Hey, look–I threw together a hastily sketched, out of scale basement floor plan on my Bamboo app. I am so very talented, it’s true. Ah, well. In other news, we’re still dragging through drywall hell. A sudden heat wave brought a ton of humidity and has dragged this part of the process out several days due to extra drying time now needed between mud coats. It’s a total mess down there and, while it’s clear that progress is happening, it’s a far cry from the early weeks when it seemed like major stuff happened every day. This part of the process is messy and not terribly exciting. However, once this endless part gets finished, then it’s on to far more exciting things like laying flooring, installing fixtures and tile, and…being DONE. Can’t wait.
In the meantime, I thought I’d take a little time today to talk about the laundry/mudroom/utility area. This is the part I’ve colored blue and yellow and brown on the excellent floor plan up there. Here’s a wonky iPhone wide angle shot of the space if you’re standing with your back against the exterior wall and facing the hallway:
Up top you see one view of the utility side of the basement after the first day of sheet rock hanging. To your far left you can see the big storage closet (that also houses the electrical panel/breaker box). That will be enclosed behind sliding door eventually and also contain a ton of shelving for basement storage. Beside that you can see the furnace/water heater/ejector pump room. The spot will be accessible from this room, as well as from the hallway (which you can see a little bit here) behind sets of bifold doors. The space around the water heater and furnace will be the only part of the basement that remains unfinished.
To the right of the water heater area, dead center, you can see the hallway that joins the three main spaces of the basement. From this viewpoint, we’re looking straight into the bathroom (the green board walls), to the left in that hall is the doorway for utility access, and if you continue a pace or two into the hallway to the right, you find yourself in the rec room by the bar area.
Phew, floor plans are confusing to explain. Anyway, back in this room, to the immediate right of center, the doorway we’re looking into is the under-stairs coat/storage closet. Then to the far right you can see the wall with the laundry hook-ups and the exterior door that leads out (and up) to our yard.
Here’s the view if you’re standing opposite from where this picture was taken (in the doorway from the hall to the utility/laundry/mudroom area:
From this reverse view, you can see the laundry hook-ups on your far left, the exterior door beside that, the wall where the workbench and treadmill set-up will be, and then all the wall to the right is the storage closet. In the very right corner, you can just see the utility/furnace/water heater closet.
So, this is not a whole lotta space. But, man, have I got a whole lotta plans for it.
This is a before shot of this same space that sort of gives you an idea of what the old laundry set-up was. Basically, on the far wall we had a giant, leaky, disgusting concrete laundry sink and the washing machine. The dryer was on the other wall with the exterior door between them. It wasn’t the world’s worst laundry set-up by a long shot, and it was a huge improvement from what we had before we bought this house (laundromats and communal, coin-operated machines that often involved trips outside, down stairs and carrying a big janitor’s ring of keys for different doors–fun!). However, having our contractors replace the concrete sink with a modern, smaller one allowed for earth-changing innovation of, get this, having our washer and dryer side by freaking side! Holy smokes, I can’t even express how stupidly excited I am to no longer have to walk back and forth multiple times a load carrying my wet clothes and bedding from the washer to the dryer. It’s the little things, man.
Here’s what my fab laundry wall looks like (give or take some drywall mud that’s been added since this photo):
And here are my very exciting (and very excitingly rendered) plans for the laundry wall:
Not to scale, but this is generally what I’m picturing. From right to left: dryer, washer, new sink, some as-yet undetermined shelving or storage (think we’re gonna have ~2′ of space there). Leaving aside the storage on the left, I’d like to put a small cabinet for closed storage over the dryer. I’m keeping my eye on Craig’s List for just the right one. I also want to put some sort of a shelf over the sink. This would be a good spot for stuff we need easy access to (detergent, bleach). I also want to use a wire shelf of some sort (white or chrome) so that I can hang S-hooks off of it so I can easily hang paint brushes and other messy items to drip dry over the sink. This one from the Container Store seems pretty ideal:
In terms of less utilitarian stuff, I have plans to make a pretty skirt for the sink, like this one from pinterest:
I’ve also got my eye on a really pretty new ironing board cover:
This will look just lovely, I think, with the wall color we’re leaning toward using in here:
I’m in looooooove with this color. I’ve been wanting to use deep teal in a room somewhere in our house for ages, but I didn’t even think of the laundry/mudroom until Chop oohed and ahhed over this photo at the Benjamin Moore store:
God, how pretty is that? The second Chop showed me the picture I leaped on the opportunity to use this color. It’s very bold (especially for him–Chop is generally not a fan of bold colors), but I think it should be really cheerful and fun for this low-stakes, non-public room. It’s also a room full of white doors and white appliances and what will likely be white cabinetry with relatively little actual wall space, so it’s kind of the perfect place to go a little more risky. In addition to it being our laundry room, though, this space also functions as our mudroom in the winter–I can’t imagine a more friendly color to come home to.
Next to the laundry wall is our little mudroom space. For the past two winters, Chop and I have been using a bench we bought off Craigslist (that I’ve been meaning to paint for two years) and a rolling garment rack/shoe rack from Ikea. It’s been surprisingly functional, but this renovation makes it even more functional and a heck of a lot cuter. In the picture above, you can see our old work bench pressed up against a wall. That wall is going to be our “mudroom.” We’ll have the bench (painted, eventually) against that wall and be able to hang our coats and stash our shoes in the brand-new coat closet:
Look how far back it goes:
Man, so much nice, new storage. Anyway, here’s a picture I sketched a while ago for the mudroom set-up:
While I might still hang some hooks over the bench for wet/snowy things, I also happen to have this fabulous vintage Esther Williams poster that I’ve been dying to find just the right spot for:
I think this could look freaking awesome over the bench against our bright teal wall as the first thing you see when you enter from outside. Ugh, love, love, love.
Tools and Treadmill
Moving on, we also have this wall in the space:
The space to the left of the exterior door will obviously be taken up by the laundry, though that leaves us with a prime spot for some small but cute wall art, not to mention a really cute color on the door to pop against the teal walls. To the immediate right of the door is where the dryer used to live. Now, however, it’s going to be home to our new workbench. We’d originally intended to just hang some peg board and use the ancient homemade tool bench that came with the house, but it got damaged when we tried to move it out of the basement pre-reno. So, now we’re looking at something pretty basic since neither of us is super-handy and this will essentially be a place to drill things and store tools. We’ll probably go with something along the lines of this:
It’s nothing glamorous, but it should get the job done without being too hideous. Who knows–I may go after it with a bit of paint as well.
Lastly, the last bit of room on that wall is where we plan to mount a TV. Then we will keep the treadmill out (standing parallel to the storage closet), facing the TV. We’d initially planned to be like most people and just keep the treadmill folded and then unfold it when we wanted to use it in the rec room, but then we realized we had this space we weren’t doing anything with so we figured, ‘why not?’ I think we’re a lot more likely to use it more, anyway, if it’s always out, especially if it’s in my cute teal room with fabulous art. It does feel a little extravagant to have a mounted TV just for watching on the treadmill, but we have an extra flat screen we inherited from Chop’s grandma we don’t use for anything else so, again, why not? World’s cutest utilitarian treadmill space? I think we just might be on track for that honor.
So, there’s the utility/laundry/mudroom space plans. More exciting (and wordy) updates to come!