise bike, I don't want to do it in the middle of a mess.  So as a side project, I organized a little wire shelf with painting clothes, old towels, and rolled-up sets of shorts, socks, and T-shirts for my riding pleasure:

With a John Grisham novel and my reading glasses, I'm off on a 10-mile ride to nowhere, and my laundry is organized.

But I'm still jealous of Ashley and anyone who has the luxury of ordering that laundry set from Pottery Barn.


  1. My basement laundry room/ torture centre looks much like yours. It's a dark basement room that someone painted dark grey (walls and floor) years ago. It's got all the charm of a prison cell.
    I do however have the same laundry machines as you do, branded as Kenmores however. I also love them.

    I need to paint that room. I have plans to put a chandelier in there, because I can.

  2. Haha, I love that idea -- we gotta do what we can, right?

  3. Exactly! It needed better lighting, what better than a chandelier? Besides, at this point, with a new furnace, water heater, and new washer and dryer, that is the room I have spent the most money in! It seems fitting to have excellent lighting.

  4. That's for sure--but it would take more than a chandelier to make my basement presentable!

  5. I agree, the potty barn set is definitely enviable. My laundry area looks quite the disaster. Ah well, someday. Thanks so much for stopping by chapter37 and for your kind comment!

  6. I was thinking of this posting and laughing at myself. I don't know if you read my post on my basement flooding but I guess I now get to redo the basement in colours less reminiscent of a prison cell.

    Although, now that I have that chance I have no idea what to do.

  7. But just think how much fun it will be to start fresh!

    1. Very true. Maybe a good wander looking at paint chips will help.