Thursday, December 3, 2015


We've entered into the most magical time of the year and what better time to share my reveal of my finally completed laundry room. A room that was long imagined in my wishes and dreams, a room inspired by Alice in Wonderland. But most importantly a room when entering suddenly the chore of laundry fades into playful imagination and dare I say play.

Photo is of the back of our kitchen bi-fold door I faux painted a Harlequin pattern on.  What better guide then an adorable elf who's name is Elfie popping through a pet door opening.

The door downstairs to the laundry room/basement/outside in the back of our house is in our kitchen and I wanted to be able to open the door and feel embraced by a memory of an AIW inspired tea time. Throughout the laundry room I have applied my faux painting techniques, but I wanted the walls a snowy White because to me it just seemed totally right.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
~Eleanor Roosevelt~

A hand painted canvas closeup photo. It has glittery paint touches that were not captured in this photograph and is hung to the side of my stripe faux painted tea cup shelf. 

Purchased from Violet House Crafts on etsy. Under my poem titled Believe you will find all the sources for this post. I've had a fascination ever since I was young of the moon and glittery stars that fill our heavenly skies. The painting is whimsical and appeals to my inner child that is enchanted by make believe places. I tend to be a deep thinker and I am always willing to flip the switch into play.

The most magical word of all to me is Believe. The word has guided and encouraged me throughout my life. Méa from Méa's vintage designed and created the Believe banner. It is Cartapesta (Papier Mâché) and it was a piece I purchased last year. I am graced to call Méa my friend and in 2016 with our European travel plans at the end of our vacation will bring us to Germany to finally meet Méa and her family in person.

I Purchased my AIW teapot/cup for one on eBay ... I believe my Simon >^..^< may very well be born from the Cheshire Cat dynasty! 22 pounds, striped, a real tom cat and ever cunning and clever.

An overall view of the laundry room. What was once old and scary has become old and fun. Our kitchen refrigerator was brought downstairs for additional storage when our long desired glass front Sub Zero became part of our kitchen update. We dwell in a house built in 1934 and deal with old building construction and its irregular measurements and quirky charm.

Under the stairs two cat litter trays are located and all the necessary tools! Just keeping it honest as the air purifier beneath the stairs provides white noise and rids any odors. 

We are currently working in the center part of our basement renovation (peek will be shown at the end). Christmas decorations are neatly packed away in translucent plastic tubs from the container store which are piled high. Not at all easily reached in the gathered clutter of storage during construction so this year those tubs are "Forget about it"!!! 

2015 our Christmas décor is rustic live, lots of small live trees and whatever I can grab from my stash!!! Thankfully all our Christmas inspired art canvas's are up and bottle brushes were located. Christmas pillows were stored upstairs so our house does look festive. My adorable elf named Elfie was purchased weeks before Thanksgiving from Cocoa and Olive. I've been moving him around room by room to keep me company. In his arms he holds a needle felted mouse, a gift from John a few years ago. The mouse traveled from Amsterdam to live much beloved by me in Philadelphia.

I delight in the opportunity to leisurely enjoy a day or two and just be a "house cat".  I believe in nurturing our inner child and mine enjoys cute slippers and PJ's.

The Razzle dazzle from the Golden sequins reflects as they entertain and amuse me. Hey what can I say I live in Philadelphia and enjoy the Mummers Day parade!

I love industrial chic and I instantly loved this wire cage pulley wall light. It can be raised or lowered by the Bronze cloth covered cord. A 7 inch Edison bulb can be dimmed thanks to John installing a dimmer on the cord. The shadows cast at night fill me with wonderment.

A French market bag hangs on one of the shelf hooks and the stocking is made by my friend Doré from Burlap Luxe blog. Made of a vintage velvet fabric with a zinc ring and tattered ribbon found its display along side the bag. I walked around the entire house and this is where it spoke to me to hang. 

