Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Laundry Room

For the past few weeks, I've been secretly working on a low-budget laundry room redo. I haven't mentioned it on the blog because I wanted to just give you the finished product (rather than a bunch of boring little laundry room projects one-by-one). I've been waiting to share it with y'all for so long! I actually finished it about a week ago, but I just now got a spare second to take pictures and write up a blog post. 

Anyway, we started with this:

The white box on the wall is our Pex manifold (it's like a breaker box for all the water in the house - we can turn off the water to each room individually).

Now, we have this!!!

I picked Martha Stewart's "Cornbread" for the walls, and I just love the sunny feeling the room has now. We spent very little money on the whole thing (because hello... it's a laundry room), but I'm still really pleased with how it turned out! Let's run through everything in the room, shall we?

First, the washer and dryer. We got so lucky here. When we bought our house, we negotiated with the builder to get them to throw in a washer and dryer. They agreed. I asked what kind we would be getting, and they said "front loading." I had no idea we'd be getting these beautiful machines with a million buttons (and the pedestals to go with them!). 

When we first started talking about fixing up the laundry room, I wanted to get rid of the pedestals (I know, I know... they cost a lot of money and blah blah blah, but I wanted them gone!). I thought it would be nice to be able to reach the top of the washer and dryer more easily (It's a bit of a reach for 5-foot-2 me to put stuff on the top of them), so I wanted to get rid of the pedestals.

Then I realized that behind the dryer is this big old thing sticking out of the wall. Honestly, I'm not even sure what it is (but it sure was fun to paint!). If we got rid of the pedestals, the big unsightly thing would be in plain sight above the dryer on the wall. Not cute. So we kept the pedestals. 

This is all you can see of it behind the dryer (on its pedestal):

Anyway, I think the pedestals are a good thing. The height of the washer and dryer keeps me from sticking clutter up there, and the pedestal drawers are actually pretty handy. We keep all our extra sheets and pillowcases, beach towels, and extra Bath & Body Works hand soap in them. 

The main function of this room besides laundry is storage (for cleaning supplies, extra paper towels, and extra toilet paper). My piles of cleaning stuff sitting on the floor were driving me crazy, so we bought this little unit from Ikea to go next to the dryer:

With the addition of a couple of wicker baskets (also from Ikea), everything was organized into a tidy little space!

Of course, I had to throw in a few cute little decorative things too...

The birds were a clearance find at Target (technically they're Valentine's Day decorations). The frame is from Ikea, and the Texas print is from Katie Daisy.

The lamp is from Ikea. Isn't it the cutest thing ever? I love it.

This little candle is from Target, and it smells so good! 

When I bought the lamp at Ikea, I thought it was kind of a frivolous purchase. I mean, who needs a lamp in the laundry room? But it was just so cute and it wanted to come home with me, so into the cart it went. Now that I have a lamp in there, I love it! I use it all the time. I tend to do laundry at night a lot, and the fluorescent light on the ceiling is kind of obnoxiously bright, so I just turn on my little lamp instead and the room is full of a nice warm glow. Perfect for nighttime laundry. 

"Hi Katie! Thank you for taking me home to live with you!"

Anyway, back to the cleaning supply storage. Here are my shelves:

Extra paper towels on the top left; Extra toilet paper on the top right

The left drawer holds Clorox wipes, the extra pieces to my steam mop, all my microfiber cloths, sponges, and my homemade cleaning supplies.

The right drawer holds some paper towels and all my store-bought cleaning supplies. I have no idea how I ended up with three bottles of Windex. Weird.

This corner is probably my favorite part of the room. I love the round basket, the print on the wall, and the little silver hooks!

I wanted a small laundry hamper to sit in the laundry room. We keep our clothes in hampers in our closet, but I needed a spot to toss dirty dish towels, tablecloths, and microfiber cleaning cloths. I found this basket at Target, and it's the perfect size! Plus it's way cuter than all the laundry containers I could find. 

This print was the inspiration for the entire room:

I've actually been planning this laundry room redo since before we moved into the house, and I've had this Katie Daisy print on my wish list for a long time. My aunt and uncle bought it for me for Christmas, and I've been holding onto it ever since, just waiting for it to go in the laundry room!

It's in a Ribba frame from Ikea.

The two little hooks are from the bathroom section in Ikea. I use them to hang things to dry. They're in the wall with drywall anchors, so they can hold a good amount of weight. Sometimes I use them to hold a bunch of hanging clothes that I need to iron.

