January 18, 2015

The Transformation Of A Laundry Room

Have you seen or heard of the movie "Boyhood"? 
It was just announced last week that the movie is one of the
nominees for "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards. 

It is an innovative film in that it was filmed once a year over
12 years....with the same actors! It was interesting to see the
characters transform over those 12 years. My laundry room has
been 10 years in the making! It also has slowly transformed to
a point that I'm ready to show it to you. 

I didn't take a picture each year of the laundry room. 
When we first moved into the house, the room was entirely
white. Year One would have showed the we painted the walls
gold/mustard/ochre with paint leftover from one of the bedrooms. 

The back door opens directly into the laundry room.
If there was a mess of laundry (or just a mess), any
company coming in the back door got to experience that.

Year Two I put up a tension shower rod painted brown (to
look classy like it was iron or something) and pinned some
cute material over the rod (since it was a long while before 
I actually made the material into a curtain) to pull to hide
the laundry room area. 
The above photo is looking from the kitchen into the laundry room area. I don't know why this
photo looks like I took it with a fish-eye lens or that the house belongs in he movie "Lemony Snickets".

It seemed like each year I would do a little bit more on the
curtain to hide that area of the house. When we had company
only certain members of the family were allowed "behind
the curtain". I was like Jim Carrey in the movie "Ace
 Ventura/Pet Detective"..."Do NOT go in there!"

Another movie quote I would use is "Pay no attention to
the woman behind the curtain!" A take-off of a scene near

This past Thanksgiving one of my main goals was to have
that area of the house accessible to everyone since it also
contains our coffee and wine bar. I got it 90% done before
the holiday and now it is 99% done...it may never be 100%.

I have named it the "Coffee and Wine Bar Launderette".

Come on in...

We won't linger here since when the curtain is pulled to make
a foyer-type area, it is only 3' x 4.5'.

The above picture is if you were looking up in the "foyer".
I made these wreaths for a Valentine mantle display a couple 
of years ago. I didn't want to pack them up and relegate them to
the attic so they take up the space above the doors here. 


Although I don't need the curtain as much as I used to, I still like
to have it to add interest and softness (and block the starkness
of the side of the extra refrigerator that is also in this area).

The left side of this galley-type area is all business with the
washer, dryer and extra refrigerator taking up that wall.
The flat surface of the washer/dryer is useful to hide dirty dishes/cooking pans/etc. when we
are having company for meals. I like to clean up after company has gone, not while they are here. 

We call the extra refrigerator "Bob". It is so many less
 syllables than "the refrigerator in the laundry room". 
 Bob holds cake stands, cloches and stuff  like that on his top. 
The peel and stick image on the side of Bob came from Dollar Tree.

If the business side of this area is on the left, the party
 side of the room is on the right.  

This counter area was already here when we moved in.

The surface is a formica-type product. Everything in the main 
living area of the home was either gray or white. Years ago
when I started planning the laundry room make-over I thought
I would need to change the counter out but then gray and 
yellow as a color combo became popular so I just kept it.

The end of the counter with the electrical outlet became the
coffee end of the bar. 

We are old-fashioned...we like to grind beans and make a 
whole pot of coffee each morning. 

As part of the "years in the making" process, I got this clock at Target 2 or 3 years ago. 
I don't think they carry it any more. 

The gray marble paper towel holder is the dividing line
between the coffee end of the bar and the wine end. 

My daughter and her boyfriend gave us this really fancy wine
bottle opener for Christmas...it is like magic! Opening a bottle
of wine is an experience with this thing. 

to this area. I have a collection of funny wine sayings that I am
planning on changing out on the chalkboard. 

The cabinets above the coffee area hold coffee cups and
coffee-related items. The cabinets above the wine opener
hold our nice crystal stemware. 

See that divider at the end of the bar area? It separates the
bar from a utility sink. Probably it was meant for cleaning 
clothes but mainly it gets used for washing paint brushes
from craft projects, etc. 

One of our past laundry room projects was changing out the 
yucky faucet with a new one. We probably should change
out the plastic sink too but that is way down the priority list.

I found this serendipity laundry bag at World Market on the
clearance shelf! Perfect colors...you can't really see the 
"Laundry" embroidery unless the bag is full so it is stuffed
with plastic bags and hung on a hook (kinda like 3-D art).