All the artwork is Black and White photography printed by John on canvas hanging in the laundry room.
We polished the concrete floors and there are two cowhides on the floor. When our foundation was being poured in 1934 a large dog ran through the wet concrete. It is because of the paw prints giving legacy I would never cover up the concrete throughout the basement. Polished it gives a warm industrial feel. 

Wire shelves hold supplies over the washer next to a Stainless Steel utility sink.
A wire gym basket holds flour sack towels and are always at the ready hanging down on cast iron vintage style faucet head hooks from Décor Steals.

John built a wood folding laundry table/shelf. It is hinged and when pulled up will accommodate folding Queen sized bedding. Pushing a latch drops the extension down to the side. I faux painted 5 inch wide Charcoal Grey stripes which were painted over a White pickled finish to the Birch Plywood. I then applied in different directions a raw Siena glaze followed by a Taupe glaze, last technique was to fog the entire piece with a warm white to soften the effect. 

The back door I painted a French Bleu which had a Periwinkle hue. I then mixed a warm White in a 50/50 base of paint and glaze and with a brush pulled the glaze down the door and softened it with a rag. The finish I refer to as my rain finish because it resembles a weathered age effect.

Close up of my faux painting. It's fun when you become your customer.

The antique wire rack is from Mary Alice of Chateau Chic. Mary Alice had displayed it over her mantel on a blog post and I commented her how much I loved the rack. Much to my surprise and delight she offered to sell it to me. Needless to say I jumped at the offer. I've been told it is a very old Bakers cooling or drying rack.

The side of the folding table/shelf dropped down to the side.

Time inspired I hung time on the rack. I am very conscious and respectful regarding time and I'm always on time. We made this little sign from the White Rabbit quote in Alice in Wonderland. 

A clock is hung, it is made from a Citroën Deux Chevaux (2CV) speedometer face. I also have displayed 3 pocket watches. Steampunk factored into two of them and they are double sided.

Hung away from the wall the shadow play it creates is simply delightful.

As renovations continue in the center part of our basement, dust, dirt and debris is back once again in our row-home but thankfully contained downstairs. Work will continue through the winter and in Spring a new powder room will be built. Here is a sneak peek... More to follow.

Elfie and I invite you back soon for a very special Holiday presentation and until then I leave you with my poem Believe. Sources beneath the poem.
Each morning I awake and believe to accept in the feeling of an inner truth even without any absolute proof of it's existence.
I listen to the needs of my inner child within my psyche providing vitality and creativity and she guides me with insistence.

Throughout my life I've discovered there are magical words that can set your imagination free and the most miraculous one for me is Believe.
A word that is both enchanting and astonishing in the magic bestowed then achieved when you accept in your imagination to perceive.

We all have desires, ambitions and dreams that enable us to learn through self discoveries each and every day.
I practice the theory we own our happiness in thoughts and deeds and by engaging our inner child we never lose the joy of play.

Perhaps it's solely for my own amusement I engage in the art of play but in my heart I truly Believe ...
spontaneous engagement in creative play will reward your psyche with magical moments for you to receive.

© Vera
Violet House Crafts on etsy


  1. Vera, I believe!!! Love your laundry and all the wonderful accents you have added which make doing the laundry a day of play. From your gorgeous rain technique to those special pocket watches, everything is perfectly placed and amazing. The pulley light is an awesome piece. Love sweet Elfie. What a cute he is. You designed an incredible space and the powder room will be wonderful too.
    Your poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talents and always the inspiration. Blessings to you my friend. xo

  2. I do believe too, like Celeste. We have to believe or else what's right in front of us on a daily basis will mean believe is to know there is something behind the clouds, a glimmer of light in a dark sky. This is the time of year to spark that belief and help us carry the torch for the rest of the year. Vera, your home looks wonderful! Great laundry room redo! I hope to see you on IG?

