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Laundry Room/Half Bath Before and Afters

October 22, 2012  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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I’m glad we took the weekend to finish up the laundry room.  That plumbing took Chris a little while to figure out–but he did it (!!) and having a new sink and faucet and all around easier-on-the-eyes room has made such a difference.  Like every other before and after, it is fun to look at the before first to see the progress and also, it really makes the after look even better–especially when you got a before like ours:

The one on the left (you already scrolled, I just know it) is how the room looked when we moved in the house.  Although we did change the light fixture and remove the bright blue shaggy rugs before that picture was taken.  The one on the right is the photo I snapped before we started this renovation last week.  And here’s how the room looks now:

In the words of Greta, “NaNaaaa” (ta-da!).  We had a really good time making over this room.  It is small and narrow (and windowless–all of which makes it hard to photograph) which translates into a speedy one-week renovation, which is f-u-n.  We also wanted to make it a really low-budget revamp, so we kept the same floor tiles and just refreshed the grout, added $12 trim and baseboards we already had and painted the space in a two-toned modern look.  Where we spent all of our money was on the sink and new vanity.

Before we had a full-sized towel rack, a small-ish round mirror and a dingy, dingy, dingy sink and faucet atop a vanity I painted green.  I don’t know why I painted it green, but I did and it makes for a horrendous before. :)

We took down the full-sized towel rack that, really, has no use in a half bath, and the too-small mirror and replaced them with a huge mirror we picked up at Ikea that doubles the size of our small room.

As for our last minute decision to upgrade the vanity, we couldn’t be happier about spending a couple hundred dollars for something like looks a hojillion times better.  We easily decided on the Hemnes sink cabinet in white, because it felt the most classic to us.  And drawers!  Drawers make so much more sense for tall people (or do they make more sense to everyone, too?).  The striped insides sealed the deal.

The sink got an upgrade, too.  Because, uh…it was time.

We went with the Odensvik sink and the Apelskar faucet.

They both feel modern but also classic enough that they won’t be on their way out anytime soon–which we feel good about.  Plus, I turning these little x-shaped knobs is so much more fun than trying to yank out the handle of our previous faucet.

Here’s one last look at this side of the room before:

And how she’s lookin’ now:

We did get a new toilet seat because I couldn’t stand our old one that always slid around, and we picked up a shiny, new toilet paper holder as well.  Ooo. Ahhh.  A basket of magazines, that are mostly West Elm, Restoration Hardware, and Crate and Barrel catalogs–you know, the eye candy, complete this little corner that I feel incredibly awkward photographing and blogging about.
To wrap up the potty talk, the vintage printable and velvet pumpkin I found at Ross are resting easy on top of the toilet to make this room a little more festive.
On the opposite side of the room, is a little gallery that I arranged that really makes this room feel special.  As special as a laundry room/bathroom can feel.

The before of this side is depressing.

Right? Adding a chair rail and painting the bottom half of the wall a dark grayish-brown (Martha Stewart’s Gray Squirrel) and the top a bright white really set the stage for a slew of art.

The painting on the far side of the room as you’re looking in the door (scroll up) is a screen print of The Gray Ghost by my Uncle.  As for the rest of the art, here’s the breakdown: The “Home is the nicest word there is” print is available in our Etsy shop.  The pencil still life I did in a college drawing class.  The watercolor of the old Bug I did on site a few years ago.  The Asperand (apparently that is the formal name for the “at sign”) I ordered from Joss & Main a month or so ago.  The print of the girl with the long brown hair is a post card print by Clare Elsaesser that came with the painting we ordered for our bedroom–totally framed it. The glasses is a chalkboard drawing from earlier this year, also available in our Etsy shop. The African lady with the big gold necklace is an oil painting I did a little while ago.  And, *exhale* the tree print I did in my printmaking class in college.
And that, my friends, is what we like to call a wrap.

I guess this means it’s time to get started on actually doing the laundry–here’s hoping this room inspires me to stay caught up.  Not likely, but there’s always hope.  With the laundry room/half bath done, we are already moving on our next quicky project–and it’s one that we have been wanting to do for months!  Spillin’ the beans about it mañana.

