Back to the Laundry

With both of us busy at our day jobs during the week, progress has slowed in the laundry room. The cabinet doors are up with new hardware (except for a few drawer pulls that will be recycled from our soon to be gutted kitchen) and the tile is all cut and measured for the landing. We should be able to finish cementing it down tonight then grout on Thursday night.


In the meantime, I’m starting to sort through everything previously stored in the laundry room to determine what needs to go back and what can be purged. It’s a cathartic but slow process that I enjoy because it restores chaos back to order! I’m not so good with chaos. And yes- we’re already making plans and decisions for our upcoming kitchen renovation. This is going to be our most ambitious renovation yet- moving walls, closing up exterior doors and refinishing old parquet wood floors. It’s a level of chaos that hurts my head to think about.


Laundry Progress

Our laundry room makeover continues moving forward, although slowed with us both at work during the day. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far this week:

We repainted the pantry shelves. I still want to go back and fill the nail holes but the difference in these from their original rough dark state until now makes me happy. We’re going to give the shelves a coat of urethane tomorrow night for some added durability.

Jeff added tongue and groove pine paneling on the back entrance wall with the hanging cupboards.
We painted the paneling it the same colour as the wall (Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Grey), added chair rail trim and added the end pieces and trim to the cabinet.
We also installed the wardrobe cabinets in the laundry room. Jeff had to build a support platform for them because the Ikea feet raised the boxes 3/4 inch higher than the sewer pipe running right on top of them. We decided building a support platform was easier than moving the poop pipe.
Jeff said the other night that he’s already forgotten how the room used to look. It’s quite a transformation so far.


Progress in the laundry room is trucking along. There is a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore “Wickham Gray” that has livened the whole place up. It’s fresh and light and we both like it very much.

The first cabinets are up! Ikea’s mounting system for wall cabinets is BRILLIANT and they are easy-peasy to put together. Jeff chose the “Stat” door fronts and they work very well with the whitewashed ceiling and cottage-y look of the room.

Jeff also made square panels to hang real light fixtures. Goodbye bare bulbs! We got the idea when we were looking at Ikea model kitchens and it looks great.

Jeff and his dad also stacked our washer dryer. Tracking down the right stacking kit took 2 weeks and five more phone conversations than it should have required (hear that Sears Canada?). Never mind- it’s up now and it works great. I love being able to see lost socks in the bottom of the dryer. Here’s a full view of how things are shaping up. Those light fixtures are such a big improvement and the room no longer feels like a cave.

Suckers for Punishment

After completing our bathroom renovation earlier this year, I’m pretty sure I promised we were done renovating for a while. We must be suckers for punishment because we have two renovations planned for this year… the laundry room and (gasp) the kitchen. Going over to “the mainland” for our cousin’s wedding was the push we needed to start on the laundry room; on the way home we stopped at Ikea and filled Jeff’s parent’s truck with new cabinets.

I’ve not shared a lot of pictures of our laundry room here for reasons that will soon become obvious. If you remember, we replaced the basement stairs a year and a half ago. Jeff also built “The Enorma-Closet” 4 years ago (on the right side of the picture below) to address the crazy lack of closet space in our house. We call her “Norma” for short.

While these two things made made a HUGE difference, the laundry/utility room is still a little haphazard and we aren’t making use of the 9-foot ceiling for storage. There’s also a mess of plumbing behind the washer that drives me nuts. And notice how dark it is in the photo above?

That’s because of the ceiling. It’s old, dark, rough wood that sucks every ray of sunlight away. The lovely light fixtures (if you can call them that) weren’t really helping the issue, either.

So that’s where we started. Jeff moved the junction boxes so they were in line with each other and added a third junction box by the pantry. Voila! We had a little light!

After we painted the ceiling white, we had a LOT more light. We kept the ceiling open because the kitchen is directly above and our kitchen renovation is going to involve moving a lot of plumbing and electrical.

I wish more projects started with paint. We’re now quite motivated to keep this project moving along.

Basement stairs reveal

With a ton of traffic expected to move up and down our basement stairs over Christmas (including a tiny newborn), Jeff and I decided we need to replace the old steep and scary stairs before the holidays. I gave a hint about this project in this post. We probably should have tackled this project years ago because it really was long overdue.

Last summer, Jeff’s dad helped us with the first phase of the makeover, closing in the previously completely open banister. The first step for us then, was to take off the old stair treads and risers.

From there, Jeff made stair treads with noses on two sides, adding two inches to the width and one inch to the depth on each tread from the previous ones. You’ll notice he also created a custom notch on the bottom stair to allow for the basement door to open… with about a quarter inch of clearance!

Everything then got a pristine coat of white primer.

I would have loved to keep the stairs white but in reality, that was a recipe for disaster (since I alone go up and down these stairs at least a dozen times each day). We went with a much more durable charcoal grey… with a surprise.

Yes- it’s blue!! Benjamin Moore Surf Blue (mixed by General Paint), to be exact. Each time I go up the stairs, the colour a makes me smile. You’ll note that Jeff also did a considerably better job on finishing the stairs than the last mystery DIY-wannabe did.

We also gave the rest of the laundry room a coat of my favourite Benjamin Moore Cloud White (also mixed by General Paint) to freshen it up.

While I’m really happy with the overall look of the new stairs, I’m over the moon ecstatically thrilled by how much better they feel. One inch on a stair’s depth doesn’t sound like much, but makes a world of difference under your feet. These stairs used to feel very steep and scary, but now they are comfortable and just right.  Before, I needed to clutch onto railings on both sides of the stairs when I went down – now I zip up and down without holding onto anything. You’ll notice from the before and after photos below that we didn’t even need to put up the second railing.

Jeff and my dad spent two days before Christmas hanging a new door at the top of the stairs. Two days, you ask? Yes, it was two days. It seems that the doofus who built the old stairs also neglected to use a measuring tape when framing that door. As a result, it was not rectangular (as one expects doors to be) but a polygon. I don’t know exactly what they did to fix it but I know it took lots and lots of trips back and forth out to the workshop. Now that the door is hung (Hallelujah!) we just have to paint it and we are DONE!

I think the difference is amazing… and that Jeff did an absolutely incredible job.