  3. I have to echo the above and say I believe too! Vera you knocked it out of the park with the Laundry space. It is an absolutely enchanting place to do laundry.
    Love Elfie!!!! He just makes me smile every time I see him. Beautiful poem. Your heart and mind worked brilliantly together on this post.

  4. Oh Vera, your laundry room is truly magical! I'd make any excuse I could think of to spend time down there. I am always captivated by your attention to detail in everything you create! I adore the stocking from's wonderful! The wire hanging is perfect for the room and I'm honored you used it among all your specially appointed pieces.
    Mary Alice

  5. Oh Vera dear, because of living with the heart to believe look what has evolved? You believed that this scary basement could be something magical, a place you can dance about in your heart while folding those queen size sheets. Look at all you and John have accomplished here what seemed to be such a short time.
    The dust and crazy time laboring construction was so worth seeing here and reading how happy you are with your new space.
    The dog paw prints is added cuteness, I have a friend who built a home and the open add on left Ratcoons and wild hare prints they ran across the foundation while the cement was still wet, they opted to not grind them out but polish them in and left the charm as you have done here.

    I am looking forward to your next reveal, and all that is completed in your basement.....
    Vera, not that this is that big of a deal to most or was even noticed, but your Bleu door with its rain finish on it is a favorite focal piece to the room, I love how the door, the washer and dryer, and your choice to hang the stocking of Bleu Velvet all ties into your design's such a fun, space to be in for you, and for us here In front of our computers.

    Love that your little elf is moved about the home keeping you in the holiday spirit :)


  6. I'm at a loss for words, Vera! Your laundry room is absolutely enchanting. It's almost a shame that it's not a place where you can entertain and have guests come in to admire your talents! Your painting and design is wonderful as is your attention to detail. The whole Alice In Wonderland theme is so unexpected and fun! I love Elfie as well as the stocking Dore made. I simply can't say enough. Oh, the table John made is awesome. Is that some sort of stainless steel fridge or something under it or am I seeing things? Finally, your poem is beautiful. Your new space is a perfect example of the way your imagination works and how you believe in your dreams and that's how I read your poem.

    Jane x

  7. Such a lovely and fun place to take care of important and necessary business. That area would definitely make the 'job' more Fun! Blessings, Cindy

  8. Well, I never thought that a LAUNDRY ROOM would leave me breathless but this one surely did. It is the most enchanting room, ever....I love everything about it and I love that you and John love whimsy so is too short not to.
    This room needs to be in a is just fabulous.
    Your poem is sooo good.

  9. Dear Vera!
    What a perfect room. So much love is in it. I wish i had enough place in my home to have a room like this.
    Hugs Kuni

  10. Vera, I am so touched!!!! Thank you so much for your sweet and kind words, thank you for mentioning me, and calling me your friend - as I am. So deeply connected - as next year is my year of mirrors, and Vera, one of my main themes is Alice in Wonderland! I found an old article and... well, I will be working on it, I think, you will see it live here :)) - I hope, you will love it. And the present, waiting here for you ;) Don´t worry, it will fit in your suitcase without any problem!! I hope... it does behave... oiiiii
    Your laundry room, so carefully painted and decorated with all the love and care, that is so typical for you. But Vera, WATCH OUT, danger for christmas... What will you do, if Santa feels so cozy there, that he simply... stayes there??
    Happy Huggies from you honoured friend Méa - has the package arrived already? Please let me know :)

