Small Laundry Room Tiling and Make Over

DIY Tiling Laundry Room 

A follower recently gave me a (very gentle) reminder that I never posted the laundry room reveal. Consider this me giving you a look as well as a laundry room tile DIY from someone who had no idea what they were doing.

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Before of the Laundry Room

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Removable Subway Tile Wallpaper // Ikea Kallax Shelf // Woven Basket // Tabletop Ironing board // Globe Sconce

If you are thinking to yourself, the before and the after look very similar (especially that blue shirt), you would be correct. The before is actually the “middle step” of our laundry room; a simple fix that was done just to carry us through to the “renovation”. The before of the laundry room is an excellent and simple “apartment fix”.

With removable wallpaper, an Ikea Kallax shelf propped on a ledge that once held a wire shelf, and a sconce, this laundry room was an easy fix until the renovation to come and would have been a great stopping point if we never decided to do anything else in here.

The Redo Process

Remove the “Removable wallpaper”

I was really excited about this step because I have always wanted to know if removable wallpaper actually came down without ruining the walls. Clean walls after would make removable wallpaper a renters dream. Plot spoiler: Not.

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These grainy stills give you some idea of what the wall looked like after I removed the wallpaper. The removable wallpaper was not so removable. It shredded the paint that was on the wall. In the wallpaper’s defense, the paint felt incredibly low quality. There was no base coat beneath it and it felt a bit like nail polish when you fail to put a base coat and a top coat, if that makes any sense at all. Whoever painted our house must have done it quickly and inexpensively in an effort to get the house on the market. But consider this your warning if you have ever desired to do removable wallpaper.

I removed all the wallpaper, the shelf, the ledge and the machines and got to work.

Tiling the Wall

Now for why you more than likely came here. I tiled this wall in one afternoon and grouted it the next. As someone who has never tried tiling but has done some diy work before, I found it to be two hammers on a five hammer scale after reading many blogs and watching many videos late at night.

Shopping List 

Bucket(s)

Safety Glasses

Pencil

Level

Rags aka T-shirts

Caulk gun

Caulk

Sponges

American Olean Gloss Subway Tile

Grout Float

11 in flooring trowel

Snap Cutter

Tile Cutter

Grout Maximizer Additive

1/8in White Plastic Spacers

Type 1 Mastic

Sanded Powder Grout– For spacers 1/8in-5/8in

Drill Attachment Spiral Mixing Arm

Tiling the Wall

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Before beginning, it’s best to think through what pattern you want. I wanted the traditional pattern so I buttered the wall with the premixed mortar along the base board. Then I placed a tile in the first position and went all the way across. If you look at the bottom row, you can see spacers placed between the starting row and the base board. I inserted those after doing the first row to make sure that there was a proper amount of space between the first row all the way across.  If you ever watch any tiling videos (which I highly recommend) they say spread the mortar like peanut butter on the back of the tile and the wall then press the tile straight on to the wall so you don’t smear the pattern the trowel made.

After doing the first row, I smeared enough mortar on the wall to do two rows. For the second row, I placed one half a tile that I cut using the tile cutter (unseen) into the first position to begin the staggering pattern. After going all the way across, I did the third row. I made sure with each row that the row was level horizontally but also vertically by making sure the vertical rows were aligned.

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I went up the entire wall avoiding obstacles like plugs. I stopped halfway up the wall to scrape out the grout lines and prep the wall for the closets I planned to put in the laundry closet.

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From this photo, you can see that around the plug, I completely left this area open. I planned to go back in with a single tile that I used a wet saw with to complete the hole.

You can also see if you look in between the empty grout lines that mortar got in. I used a metal nail file and a screw driver to scrape that out.

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For end pieces. I measured the space for the finishing tile by placing a loose tile next to a row. I made a mark on the tile where the tile in the wall end and then used the tile cutter to cut there. Then I could use the long piece to match up to this row and the short piece to place in the row above.

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Once I reached a certain height on the wall, I installed these unfinished wall cabinets by finding the studs and drilling a screw into the top and bottom of the cabinet. If you look closely in the below cabinet you could probably see the screw. A better way to do it (in a less stressed and exhausted hindsight) would be to place the screw right below the shelf so its less visible. Without boring you with the nitty gritty details, I installed this cabinet by myself by screwing a 2×4 to the wall at the height that would be below the cabinet. I then rested the cabinet on it as a brace so I could screw it into the wall. And you can also see the whole from that screw below the cabinet in the below photo..

