Laundry, These Days

So y’all saw some of our laundry room in this post – it was actually our first project here in the house where we installed some subway tile and dark grout (my first time trying a darker grout – I like it!). Here is a progress shot of that room, probably about a year ago now, right after we installed the tile.

Subway Tile Slate Floor Laundry

And if you want to go way back – here it is when we moved in. This green color was in all the rooms upstairs and y’all, it had to go 😉

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

Here’s what we’ve been rocking for 2017 so far.


The tops of the washer and dryer do act as a counter more or less, but there are gaps all over the place and I’ve been wanting to get something in there there was more finished (ie a real counter top).


One thing I really love about the laundry room / closet (?) is this hanging rack which is where we try to air dry as much clothing as possible. I swear with a child I feel like I’m constantly doing laundry and I wanted to think of small ways we could make a dent in our utility bill so we’ve been air drying most shirts and all bed sheets. I’ve found that sheets actually dry *better* on our stair railing (within 30 minutes if laid out enough) than they did in the dryer since they’d always get tangled up with other articles of clothing and come out moist after an hour + of drying – so if you haven’t tried air drying some of your laundry you should definitely do it!


Notice in the inspiration board below that there are a few elements still missing from our room? While Jay and I (mostly Jay) have been working on a counter top and y’all – spoiler. it turned out great and was insanely cheap. Details next week! (that much closer to a finish space!)

Here is my inspiration board for reference.

Laundry Room Mood Board

Farmhouse Industrial Laundry Room Renovation Round-Up

Y’all – we have moved beyond the paint brush. Call it our inaugural home renovation, but we’ve moved on to mortar and tile and whew – it feels good (like I knew that it woullllddd). It also felt tiring and hard and smelt like sweaty arm pits. But hey – it’s done! Well, actually, it’s started. 😉 We officially have a farmhouse industrial laundry room happening and it makes me oh so happy!

As a reminder, here is our mood board inspiration for our farmhouse inspired laundry room renovation. Simple, and industrial chic.

Laundry Room Mood Board

I’m waiting for a mega sale on the washer/dryer combo and unfortunately just missed the Memorial Day sale spritz, so I think I’ll have to hold off until Labor Day (boo!!!). I’ve got my eye on this LG beauty and I’m not will to pay over $899 each (which is what they were Memorial Day weekend), so I sit, and I wait to add these cherries to my farmhouse laundry room renovation, le sigh.

We’ve certainly made some progress since you last saw our laundry room, like this. What a lovely shade of green…

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

After some back-breaking hours of work, we now have this! Mmmm charcoal gray grout and some hubba hubba subway tile. My fav. I love the industrial vibe it gives in the space.

Charcoal Gray Grout Subway Tile

We decided to go with a dark charcoal wall, to tie in with the grout and the flooring. I can’t wait to accessorize the walls with some art, and storage! Ignore the sloppy edge on the tile, we haven’t caulked yet, so you can see the inconsistencies. Since we knew this wall would be mostly covered by a washer and dryer and shelves, we definitely were in power through and get it done mode vs. absolute perfection mode. Plus, I’ve learned over time that if there are hacks to make your life easier (i.e a line of caulk – use it!)

Charcoal Gray Paint Behr

Our general process for the farmhouse industrial laundry room renovation was to paint the walls and remove the washer/dryer the night before. For $10 we rented an appliance dolly from U-haul and it literally took us 15 minutes to move these (heavy!) appliances. For those that have been reading the blog for a while – you’ll remember our last washer/dryer moving experience did not go quite as well. Loorrrrrrdddieee.

We stored them in H’s room while we renovated. He thought that was pretty sweet. 😀 New toys!

Renting Appliance Dolly Cost

Then, the next morning (after demo) we started by laying the subway tiles. In general, our philosophy with this reno is that 95% of the tile (especially the bottom third) would be covered up with storage and/or our washer and dryer, so although we wanted it to look rockin’ we mostly wanted it to be done. We worked very quickly on this tile and we were definitely not as meticulous as past kitchen installs where everything is visible all. the. time.

Subway Tile in Laundry Room

Then, after the wall tile was up, we started in on the floor tile. I wanted a slate tile for the farmhouse laundry room renovation, but the local hardware stores only had this porcelain option in stock. It looks just like slate and was only $2.29 a square foot. I’ll call that a win. We had a very small area to tile, so this portion of the project cost us less than $50.

We just centered the first tile and worked from there.

