our farm: the laundry room

The laundry room reno is 3/4 of the way done but I figured I’d share it.

Registered users can view the location of the room by checking out the lower level floor plan. Not registered? Just ask!

This project dates back to Father’s day, 2007! Jim had a business trip and I was racking my brain trying to think of things he needs. If you were to ask him, of course he doesn’t need anything. He’s pretty right on.

Hmm..what to do what to do? Then, it hit me. Instead of buying him something he doesn’t need, why not take away something that he needs to do (rather “he” “we” or “us” together) – and take it on myself so he doesn’t have to worry about it?

Hmmm..maybe I’ll renovate the laundry room. OK. I’m on it.

First things first I need to move fast. As in, rapid. I have three days to get this done, I had the time off from work – but I did have the kids as well – I needed to also get it done nicely so I can justify the cost while not spending TOO MUCH on materials (because at some point in the not-so-immediate-future the space will be completely remodeled) but not sacrifice a “look” or design! So, “Design-on-a-Dime” so to speak. PLUS, I would be doing this in between nap schedules and school schedules and sleep schedules! Having kids and doing home renovation yourself means a lot of late nights.

The water damage in the ceiling was repaired prior to us moving in, the laundry room is dry.

This is the mess that was our laundry room after we moved in – the previous owners had this room cleaner than it is here, trust me! They had a deep freezer in the back corner, we moved in, we had an extra dresser and used the storage for light bulbs, utility stuff, etc. And we wanted to put the small fridge which was originally in the pool house to have for extra cooling :-).

Here is the space approximately 5 minutes after I decided I was going to do this. The bead board that’s in this room is not weak, it’s thick wood – almost 1 inch thick.

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

View from kitchen:

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer


Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Note the paint on the ceiling tiles in the photo below….I was attempting to see if I would be happy with just a coat of paint to freshen it up. Washer/Dryer relocated to back wall. I had even started to PAINT that back wall. This photo was taken at this point to document the moving of the appliances and the very moment I decided that I was going to put cabinets up along that back wall and throw all caution into the wind and just do what needed to be done in this room – at least for now!

So, this is the new “view” from the first photo (please excuse the accessories, they’re not permanent yet).

Ta Da!

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Not heavily distressed but slightly distressed. Nics. Hardware from Restoration Hardware.

I love the rough cuts! I chose to put the flat side against the wall because I thought the blue stone cut just gave it that “something extra”.

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

What was done:

Cabinets hand distressed by me (yes, I purchased them at Home Depot, beat the crap out of them with hammers and chains and anything else I could toss into it) sanded, painted, sanded, painted, sanded painted, distressed using a distressing oil – then varnished. 2.5 day process.

Slate “looking” sticky tile for flooring. This room and the kitchen feel like they’re on a slab – thankfully I did it during warmer months as the cold seems to make the laminate peel from the sub floor.

I didn’t want the expense of vintage tin, so I opted for new tin – but the faux backsplash kind since it won’t get rusty for quite some time (and I’m not sure if we will be expecting any additional water damage before the room gets reconfigured – whenever that may happen). NOTE: This was not an economically favorable decision, that stuff is still pricey and not what I would’ve ideally wanted to do, which would be reclaimed tin.

Countertops: Bluestone (Slate) which I purchased at a stone yard for 50.00 for both. Custom cut for me (included in the price) as they needed to go further back than the normal counter tops. I wanted the counters to be positioned further away from the wall, but I didn’t want to leave this gaping space between the edge of a “standard” counter top to the wall, so I chose a longer piece.

So, maybe in the next 6 months I’ll complete the rest of the project! 😉

Still left to do: Base of cabinets, crown of cabinets, crown molding around the top of the room to tie in the ceiling to the walls, finish painting (getting in all of those annoying grooves that look so great painted when they’re finally painted. What a chore to paint!). Obviously decorate 😉 And the pantry as well, I wouldn’t mind getting that cleaned out.

Ultimately I think the entire project from start until now was not “a dime”, but considerably more for the materials (bling – and I would’ve loved to put a mini chandelier here too, as crazy as I am) however, I think I made up for that doing all of the work myself. Well, that’s not entirely true, my brother in law Jimmy helped me with a few of the major appliance moving and he also helped me with the cabinets. Couldn’t have done it without you Jim, thanks!

End result, my husband was elated! One less thing he/we had to do (meaning him). Whaddaya say? Great Father’s day gift or what?


I’ll be sure to post when I finish the project. For now, this is on hold while we have a few other projects in the mix. Stay tuned!

Oh, and if you have any suggestions on what I can do with my windows, please DO! I am thinking of bringing in some fresh bright green foliage somewhere. I really wanted to keep this tonal -clean and green with grays/silvers/materials – if I had a front loader I would’ve researched an antique stainless steel work table or something.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Please feel free!

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  • Really impressive. I bow down to your skills. It really looks fab.

    How did you install the tin? How did you secure the stone to the cabinets?ReplyCancel

  • Michele

    Ok, can you come over and do that to my laundry room?? Looks great!!ReplyCancel

  • mrslimestone – So nice of you to say!!! The tin is sold in faux panels (they’re heavy-duty though) and is installed using a commercial grade adhesive. I made a HUGE mistake by not buying the one that “dries clear” and have suffered for it – will presumably need to hand mix some acrylic paints to cover up my brown glue scuffs.

    The installation was absolutely ridiculously challenging for me. Those old tiles on the ceiling were difficult to adhere to, and I was grabbing 2 x 4’s to brace them against things to hold up each tile until it dried. I was upside down for more hours than I would like to count – bad neck!

    That was the biggest nightmare of the project.

    The stone was adhered to the cabinets with a high commercial grade silicone. I don’t think a gorilla would be able to separate the counter from the base. Note sure exactly the brand as it was 6 months ago – I’m sure HD / Lowes would be able to provide it upon asking.

    The Blue stone needed to be (and needs to be) resealed every year. 2 coats. I chose a matte sealer which actually has an invisible appearance, which enables each groove to show as it is. I LOVE it.ReplyCancel

  • Joe

    That base cabinet next to the dryer should be “hinge right”… But other then that, nice…. But we’ve talked about this before I believe… 🙂 (Old habit looking at those things from my last job…)ReplyCancel

  • Joy

    Wow – what a difference. Nice work!ReplyCancel

  • Joe, I think I remember that discussion after the fact 😉 Did you have a suggestion for me to correct it at this stage of the game? I don’t remember.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara

    It’s absolutely beautiful! I give you a lot of credit for taking that project on all by yourself (with a little help from your brother-in-law). You have a great eye for decorating!ReplyCancel

  • […] cat’s away, the mouse will play. The last business trip / project-almost-completed was the Laundry Room Renovation, which I almost completed for Jimmy’s Father’s Day gift. 4 days. 2 kids. Late nights! […]ReplyCancel