Creating a serene space that feels clean and clutter-free
After three years of living in our newly-built home, I still have so many projects and ideas for making our space better. One idea that has been at the top of my list for some time now is our entryway/laundry/mudroom.
It's a combination space and the first room you enter when coming in from our garage (which is the way friends and family enter our home). The biggest challenge is the size, it's very small, only about six feet by 10 feet. The other challenge is that it's an area where shoes get kicked off, coats get thrown, soccer balls get tossed and the dogs eat --- so naturally I didn't want to spend a lot of money on giving it a facelift.
With the help of some paint, stock cabinetry and plywood from Lowe's, we were able to take this space from boring and exposed, to bright and organized. Staying under our $1,000 budget was a great surprise and very welcomed after the holiday season :) Have a look at the BEFORE & AFTER transformation --- you'll think we spent a lot more than $750!!!
B E F O R E
A F T E R
I have some more "after" pictures to show, but wanted to share the process and the simplicity of this makeover. The process started with painting over a yellow paint color with a greige tone called 'Balsalt Powder' by HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams paint from Lowe's. It's a very neutral and clean looking color. Although it should be a light grey/beige tone, it sometimes pulls a little blue in this room.
|B E F O R E|
|Side - by - Side comparsion|
|Ta - Da !!!|
A handy husband sure is necessary for this project (thanks Carm)! I'm sure that if you are a skilled carpenter (which my husband and I are not) you could hang these on your own, but for us I held while he drilled and it took about two hours to hang all four cabinets. The key is to make sure they are level, level, level. Also - measure twice, drill once!
The next big step was to install a countertop. Carrera marble or Quartz would've looked great, but for only $50 we bought a sheet of oak plywood and had the friendly workers at Lowe's rip it to the correct dimensions right in the store for us. Yey Lowe's!!!
* Disclaimer - Lowe's did not sponsor this project - they were just really helpful and have great prices!
My husband built supports using 2x3's around the wall surrounding the washer & dryer. The counter rests right on top and we also put a support in the center between the washer and dryer. We didn't even screw it in just in case we need to get back to the plumbing ever.
To give the plywood the look of solid oak, we bought a roll of white birch veneer for only $6.50. It was actually fun to use and just irons on to the plywood.
Next step was to protect the wood by applying two coats of Mixwax Clear Gloss Lacquer. WARNING: This stuff is smelly! Really strong fumes!!! I wore a breathing mask to apply and we had to keep the windows open all night with a fan on and close all the bedroom doors to sleep. By morning the smell had dissipated and it was super easy to apply.
The tone of the wood deepens a bit from the lacquer and it brings out the wood grain. If you don't prefer the look of oil based sealers then I would suggest a water-based polyurethane instead of a gloss lacquer.
Sticking with the plan of hiding as much clutter and mess as possible, I bought a $4 tension rod from Target and hung an $8 Room Essentials curtain using oil-rubbed bronze ring hooks. All three items at target cost me about $20.
Next step --- onto lighting! We decided on a $69 Allen + Roth track light from Lowe's so that we could tilt the lights and shine them on different parts of the room. This space has no natural light and it's always been dim and hard to see in. Not anymore!
Last step was to decorate a bit and make it feel a little warmer and more like a laundry space. I found this awesome free printable from West Coast Capri and paired it with a clip board from the dollar bin at Target. I mixed that with some powdered detergent and cleaners as well as an Edison-bulb light fixture from Marshalls. I love this part the best!!!!
For laundry baskets I opted for wire baskets found at TJ Maxx. They are large and functional, but being that they are see-through, they don't clutter the counter and make it feel larger still.
Wall art and hanger is all from various salvage yards or flea markets I've been to...
The shoe rack was only $19.99 at Target. It's a weathered gray and metal stackable rack by Threshold. (NOTE: Milton the Yorkie not included)
And that's a wrap folks! Here's the cost breakdown for this project:
As always, I hope this post inspires you to tackle some DIY projects at home and to remember that with a little patience and imagination, you don't have to break the bank to decorate your home and make it functional. Happy New Year friends!!!