Day 20: The Laundry Room | No. 2

Work on the laundry room continues at a slow but steady pace. The Mister finished putting up the beadboard when he got home from work on Thursday. On Friday I went to Home Depot and bought a punch and ball peen hammer. I drove home and went straight to work driving nails in and spackling.

The last couple of weeks I’ve had a bad bout of insomnia, but I might have turned a corner. When I finished spackling the holes in the laundry room I actually fell asleep on the sofa in the middle of reading a book, thus proving my theory that the only thing more boring than reading about spackling is doing the spackling.

We have to make another Home Depot trip to buy trim and paint after we repair the plaster and coat the entire room in caulk, but I don’t see that happening before Sunday. This is unfortunate.

Because right now things are almost worse than the before.

The good thing about having to work slowly is that I was able to run through my 3947-point decision making process for picking out paint. From the beginning, I wanted to paint it my favorite color (Behr, Garden Wall), which is the same deep gray-green we have throughout the house. The Mister wasn’t sold. He imagined a traditional laundry room color, like white or yellow. I nixed the yellow immediately. I get it; yellow is cheery and happy, and you should immediately feel that way in a yellow laundry room. I posit the following: the same people who only need yellow paint to elevate the chore of laundry from drudgery to merriment are the same people who whistle while they work and are excited about the limited edition Lisa Frank sticker sets at Urban Outfitters.

White was looking like a contender until all the beadboard went up. There is something about an all white room that brings to mind a padded room. I love the idea of a white room, but I can’t live with a white room. That’s too bad, because they look amazing in everyone else’s home. (Benita Larsson has mastered the art of making white look right.)

This picture by the male authored blog An Urban Cottage shows a similar gray paint balanced with lots of white, and is how I hope the laundry room turns out. We’ll find out soon enough!


New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    I like how this laundry room is going! I agree with you on the white issue. I like the idea of it, but can’t really live with it long; I, too, find it too mental-institution-y. Also, I have this sneaking suspicion that white spaces look good online simply b/c Photoshop lets you blow out the highlights and match whites. Too many shades of white bug me and I don’t see how I can realistically minimize the number of whites in a space unless I painted everything with the same paint. I seem to go for colored rooms and white furniture, probably because the differing shades of white are really downplayed amongst the color.

    Btw- love that yellow sink!

    • says

      Morgan from The Brick House is another one who has a space that looks incredible all white. Well, in her case only the walls are white–but still. It looks fantastic. That’s a good point about the photoshop. Everything just looks so bright and clean and fresh in pictures that it’s tempting…but not for me.

  2. says

    I bet it seems like everyone should have forgotten all about Lisa Frank, but I think of those pencil cases and colorful erasers every single day because the buses here in Thailand are all painted with those very same color schemes. Check it out: (I googled for an example because I didn’t have a picture of my own… but they’re all some variation of this theme.) Thai buses are 9 on the list. Strange, huh? Well I guess is Lisa Frank is back in style, I guess Thailand is very ahead of the game.

    • says

      For some reason, the buses in Thailand don’t bother me in the least. I think it says something nice about a culture to have such colorful buses as the routine. Lisa Frank, though…that panda!! O_o

  3. Elaine says

    You just made me laugh out loud with your 3947 point decision making process- I can relate! Also- totally agree on the white wall issue. Can’t wait to see the direction you take!

  4. Jeanne says

    I will check out the garden wall color. I am always looking for the perfect neutral taupe ish shade or similar. Agree on yellow. Way to sweet for your sensibility and that’s a compliment. I think I am too old to know about Lisa Frank but who actually buys that stuff and isn’t Urban O an adult store?

    • says

      I have never, ever wanted to paint a house the same color throughout, but I do with Garden Wall. I don’t know what it is about that color, but I really like it.

      • Jeanne says

        I saw you reference paint numbers on a can. Is garden wall not a standard behr color with a swatch in the store on the wall?

