Our First-Ever Laundry Room REVEAL

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When we moved from New York to Chicago over the winter, we were excited about a lot of things. We were able to get nearly twice the square footage in (or very nearly in) the city of Chicago as we were able to get living 20 miles outside of NYC. And that square footage translated into a lot of little luxuries that we never would have been able to afford in New York. One of those things was a laundry room. Our first ever! When I tell you I was excited about it, I really, really REALLY mean that. No more putting on my winter boots to head down to a basement that was (somehow?) even colder than the air outside on a January day. No more sifting through cobwebs to get to the dryer, and no more walking up THREE sets of stairs between our laundry and our bedroom (now I just walk right down the hall).

Now, this new laundry room isn’t huge. And it certainly wasn’t nice. But the very fact that it was there at all was enough to make me giddy. The room had a very unusual shape to it, with the back staircase and the hall right on the other side of two of the four walls. That made it very difficult to make the space any larger, and limited where we could place the vents and the water line. And while this was easily one of the most challenging spaces I’ve had to design, I was sure of one thing: it could be WAY better than the layout it had when we moved in (see above).

The first thing we did was demo the entire space. I did have a rough idea of where everything would be going before we even demoed, but sometimes clearing out a space also clears my mind and I can visualize things a lot more easily. The one thing we immediately decided to change after demo was the placement of the laundry machines. Josie’s closet is right on the other side of the back wall of the laundry room and it was really a nice sized closet (or us old home-lovers, anyway) so we decided to take away a little less than a foot of her close space to be able to recess the laundry machines into the wall a bit. Josie still has plenty of room for hanging clothes and while she didn’t need (or have) a dresser before we made this decision, she also had ample space in her room to add a dresser. And so that is exactly what we did.

THE LAUNDRY MACHINES

Many people are asking on social media why we decided to go with stacked laundry machines. This was, honestly, the quickest and easiest decision I had made for this space. We have nearly 9-foot ceilings on our second floor and so there was no shortage of vertical space in this room. But there was a shortage of usable floor square footage. Stacking the machines allowed me the space to add a tiny sink. allowed us to recess the machines into the closet, and it also made sense from a purely aesthetic perspective as I knew it would draw the eye up to appreciate those high ceilings.

As far as what machines we chose, we went with this Electrolux Washer + Dryer from AjMadison. It is by far the most quiet washer and dryer I have ever used, and has so many wonderful settings that I didn’t even know existed on washers and dryers. Some of my favorite features on the washing machine are: Optic Whites, 15 min. Fast Wash, Clean Washer, Stainsoak + Hand Wash. The dryer offers some really cool features, too, like: Allergen, Mixed Load, 15 min. Fast Dry + Instant Refresh. See images above for all the features offered by these incredible machines. From a purely aesthetic perspective, I went with the Titanium color because I felt it went better with the deep, warm and rich colors in the rest of the space. The fact that it is also Energy Star rated and uses less water than most machines was also a plus.

THE FLOOR

Now, onto that FLOOR! I think it must have been at least two years ago that I came across this pattern on a floor in a small getaway in Italy (click here to see my inspiration photo). I immediately fell and love and just could not get it out of my head. I also have a long-lived obsession with zellige tile. I’ve been crushing on Zia Tile’s hex zellige for many years and pinched myself when they agreed to collaborate on the project.

Choosing the color combination was challenging because there are just SO MANY INCREDIBLE COLORS. But, ultimately, I decided to go with the Burnt Sugar, Terra Rose, and the Rouge Hex. You can check out all three on my mooodboard for the space above. This floor was the very first choice I made, and I based the rest of the design off of this fabulous floor.

THE SINK

The sink in this space is another hot topic of conversation over on the Instagram feed. I’ve seen the following two questions come at me over and over again in regards to the sink. Here are the answers to both of them:

Where is that sink from?!

It’s from a small eco-conscious Australian company that has incredible stuff. It’s called Nood Co. and this is the Herbert Basin in One Tone (Clay).

