This is new! This is the first time I am writing a blog post before the project is complete. I feel a bit disheveled and disorganized about it, but here we are. I’m kind of excited. I fear the day that I blog and say “Whelp. Sorry folks. We have no more money right now. I know we haven’t done anything in 6 months and you’re bored. Here’s a picture of a cat.” It might happen.

So, when we moved in, the house had two washer and dryer hook-ups. One in the basement-that’s-more-like-a-cellar, and one in the bedroom with green shag carpeting and a balcony. Both seemed wrong. In the kitchen, there was a pantry – a small room off the breakfast “nook.” It housed a fabulous set of cabinets and the electrical panel. This seemed like the ideal spot, especially since there is a bathroom on the other side of the wall to your right, so getting it plumbed would be easy-peasy.

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Aren’t the cabinets fabulous? I took them out. But only so I could move them to my future studio upstairs – they wouldn’t work with a washer and dryer dimension-wise, so I stole them for my sewing-office-score study-designing-renovation-planning-Amy room.

I made a general layout when we remodeled the kitchen. The laundry room renovation wasn’t part of the bank loan, but since it was essentially part of the kitchen, there were some things that had to be done with that part of the project : the floor, the insulation, framing, electrical, and getting the plumbing roughed in before drywall happened. So I had to have a plan.

There was only one thing that I liked from the kitchen when we bought the house : the kitchen sink. I don’t like the faucet, so we are replacing that, but the sink is great. The only thing I knew when we demo-ed the kitchen was that it would be the new laundry room sink.

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When we demolished the kitchen, we realized that the wall for the pantry-to-be-laundry-room didn’t qualify as a wall, because the framing wasn’t attached to the floor or the ceiling. Neat, right?

So, let’s build a wall! It worked out well, because we added a pocket door, and this made it easier to frame. Sometimes, things that seems like problems become solutions.

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And we plumbed. By we, of course I mean Doug. I’m not the plumber in this relationship. But he’s pretty great at it.

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So, last December (2012), Doug and I were heading to Chicago. On the way, I SHOULD have been grading final exams. Instead, I wanted to look for wallpaper. I have never been a fan of wallpaper, but this house pretty much REQUIRES it. So I’ve grown to love it in the last couple of years. So, on the car ride, I was looking at wallpaper on my iPad, and – OH MY … STOP THE TRUCK. This ridiculous, amazing, Victorian wallpaper came up. I asked Doug, “How do you feel about wallpaper with monkeys on it?” Eye-rolling and head shaking ensued. But then I showed it to him, and he said, “That kind of fits the house. I can’t believe I’m saying that.” And it compliments the color scheme of the kitchen. And it’s crazy and loud, so it’ll be great in a small space. And we’ve never hung wallpaper, so let’s start in a laundry room, because if we screw it up, it’s only a LAUNDRY ROOM. Sample = Ordered.

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Seriously. This is EPIC.

At this point in my life, when I say to people things like, “I’m going to put a chandelier in the laundry room,” nobody bats an eye. I’d like to thank you all for that. Why can’t a laundry room be fun? And inviting? And elegant? I mean…really? My clothes are fun. Why shouldn’t the room that I take care of them in be fun as well?

So I recycled a ceiling medallion from the original kitchen, the VERY undersized chandelier from the Entrance Hall, and leftover crystals from the master bathroom at Jackson Street. I refinished it all on a cold day in January – and was trapped. Really…trapped. I was in a room on the third floor, my cell phone was charging somewhere, and the door handle broke when I was in the room. Literally, I opened windows and screamed and hoped someone was walking down the street because my husband couldn’t hear me yelling or banging on walls to get out. I was trapped on the third floor for well over an hour in the process – but at least the chandelier turned out adorable and perfect.

In thinking about the fact that the walls would have wallpaper and I love color on the ceiling, I pulled a rose color out of the wallpaper for the ceiling.

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Oh, yeah. I made those candle covers, too.

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We added a pocket door to gain wall space in the laundry room for appliances, and to match the other doors downstairs. We painted the salvaged trim to match the kitchen window and door woodwork, and then started thinking about what to do with the electrical box.

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After discussing a lot of options, Doug decided to build a floor to ceiling chase for the box, that we could still be able to access the full box. He used 2x4s and luan, and did a SPECTACULAR job.

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Meanwhile, I turned the future master suite into a wonderland of woodwork painting.

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Then, after over a year since finding and buying the wallpaper, it was going up. SO EXCITING! Our setup :

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Seriously. This is some awesome pattern. It’s OK if you don’t like it. But I adore it. It fits in the house.

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Hanging wallpaper for the first time! It went so well, and looks amazing. The seams are great!

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Even though it was pre-pasted paper, everything we’ve read says that you ignore it and glue it for the best results. So, we did!

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There are dirty dishes on the counter. I’m so ashamed. Also, I had a ridiculous case of bronchitis while we were doing this. I worked a little and slept a lot. Christmas Break indeed.

It’s busy. And makes me smile. And will be even better once the cabinetry is in to break up the eye a little.

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I still had horrid bronchitis and a fever and I felt wretched, and Doug texted me when I was resting and said, “Your monkeys are done. All 214 of them. They want to say hi.”

And I came down to see them, fever and all. And I smiled.

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You noticed they have fezzes, right? And Wonder Woman wrist cuffs? Because that’s really important.

3 comments

    1. It’s Allen + Roth, and I believe the pattern is Belize. A quick search and it looks like it’s been discontinued. But if you search for “Monkey Wallpaper,” there are a BUNCH of fun alternatives!

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