How I Designed the Basement (With No Training or Skills!): Laundry Room Edition

Designing a laundry room isn't terribly exciting because the focus is solely on function (as it should be), but there's a little bit of room to inject some cool factor. 

The difficulty factor in this space is an 8 or 9. It's quirky. It's small. There's a very low ceiling, lots of overhead conduit & pipes, fuse boxes to hide, small windows, and an unfortunate vertical pipe to deal with. Plus there's a hole in the ground where the very old toilet used to be that still emits a very unpleasant smell.

Of course I have been looking for inspiration on Pinterest for countless hours. And guys? I think I've seen the end of the internet. There's a leprechaun there named O'Malley who likes apron sinks but thinks they're dreadfully overpriced. We high-fived in agreement, as one does with leprechauns.

Currently, my laundry situation is this: clothes get thrown down chute and land into giant laundry bin. I pick out pieces to wash, haul load across the basement to washer and throw in. I am not a pre-sorter. My laundry style is more of a crisis intervention specialist. 

Because my laundry overflows the bin from time to time, the dirty clothes get mixed in with wood chips on the floor from our wood pile, which means I have to pick the occasional wood chip out of my washer after the cycle.  

Just keeping it real here, people. 

Perhaps this design is my chance to become a better, pre-sorting, organized kind of person. Perhaps the laundry room holds the key to me fulfilling my organizational, pre-sorting potential?

Or not. But it's worth a shot.

I began by writing out a list of all the things I would like to store in the laundry room. The room will certainly hold all the laundry essentials, but I'd like it to be a multipurpose storage space for sewing materials, gift wrap supplies, craft stuff for the kiddos, extras for the house (paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc), and so on. I planned out the cabinetry to hold all the things on that list.

Then reality hit, as it often does. I have a fuse box in that space and I thought I needed 30" of clearance for it. It turns out the fuse box requires 3 feet of clearance, which squashed plans of cabinets in front of the fuse box. The laundry room is already tiny, so losing that space was a bummer. I already had given up hope of wall cabinets and tall cabinets because of the low-hanging pipes.

The laundry room will have an exposed ceiling and there's a craaaaazy amount of pipes amassing there. I know my room will never be as perfect-looking as these rooms, but here's my inspiration images.

Subtle pattern, dark cabinets, and industrial lights:

Apron sink, brass faucet, and bright white:


Creative ways to hide fuse box:



White subway tile, brass accents, and interesting shelving:

Storage, storage, storage:

White exposed ceiling:

Vintage door & decal:

I have the cabinets, sink and faucet figured out but can't figure out the lights. I have to decide soon because the project begins this week.


Now I know why people hire professionals. 
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