I have another basket from Target on top of the washer:

This basket matches the one on the floor well, and it's the perfect size for laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and my Sock Jar

The paintings above the washer and dryer have a bit of an interesting story. Back when Jeff first moved into our apartment in Houston (we were engaged, but he lived there for 6 months without me until after the wedding), he was trying to cover the blank white walls without spending a lot of money. He bought these two gallery-wrapped paintings on eBay.

When they arrived, the colors were WAY brighter than they looked on the eBay photos. The orange clashed horribly with everything else in the apartment, and I wouldn't let him hang them up. They were really inexpensive, so we weren't very upset that it didn't work out. We figured we'd save them and maybe use them one day, so we hung them way up high in the back of our laundry closet at the apartment. When we moved to the house, we brought them with us.

When we decided to paint the laundry room yellow, we figured we could finally use the eBay paintings, but when we held the gallery-wrapped paintings up the the wall, the yellow in the paintings clashed a teensy bit with the yellow in the walls. 

I really wanted to make it work though (free paintings? Yes please!), and I figured it would be fine if they had crisp white frames to separate the two shades of yellow a bit. But framing a non-standard-sized painting is expensive. So, we DIYed some frames. We bought some right-angle wood molding from Home Depot and cut it with a miter box to fit each edge of the gallery-wrap frames.

I hot glued the corners of the molding pieces together to make a large rectangle frame for each painting.  Then I just spray painted them white and popped them onto the paintings! Voila!

The corners aren't perfect (I thought about using some wood putty to smooth them out, but I got lazy). It's just a laundry room, so I'm totally okay with it!

Jeff hung the ironing board and iron on the wall with a hanger from Wal-Mart. Aesthetically, I wanted it to go higher on the wall, but that's as high as it could go without me needing a stepstool to get to the iron. 

I already had the blue, green, and yellow cover on the ironing board, so I just kept it! I think it looks cute against the wall, and it matches perfectly with the green and blue in the "Bless this Home" print. 

I think that's it! Let's look at some before and afters...





So, what do you think? What's your favorite part? My favorite part is a tie between the "Bless this Home" print and the lamp, but I'm most proud of those DIY frames on the gallery-wrap paintings! 

Have you given a little love to your laundry room lately? I think it's such fun to decorate little rooms like this!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bayou Bend House and Gardens

Once upon a time, there was a woman in Texas named Ima Hogg. She was the daughter of a wealthy Texas governor, and she spent her life as a philanthropist, musician, and collector. She lived with her brothers in a big fancy house filled with fancy antique furniture, surrounded by big fancy gardens.

When she died, she left her estate, Bayou Bend, to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Today, you can go tour it and see all the pretty things! A couple weeks ago, I bought a Groupon for two tickets to Bayou Bend's "Sip & Stroll" tour. On the Sip & Stroll tour days, you get a couple little glasses of wine and some snacks (pretzels and cheese and grapes), and then you can go on a self-guided tour of the house and gardens.

The tour started with a walk across Buffalo Bayou on a quaint little bridge.

Once we made it across the bridge, we could see all the beautiful gardens and the house in the distance. It was such a beautiful day when we went, and we really enjoyed wandering through the property with our wine! The gardens were magnificent:

Butterfly Garden!

We did the house tour first (because you couldn't take food/drinks into the house), and it was beautiful too! SO many lovely furnishings and beautifully decorated rooms.

This is the one picture I took inside the house before I realized that photography wasn't allowed. Oops.

A "sleeping porch" (adjacent to the bedrooms) that overlooks the gardens

After the house tour, we grabbed a couple glasses of wine and wandered through the gardens. 

I could almost reach that branch with my head! Haha.

There were so many beautiful flowers...

There was so many cute little bridges and fences and benches and streams...

Jeff (who is always dreaming up new ideas for our backyard) looked at all the different plants and trees...

Jeff really likes azaleas.

It was a beautiful place. Ima Hogg must've loved living here!

After we had seen pretty much everything, we went back to the house for a second little glass of wine. On our way, we saw this pretty tree with a two white trunks in the distance and knew we had to go look at it!

See how pretty it is?

That's Jeff sitting at the bottom of the tree (it was a HUGE tree!).

We sat in the middle of the tree and just relaxed for a while. Such a beautiful view!

As the sun started to set, we made our way back to the little bridge to go home. 

Goodbye, Bayou Bend!

If you're in Houston, you've got to see this place! It's just beautiful (and it's the perfect time of year to go!). I'd highly recommend the Thursday Sip & Stroll tour. :) We got two tickets for $10 with the Groupon, but regular tickets are $10 each (which I still think is a great deal!). 

Sigh. I'm pretty sure my dream house would look something like this place.