Slate Floor Tile Porcelian

We actually didn’t install a threshold, and put the grout line right up to the wood floor. They didn’t have a matching threshold in stock, so we just worked with what we had and winged it a bit. I think it looks really good though!

Slate Floor Tile

Sans our appliances and shelving, this is how the room looks now. In the interest of preserving our sanity, we’re going to tackle the shelving another day. Super excited to bust that project out … coming soon!

Subway Tile Slate Floor Laundry

Trinity Park Home Tour

You guys know how much I love crashing my neighbors houses, so when we got an email a few weeks back about volunteering for the bi-annual Trinity Park Home Tour in exchange for some free home tour tickets – I was all over it. Some civic goodness and some jaw dropping houses all rolled into one afternoon, it was almost more than I could take.

Of all the homes we toured, you better bet I had a favorite. It just happened to be the first one we went through and it was fine. The details on these homes were absolutely out of the ballpark.

Trinity Park Home Tour

All of the homes we went through were property’s that had been extensively renovated. Many we’re well over 100 years old and they all just exuded so much character.

This house had a fireplace in virtually every room. This one in the Living Room was one of my favorites – don’t you just love that color on the tile?

Original Refinished Fireplace

Without a doubt, my favorite room in this house was the kitchen. This is a glimpse of it off of the oh so gorgeous butler’s pantry (and you know I love a good butler’s pantry).

Butler's Pantry Off Kitchen

Now I know y’all would be wanting an up close detail shot of this beauty and it does not disappoint. Between that wine cooler and those gorgeous counters, I pretty much want to put this lovely looker in my pocket.

Butler's Pantry

Here is a view of the kitchen, so you can see the whole kit and kaboodle. I love how they mixed marble counters on the periphery and put in a soapstone counter on the island.

Renovated Kitchen Marble Counters

One of my favorite details in the kitchen was a built-in bench they had added in under the window. A kitchen can be so nice to hang out in, but it’s often short on seating, so that’s a perfect solution for reworking the space to me!

Kitchen with Fireplace

Ok, one more shot of this room. 🙂 Check out this amaze-balls detail with the exposed brick in the corner of the room. Loving the open shelving, too. Swoon.

Exposed Brick in Kitchen

Downstairs, the home was renovated throughout, with large and open rooms. This is a shot of their dining space, which connects the living room and kitchen.

Modern Dining Room

Upstairs they had a cozy Master, that led into a fully renovated bath and walk-in closet. This house was full with lots of people touring it at the time, so this is the only shot I got of that room. You can see another fireplace, peaking in on the corner. How cool would it be to have a fireplace in your bedroom??

Cozy Master Bedroom

In addition to the Master Suite, the upstairs also had another finished bathroom that was a jaw dropper. Check out this beauty.

Red Bathroom

Not going to lie, going through these amazing houses kinda sorta made me want to burn my house to the ground and start over. 😀 Not really, but kinda! Most of the homes we toured are $1 million properties, so I guess I can’t really get too jellsy about it. If I win the lotto though, you’ll know where to find me! 😀

Washer Woman

O. M. capital G, y’all. I washed my own pantolones in my own house this weekend. I didn’t go to the laudro-mat, or beg my neighbors, or, ya know, wear stinky clothes (again). We hooked up that son of a gun and washed our clothes. In our house.


Now, if you’ve been following along with the saga that is our second story laundry room, you’d know that these advances in modern technology did not come easily. Or, ahem, cheaply. Ah contraire, my friend. But alas, after our first washing machine bit the dust, we were left with the hard reality that if we wanted to clean our clothes, we’d have to (gulp) buy another one.

But first, ‘member how I mentioned our door was a bit too tight, well we had to get to removing the extra trim around the frame to prep for washer delivery 2.0.

Removing Door Frame

It appears Jay is adjusting well to life in the south as a hillbilly that doesn’t wear shoes around power tools and shards of debris. Not advised, not advised. {do not attempt this at home}

He does look proud of his demolition handy work though, wouldn’t ya say?

After our demoing was done, the next morning the moment was upon us and our new machine was entering the house. I made Jay come home on his lunch break, since the whole thing just made me feel like I was going to vomit. Something about another washing machine not making it up the steps just made me get weak in the knees. But you guys – the delivery guys were ROCK STARS. They even brought our old, busted machine into the garage for free AND brought up our dryer, which was becoming a permanent resident of the Living Room.

No more appliances in our bedroom – Huzza!!

Breaking Washing Machine

The delivery staff hooked up the washer, and tested it before they left, so we had complete peace of mind that everything was peachy keen before they bid us farewell.