  11. Dear Vera, I love the laundry room. Black and white is perfect with touches of blue and gray, it gives homage to Tenniel. It's magical and functional. I love how you managed to fit in the beautiful laundry sink, because it will be so handy. I love the blue door, it looks so old, and makes my heart go pitter patter with the thick wall. It's so inviting. The laundry folding table looks like the floor in my daughter's favorite Italian practice room.The elf holding the mouse makes me smile.... Tonight, my daughter and I just found a magnificent elf for my sister in a second hand shop where all the proceeds go to rescue animals. One of my sisters is an elf person, and she is crazy silly. The elf was a collector that normally costs $$$, but he is missing his thumb so he was 15. My daughter is writing a little message how he had to retire from the workshop due to his injury, which will make him extra special to her, because she loves whimsy like that. My sister moves the one elf she has all around like you. Did I ever tell you my daughter is a poet and a writer and she loves AIW. It is her favorite and on a wire around her room she has pages from a book, one that fell apart. She collects the old ones. Did you know there is a Salvador Dali edition? She is getting that for Christmas and the 150th annotated. We did not get to England to celebrate due to the mess at the Chunnel :( She's a Dali fan. When we were in Rome, we walked around the Vatican museum like a trail of caterpillars, many missed much, but not her. She stopped and noticed that the direction that were making us walk to Michelangelo's masterpiece took us through an entire section of Dali religious paintings, followed by Chagall, and Matisse.... You are going to love your trip to Germany and Italy. Your room is so wonderful... and "believe" is one of my favorite words. xoxo

  12. Dear Vera, I have never seen a more beautiful and magical laundry room in my life. Maybe I would get rid of the dislike I have of doing laundry with being in a room so beautiful and enjoyable. I love it. It is perfection. We share that great feeling of feeling the magic in our lives and the inner child. I think it is a gift to help us through the tough times. I have a sign above my bed that says believe it reminds me of things that are not seen but felt. Your poem is beautiful. Thank you for your blogging friendship. Hugs, Jo

  13. Dear Vera....A more magical laundry room I've never seen! The colors are divine!
    I love each piece you've incorporated into the room's decor. The elf and mouse bring a smile to my face with their whimsical expressions. There is detail in every little space! The scroll at the beginning of your post says it best.....
    I believe!
    Love to you, sweet Vera.

  14. Vera! I love lingering over your posts, scrolling back up and oohing and ahhhing over your pictures. Your laundry room is magical and your poem is perfect! I want my daughter to read it, she is so stressed about "life" and she needs to remember that she "believes" and her inner child needs to breathe ...(sigh....)
    Hugs to you and I think I'll scroll back up and start over :)

  15. Vera! I love lingering over your posts, scrolling back up and oohing and ahhhing over your pictures. Your laundry room is magical and your poem is perfect! I want my daughter to read it, she is so stressed about "life" and she needs to remember that she "believes" and her inner child needs to breathe ...(sigh....)
    Hugs to you and I think I'll scroll back up and start over :)

  16. I love your poem, Vera. I truly believe (there's that word again!) that if we listen to our hearts, and give ourselves permission to "play", we will truly live a more happier and fulfilling life.
    Your laundry room is delightful. I wouldn't mind doing laundry in there one tiny bit!

  17. Your home is filled with charm and your laundry room is inspiring me! Mine is still stuck in the 1950's in a not-good way.

  18. You are beyond gifted and one of the most inspiring people. Vera, happy happy December !

    1. Hi Vera! Oh my gosh, your laundry room is am amazing in so many ways. I especially love the fact you saved the paw prints in the original floor - a charming detail no money can buy. Absolutely gorgeous! (P.S. thanks for your kind words on my blog!) Jane

  19. A fun laundry room? You succeeded! I so enjoy looking at all your play things around your home. Never stop playing. :)
    xoxo, T.

  20. Vera, that is so fun to incorporate Alice In Wonderland to your laundry room. And it makes sense too because the laundry room has much chaos, right? Jess LOVES Alice In Wonderland, and she would really like that tea pot/cup. The sign, "I'm late, I'm late" reminds me of her too because she is often running late and has to catch up. The three pocket watches hanging look so delightful.

    How beautiful of you to embrace your inner child. It is something we all need to do. Elfie is sooooo cute, and he reminds us to stay young at heart. Vera, this is the coolest laundry room that I've seen.


