So it’s a pretty classic scenario, really: the dryer breaks so you buy a spiffy new washer/dryer set as an unplanned (but money-saving in the long run, right?) solution.
And now the rest of your laundry room looks downright hillbilly next to your new appliances.
I mean, those babies are stainless steel!
So I did what I always do when faced with a dowdy room. I pouted, I felt sorry for myself, and then I fixated on little makeover solutions for the next three weeks.
And the result? A low-key, low-cost makeover that does my space-age washer/dryer set proud. Here’s the first installment of what I did, but first a “Before” shot, because we all love dirty, ugly Before shots:
1. White Curtains. My laundry room, like most people’s, is in an uncomely corner of my basement. (To be honest, that’s exactly where I want it, because I feel laundry rooms are best not seen and not heard.) So, directly behind my sweet new washer/dryer is a cement block wall, lined with every water pipe for the entire house.
And I think they’re all jimmied with wire for some reason. Anyway it’s a mess. Necessary, yes, but a mess.
So I bought three white curtain panels off Varage Sale* for $5 and hid the whole thing. I wired a dowel rod at the ceiling and let the panels fall right behind the washer and dryer. The curtains are very full and gathered (which nicely covers any spigots and valves that jut out) and the bright white brightens the space up really well.
2. Black Paint. To hide or camouflage any other design offenders, I painted them black. That’s an old set design trick: paint anything black and it recedes into the background. So my huge water heater and my melamine counter got two coats of black satin paint. And we all get along now, ‘cuz I don’t even see ’em.
For the longest time, I felt unsatisfied by my two painting options of oil-based, or latex. I really don’t like dealing with mineral spirits, so I always avoided oil-based paints because I didn’t feel like the clean-up hassle was worth it. But guess what? Latex paint just doesn’t stick to everything.
But I finally came up with a solution: I bought a bag of 24 chip brushes at the hardware store for $10. Now, I paint my piece with the sticky, oil-based paint that I need, and pitch the cheap paint brush at the end. Yes, I’m out 42 cents every paint project, but I think that’s just fine.
3. Gray Stain. I have a beautiful maple wood wall in the laundry room that already looked really good. But as a backdrop to some natural materials like a big wicker basket and stuff (you’ll see them all the next installment of this makeover post) I stained it a warm gray. A counterpoint. You can still see the great grain of the wood, but now it doesn’t look like a hunting cabin at all.
Very productive post. Stay tuned.
* Varage Sale is an online local garage sale site, and I think I like it more than Craigslist. While it’s a little fussier and more rules-y than Craigslist, it’s also less shady.