Monumental sigh of relief.

Once the ball was back in our court, we still had to level the machine and lift up the dryer (which is half the weight of the washer, thank God). Leveling the machine required 30 minutes or so of tweaking before we got it just right.

Making Sure Washer is Level

We wanted to spend some extra time being diligent on this step since we had heard that having the machine level is crucial to avoid any extra shaking you might experience during the spin cycle. We’d read some horror stories online of washing machines shaking the entire house when they’re on the spin cycle, so we figured it made sense to dedicate some extra time up front vs. regret it forevermore.

I seriously don’t know how Jay motivated me to do it (I did not want to), but he convinced me I was capable of helping him lift the dryer up onto the washing machine. Now, it wasn’t that heavy but ya know, I had a few bad memories flooding through my head as we attempted to once again maneuver an appliance around the house. Thank GOD, this appliance remained unscathed. WHEW.

Before we knew it we were loading these beasts for the first load of laundry!

Washer Shaking on Second Floor

As mentioned, we had heard that second floor laundry room’s can lead to some serious house shaking, so once the machine hit the spin cycle, we pretty much both hunkered down to watch this thing, and see how bad it was going to get. Should have grabbed popcorn, man, it was that entertaining.

Washer Shaking House

It wasn’t bad at all though! For 99% of the cycle you can’t even tell the machine is on, it’s so quiet. When it transitions onto the spin cycle there is about 10-15 seconds where there is a bit of vibration, but it’s not something that’s all that noticeable, and it certainly doesn’t feel like the entire house is shaking, so that’s good!

I think we had hyped it up in our heads, so we were not quite sure what to expect, in all honesty.

The units themselves are quite large and have a ton of different settings. We feel like we’re living in the lap of luxury 😀

Samsung Washer

And although it’s oh so fine to have a washer and dryer in da house, the rest of the laundry room is lagging behind in the style department. You know, stuff like all of this plumbing and electrical. Ugly alert.

Plumbing in Laundry Room

Our general game plan is to cover all of this up with a built-in bookcase, but for now, it’s just depressingly ugly. Realistically, it’s going to be a few weeks (months, dare I say) before we come back to this room and start to make the magic happen.

When we do though, this is the general layout, and idea of what we have planned.

Laundry Room Storage

Since we were able to cut out an access panel behind the washer and dryer (in our attic space) we’re going to completely enclose the appliances so that they look more or less built-in.

Although the bookcase will not be deep, it’s going to be very tall, and I’m so excited to have all this extra storage!

Since we knew we’d be procrastinating on our final laundry look, we did re-install that door though, to keep all the ugly on the other side 😉

Newly Installed Door

So who else out there has a second story laundry? I’m curious to hear feedback from others on what works and doesn’t work with their spaces.

Floor to the Door

After having 2+ months off from home ownership while we’ve been chilling in our little apartment, I’ve gotta say there are some nights when you’re longing for a glass of wine and an episode of Mad Men. And a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Yes, all of those things. Although fixing up houses is seriously my jam, some projects are just grueling any way that you look at it. Our kitchen demo/floor install falls into that category. We’re definitely attempting to take things at a more comfortable (sane) pace this time around, but every once and a while you come up against a deadline where you’ve just got to bust it out and make it happen.

The deadline this time, our tool rental. So it was ready, set, 24 hour rental, let’s go!

Before we went to grab the nail gun (our rental), we had a few minor things to do to get the space all ready for the next round of flooring. If you’ve been keeping up with our little adventures, you’ll know that we removed all the old flooring before, so that the new wood would match up with the old flooring we already had in the dining room. But, since we’d removed a wall in the process, we had to create a clear edge as a starting point for the next row of flooring.

Removing Existing Wood Floor to Add Flooring

Luckily, this took all of 2 minutes, since we literally just came through with a circular saw, cut through the last row and then grabbed a crow bar to pry the loose pieces out, like the photo above.

We knew we’d be under a tight 24 hour timeline, so we did everything we could to prep for the flooring installation before the tool was actually in our hands. By the time we were done getting the room ready, it was looking like this – mighty empty.

