Vintage Farmhouse Laundry Room Re-Do

Once upon a time our laundry room looked like this …

And now it looks like this!

Oh, how I truly, madly, deeply hate doing laundry. Growing up when we got into some mischief, instead of hearing “go to time out” we heard “go to the laundry room!” – the only room in our crazy late ’70s super open concept house where you were in actual isolation. My mom used to joke that she was teaching my sister and I to hate doing laundry. She was kind of right, because we both hate it, but kind of wrong, because laundry is objectively the WORST.

So, I decided to gussy up the dreaded laundry room but good.

Now, these photos aren’t entirely fair because the ‘before’ is a crummy, poorly-lit iphone photo in a messy room, but it’s the only one I have that shows a true ‘before,’ with the previous owners’ washer and dryer. This was taken during our home inspection. Sellers took the washer and dryer when they left, which meant that the nice built-in surround had to be torn apart to remove them. While it gave the room a finished look, losing it was for the best because there was a ton of water damage underneath there that we were able to see and then fix once the structure was gone. Hooray for not having a washing machine fall through the ceiling!

There’s a lot I loved about this room even before dressing it up. After coming from a city, it is GIANT. There is so much space in here it is downright luxurious. The previous owners also put in lots of shelves – plenty of room for storage.

Finally, there’s the nice inclusion of a sink and a built-in ironing board. I love having a sink, and I especially appreciate that the previous owners repurposed this large, cast iron beast, amazing base and all, from elsewhere in the house when they added this room. Yes, surprise! The laundry room is a 20th century addition. Turns out that there weren’t washing machines in the 18th century.

Of course, like every room ever, there were challenges. First, the shelves are very awkward depths, and it took me an insane amount of time to find storage solutions that worked. Once I found Steele Canvas’s laundry bins, though, I knew I had to have them.

Steele is a company located not far away from me in Chelsea, MA – always nice to support a local shop! Unfortunately, while their bins worked perfectly for dirty laundry, clean laundry, and my top shelf of storage, they don’t make a bin small enough for our lower shelf, which is only 7.5 inches deep. Luckily, Klein Tools came to the rescue with their canvas tool buckets.

The dark base of the Klein Tools buckets and the gray rim of the Steele Canvas bins don’t match perfectly, but because everything is all canvas, it works.

Finally, I finished it off with a worn, vintage runner from Etsy seller JapanRugs, and a vintage thrift painting I bought from a sale on Emily Henderson’s blog. I bought the painting years ago, but fortunately the colors are so perfect for the woodwork color.

And, of course, the paint. THE PAINT. Our issues with the paint in this house deserve, and will get, their own post. Painting in this house is a challenge (I am chuckling/crying to myself because that is SUCH an understatement). Suffice it to say that this house has a paint-peels-off-the-walls-in-sheets problem. So though it’s not a huge room (though huge for a laundry room!) changing the colors cost more than I would have liked to address the many, many paint problems we have. But the colors are beautiful! The walls are Benjamin Moore’s Harwood Putty which we used throughout the house and is an amazing, ultra-matte clear white. The woodwork is Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball. We used it in our Boston bedroom, and it’s crazy how different it looks here. In this light, bright room it is a sea foam blue. In our dark city bedroom it was a dark blue-green. Both lovely, but so different.

Has this room made me enjoy doing laundry more? HAHAHAHA NOOOOOOO. Interior design can do a lot of things, including make me like the room itself more, but I don’t think there will ever come a day when I actually want to fold clothes. This is why every shirt I fold comes out looking like this Wikipedia entry for trapezoids.

Here’s how to get the look!

  1. Walls: Benjamin Moore’s Harwood Putty
  2. Painting (similar)
  3. Woodwork: Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball
  4. Vintage sink (similar) and faucet (similar)
  5. Small bins
  6. Large laundry caddy
  7. Vintage runner (similar)