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After finishing up the wall, I realized I had some extra space below the cabinets and scored these little pieces to fill the gap. They came in a pack of 12 and fit nicely in this area. After letting the wall dry overnight, I followed the direction on the grout package to a T and smeared this wall. You can see the pattern that I used to fill the wall by the smears. For the small tight spaces, I used the caulk that I purchased which was the same brand and therefore color as the grout. Most major grout brands sell this caulk. Jackpot!

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It look about five buckets of clean water, two sponges and two cut up college t-shirts to smear the haze off the wall. I started with a piece of cut t-shirt to rub off the excess, then a sponge filled with warm water. And another sponge of warm water. Then another sponge. Seeing a pattern here? Followed by another cut up t-shirt. ED192CF8-367B-4FB7-918C-FF3C9B127913F90406F3-17BA-4930-88F4-00755EC664C4

Until finally the wall was clean. If you look at this photo, you can see there are still gaps around the outlets that I still hadn’t solved by cutting out a piece of tile with a wet saw. In case you are wondering, those are still like that. I have been sooooo busy since Christmas (when this project was done) that I have yet to complete this. I will I promise! It looks a bit unfinished like this.

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I painted the walls a hydrangea blue-purple that changes color with the light and patched up the wall where the previous shelf once lived.

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The middle section of the all looks a bit wonky, but its level in person. I checked while loading these photos because I didn’t realize quite how strange the angle looked.

Styling The Laundry Closet

We specialize in hanging a ton of our clothing so we knew we needed both a hanging rack and shelves. We brought in the same tension rod that we had before because by this point we were beat and some Ikea hangers that we picked up one weekend.  We also put it two pieces of unfinished polar as shelves. We left them unfinished and unstained because we quite liked the way they looked with the hangers and the wicker baskets.

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The Reveal

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The laundry area got a few more tweaks for functionality like hooks for the stool, tap lights under the cabinets (that’s what that glow is) and something to hold brooms and mops on the other wall. As you can see in the photo above, I need to go back and correct that rogue tile around the outlet. Overall, I am happy with the project and would certainly tile again. Just not in the near future. Except for that little gap. I’ll tile that. Also, feel free to ask any question that I was way to vague on in the posts 🙂

Long Living Room Layout

When it comes to design, I usually don’t plan ahead. I have no one to explain myself to but myself. Well and husband, but he’s usually really good about seeing my vision. I spoke once before on instastories about my credenza conundrum and the living room layout is single handlely responsible for why that’s a conundrum in the first place. It’s a really long room, a room that more than likely should be split into two parts. Part living room, part dining room. My husband is adamantly opposed to the notion of formal dining when we don’t need it though so that idea was nixed. This left us with a really long room with no intent.

Between my huge credenza, the need to store our huge dogs crates and our insistence upon having a tv in our sitting area (while still having a fireplace) and you have a problem of epic proportion. Especially since there’s a window on the one free wall and a sliding door on the other.

It became imperative to plan. I downloaded the app “Rooms” one midnight when I couldn’t sleep and got to going on a layout that made more sense for our space.

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Here’s our current situation, and by current, I mean three weeks ago before I rotated these bad boys all over the place at 2am.

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Key

  • Striped rectangles are dog crates. I took used the measurements to make them to scale. There are other places they could live in the house but Sirius barks if he isn’t on the lower level with views to the doors. Eyeroll at him being temperamental.
  • Gold table is a bar cart that I thrifted years ago before brass was really in style. It’s been through three homes with us and was a prop at our wedding so it has some sentimental value. I wanted to keep it if I could even if it was as a printer stand (again).
  • Rectangle behind the sofa is a white parsons desk. We have two of them. One lives in our office and has a new life as a polka dot desk and the other is in the living room so we can work while enjoying our living space.
  • The Brown box on the right is the credenza. The amount of room it’s taking up is to scale.
  • Purple rug is a 5×7 rug that we purchased before we knew what size this room was.
  • Tv on top of fireplace which is to the right but it’s way too high to watch tv from
  • Long white- sliding back door, Right white stripe- Fireplace, Bottom white stripe- window

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Trial 1

Moves: Credenza offset of the fireplace, dog crates flanking the sofa, bigger rug

Problem: Credenza takes focus off fireplace and tv is off sight of the sofa, can’t see tv from chairs. Dogs are on the rug. No go

Good: bigger rug is a must

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Trial 2:

Move: Bigger Rug, both dog crates near back dog, all furniture on rug, back of sofa to fireplace.

