Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nana's Day - The Final Frontier

If you have been following me for awhile you know about Nana's Day.  Once a week my sister and I go over and help my mother (aka Nana) work on remodeling and redecorating her house.
We started with her Kitchen,

then the Garage,

 Guest Bedroom,


 Master Bathroom,

Master Bedroom

and then the Living Room.

  Since she has moved in, seven years ago, we have pretty much redone her entire house!!
 All except the basement!!

Our Final Frontier!!

OK, her guest bedroom is in the basement, but we are about to switch it up!!
Let's talk about what she had in the basement and what she wanted.
Half of her basement was unfinished and the finished half had a bathroom and two rooms.  I can't really call them bedrooms as one (the current guest bedroom) doesn't have a closet.  And the second room had a closet but was open to the public area.  She wanted a family room downstairs, so we set about making a plan.  Unfortunately her utilities were smack dab in the middle of the basement, so we had to work around that.  Eventually we came up with a plan.  We moved the guest bedroom to the room with a closet and added a wall and a door so it would be a real bedroom.  Which created a little bigger guest bedroom allowing for a place for guest luggage and two chairs.  The old closet-less guest room will later become a craft/sewing room.  And the unfinished half will become her new family room.  Here are some pictures.

Stay tuned to watch all the fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laundry Tips

I know I haven't posted forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just put up the laundry room reveal and then disappeared!
Not really, but it seems that way.  
What actually happened was a family trip halfway across the country to Nauvoo, Illinois,
 followed by one week of trying to to get all five kids clothes gone through,
 then back to school shopping done, 
and then a weeks worth of relatives visiting from Arizona for my sweet niece's wedding!!
All of which was soooo much fun but literally captured ALL my time!! 
I have just a few days and then all the kids go back to school.  
Now that my laundry room is done, I love being in there, partly because it is so pretty but more because it functions so well.  
And with a family of 8, laundry is a big deal!!
Today I just wanted to share my laundry tips.

Let me just walk you through how we do laundry each week.

1.  We have dirty clothes bins in every one's rooms. 
 Everyone is required to bring them to the laundry room and unload their dirty clothes every Friday (Chore day).  Each person is responsible for dividing their dirty laundry according to the bins: Whites, Reds, Darks, Jeans, Towels, Hand Washables or delicates. Before they take their basket back to their room they spray it with disinfectant to help keep the stinky germs in check.

(As a side note I have each section of the dirty clothes roller baskets labeled because labeling is key to good organizing.  It helps everyone know what goes where.)

2. Install a drip pan and or drain under your machine!
After our laundry room was about 90% complete we had a small leak!  We had talked about putting in a drain on the floor but got into too big of a hurry and just rushed onto the pretty and fun stuff.  So we were able to see first hand just how hard or easy it was to pull the machines out.  I must say it was not as bad as I though it was going to be.  Once the machines were out we seized this chance to install a drip pan and a drain.
 (We are fortunate enough to have a store room below our laundry too and plumbing that we could easily attach too.)
 If you can't install a drain at least install a drip pan!!!.
 (Getting the machines back in place and getting out proved a big challenge, but I love a challenge.)

3. Use the right amount of soap!
 I have front loaders and need to use High Efficiency (HE) laundry soap, but not all HE soaps are created equal.  I found this out the hard way. I bought a different brand that made more suds and came out the overflow in the back of my machine!!  Luckily it was while we already had the machine out fixing it!! Now I measure 1/4 cup each time.  Too much or too sudsy and you may regret it!!

4.  I drop the clean dry clothes on to the folding table.  
Having a folding table is key.  I try to fold the clothes right as they come out of the dryer, but sometimes this doesn't happen.  The folding table is a clean place to hold the clothes until I get back to them.
 (This helps keep my living room or bed from being the folding table, and helping maintain a more organized and clean house.)

5.  I color code my families laundry and hangers.
I have assigned every member of my family a color.  I use permanent markers in each family members clothing to mark the label.  That way I don't have to remember who's is who's and any one can fold the clothes and get them into the proper basket.  As I fold I hang anything that needs to be hung right there in the laundry room on each person's colored hanger.  They are then responsible to grab their color of hangers and put them into their closets.  I also required each person to bring back their extra hangers, so I always have a stash.  This helps us be more organized and my kids rooms to be more clean.
 (If I just put things in their basket for them to hang up, most things end up shoved in a drawer!!)

