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More Tile, Room Plans, & A New Door

Back to THE ROOM THAT DIDN’T EXIST A FEW WEEKS AGO. Pardon my type-screaming, but it doesn’t get much more exciting than that in my world. (Sidenote: I had a dream last night that there was a column in the newspaper called Shellac This! – all about shellacking a different piece of furniture each day – and the world was so enamored with it that normal morning conversation was “did you see what they shellacked this morning in Shellac This?” and it was getting turned into a major motion picture).

We left you with a primed-&-ready picture of our new laundry room in Monday’s post, so let’s start there (we used VOC-free Kilz Premium from Home Depot). This room is only around 7′ wide by 8′ deep so it went pretty fast. Here she is all ready for paint:

Oh but before picking a paint color we picked floor tile. It’s from The Tile Shop & it’s called Blast Anthracite. It’s $6.59 a square foot so the whole floor will be around $350 (we got 10% off with the YHL10 discount code). We loved how it looked with the accent tile we bought (remember that will go above the washer & dryer but below the wall cabinets).

We appreciated that the floor tile wasn’t too light (read: it won’t show every ball of lint or hair) and that it would look good running up against the hardwoods in the hallway (it always helps to remember what will be next to what). But the main thing that sold us are the striations. You can sort of see the pretty veins and variations in this shot, but in person they’re gorgeous.

After we picked the tile, I sat down and played around with a little mood board action – just to see what we liked together, and to figure out what wall color we wanted. Of course everything here might change as we go (except for the appliances and tile picks), but it feels like a nice place to start:


  1. Some warm wood elements will balance out the gray tile & the shiny appliances – like a butcher block counter for the cabinet next to the appliances.
  2. Here’s our washer & dryer (more on those here).
  3. We think this cozy room is a nice spot to try out one of the newer designs from our Shades of Light collection.
  4. This colored basket is charming. Colorful yet natural. So… coltural?
  5. I’ve been pining after these prints for a long time, and the laundry room might be just the place.
  6. A cute wood letterpress drawer on the wall could display something Clara & I have been collecting for a while…
  7. White cabinets to tie into our appliances and make the butcher block pop.
  8. These knobs could be fun on the cabinets – especially since they resemble our lighting choice.
  9. Here’s the tile we already got for the wall above the washer & dryer (more on that here).
  10. And here’s our floor tile.
  11. Last we have a Dash & Albert rug to add a little more texture and a hint of color.

After playing around and seeing things like the tile and the warm wood tones with some colorful art come together, we were ready to pick our wall color. We knew we wanted something light (it’s not very big and doesn’t have any windows), but we also didn’t want to go with stark white since we want the trim and the cabinets to feel more like architecture by standing out a bit from the wall color. But finding a good light-but-not-white tone for the walls still felt a little arbitrary (hello 167 swatches, I’m sure one of you will be perfect). So we decided to make a more abstract, in-person mood board right in the room:

We just sort of grabbed things from around the house that we thought could loosely represent materials/colors/patterns that might end up in there, like the shiny white drum stool (it’s really close in color to our appliances), our tile samples, some warm wood tones, etc. Oh and the terrarium actually represents the light fixture, since it has similar coloring and lines.

Bringing all of these things together into the room made picking a paint color feel less arbitrary (we could hold swatches up to the tile and the wood tones and the finishes and see what looked best right in the room). And imagine our surprise when our favorite swatch ended up being Going To The Chapel by Benjamin Moore – which we actually used in Teddy’s room! We like the idea of repeating that color somewhere else in our house since we’re fans of a whole-house palette that ties together, usually with a few colors that reoccur a few times. So into the laundry room it went (we went with an eggshell finish in BM’s VOC-free Natura line).

I realize that photo isn’t wildly different than the priming one that started this post, but in person the room went from feeling stark and unfinished to feeling a lot more polished and room-like. And it was amazing to give the new end of the hallway a fresh coat of paint to tie it into the original walls. Aside from those raw doorways and floors, it looks like it has always been this way!

Remember we were just drawing on pictures a month ago and now these rooms and doorways are a reality?!

I can’t wait to get our special glass door to the future bunk-room in. Speaking of that, we picked one out! After considering a bunch of options (something that came frosted, one big glass pane, etc) we decided it would feel nice and cohesive to go with the same type of 15-paned glass door that we have downstairs leading out to the deck.

We also would love to add glass paned french doors like that to the office someday (like this), so knowing that those would be the same style felt like it was a good choice for upstairs as well. That way they might all look original, if that makes sense. And we liked the idea of the glass being clear so that we have the option of frosting it or adding a shade from behind the door (like this) instead of committing to a frosted door forever.

The good news is that it’s an in-stock door at Home Depot so it’s only $149. We do have to paint it ourselves and of course frame it in, add hinges, add a knob, etc – but it’s going to be one of my favorite parts, I just know it. So now our to-do list looks something like this:

So before we hang any doors we have to install & grout the laundry room floor tile, which we hope to have done by Monday. I can’t even handle how much that’s going to make things feel like a room. And we’ll be one step closer to bringing the washer & dryer back in. I know doing laundry doesn’t excite many people, but the idea of being able to wash things at home again is pretty captivating to this girl right now. I predict a reenactment of Happy Feet while those machines hum.



Curtain Fashion Show

As our laundry room adventures continue (priming, painting, and tile prep are in progress!) I thought it might be fun to share some virtual options that we tried on in the office (we tested out some wall ideas in Clara’s bedroom last fall and checked out a few looks for Teddy’s room about five months ago). Remember when I photoshopped some curtains and a rug into the last picture of this post about our new light and chairs? And I mentioned in the comments that West Elm had a rug sale (making the one we liked $100 off) so we pulled the trigger on it?

Well, said rug has shipped and is on its way to our house as I type this (cue the celebratory rug-welcoming drum line!) – which got me all hyper about nailing down a window treatment idea. Especially since you guys had some fun suggestions (everything from roman shades and other colored/patterned curtains to no window coverings at all but a deeper accent color on that back wall). So let’s play around with a window fashion show for a second, shall we?

This is the original rendering from the end of that post:

Next I tried curtains that are less emerald and more leafy green.

Then I went sort of taupe-gray with them, just to see how that would look.

Next I tried a soft blue-gray color to tie into the rug.

Then I added subtly patterned roman shades (found here), which I thought I would LOVE but they seemed a little busy with the rug.

Next I tried making that back wall a deeper color while leaving the windows completely bare.

Then it was back to roman shades, but I tried to make them look more like simple white ones to get an idea of how those might feel.

I also tried on some curtains against the deeper back wall, but that felt like too much going on.

So I took the back wall back to its original color, left the curtains, and added bamboo blinds. Ooh. Something started tingling. It felt layered and warm (the blinds tied into the cream light in a nice way).

See how much of a difference just a rug and some window treatments can make?

I also tried the same bamboo blinds + curtains combo with blue curtains instead of gray ones. We like both options (we might lean slightly more towards the gray ones, but aren’t 100% sure) so the deciding factor might be what kind of fabric we find.

We’re going to wait to pick the fabric until the rug is actually here and rolled out on the floor, just so we can compare them in person, but we definitely feel closer to a solution than we did a few days ago when roman shades, curtains, and dark back walls swirled through our heads.

Do you guys have any tricks for envisioning things in your house? Do you use Photoshop or a free service like Gimp? Do you just slowly bring things in that you love without much planning beforehand? Do you make mood boards? Sometimes we’ll fall in love with a piece of furniture or a wall color (in person or in an inspiration image) and we’re 100% sold, and other times I find myself making a mood board or virtually trying things in the room if we just can’t picture something well enough to commit.