  21. Vera, I wish I could be standing next to you just now in your laundry room so that you could look at the light in my eyes and realize the joy I feel as I look at each part of this enchanting space. What I think is most wondrous about this is that you chose to do all this in your basement. And that's altogether the perfect place to "Believe". For me this is a lovely metaphor for the darkness of the world (scary basement) where I can shine the light of Christ's love (believe) and transform it (even just in the small space I inhabit) into something joyous and beautiful. Perhaps this makes no sense, but it's what I'm feeling right now. Warm hugs ~ Nancy

  22. Dear Vera,
    What a playful room this is! Now this is the way to make laundry day a true pleasure... Love the Elf popping through the pet door.. Your touches of Alice in wonderland brings such a storybook feel, and I adore the art of Dore and Mea's placed there...
    I love your poem, dear friend.
    Thank you for sharing
    Sending you a warm hug

  23. What a fun and playful laundry room, Vera! Your folding shelf is awesome, what a wonderful idea! Love all of your faux paint treatments, and the wire light fixture with Edison bulb is super cool!

  24. So much to comment on so I will be back again and again to tell you each specific thing I love and why.

    For now I just want to say, "thank you"! This stanza really resonates with me -

    Perhaps it's solely for my own amusement I engage in the art of play but in my heart I truly Believe ...
    spontaneous engagement in creative play will reward your psyche with magical moments for you to receive.

    When people who still work ask me what I do now, I simply say, "I just play!"

  25. Vera,

    I have and will continue to visit to this gentle, beautiful and tender reminder of the importance of holding on to the playful, whimsical, tender, childlike individual that we were created to be. It is important to me and my own inner child to connect with others who strive to be in harmony with themselves. When we let go, bury, hide or trample down the spirit of awe and wonder that we were blessed with, with shamelessly crush a light that was meant to shine.

    I am so enchanted with Elfie and I know that Santa will be too. You know, I bought two elves last week for myself, just because I Believe Too!

    Laundry Room is perfectly enchanting!

  26. Bonito post.Fa res encara estavem intentant esbrinar com es buida una carbassa per Halloween, i ja estem amb les boles per l'arbre i mitjons per a la llar de foc. Les seccions de decoració nadalenca dels grans magatzems ens ha sorprès a més d'un, des de finals de setembre! Ja fa olor de Nadal.

  27. Elfie has it made. I could live in your basement....any basement with some serious fur rugs chicness win in my book. I hate doing the laundry because my basement looks scary....I like to think that if my basement looks like yours, I might do laundry more often???

  28. Hello Vera, I am in LOVE with your laundry area. I will come back later to see more of your beautiful abode. I have a fascination with row homes and older homes with lots of history. We are currently working on our unfinished basement in a 1950s ranch. Seeing your basement is very inspiring. Have a great week!

  29. I'm back!

    so much that I love here ... those stairs and the numbers are fantastic ... the grays ... so many little details and touches.

    My January project is to organize my craft supplies for easy use. My washer and dryer are in the garage with all of my supplies and we really can't do much in that area because Steve parks Black Beauty in there too. But, I can use some of your touches as inspiration to make the area just a little more pleasing.

  30. Your laundry area looks great-so many things I love about it-chair, door and signs! The rugs are the icing on the cake as well!

  31. Vera, I do love the changes you've made to your laundry room. Beautiful neutral colors and so many enchanting components...the painting, the signs, the wall organization, fun! A phrase that I usually add to the word Believe..."anything is possible" one hope! Hugs!

  32. Vera you've turned your basement into a magical place! It IS wonderland! It's as if one has gone down the rabbit hole and stepped right into a realm of teacups, pocket watches and doormice! There is a delightful surprise waiting at every turn. The soft blues and grays that you have selected blend together so very favorite is that french blue door. I have never lived in a house with a basement and I always figured they were dark scary places but I can see how mistaken I was. What a happy, bright and cheerful space you have created, I also love how you have filled it with treasures handmade by dear friends. Who wouldn't want to do laundry in such a fun room? An air purifier for kitty litter odors? That's definitly something I need, I MUST look into that! Thank you for sharing this with us as well as for the beautiful and inspiring poem.

