Thursday, July 9, 2015

Laundry room peek and a announcement

In today's post I will give you an advance sneak peek into our Laundry room. For many years I've been anticipating and patiently waiting to create an assigned area in the basement for laundry. The area is more corridor than room. As in an area that measures 19 feet long by 8 feet wide! Turning a corridor that is intersected in half by stairs took some design planning to function well. I envisioned fun, light and clever. Although not finished yet, here we go... You be the judge.

Walking down the stairs this photo is the first thing you see. John printed all the Laundry rooms Black and White photography on canvas and then gallery wrapped it around foam-core. I wanted to set the tone the moment you walk downstairs - Announcing hey it's the Laundry room.

Some may think doing laundry is domestic drudgery. But not me ... Problematic stains? No problem, I delight in the challenge of removing them. The door downstairs is in our Kitchen and is a bi-fold. The front is painted with blackboard paint and there is a pet door in it.

The back of the door I've painted in a Harlequin design. Harlequins repeat throughout our home. The door moulding has been purchased but not yet installed. 

July 4th weekend the stairs were addressed, masked and painted in a checkerboard pattern. Much of the renovations in the laundry room have been the preverbal 1 step forward 2 steps backward. We had put charcoal textured carpet treads down, looked cool but within 3 days John ripped them off. I had become very ill, very quickly. A toxic off gassing had hit my central nervous system like a wrecking ball. The treads were made from Polypropylene a synthetic material that contributes to Greenhouse gas emissions. The treads were releasing toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC) in our home, even with air purifiers on each floor. I was sickened from the new smell, 4PC- off gassing. Simply put, if it smells it's off gassing toxic fumes.

The checkerboard pattern was painted by the end of the Holiday weekend and awaited my faux painting on them. The stairs are utilitarian in a practical craftsmen style kind of way. Built on site 90 years ago. Built with a shelf under the steps and ledge that runs the side near the washer. John wanted to tear off the steps and replace them. But I protested with my legacy defense and convinced him to give the faux checkerboard painted look a try.

On Tuesday I started to faux glaze them with their first color named Barn-wood. Best described more a Taupe and that's when I freaked after only 2 steps. I guess I lost my confidence feeling totally exhausted and tested by things out of our control in our laundry room. I quickly emailed my friend Doré from Burlap Luxe blog a photo and quick note saying I hate it... Please help!!! I often discuss my creative ideas with Doré and I find artists who bounce their ideas off another artist usually process through the insecurity of possible failure on a project much better. Doré assured me it would turn out fantastic and made a few suggestions. The first was to introduce one of the warm colors from our handmade terra cotta kitchen floor into the second glaze color. I did, I used raw Siena and within minutes I knew it was the right advice. She also suggested I fog the steps with a light grey or cream. I used cream to soften the appearance. There are nail marks, scratches, dents you name it on them because of the constant 90 years of use. Doré also said I could sand them in the square corners and round them off with a brown paint to appear as an old and dirty patina. Well the original paint was a Forest Green lead base when the stairs were new. After my experience of toxic off gassing I wasn't about to sand them to bear wood and I am trying to achieve a look of fresh, clean, bright and fun in the room. Below is how they are turning out.

Just a peek, we love the effect, but I still have another 5 steps and the landing to complete. Thanks for your confidence boost and suggestions Doré. Tuesday was my I'm fatigued and need to vent day! Finally on each riser I will paint a 4 inch Goudy font number in Charcoal.

Staying with Black and White photography in the Laundry room the mood is playful. Remember Coke cans as hair rollers? 

Our French chair I've faux weathered the Oak and is now downstairs sporting a Black and White ticking pillow I sewed. The pillow has a inch flange all around and is an envelope style sham. We still need to wax and polish the concrete floors (this weekend) and when that's completed we will place a small cowhide rug on the floor.

We hung a 48 inch shelf purchased from Amazon. I found the stainless wire baskets and White liners at Crate and Barrel. The double set of faucet hooks I purchased from Amazon, they were love at first sight.

A closer look at the patina.

Another peek. What a fun 3 bag rolling wheeled laundry cart. Guess where? Amazon!

The Amazing Pegzini Family high wire laundry pegs. I purchased them over a year ago and finally can enjoy them. I guess I was thinking about a Black and White room even in my dreams.

A vintage Laundry detergent (Lavender scented) tin I purchased from Williams Sonoma back in the early 90's. Loved the detergent, adored the can and stashed it away for 20+ years.

We installed stainless wire Elfa shelves from the Container store over the washer. More Elfa will appear when completed.

Samsung Bleu front loader we purchased 3 years ago, a true work horse! Plus when the cats are bored it entertains them by watching the clothes spin around.