The sign above the laundry bag came from  Hobby Lobby...
only $5 on a 50% off sale..

Another good bargain sign from Hobby Lobby is this
 chalkboard-looking sign...only $12.50 on sale.

Not only does the chalkboard sign tie in with the gray/yellow 
theme but with the other chalkboard in the wine bar area. 

This sign is above a door that leads to a pantry...
"Do NOT go in there"...yet...maybe it will be pretty one day too.

So that is the tour of the "finished for now" laundry room.
Want to see some "behind the scenes" of how it was done?
That movie theme tie-in to this blog just seemed to happen out of nowhere. 
Keep reading...

The skirt on the counter was made with the same material that
the divider curtain was made of. I was glad that I bought 
(almost) enough of it several years ago with the idea of 
camouflaging the shelves and their contents under the counter.

There are two straight areas on the counter and one area
that is curved. I was able to put tension rods on the straight
areas to hold the curtains. 
Unfortunately, you can't always use tension rods...you have to have a structure that you can put the rods between. 

I'm not very handy so I love these tension rods. You don't have to
screw or hammer anything to make them stay up. 

1. When you get the rod unwrapped from the store, loosen
the screw on the back of the rod. 
2. Expand the rod 1.5" beyond the space that you are 
going to put the rod in between.
3. Slide the spring up behind the end of the rod at that
point. Slide the screw up behind the spring.
Tighten the screw down to hold the spring in place. 
4. Put your prepared curtain on the rod. Compress the rod
via the spring and fit inside of the space. Release.

I know a lot of folks don't like to sew but I can't think of any
tool that has let me save more money in home decorating or
allowed more freedom of creativity than my sewing machine.

These rod pocket curtains are really easy to make.
I tried to find a simple tutorial to refer you to but most 
of them that I found were for window curtains and 
more complicated than necessary to make these simple
 under-the-counter-panels....didn't want to scare you off
from trying this easy sewing project.

Here goes my attempt at a tutorial using my already
 sewn panels as examples...hope this helps. 

Measure the basic height between the counter and the floor.
Allow for a generous bottom hem of about four inches in 
the height of your fabric panel. Add the depth of your
curtain rod plus an inch. Add another inch for clean edges. 

  You will want the width of your panels to be about twice the
actual measurement of the length of the counters you want to
 cover in order to have full gathers. You may need to sew
fabric together sideways to make it wide enough. 

I was lucky that the width of my openings that I was 
going to use tension rods on was about half the width 
of this fabric. I only had to turn the selvaged edge under
to hide the writing on the fabric to made an edge that 
would not fray over time. 

If you have a "raw" cut edge on the side of your fabric 
panel just turn under 1/2" then turn at least another 1/2" to
 the "wrong" side of the fabric, iron then sew it down. 
The bird fabric that I used is the Maize colorway of "Aviary" designed by Thomas Paul for Duralee Fabrics.
A few years ago I bought it at a local fabric store for about $15/yard but it seems to cost more now .

To make the rod pocket, turn under about 1/2" on the
 top edge of your fabric panel and iron it flat. 
Turn another fold over (from "good" side to fabric
 to "wrong" side of fabric) that is the depth of your
 curtain rod  plus about another 1/2" .

My rod is about 3/4" deep...my pocket turned out about 1.5" deep...these measurements are very forgiving
 once the fabric is scrunched up on the rod...as long as your rod can fit in the pocket, don't worry about it. 

 Iron the fold, pin it (and maybe slide the actual rod in to make
 sure that it fits with a little extra room to spare for scrunching). 
Sew.  It helps to insert the rod into the pocket if you take the
 rubber end cap off and then replace it after inserting the rod. 

I don't know why but my measurements for hems never turn 
out quite right if I try to make them perfect from the start. 
At the point of having the material on the rod, I measure from 
there for a hem...kind of like measuring a hem on a dress
for a person. I turn the hem up and pin where it hits the floor. 

Then I take it off the rod, iron it down along the pinned fold
that I made while it was on the rod. Turn under a hem of about 
1/2" along the bottom of your fabric, iron it down. This gives 
you a finished edge on the top of your bottom hem. Also iron 
the bottom hem, pin it, then sew it with a straight stitch. 