        • says

          Completely standard! I just thought if she had the numbers she could cross reference it with her cans and make a more educated paint mixing guess. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the tip on the paint color! I’m adding it to my list of colors to check out. We’re moving (this week? next week? who knows) into a rental we can paint and I’m thrilled but overwhelmed with the options, especially since I want to get it done before we’re totally settled and don’t feel like painting after all. It looks muddy in the swatch online, but it looks perfect in your house photos.

  5. says

    All that detailed finish work gets me every time. Caulking, paint touch ups, hardware…Best of luck getting it done this weekend! I like the gray and white. When I get around to it (NOT this weekend, unfortunately), I’m repainting a bathroom gray and putting up white beadboard wallpaper under the peg rail (since my mister has no DIY skills, I have to choose materials I can work with all by myself–we’ll see how this wallpaper fares in the kid’s bath). I love that moody shade of Garden Wall, but am going to mix a couple shades of cheap oops paint and see what I get.

  6. Susan G says

    Lisa Frank – oh my! My now 23yo had so much of that stuff – it’s so awful in an oddly wonderful way. UO knows it’s customer base grew up with much of that stuff – bet it sells like crazy!

    One of our bathrooms is white, but with wood floors and it’s so tiny it works OK, but all our other rooms are painted – mostly a variety of blues and greens but I am looking for a grey for the bedroom. Garden Wall might be The One – thanks!

    • says

      I’m going to paint the bedrooms in the same color. I think it would look really pretty paired with a deep blue in our bedroom (accessories) and with the boys kinda camp look I’m going for in their soon to be shared bedroom.

  7. Sassy says

    Until you pick out the paint, you are pulling up the pictures of the wallpaper whenever the white gets to you, right? Just as a stunning reminder of how far you’ve come?

  8. Jasi says

    we have no living room sofa due to my 3947 point decision making. or drapes. hey! i’m working on it! and i’m with you on the white rooms. i love them in other peoples’ homes. for me, i need some color. and that color is yellow! yeah! for real, i get SAD sometimes and bright yellow cuts it down a lot. that cold, modern fox of a hubs i share this space with gets by by choosing all dark, clean lined furniture. it’s a little bee-like but it suits us. nice job on the walls, btw.

    • says

      Haha! I have a cold modern fox of a hubs too. :) He’s practical and pragmatic to the extreme! I finally realized that I have to stick with neutrals when it comes to curtains, rugs, wall colors, etc. I’m too fickle and like change too much. I get my doses of color with pillows and accessories now after years of wasting a whole lot of time. money, and my husband’s patience!.

  9. says

    All-white rooms look great when you have lots of texture and natural elements, like a wood table and a linen chair and mongolian lamb pillow and nice nubby throw. All white walls and hard shiny white metal appliances will just look white and hard. If you had a dark wood floor or slate floors and a butcher block counter over the washers and a pretty roman shade you could make it work (I forget if you are replacing the floors?), but I think you are making the right choice to paint it gray :-) And I think beadboard is a great choice to cover the damaged walls.

    I’m really enjoying the series (as usual!).

    • says

      I really thought the beadbord would add texture, but I guess it’s not enough to balance the washer and dryer. I wish we could add fabric in the form of a roman shade. Maybe one day we’ll put back in the window the previous owners took out. I guess I could add in fabric with a pretty ironing board cover. I’ve never given those much thought before since our board was usually hidden.

  10. Jaimie says

    A pretty ironing board cover was a surprisingly nice change for me. It’s not too expensive and if you have to have the ironing board out permanently (we do) it’s good bang for your buck.

    If you like neutral paint colours, check out my favourite, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. It’s a lighter, more silvery grey but it seems to have some brownish undertones in it to give it some warmth. This shows you how it can look quite different in different rooms:

    • says

      Revere Pewter is a fantastic color! It didn’t work in my main living area, which is why I didn’t use it. It turned purple thanks to my huge fireplace and east facing windows.

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