One of my favorite areas in the house, surprisingly- since it’s the dictionary definition of hot mess currently, is our laundry room/mudroom/pet area. I know it’s not much to look at right now, but this room works really hard for us.
Not only is it dedicated space for our dogs during the day, we also have a kitty litter box area, kitchen overflow rack, a second fridge (that John converted to a kegerator, but more often than not we use it for water bottles and party food) and an additional storage room that houses the water heater. This space is truly multi-purpose and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day that we could focus on turning it into THE ULTIMATE DREAM LAUNDRY ROOM OF MY DREAMS (trademarked). I’m really glad that I didn’t dive into the space right away because I always envisioned doing a wall of cubbies with a bench for shoes and coats. Having lived here for 2 years, I now know we don’t use the space like that. This room is truly for pets/storage/laundry only. We typically enter and exit through the front door and store all our coats in the hall closet. For now, the situation is working for us and I love that we have a dedicated pet area for my babies to enjoy. The dogs spend a lot of time in here while we’re at work (and never have accidents!) so I really want it to be a haven for them as well.
When we moved in, the room had an awkward storage closet to the left with broken bi-fold doors. I don’t have a picture, but you can imagine my shock when, during the house tour, I opened the closet and the door fell off- whoops!
We removed the closet (you can see the footprint of the closet by looking at the ceiling in the below picutre) and put in a huge metal rack thinking it would be great for kitchen overflow storage. Don’t worry- replacing the grimey floors which I clean with BLEACH regularly is part of this makeover.
Two years later, I think I overestimated exactly how much storage we need. An 80″ floor to ceiling shelf is a little much. It’s great for paper towels, crock pots and extra dishes, but I really don’t like having these items on display 24/7- guests don’t need to see what brand TP we use! So in short, we need more storage, but not this much, and more enclosed storage. My plan is actually to utilize the currently underused back room that houses the heater. There’s plenty of room for a shelving system in here! Once we replace the doors and clear out the junk, I think this will be an amazing storage solution. Unfortunately, John has informed me we have to keep louvered doors going into the heater room because something something oxygen something something breathing, so I will be purchasing new ones that hang straight.
Another thing we desperately need is a dedicated enclosed space for my kitties’ litter boxes. We’ve been having an issue since we adopted Niki in November where sometimes the cats don’t like going in the laundry room during the day. I’ll just leave that at that. I’m assuming because Niki is more feisty than Cannoli and probably harasses them when they come in to use the facilities. I don’t ever envision a life in this house without cats, so I want to do a built in litter box station that the boys can access without jumping over the baby gate into the danger zone. The solution will be to add a wall of base cabinets along the wall that has the rack storage. I want to put a kitty door inside the second pantry where the cats can access their space, but won’t need to jump over the baby gate and risk assault from the 10 pound terror, whoops, terrior.
Hopefully, this will restore peace among the species and solve the bathroom miscommunication issue.
Here’s a very rough mock-up I did using the Ikea Kitchen Planner. You can see the red arrow is where the boys will enter from the kitchen and there will be a second cat flap leading to the litter box cabinet.
I ordered 3 base cabinets from Lowe’s this weekend (20% in stock cabinets plus a coupon!)- 2 30″ cabinets/drawer combos which will be separated by an 18″ drawer unit. The the wall side cabinet will be dedicated to litter boxes. We will use the drawers above the cabinets and in the center unit for junk and overflow serving ware (we currently don’t have a junk drawer in the kitchen… I use a carboard box that’s been sitting on the dining room table for a year so it will be great to have more storage!). The far right cabinet will be for normal laundry room storage- detergent, dog food, paper goods. I’ve actually been contemplating going with a bright color for the base cabinets, but I want to pick something that won’t look weird throughout the year- maybe navy blue, my go-to accent color.
On top of the cabinets I want to do a concrete counter similar to what Katie recently did over at Bower Power. I’m really excited to try this project and I think John will love it. This counter will be for overflow appliances (maybe a coffee bar? whattt), John’s tool chargers and cleaners that are not allowed on the kitchen counter and additional storage for dips/party food when we have people over. We will have to run some outlets up top. I will tie the cabinets into the kitchen by using the same Ikea Ekby Jarpen shelving above- these will be for extra glasses, mugs and more display worthy items, vases, frames, etc. Finally, I envision a backsplash to really finish off the space. Maybe a mirror one or hex marble- the options are literally endless. One thing I want to make sure is that I incorporate a separate area for pet food bowls. I definitely don’t want this counter to be the cat feeding station (oh my god they are so messy) so I need to think on that- hopefully something comes to me!
On the opposite wall we will do some rearranging with the current set-up. We had planned on moving the fridge to the garage, but honestly it’s really convenient where it is. The new plan is to move it against the wall (another 4 inches or so) and shuffle the (1) washer (2) sink (3) dryer set-up:
To (1) sink (2) washer (3) dryer because who wants to transfer clean laundry to the dryer over a utility sink soaking paint brushes? Not me.
Finally, we will replace the inherited utility sink with a 36″ commercial size stainless sink. I’m currently eyeing that linked one but this site charge $95 for shipping so I’ll keep shopping around. (Yes, I used a bathroom sink in the Ikea Kitchen Planner- you get the idea.)
Real talk- I want this sink to be big enough where I can wash the dogs in it. Yea. I said it. Call me crazy, but it’s what I want. We only have one tub in the house and it’s the bathroom my brother uses- I try to avoid it since it’s his personal space. Someday we will gut it, but for now it works for my bro. I usually wash the pups in our master bathroom shower, but it’s not practical to trek two dirty dogs all the way across the house and upstairs to rinse them off. It will be awesome to have a commercial size sink with sprayer that we can use in the laundry room.
In terms of wall color, I can’t wait to paint over the neon mint. I mostly try to be in this room with the lights off because it’s such a disaster right now. You can see in the pictures I already patched most of the holes so I only have a few more to do! For color, I definitely don’t want to go dramatic in here. I would like to start with and almost “sterile” slate and bring in colorful aspect. I think I can decorate with some really fun pet related items that will be adorable! I’m thinking Sherwin Willaims Olympic White, which is actually an extremely light and warm grey.
There’s also the option to go with white wall like Ann Marie did over at White House Black Shutters. I’m loving how crisp it looks and we are going to pick a similar floor color so that might work.
Phew. I think I’m done rambling. That is the plan. We don’t have a timeline for completion as of right now. We have a few things to wrap up in the kitchen and then flooring goes down in August so some of these changes will happen before then and some will happen after. Essentially, I think this room has the current framework to accomplish everything I need it to- we just need to tweak the current layout and update the space!