Put the fabric back on the rod. Adjust the gathers. Scrunch 
some of the fabric over the rubber ends of the tension rod. 

On the places along the counter and sink where I could not use
a tension rod to attach the curtains, I used velcro strips. 

There are sew-on velcro strips and stick-on velcro strips
 available in the stores. I used the stick-on velcro strips
 because I can't sew the velcro onto the hard surfaces that I
 want the curtains to stick to.

It says on the  package that it will not stick to
 fabric but I tried it anyway...they were right. 
The curtains that did not have a rod to hang from were made pretty much the same as the rod pocket curtains
but they were gathered on top to give a similar look to the scrunched panels on the rods. 

After a few weeks the stick-on velcro was fine on the solid 
surfaces but had "let loose" on the fabric curtains side. 

I found this fabric adhesive at Jo Ann's. I used it to glue the 
stick-on velcro to the fabric. I used pins to mark where on the 
curtain I needed to glue the fuzzy side of the velcro down to
correspond to the velcro that was still doing a good job of
 sticking on the utility sink and the curved part of the counter. 

So far that fix is working well. 

You can probably tell by how little I gathered the skirt
 along the sink that I was running out of the bird fabric.
 I found a cute chevron fabric at Hancock Fabrics that was a
  very similar colorway to the bird fabric to cover the cork board. 

The cork board was already in the area when we moved in. 
I think they just glued cork squares onto the wall. 

At first I thought I would paint the cork, then stencil a design on
it.  I could tell after just a little bit of painting, that that idea
was going to take too long....that's when I decided on fabric. 

The cork board was wider than my chevron fabric so I had to 
join two pieces of the fabric together to span the length. 
If I am trying to join together patterned fabric that needs to match exactly, I have found that sometimes it is easier to
join the pieces together from the "good" side and just top stitch  them together. 

I wanted the fabric piece to be the same size as the cork board
so that when it was sprayed with adhesive, it would fit neatly. 
The push pins in the above picture are just to hold the fabric in place so I could mark it with a pencil
and then cut it to a very close size. 

After marking then cutting the chevron fabric, it was 
sprayed on the back (wrong side) of the fabric OUTSIDE
in the driveway with a spray adhesive. 

Since this was a fairly long piece of fabric and I did not want 
it  to fold in on itself while I was bringing it in the house,
 I asked for a helper to bring it inside. The helper held up one
end of the now-sticky fabric while I smoothed down the fabric
onto the cork board starting at the other end. Work out/smooth 
any lumps, bumps, wrinkles while the adhesive is still wet.

I thought I would be able to find a cute yellow and gray ribbon to
edge the corkboard with to cover the edges and hide my boo-boos.
After looking a few places and not finding any, I gave up and
settled on this gray polka dot grosgrain ribbon...gotta move on. 

The ribbon was attached to the fabric with the Allene's
 Fabric Glue. The ends of the ribbon were just cut at 45 degree
 angles at the corners...I didn't try to turn the corners with it.

The big main camouflaging curtain to hide the laundry area
is two widths of the Aviary fabric sewn together and hung from
 a shower curtain rod painted brown. The rod is just a large 
 version of the tension rods used to hang the counter curtains. 

It is basically a "rectangle on rings"...shower rings to be
 exact. The rings are metal with little balls on top for easy
 pulling. They have been painted brown too

I probably should line this "curtain" (really just a big piece 
of fabric hemmed all around) but worry that it could cut 
out even more light into "foyer" area if it were lined.

It would look better from the launderette side if it were
 lined with a white fabric...a project for another time.

The chalk board in the wine bar section got a border of 
yellow ochre paint to tie it in with the color scheme. 

After the paint dried and it was sanded, it wasn't so noticable
that the yellows were not a very close match after all. 

Another paint project in the "Coffee and Wine Bar Lauderette"
is the edge on the formica counter. Over time the gray edge on 
the counter has fallen off. I should have done more but 
basically, I sanded of the yucky glue residue and painted the 
edge with a gray craft paint.  Then a couple of lighter colors of
craft paints were sponged painted on top of the edge. 