Cast iron water handle faucet hooks found on Decor Steals. 3 of the set of 4 mounted above our Stainless Steel utility sink. I have an affection for White flour sack towels, I own dozens and dozens of them, I think 6 dozen. I use them on all three floors of our row-home. What can I say I buy them on Amazon and adore their rustic simplistic look and textural feel. Be it casual napkins for daily use, or just used for towels that can be bleached and have become my favorite everyday no fuss towels.

Another hook over the dryer. This area is still being worked on. I enjoy all the industrial touches and John has designed a piano hinged counter top for folding to be mounted over the dryer. Waiting on a Citroën dashboard clock from overseas to be delivered and the back door awaits my attention to be painted a very lovely shade of Bleu. 

But first I think I better go fold that load of Whites in the dryer! I'm guessing you sense my exhaustion and here is my poetic announcement.

I'm exhausted and excited as if these two words really should ever go together!
I'm frazzled and hot in the city of brotherly love because of our very humid weather.

Since April there's been lots of power tools, dust, dirt and debris - it seems it's taken over our row-home.
I'm feeling like a vacation is long over due - be it away or just with John where our imagination can roam.

So this is to announce a month long blogging break to began this weekend (July 11) that's very long overdue...
I will not be checking my favorite blogs but I'll return in August, hopefully rested and ready to once again share with you.

© Vera

Sending kisses and happy Summertime wishes to you!


  1. your poem.
    Your laundry room is going to be really amazing...such cute things working there. Love the black and white. It all looks really great.

  2. Vera your imagination and talent is inspiring and amaxing. You floor me all the time

  3. I am in love with the faucet hooks! Oh Vera, what a boat load of work this has been.. Beautifully done... I am in awe of your talents... The faux work you have done to the stairway is amazing!
    Yes, I would say a break is indeed due... Enjoy your time off, know I will keep you in my thoughts.
    blessings dear friend.

  4. Your laundry room looks amazing, Vera! You have created such a fun and unique space:) That is scary you got so sick from the new carpet gasses! Glad you are ok! That is so funny the kitties like to watch laundry spin:) Love your wire shelving, Enjoy your blogging break!

  5. I will miss you, but breaks are necessary.

    I saw those hooks on Decor Steals and debated on buying them.

    I wouldn't mind doing laundry if my space looked like yours. Ours is just a corner of the garage, but I have been promising myself for months that once the wedding is over I will tackle the entire garage to make it laundry/creativity/storage friendly.

    Those steps are awesome and I can't wait to see the numbers.

  6. What I see so far is amazing, Vera! I LOVE the steps, and the door!
    You are such a talented, and creative soul.
    Have fun on your break....whatever you end up doing.
    I will miss you, dear friend.

  7. Wow Vera, that is scary about the toxic gasses, so scary!! It looks as though you have put a lot of work into your basement laundry area. I'm sure you will enjoy it greatly once it is complete! Have a blessed month away! Rest well! Cindy

  8. Hi Vera,
    The laundry room sneak peaks are beautiful. I am loving what I am seeing. It is going to be a great place to do laundry. Take a well deserved break my friend. We will all be here in Blogland when you are rested and return. Hugs,

  9. Good job !!!
    Come back refreshed, we will wait.

  10. VERA, it looks amazing and it's all falling into place, can't wait to see the grand tour... Take a much needed break, I know how stressed you have been and a break will revitalize you both coming back stronger then ever.

    How about taking that much needed break and meeting up in Carmel ? If not sooner well then later....all things put aside you will so enjoy a nice getaway.

    Talk soon dear, tell John I am loving the black and whites put to canvas, this room is going to be a fun place to do laundry....I almost feel like you need to attach a vintage coin box mini soap box machine, you know? When you ran out of soap you could always buy a mini one load box of soap, maybe a black and white of a print of one.

    See you soon dear,


  11. Bless your heart Vera you need the rest. I can feel that you are exhausted. The steps are amazing and I love all of the extras in your room. Enjoy your time off. I will miss you and keep you in my prayers. Hugs, Jo

  12. Good morning, Vera! Well, those checkered floors are wonderful. You did a great job, and I could see that maybe you had to twist and contort yourself in order to get the squares just right in that narrow space!

    I love the French and old-world touches. Those clothespins are SO CUTE! I had seen them on a European blog last year and loved them. All the details are so beautifully linked with your theme and color scheme of lovely grays and metal colors which I love. Now, sit back and ENJOY! Anita

  13. I love what you've done so far, Vera. Your checkered steps look great. Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation!