What do you think?

  1. Farrah says:

    Love your bathroom what are the dimensions of your room?

  2. Heather says:

    What are the dimensions of your laundry/half bath? I am thinking of doing something similar and would love to know for reference.

  3. me says:

    FYI… code says that outlet by the sink needs to be GFCI for safety, and there are good reasons for that… please consider looking into that :)

  4. Stfanie says:

    looks great! question, now that you’ve used it for a while, do you find the vanity too close to the toilet? Would you have done a smaller vanity in retrospect? Also, do you find it gets dirty in the small area between wall and sink? Would you have done it differently?

    Thanks!

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  9. wilma says:

    wow. looks AMAZING. quick question: what happened to all the cords?

  10. Elizabeth R. says:

    We are considering the Hemnes sink too. What do you think of it now that it’s been a few months?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi. You did such a wonderful job with this remodel! Can you tell me the dimensions of this room? I’m hoping to do a layout similar to this in my own laundry room!

  12. Andi says:

    My favorite parts? the BIG mirror! And bathroom faucets, I’m gonna have fun with those. Applauding you and Chris down here!

  13. Hahahaha. My very own cheerleader?! You can come sleep here anytime!

  14. J-U-L-I-A! What does that spell? Ultimate Home DIYer, that’s what! This looks so fantastic. I could honestly sleep here and feel good about it. :) Great work!

  15. You’re so sweet. I remember you! Hope you are doing well and thanks for tagging along with us. :)

  16. Thanks, Megan. Good taste in sink!

  17. Asperand was new to me, too! Here’s hoping it catches fire like the Ampersand did. ;)

  18. Emily says:

    According to wikipedia, there is no official english word for the @ symbol: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_sign. You learn something new everyday!

  19. Megan Angermeyr says:

    I love it!! We just got the exact same sink (in dark brown)… and it is amazing. The self closing drawers are to die for! I love the eclectic look of the gallery wall!

  20. Diana @ Boy + Girl says:

    Wow! This transformation is fantastic! It looks like a completely different room!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Wow! I totally just must have glazed right over that other ‘S’. So neat – I had no idea. But it is now my vow of the day to work that word into a conversation. :)

  22. Linda Carrion says:

    Julia I stumbled on your blog via your mom’s facebook posts. I used to be in your ward in the ‘Burgh about 10 years ago (my maiden name was Carr at the time). So I have been a “lurker” of your blog for a few months and love to see all of your project posts! It inspires me as we work to refresh our 90 year old Chicago bungalow..but we are not as big DIY’ers as you guys are…90 year old homes have issues which require professionals. It’s great to bump into you again in the cyber world and thanks for keeping me inspired!

  23. Rebecca says:

    I was just thinking the same thing you said – front loaders with a waterfall countertop (butcherblock maybe?). The room looks amazing at any rate – Well done!

  24. Meagan S says:

    Wow! It looks great! I think embracing the tile was totally the way to go…especially after painting the grout lines. I still cannot believe what a difference that made. It looks awesome!

  25. I absolutely love what you’ve done with this room! Classic and fresh. I especially love that you went with chair rail and a dark bottom/light top combo. You see it the other way so often, but this just looks amazing – like I said, classic and fresh!

  26. jane says:

    GOOD JOB! i love the fresh white and the long mirror.

  27. Wow it looks gorgeous!! Awesome job! That cabinet and sink from ikea are a perfect touch, and I love all your art!

  28. Thanks, Karen! We plan on revisiting this room when we get a new washer and dryer. We are not sure how old these are since they were here when we moved in, so when they quit (we aren’t hoping for that anytime soon!) we would love to get frontloaders with a waterfall countertop or something to divide/disguise the washer and dryer from the bath. We’ll see down the road.

  29. Karen says:

    It looks amazing! I still can’t get over what a difference the grout-paint made!! The tiles look a whole different color.

    Have you thought about a half-wall between the washer/dryer and toilet??