  33. Vera,your laundry room looks magical.So many beautiful every corner.It´s so enchanting...doing laundry and ironing could even become fun to me ;)I love the touches of Alice in Wonderland.The elf holding the mouse makes me smile <3.Your poem is so beautiful and touching.I added you to my reading list so I won´t miss another post.Have a beautiful weekend.
    Warm hugs,

  34. Vera, I just wanted to tell you how truly special your comment was about the children. (I felt like adding it to my post it was so genuine and heartfelt) hehehe. You said just the right words and you graced my page so beautifully.

    Have a splendid weekend, dear Vera.


  35. Oh I just love your laundry. Wish I could, at least, put some paint on the walls in mine, lol. And Elfie is super.
    How nice of you to visit me. Hopefully we'll be able to visit each other more in the future.
    Have a great Sunday.
    Love Elzie

  36. Vera, what you have done in that laundry room is just beyond creative and charming!! You are incredibly talented!!

  37. Wow! I'm really amazed. I like the way your laundry looks. My friend works as a writer at says that it looks like a designer did all the decoration there.

  38. Your laundry room is a place I would gladly do laundry! So fun and Alice in Wonderland, and especially the Chesire Cat, are some of my favorite characters. Elfie is adorable!

  39. It is sad that so many basements are ignored and not given the attention they deserve, for they are the fabulous foundation of our homes, supporting walls and columns and so many other structural elements that are necessary to create space, space to dream, do and delight in, just as you have done in the beautiful creation of your new laundry room! You believed in your basement's potential, and then you went ahead and applied your many talents to transform it into a pretty and practical space!

    Now, I'm sure Elfie had something to do with it, for the whimsy and charm of its many detailed design features are out of this world!

    Thank you for your sweet, heartfelt poem; I share many aspects of it, as you may have guessed, and know exactly what you have expressed, so perfectly!

    Wishing you a week of winter whimsy, my friend!


  40. Visiting this post again... I loved it just as much the 2nd time. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.
    Hugs, Sherry

  41. may i bring my laundry to your house? i'd be very quiet, would read to your elf, and *believe* in wonderfulness - for your laundry room is indeed wonderful. :)

  42. I so many things, not the least of which is that you are incredibly talented and creative Vera. You have turned a dark and unspired space into one that is magazine worthy. Such whimsy and fabulous use of color, with just enough detail.

  43. I believe too. One of my favorite words actually.

    You spin a magical weave over everything, my friend. Even about sadness or about a laundry room. Which, turned out beautiful.

    I'm so glad you found me. It's a delight to know you.


  44. This is one of the prettiest rooms I've ever seen! Laundry is not a chore in this pretty room. Please may I feature it on my blog in January? I love it! You've inspired me to upgrade our room a wee bit because during horse show season, I spend TONS of time in our tiny laundry room!!!

    I don't know where to begin….well really I do. LOVE the Believe sign. I love the painted shelf and the door with the elf! Everything is so cute. You are so creative and talented!!!


  45. Merry Christmas my dear friend. Wishing you and your family many blessings and all good wishes in the new year! Love to you! xo

  46. Dear Vera,
    How very kind of you to leave such encouraging words about my little poem.. Thank you so much... Yes, those were the days, so simple then.
    About the tinsel.. My Dad would work from the inside and work out to the tip of each branch.. Laying ever so gently the tinsel.. I enjoyed reading about your memories too.

    I believe tomorrow is the day? I will be here.
    blessings dear friend, and thank you again.
    Sending you a gentle hug

  47. Your Laundry room is so pretty Vera! And I love your unique Elf! That vintage wire rack is just perfect there too! Thank you for visiting my blog!

  48. Your Laundry room is so pretty Vera! And I love your unique Elf! That vintage wire rack is just perfect there too! Thank you for visiting my blog!