6.  I fold the clean clothes and drop them right into the clean clothes baskets.
Each bedroom has a basket once a day family members need to collect their clean clothes and put them away in their rooms and return their empty clean clothes basket to the laundry room.

7. I keep a small bucket in the cupboard closest above the folding counter for odd socks.
I don't like to clutter up the counter, but I do need to keep odd socks for a while.  Don't know about you but my kids often turn in one sock to the laundry while it's mate lounges between the couch cushions for a week or two.  It's a sad and lonely separation, but a joyous reunion.

8.  Last of all I do the delicates and hand washables. 
My machine has settings for these, so I wash most things with the machine and then put them on my sweater drying racks.  These items stay there until they are dry and then I just pop them into their clean clothes basket.  We debated about putting a small fan on the back of this box.  We opted not to.  But after using it for a while now I have determined we need more air circulating and will be adding that soon, so stay tuned.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Laundry Room Reveal or How to Pack Lots of Function into Your Laundry Room for Less!

We are finally done with the Laundry Room!!!
If you've been following along, you know I packed as much function into this small room as I could.
 I can't wait to show you it all put together!!

Well let's not just stand there peeking through the window on the door lets go in!!!!

To be able to use the space behind the original door I took it off and
 replaced it with this sliding barn door.  I used an old door I got for free, repainted it with free leftover paint, and used a vintage crystal door knob I got for $5.
 I added the word LAUNDRY to the glass which I cut out on my Silhouette so it cost me about $1 or less.  I used frosted glass vinyl.  At first I had a more intricate design but in the end I like just the simple one word!!
The barn door hardware was purchased at Home depot for $150.  
Grand total for my barn door including hardware, $156!!!!  
You can read the whole story about this door here and here.

I also planked this hall wall so the door would look flush mounted and also to give a great textured background to my door.  I used MDF boards I bought on clearance so the wall cost me $7 plus paint, glue, and nails.  Grand total for planked wall around $30!!
See full details of how I did that here.

OK, enough about the door let's go into the room!! 
When my husband saw this picture he said, "That room looks huge!!"
The whole room is about 7 feet by 6 1/2 feet.  
The floor space you see is only 3 1/2 feet by 7 feet.

I gained space by stacking the washer and dryer, recessing cabinets, and stealing about 2 square feet from a unused cubby in my daughter's room.  
Just look at how clean and pretty is looks!!!  
I really love the gray cabinets against the crisp white walls. 
 At one point, the far end wall was stenciled, but I didn't like it.
 (You can check that out here.
 I really wanted to wall paper that wall; maybe someday I will find the perfect wall paper for a killer deal!!  
 I have to admit I really had a hard time with finding some art work for this wall.  I needed it to be flat, so it wouldn't get in the way of the function of the dryer door
 and I wanted some color and softness due to all the hard crisp lines in the room.  
I attempted two or three art projects but nothing looked right.  I finally found this floral artwork my neighbor gave me forever ago. 
Besides being free, it fit all my other requirements and made me happy!! 

For all the built in cabinetry I purchased three used kitchen cabinets at the Restore for $5 each, and one 4'x8' piece of 3/4 inch MDF. You can see what these cabinet started out like here and how I painted and trimmed them out here and here. I repainted all the doors with spray paint and added some jewelry,
(I mean knobs!!)  
They look like jewelery.  I love these crystal knobs, and they tie into the door knob.  I got them from 
D. Lawless Hardware and you can find them here.  I think they finish off the cabinets perfectly.

Taking the swinging door off to this room allowed us to put a cabinet on the wall behind it.  We actually cut the depth of this cabinet down, and recessed it into the wall.  I built the top pediment out of scraps of MDF and trim.  But my favorite part about this cabinet is it's function.  One door opens to reveal storage and the other to reveal a swivel ironing board.  
 (Get all the details on this cabinet here, herehere and here.)

I call this next cabinet the "Clean Clothes Tower".  

The top section is for storage of extra towels for the girls bathroom and cute decorations.  The wire baskets were from the $1 section at Target and filled with toilet paper.  The awesome silver pot is from DI.  The skinny drawers are my sweater or hand washable drying racks.  I love how they are almost nonexistent until I need them.  Then I just pull the whole drawer out, lay it on my counter, put the hand washed item on it and pop it back in place until it dries.  If you want some of these babies go here to see how I built them.  