    Love the whole look. Perfect color, perfect artwork, love the vanity, the mirror – everything!

  30. Love it! It looks amazing, especially the dark moody color with the white! I also love the gallery wall!

  31. I’ve seen it once more since I bought it, so I am sure it will be back.

  32. Nice. Welcome aboard, Clementine!

  33. Clementine says:

    Oh this looks fabulous!!! I’ve been stalking off and on to see the progress and I’ll DEFINITELY be a regular reader now. Great work!

  34. Kate says:

    The room looks great! I wanted to buy that aspersand on Joss & Main – now I wish I did!

  35. Oh, you’re so sweet. Thanks lady!

  36. Gabrielle, I hadn’t even thought of that! You’re on to something there. ;)

  37. It only felt major because of the difference it made. Otherwise, it felt easy, breezy. :)

  38. AnnabelVita says:

    I love it! It’s so grown up and sophisticated!

  39. AHHH-mazing! I need to pick my jaw up off the floor! I LOVE the gallery wall and your new vanity/sink and that mirror and that paint color and that…

  40. Kristen @ LoveK blog says:

    Looks great!! I especially love the darker paint color and the new vanity. We have the Hemnes bedroom furniture for the same reasons you described the vanity – modern, yet classic.

  41. Melinda Page says:

    Wow, what a transformation. I really love the new sink and the giant mirror, I would have never thought of that. It really transforms the room.

  42. Gabrielle says:

    LOVE the super long mirror you put in! Amazing choice. I can just imagine a line of ladies crowding in the bathroom just to touch up make-up during your costume party and having plenty of room to do it.

  43. rachael says:

    It looks awesome! I love how new it looks without having to do anything too major (though I’m sure it all felt major :) Very inspiring!!

    http://www.slurfeefrenchie.blogspot.com

  44. Oooo, good! That’s just the look we were going for. Also, there may not be room for a bed, but you can come and have a sleepover with the washer and dryer any day.

  45. Fine art in the bathroom all the way!

  46. I think I pinned something similar earlier this year, with a long extended mirror over the sink and toilet, and it just clicked! It really makes the whole room look bigger.

  47. It’s almost party time!

  48. Thanks Meags! You’ll have to come see it in person some time. ;) ;)

  49. Iomay says:

    I loooooove it! The bathroom looks bigger and it’s just so fresh looking :) LOOOVE!!!!

  50. Hahaha. You sweetie. Thanks, Emily

  51. Laura @ Chaotic Domestic says:

    Looks great! Love the new vanity and sink. The gallery wall looks great too.
    http://chaoticdomestic.blogspot.com

  52. Lyndsay @ that 70s house says:

    This looks SOOO amazing. Is it weird that I want to live in your laundry room/bathroom right now? I love the masculine feel of the gallery wall and the moody paint. Sometimes laundry rooms can be so “foo-foo” feminine….this is such an awesome feel!

  53. Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell says:

    Oh, it looks fantastic! I love a good gallery wall that looks cohesive but not matchy, and you totally pulled it off. Whoever said art doesn’t belong in the bathroom was SOOOO wrong.

  54. Jessie McKinley says:

    Everything about it is beautiful!!! I don’t think I ever would have thought to extend the mirror over the sink, but it makes the room look that much better. Good work!!

  55. Ampersand is the name for & and ASpersand is @. When I ordered the @, the listing was for an “Aspersand sign.” You learn something new every day. :)

  56. It’s amazing!! I love it! Can’t wait to see it in person come Saturday! ;)

  57. Jennifer says:

    Looks nice! But I thought Ampersand was the formal name for this symbol: &… and that the “At” symbol was the formal name for @. :)

  58. meaganbriggs3 says:

    Ah-mazing. The gallery wall was so unexpected for a half bath/laundry room and I love it. The oversized mirror??? Genius!!!

    That gray squirrel color is divine.

  59. Emily Bufler says:

    oh my gosh! i’ve been refreshing the page since 3. haha! it looks so beautiful!!!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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