Opps....should have spackled the edge to fill in those holes...
live and learn...good enough for now. 

Another change I would like to do in the future is to take out
the fluorescent light fixture in the laundry room and put
something with more personality and softer light. 
One of the bulbs in the fixture burned out right before I was going to take these photos.  I  wanted to get
"warm white" bulbs but the only choices at the home improvement store were "cool white" and "daylight"
that would fit this fixture. I decided to try the "daylight"...I didn't know that it is very white...just FYI.

Maybe by the time I get those few more fixes done my
laundry room will be 12 years in the making like "Boyhood".

I am sharing this post at these blog parties...
Meatloaf and Melodrama's Snickerdoodle Sunday 
Thoughts From Alice's Sundays At Home
Boogieboard Cottage's Masterpiece Monday
Dwelling's Amaze Me Monday
Stephanie Lynn's Sunday Showcase
Between Naps On The Porch's Metamorphosis Monday
Coastal Charm's Show and Share
A Stroll Thru Life's  Inpsire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday


  1. I don't usually comment, but I have to tell you what a great job you've done. I like the color you've used and I think the curtains in both places look good. I bet your coffee/wine bar is a big hit with friends.

  2. I love it all. What a great space and you've made it so pretty too.

  3. You have the best ideas! The colors in your laundry room are perfect and I like the print of the ribbon edging much better than what you originally wanted. Great job!

  4. What a unique laundry room, I love it! I love all the quirkiness of it and the way you've redone it! I just recently redid my laundry room too.


  5. Gayle, Your laundry room is so cute and I love the fabrics! I want to dress up our laundry room but it is on the bottom of a long list of things I want to change in our home. You did a wonderful job!

  6. I absolutely love what you've doe with your laundry room! The colors are some of my favorites and everything looks so organized and fun, like it would almost be a joy to do laundry! Well, maybe not that far,, but a joy to drink coffee while doing laundry LOL!Thanks for sharing your wonderful transformation! Hugs, Leena

  7. What a smart way to make the best of that space. I love your multipurpose ideas and the name is adorable. :)

  8. So many cute ideas, love that stuffed laundry bag and chevron always makes things cheery! As does a wine bar!

  9. Wow I love your laundry room makeover and your colors are great. LOVE chevron. Need to redo mine now. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me.

  10. I love everything about this makeover -- it's gorgeous! The wine sign made me laugh too. :)My laundry room is the entrance from the garage -- ugh. Thanks so much for sharing at Snickerdoodle! :)

  11. Miss Kitty,
    I just love this........what a great
    laundry room, you have so many cute
    touches, and great ideas here. Love
    your fabric and the yellow and grey theme, very pretty. Bet you don't
    mind doing laundry out there at all.
    Thought the laundry bag on the wall
    was a cute idea, and also that the
    other people had made that separator
    for between the counter top and the
    sink. Sure enjoyed my visit.
    Blessings, Nellie

  12. Hi Kitty, I am getting some great ideas here to use in my laundry room. Love the coffee/wine bar, I need a space like this. I love your pretty yellow and fabric, love the end results. I've been know to lock my laundry when we have guests!
    Happy week..........

  13. However many years it took to get to this point, it was worth it! Love that the room is dual purpose and you have made it so pretty without losing any of the function. When you get your new ceiling fixture,how about a dimmer switch? If I'm hitting your wine bar at a party, I'll appreciate the flattering lighting. LOL

  14. Hi Kitty, I can't believe how much time and work you put into this post...not only the beautiful photos but the tutorials as well! It caught my eye at the Show & Share Party because I just took pictures of my updated laundry room yesterday to share on my blog...great minds must think alike! What I love about your room is how well you used the gold color and patterns in your skirting and behind the counter...love the chevron. And a coffee maker...Wow! Great post; I look forward to following your blog. Cheryl

  15. Great coffee and wine bar! I love the chevron, you did a wonderful job my friend.
    What a fun and pretty laundry room, I'd even wash and iron in one like this...hehehe

  16. Wow! You've done an amazing job! Love the fabric and the laundry sign is perfect...what a great find!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY.

  17. Adorable Laundry Room! I love the fabric you used. Thank you for sharing over at the Snickerdoodle Sunday.


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