Why is the sink so small?

We didn’t have a sink in this space at all before renovating. We already have a big utility sink in our basement for things like washing paint brushes, sneakers, sandy beach crap, etc. and had no need for one in our laundry room (our machine has a stain cycle, a hand wash cycle, etc.). We also have a bathtub about four feet away from this laundry room (in the rare event I would need to soak something, but with those settings on my washing machine I don’t really see that happening). But the biggest reason the sink is so small is that, well, there was only room for a small sink in here. Of course, I could have forgone the folding table and chest of drawers and placed a big utility sink in that space but for what our personal needs are, that didn’t make any sense.

I’ll also add that the P-Trap underneath is meant to be brass, but we couldn’t get a brass one here in time for reveal. This is something that will be swapped out shortly.

THE FOLDING TABLE

If you’ve been following this project closely on Instagram, you may already know that the butcher block top was salvaged from our kitchen (which we will be renovating in the fall) and the base is a combination of a curtain I made (which has garbage and storage behind it) and a vintage Pixie campaign dresser that we repainted in Farrow & Ball’s Dead Salmon (yes, that is really the name of the color). The butcher block counter we sanded down and re-stained in a Mahogany stain color. The campaign dresser was a Facebook Marketplace find. We were able to get the dresser and a matching nightstand for a total of $200.

I’ve also been asked what we store in the dresser. Each room on the second floor has a dedicated drawer and it stores extra sheets for the beds in those rooms. The top drawers store my laundry detergent (I use these laundry sheets), some extra dryer balls, stain sticks, lint rollers, etc. Both the laundry sheets and the wool dryer balls also help me lessen my laundry-related carbon footprint.

EVERYTHING ELSE

As you may have guessed, nearly everything else in this space is vintage. The Feldman lotus pendants were a Facebook Marketplace find from many years ago, and they were excluded in the purchase of our last home because I just had to bring them with me. I bought them (both) for $400 and I’ve never seen them for resale offered at anything less than $1400/piece. We had them hung separately in our attic in our last house, but Billy was able to rewire them so that they could hang side by side in this space. If you’re interested in splurging on these, here is the best price I could find on Chairish.

The oversized Moroccan-style mirror is a piece from France that I also found on Facebook Marketplace. I found it when we lived in New York, locally, but the owner said he had purchased it in France. I bought it for $100. I never had a great place for it before now, but it just happened to work so perfectly with the floor and everything else happening in this space. My original plan was to put open shelving above the folding station (and I still may do that down the road). But, for now, I don’t seem to really need the shelving so we will just wait this one out, see how the space is working for us, and if we need to down the road, we can add some open shelving in that spot.

The trailing faux plant in the window, the laundry line, and the extra large “Chelsea Grove Rolling Bin” for laundry are all from Riverbend Home. Apparently the Retractable Clothing Line wasn’t news to a lot of you, but I was really excited when I found that! I don’t have a ton of extra space and with all the weird angles, it was hard to fit in a permanent installation of a rod for drying, so the fact that this clothing line is entirely retractable for hanging stuff to dry was something I got very excited about. That rolling bin is also a lifesaver. I love that all the bedrooms and my laundry room are all on the same floor now, and I love just rolling this oversized bin from room to room.

The wall, ceiling and trim color are all Farrow & Ball’s “Aged Terracotta.” The wall and ceiling are the Estate Emulsion and the Trim are the Modern Emulsion.

We are just so ecstatic to have this space done and in usual Kate + Billy fashion, we are already onto the next project: our entryway! We’re also in full-blown planning mode for our fall kitchen renovation. So stay tuned for more transformations coming your way soon!

One comment on “Our First-Ever Laundry Room REVEAL

  • Mary , Direct link to comment

    Love all the detail! The laundry sheets are such a space saver and benefit the environment. I might be ordering that clothes line for my laundry room too!

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