  14. I just love each and every detail Vera especially the checkered stairs.
    Alice from Wonderland could take refuge on them and be amazed!
    Enjoy your break and we will miss your thought provoking and heartfelt posts.
    See you soon...
    Susan x

  15. Dear Vera, I simply love what you have done so far in your laundry room basement. It is fabulous!! Love the checked board stairs and the muted tone to them. All the elements and details are unique and will make doing laundry fun and enjoyable. Love the gorgeous chair with your hand sewn pillow. The coke can in the hair prints are perfect, and yes, I remember those days!!
    Wishing you a wonderful break and time to rest and recoup. Have a wonderful rest of the summer. Blessings to you my friend.
    Hugs, cm

  16. Oh you so deserve a break and a vacation, Vera. But let me just say, your laundry room will be the envy of everyone who sees it. It is FABULOUS, down to the very last detail!!!! I absolutely ADORE how you painted the steps...Dore always has the best ideas and suggestions!
    Take care of yourself and get some much needed R&R!!
    Mary Alice

  17. Brilliant, beautiful & fun! I wouldn't mind doing the wash at your house, Vera, just so I could enjoy the ambiance. A LOT of work, but such delightful results!

    I just finished the not-so-fun task of painting all the new cabinetry that Hubby built in our new workshop. He did an amazing job of organizing all of his tools into cabinets so that the dust from woodworking projects wouldn't cover it all up again and again. But myOHmy, what a job painting them! And I didn't do anything a bit creative! He didn't want to finish up the woodworking projects in the cottage until he had a shop, so now he's our of excuses. :)

    Enjoy your beautiful new laundry room!!!

  18. What an incredibly fabulous job on the stairs and laundry room, Vera. The attention you pay to detail is awesome. I LOVE the checkerboard design and your diligence in getting them perfect (lucky you have a friend like Dore, she sounds amazing!). The photography is just perfect and I love the faucet hooks and flour sack towels. Seems you find quite a bit on Amazon I wouldn't think of. Maybe you could share more in the future about your finds?

    You deserve a break. Do you and John have any vacation plans? Get some rest. Your creative juices will flow much better after a little respite. :)

    Jane x

  19. Dear Vera,
    It was so sweet of you to visit.. Thank you so much Vera! Your kind words warm my heart.
    Enjoy your time off..
    So happy you enjoyed!

  20. Your laundry looks amazing, I'm quite jealous! Summer wishes to you also, enjoy your break.

  21. So much imagination and creativity has gone into your laundry room. It would be an absolute joy to do the washing (for once)! Take care and enjoy your break x

  22. Ok, I want to be your laundry ;))) So much love for all you doe, Vera, and oh, I had a chequered floor once in the kitchen - soooo much woooork, oiiii
    But you know, the best, the VERY BEST ALWAYS is that door... :) This pet door like from Alice in wonderland, made me smile :)))
    Hugs to you, my hard working women full of ideas, I huuug you for being like this, your friend Méa

  23. Hi Vera. I have vertigo. I don't think I could make it down those checkerboard steps with a full laundry basket with two kitties running between my ankles. See you on July 19th! Wayne

  24. Vera, what an amazing job you've done on your new laundry room! (I especially love those black and white pictures) It's so inspired, it would make anyone want to wash a load or 2!
    Have a fantastic blogging break-enjoy your time with John!

  25. Wow Vera! I never thought a laundry room could look so good! I am so coveting your three bin laundry cart with rollers. I had actually eyed those on Ebay a few months ago but they simply would not fit in my tiny laundry room. The Amazing Pegnini Family pegs are about the cutest thing ever! I don´t believe I've ever seen those before. Boy do I remember those coke can rollers! Oops, did I just age myself? Can't wait to see the full re-do!

  26. Coming by to say I received the package and I thank you SOOO much.
    We can't wait to try it. As soon as we do, I will sure let you know.

  27. It is going to looks amazing, Vera. I love the vintage detergent tins, and love the checkerboard pattern!! Happy weekend ~

  28. Those faucet hooks are charming!! What a fun and fabulous laundry room. I'd look forward to doing laundry there. Enjoy your break, Vera. Cheers

  29. ....just to say I am using your rub tonight on chicken...can't wait to try it.
    We've been so busy, building the little building, we just have been too tired at night to cook or grill.

  30. FAB-U-LOUS, VERA! Oh, I love it all. The steps, the b/w photos, that to-die-for chair, the whimsical hooks and those wire baskets! Oh, I'm crazy about what you're doing. Always a joy to see what you're up to. Take care, my friend. Don't work too hard. Hugs, Nancy

  31. Hi Vera, I saw you name mentioned on bj's blog so of course I had to run over here to meet her friend and I'm so glad I did! Your laundry room looks like it will be the perfect blend of fun and function. The counter top sounds ingenious and I can't wait to see the clock! Hope you are enjoying your break and I look forward to seeing your next post! Linda

  32. VERA!!!!!!!! YOU MONTH IS ALMOST OVER and we soon will be able to see you grace Blogland! AND...those beams? THEY ARE UP?

    Good glory, I am so thrilled I can't hold in the joy! I thank you kindly for coming to visit my post. YEP, I'm going Pinterest and Tumblr-free. All me now in the visual department. Oh Vera, tell me MORE about your projects!

    Yes, it's back to school in about a week for meetings, planning them MEET THE KIDS at the high school and new middle school. GOod gracious, how did I get into this fabulous profession?????
    Much love, Anita