It was mid August, and I was prepping for one last vacation to Sunriver before the first year of online distance learning was going to consume our lives. I was planning our meals and setting my grocery list when I got a text from one of my dear friends, turned design client.
“Melissa, I know you are leaving for Sunriver but I am wondering if you have the time to help us design our laundry room?”
“Yes! Of course! I would love to!”
“Well…the thing is…we just got the call from our “in high demand” cabinet guy that he can fit our job in starting September 2nd, 2.5 weeks from TODAY.”
They had a sketch of the cabinet plan but none of the other finishes had been chosen.
I am ON IT! We can do this!
First step was to find inspiration photos of spaces we liked and then to narrow down the overall look of the space. My client had already started a Pinterest board (highly recommend this if you are trying to figure out your style!) so with that plus other research I did, we were ready to at least start finding product, like floor tile! The next morning, I was off to the tile store!
The decisions to be made were:
- Cabinet color
- Light fixture
White cabinets was a must to keep with the timeless feel of their colonial. We brought in some paint swatches of warm whites that would match their existing trim in the rest of the house.
Funny story: I recommended painting her cabinets Benjamin Moore White Dove. It is a warm white that doesn’t read too yellow or too brown. My client said all her walls in her house were painted that color. But from my eyes, her walls looked more cool gray than warm white. She went to her office to grab her paint swatch and guess what? It was Dove White NOT White Dove! (See the difference?! Just the switch of words. Crazy.) And the manufacturer was Sherwin Williams, NOT Benjamin Moore! So now, she has White Dove BM on her cabinets and Dove White SW on her walls! I mean…could it be any more perfect for a family that lives in Portland...”put a bird in it!” 😆
One thing I haven’t mentioned but while looking at the design, I said, “What are you doing with the opposite wall?” I love to add as much potential in a design as possible and so instead of keeping that opposite wall just a blank wall, I suggested adding some detail. And that is what we did! A tall chair rail was constructed with the option to add narrow profile hooks giving this space the potential for more functionality. The wall was finished off with the same paneling detail used in the sitting area on the main wall. This design choice adds interest and really unified the space.
The next big thing to tackle was the flooring because we needed to: 1. decide on the product & 2. get the tile ordered so they had time to ship and make it here by labor day weekend!
I headed to my favorite all-in-one surfaces shop: CFM and had my sales rep order about 8 different samples of gray flooring that I had liked in their showroom. My client had a gray linoleum in their current laundry room which she felt was the perfect color to camouflage the day to day dirt traffic. The samples would trickle in the following week when I was basking in the sun in Sunriver. When I returned on Monday, I was able to pick them all up and take them to my clients home to see the product in the space. We all agreed the gray brick was a classic and timeless choice for their home. I can’t tell you how happy I was they chose this. I mean, look how gorgeous it is!!!
Hardware & Faucet
While I was in Sunriver, my client pinned a few items for me to help her narrow down some other decisions: faucet and hardware. Both she found from online stores (Home Depot & Forge Hardware) for really reasonable prices and since this was just the laundry room, it was the perfect place to get something that was pretty but wasn’t going to break the bank. She also ordered the biggest stainless sink she could find that would fit in that one cabinet location. Where did she find it?! Off Amazon.com. The goal was to be able to fit her Laberdoodle in it for baths and sure enough, he fits perfectly!
The countertop was the next big decision. I knew it being such a small space that would could find a remnant for a fairly reasonable prices. Coincidentally, I happened to be staying at an RV park in Salem for my son’s baseball tournament the weekend before we headed to Sunriver and sure enough, right next door was Keystone Granite. That name rang a bell in this lil’ ol’ brain of mine. I had heard they had the most reasonably priced solid countertops in Oregon! After the baseball game, my son and I headed to the warehouse to see what they had in stock. We put a remnant on hold, took pictures and after my client approved, I called back with a deposit for a DIY* cut to be ready in 2 weeks. SWEEEEET! *DIYs are much faster than when the company installs–2-3 weeks vs. 4-6 weeks. However, there is a minimum $1K for delivery.
We were fortunate to have very high ceilings in this space so we had room to hang a pendant light we found at my favorite reasonably priced lighting with classic designs: Ballard Designs. This classic lantern light brings interest and timelessness to this utilitarian space. In my own kitchen, both light figures are from Ballard. The other good thing is Ballard always has sales pop up! If you are not in a hurry, you can always wait for the sale.
The Tile Timing
There are always little flaws or what I like to say “wrinkles in the plan” that you need to iron out along the remodel journey. The flooring we ordered was going to take a week to deliver. DARN COVID! And we really needed the product to arrive by Labor Day weekend. We had to add a rush on the delivery. A small price to pay in order to keep the project on time and keeping all the subcontractors on schedule. Plus, my client had taken the time off work to install the flooring himself! YES! You hear that right. He is pretty amazing. I am already sweet talking him to repeat his talents when I am ready to rip out my laundry room floor! 😉
Once the flooring went in, the rest started falling into place. Cabinets were installed and painted. The DIY countertop was ready in Salem so my client popped down there and picked that up* and installed the counter.
*He had brought the sink down to Keystone weeks before so they could install the sink for us as well. BIG HELP.
Once the counter was in place, he tiled and grouted the backsplash and that’s it! The quick turn-around laundry room was complete!
Makes you want to clean your dirty socks, doesn’t it?! 😉
I am so grateful for these clients that had faith in me to push this job through. But truly, it was a team effort. That is what I love about this job. We had a group text going from the beginning and kept the communication going throughout the whole process. From “I’m heading to Home Depot: what grout color should I get?” to “Should we move the light switch?” We thought out each detail together.
And that is why I say, “It’s in the DETAILS!” The details are what makes everything come together!
Now I have to go fold my OWN clean clothes… why is that pile never ending?!!!
Hope you have a good rest of your day!
PS. Do YOU have a design dilemna right now? Need help with paint colors, room layout, or simply laying out a gallery wall? Shoot me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org I would be happy to assist!