The bottom half of the tower consists of slide out baskets that I use to put my kids clean clothes in after I fold them.  The kids are then responsible to take their basket to there room and put away their clothes.   I bought these at DI for $2 each!!  Similar closet baskets sell for $25-40.   I saved over $130.  I used these drawer glides from D. Lawless Hardware.  
Of coarse, I had to add these cute labels to them.  I had them in my scrap booking stuff and just printed out the numbers with my computer.  I love the contrast of the white baskets against the grey interior of the cabinet.  
(You can check out how we built this cabinet and adjusted the hardware to work here.)

Now let's check out the other side of the room.  
Stacking the washer and dryer allowed space for a folding counter!! 
 I love that;
no more pile of clean clothes being dumped on my couch!!!!!!
We worked hard to leave some sort of access to the the back of the machines, which has already proved to be helpful. 
 Yes, we already had to take the machines out due to a leak!!
 Sad face.
 But that is another post!!!

One of my favorite things about this folding center is the grey plexi like walls.  They were a Restore find for $5.  You can read all about that story here and here.
Adding a hanging bar allows me to hang things up right as they come out of the dryer!!  
We added three new LED lights.  You can't even tell where the old light use to be, check out how we did that without patching the ceiling here.

We all know details make or break a room, so lets check out the details. 
 I bought a 2 gallon glass jar from Walmart to store laundry detergent in and put an antique metal scoop in it.  The jar was about $10 and the scoop was $1.   My sister inherited some old clothes pins and pond them off on me. 
(Lucky me!!
 I poured them into another wire basket from Target's dollar section.  I love the warmth and natural feel they add to the room.  

I don't always keep flowers in my laundry room, but occasionally I cut some from the garden and plop them in here to brighten up my laundry chore.
I keep a small plate on the counter for odd things I find as I go through the kids pockets,  such as money, Chap Sticks, bobby pins, Crayons, or whatever.  
Some of my favorite surfaces are the faux marble counter top I painted.  If you are new to Batchelors Way you have to go here and here to see how I created these $30 marble counters.

You may have not noticed the subtle textured wallpaper on the back wall of the folding center.  That was a second hand score with just enough to cover my small area.  I'm always buying wallpaper at second hand stores; you never know when it will come in handy.  Oh and don't forget my cute little Key Box, go see what it started out like here.  I love the punch of color it gives the space.

One last detail that I haven't shown or talked about yet, the dirty clothes bins; they store under the counter.  I was going to build them out of wood and peg board, like we did in our Arizona house, but they were very heavy and hard to move around.  I started a proto type out of PVC pipe, but in the end I purchased these two sorters from Bed,Bath,and Beyond and Walmart.
 They are light, easy to move, washable, and I couldn't be happier.  The front one has four bags and the rear one has three bags.  I used my label maker and labeled the sections so the kids know where to put each article of clothing as they sort there dirty clothes.  If you are interested I labeled them:  Whites, Reds, Darks, Jeans, Towels, Hand Washables, and Rags.

That's it for the tour of my new laundry room.  
But it wouldn't be right to just show you the after.  
You know how I love "Before" and "After" pictures, so here you go!!

And the other side!!

I have to admit, I actually like doing laundry now.  
(Don't tell my family that!)
It's so bright and pretty, how could I not.  I added so much storage and function: Ironing Center, Folding Center, Clean Clothes Storage, Dirty Clothes Staging Area, and Hand Drying Racks, just to mention a few.  I did it in a fairly small area with a small budget.  I don't have to clutter up other areas of my house for any part of my laundry chore. 
 Everything has a place so it stays clean without much effort!!  

What do you think? 
 Let me here the good, the bad, and the ugly!
  (Hopefully more good than bad or ugly.)  
What would you put in your laundry room if you redid it?

If you want to see the whole journey I have all the links below in chronological order.  

Laundry Room
It Begins
Laundry Room Lights
Building A Box
Restore to the Rescue
Gluing up Imago Wall
Stenciled Wall that was all for Not
Wallpaper Back Splash
Trimming Out the Cabinets
Cabinet Doors
New Hanging Bar
DIY Counter Tops Part 1-The Fitting
DIY Counter Tops Part 2-Faux Painting
Clean Clothes Tower
Sweater Drying Racks
Small Laundry Room Project
Cork Board on a Cabinet Door
Laundry Room Key Box
DIY Built-In Ironing Board Part 1
DIY Built-in Ironing Board Part 2
Scary Laundry Room Door
Planked Wall and Barn Door

Thanks for stopping by.