Every time I opened my kitchen pantry I was afraid that something will fall on my face. We have a good size pantry but not big enough for me. I enjoy cooking and baking, so over time, I have collected many pantry essentials. Other than baking supplies, some dry spices, and small kitchen appliances, I also stock paper towels and toilet papers in bulk there. It’s a tight mess and clutter so it was time for me to do something about it. The laundry room is conveniently located close to the kitchen about 6 steps away. It is the perfect place for pantry goods to go to.
There is nothing to start with. It was just an empty room painted in dark gray color with busy feather like pattern (left photo). The laundry room is located at the back of the house so this color is way too dark for a small room that has no natural light coming through at all. It felt like a cave. Within the five days before we moved in, I already decided that I need to paint this room in any light colors because of the cave-like feeling just bothered me. I went to Home Depot not knowing what color to pick, all I know was I need to get a bucket of paint in a light color but not white. As I was thinking of design elements for a laundry room, the word “water” was the first thing that came into my head (duh). So I chose the light blue shade (right photo).
IMPRACTICAL SPACE AND A MESSY CORNER
I knew that I wanted to change the design of this room all together in the future. But I was not ready to tackle this just yet. I just quickly got a wall organizer to hang all the cleaning tools and a cheap shelf for detergents and fabric softener. Overtime other cleaning and laundry items had been randomly added to the shelf. It’s a mess, unorganized and eyesore every time I walked in here. Laundry room is one of the most high in foot traffic in the house but yet it is our least favorite room to be in. Seriously who likes to do laundry? With that said, I wanted to change that feeling. I wanted this room to feel fresh, functional, and fun.
Here’s my plan for this room :
- Make this room functional by adding storage to the vertical empty wall space. With these extra storage I can declutter my pantry in the kitchen.
- Create a cleaning supplies and tools hub.
- Make this room more enjoyable to do laundry – well, at least try.
I started off by drawing a simple floor plan. Sizing is very important in designing a room. So tape measurement is your best friend. You want to measure everything you see in the room. In this case, I measured from corner to corner, the height of the room, the door width and height, the washer and dryer dimensions, the space behind the machines for electrical cords and water hoses, and the placement of electrical outlets. By looking at a top view, it helped me visualize space planning and determine how I can utilize every square footage of this room.
WHAT WORKS BESTFrom the photo above – At this stage I have not thought about colors and design of the front door yet. The only thing I was focusing on was the layout of the cabinets.
From the floor plan, I know that I can add a tall cabinet and some wall cabinets to this room. The laundry machines will stay where they are because of the location of electrical outlets, water pipes and hoses. While I was in the process of figuring out the layout of the room I also shopped around to see what is available for cabinets sizes. Comparing all the options, we ended up with the Ikea Sektion system. It’s cost effective, semi-customizable, and we can just pick it up right away.
The system works simply enough by picking out cabinet boxes to fit in your space. The box system comes in a different sizes and it can be vertically stacked or placed next to each other. Then the next step would be to pick out different types and styles of door fronts, drawers, side panels, and toe kicks to match with your design.
Because there are many choices for cabinet sizes, the Ikea Planning Tool helped me decide which layout work best for the room.
I wanted to maximize the storage space without crowding the room. After playing around with the cabinet placements, This is the final design (image above).
Now let’s talk about the fun stuff. You probably hear when people say that if you don’t know where to start when decorating a room, start with something that you like… like an artwork, heirloom items, or that bold yellow chair that you fell in love with then work the design around that item. In a similar fashion, I started off with 6 wallpaper patterns that I like.
I planned on having a few decoration pieces to maybe none. Functionality is the big keyword here. The design of the room should be able to stand on it own without adding too many things to collect dust and get in a way of doing practical chores. So the wallpaper for this room needs to feel lively, fun, and with just the right amount of boldness. And the pattern on the lower right corner just fits right in.
Besides color and design, things to consider when choosing wallpapers are scale/the size of the pattern and material of wallpaper. Having the right pattern size is just as important as overall design and color. Depending on what your design is, make sure the size of the pattern is correct. Texture or no texture is another thing to consider. We used textured wallpaper where the dust level is low like the master bedroom. For the laundry room we choose vinyl flat surface. It is durable, easy to wipe off, and would not collect dust.
To eliminate all the list of potential issues that mentioned above, I usually order a sample piece before ordering them in rolls. With home project being time consuming, if a company doesn’t offer a sample size, I would not order from that company. It’s not worth the time and risk, and it’s just a guessing game.
OPTIONS, OPTIONS, AND OPTIONS
Now – Adding colors to the final layout. There are three design options for the front cabinet door; gray, light wood tone, and white. I seriously had a hard time picking one out. After looking at the design, at first the grey one was my first choice because I thought the gray color will compliment the deep navy of the botanic pattern on the wallpaper. But after staring at it for a while, I felt like it looked muted. Second option was a lighter wood tone. I thought the light wood tone looked so pretty against the wallpaper. However, I am planning on having a wood countertop and that might just be too much wood theme in the room. The last option works best. The cool tone from the white cabinets will balance with the warm tone of the wood countertop. Also, we are going to be adding a big bulky tall cabinet. By having it in white, it will not make the room feel heavy compared to us using the other two options.
SEE IT IN REAL LIFE
The last step before I ordered the cabinets (and start the process) is that I took my wallpaper sample and put it up against the cabinets that I have considered buying. Seeing things on the computer screen will look different in a real life setting with lighting. So this step will definitely help me confirm that I picked the right color.