Prepping for Wood Floor Install

Other than the tools we knew we’d be needing, we made sure to have everything completely cleared out of the space (along with having it swept clean to avoid any conflicts with debris and the new flooring). I also started a new tradition with this reno. Since I knew it would be a beast of a task, and that Jay, well, might be reluctant to make the magic happen – I made an executive decision to resort to bribery. From this point out, I’ve started budgeting an extra $20 bucks into the equation to buy this fella some nice beer that he can sip on to help stay motivated (ahem, wash away his sorrows and pain). For one, it makes Jay the happiest husband ever, and for two, happy husbands are just a very good place to start a project. Since y’all, it usually heads down hill rather fast with a reno 😉

How to Bribe Your Husband

But before we even got to this point, we had to purchase our 200 (or so) square feet of wood that we’d be laying down. When we moved into town, we immediately noticed that there was a lumber liquidators over by our new apartment, so we thought purchasing the unfinished wood we’d be laying down would be easy peasy. I knew the wood had to acclimate to the house for a few days, so I called about a week out from when we planned on installing the floor and was told that 1) they didn’t have the wood we needed in stock, and 2) that it was on backorder – indefinitely. Errrrkkkkkk. Brakes, people.

After a considerable amount of progressively desperate antics from me, the sales guy mentioned that they did have 204 feet in stock – but it was 200 miles away. Mmmmm, eeerrr – ok. Problem is, desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, so my friends, you bet I got into our little Prius that could and crossed over the state line into Virginia to get me that wood.

How to Save Money on Wood Flooring

Turns out the $30 to fill our tank was totally worth the trouble, since the wood we wanted was only .88 a square foot, vs. over $3 a square foot for their premium grade oak. We did some research and found out that although the wood we were getting was lower quality stuff – if we were willing to deal with a few knots here and there, and some inconsistencies in quality, than we could save upwards of $600 on our flooring. So, we rolled the dice, and decided to save our similions.

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the quality of the wood. It definitely had some serious jankiness with some of the pieces, but since nearly a 1/3 of our flooring in this room will be covered by cabinets, we decided to just be strategic about it and hope for the best.

Laying Down Tar Paper for Wood Flooring Install

The first step to laying the wood flooring down (after we had cleared the debris, and cut the final row to match up), was to lay down some tar paper under where we would be laying down the new flooring. After the first cut was down, I eventually took over this job so that we could multi-task a bit and get some more done. In theory, laying down this paper should help to insulate the floor and minimize any squeaking as well.

From there, we just tapped each piece of wood into place with our mallet, and than came back through with our trusty rented nail gun. Lucky for us, our only cut for each row was a straight cut at the end. Heeeeelllll yeah – that definitely sped things up! 😀

How to Install Wood Flooring

To start out, Jay was in charge of installing each piece of wood, and I would come through in front of him to “pre-lay” each row of flooring. Since I knew I cared about each piece a bit more (i.e. not wanting wood knots and mis-colored pieces front and center) I took over with laying down each piece preemptively, so he could just grab and go.

Prepping Floors for Wood Install

Now, given the fact that we went the cheap route and opted to use the chipper chicken wood, we did have to get creative at times. After putting all of the seriously ugly wood under where we knew cabinets would be, we still had some improvising to do. I.E. the hack-a-wood-a-thon. Take the wood that’s jank, and cut it so it ain’t.

Removing Imperfections in Wood

You can see that I definitely tried to use the worst off pieces first though, to cluster along the edges of the wall, where we will be placing our cabinetry. Anything that was deemed to dark, or had lots of knots got placed right along our new cabinet base locations.

Installing Wood Flooring

In addition to bribing Jay to bust this beast of a project out with beer, I also decided to redeem a sweeter than life coupon we got from Whole Foods for a free dinner (say whaatt??). We totally got a free coupon in the mail as a welcome to the neighborhood type of thing and I got this, for absolutely nothing!

Whole Foods Coupons

I may or may not be Whole Foods biggest fan now 😀 Seriously, as anyone that’s been through home renovations knows, things like making food tend to take a back burner, so having this plop on to our doorstep was a very welcome addition. (Added bonus, that whole meal is normally only $16 bucks (including the salad…), and we got 3 meals out of it, so that ain’t bad either)

When I came back from the grocery store, and saw Jay bird crouched in the fetal position, I knew it was a good time for a food break anyway 😀

DIY Wood Floor Install

The next day, after we’d returned our nail gun to Home Depot, we came back through and did the final round with our normal nail gun. Unlike the rental, this one had different nails in it that technically, aren’t meant for installing floors, but since we were unable to fit the rental in that small of a space (since it was too close to the wall), it worked in a pinch.

Installing Unfinished Wood Floors

Now instead of a big, vast, open space, we’ve got some matchy, matchy floors going down in our kitchen. Well, at least we will once everything is sanded and stained. Can’t. WAIT! 😀

Adding On Wood Flooring