Problems: Sofa back is to fireplace and that’s a no go as far as establishing a focal wall.

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Actually try by moving furniture 

Moves: Bigger rug, All furniture legs on the rug, leave credenza, Both crates near front window, tv on credenza, bigger sofa

Problem: Crates feel awkward credenza takes up a lot of space

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Actually try by moving furniture 2

Move: Bigger rug, Bigger sofa, All furniture legs on the rug, dog crates behind sofa to make a sofa table

Problems: credenza may still be taking up too much space

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Ideal but nuclear option: Get rid of credenza

Problem: Got rid of the credenza

Final Solution: We went with the option labeled try three. Doing so meant that we had a large space to the left of the front window. We managed to put the parson desk that originally started out in the living room in that corner. So far we are pretty satisfied. Doing this by way of an app beats the heck out of manually moving every single piece of furniture. Especially when you are struck by this genius idea at 2am when your husband is sleeping and you’re moving all of the furniture alone.

Promise I’ll show you our living room once its complete

Thank for following along with my home woes

Love, Prepford wife

Sunday No Fun-Days

Have you ever gotten the question in  a job interview, “If you were an animal, what animal wiould you be?” I am always the duck. I am calm and relaxed (and might I add, adorable) on the outside but paddling and working hard below the surface. I am an intense planner. I make ten thoughts and plans for every one move I make. Getting ready to face the week is no exception.

In order to avoid a case of the Mondays for my 9 to 5, I’ve gotten in the habit of a Sunday routine. It’s a series of tasks that have to be completed on Sunday (or Saturday depending on what our weekend plans look like) to ensure that I’m off to the races at the start of the week.

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Shirt| Jeans| Tote| Nikes

1. Laundry.  It may not always be folded and put away because we air dry a great deal of our more expensive pieces to avoid wear and tear, but having the laundry done at lest guarantees that on Thursday I’m not tearing the house apart looking for clean pants.

2. Set out clothes. I set out the clothes for the week and try to steam all of the ones that are too wrinkly to be civilized. Usually during the week, I wake up and decide I don’t love one of the outfits I chose, so on that day, I just end up pulling a comfy dress, a cardigan and a pair of sandals.

3. Grocery shopping. Let’s be really real here. We don’t do much eating at home. It’s just my husband and I and I do more eating at work than I would ever do in the house. However, every Sunday, we stock up on the foods that we do eat at home. Usually when we go to the grocery store, we hit the perimeter for the must haves. We stock up on eggs, almond milk and dairy milk, fruit, cheese and veggies. Every thing else we more than likely already have at home or will eat out.

4. Errands In keeping with number three, we always do the little errands on Sunday. Whether we need a new rug, dog food or dish detergent, all of this gets done on the weekends.

5. Food. Also in keeping with number 3, I prep smoothies for the first two days of the week; any longer and they don’t hold. I also pick a subset of lunches to make. I don’t need to pack lunch for every day, just the days I need it.

6. Clean. Clean with a capital CLEAN. Like the universe our house tends to move towards disorder. By Friday night, it’s a wreck or at least what we think of as a wreck, just count the pairs of Nikes left in our entrée way and the dishes left in the sink. The weekend is the time where we get all of that in order to start anew.

7. Spa. Anything that has to do with hygiene gets pushed to the weekend. I give myself an awesome deep condition (with steam or heat), choose a style and make sure my nails are done.

PS. This is totally my weekend outfit. Striped shirt, favorite jeans, Nikes, rinse and repeat. Most weekends, I sub out the tote for a cute canvas bag for grocery shopping.

 

 

 

Planner Season

It’s my favorite time of year. The time of year when some of my favorite companies start rolling out planners and agendas in anticipation of back to school time. Ah Planner Season. (That’s a thing right?) Anyway, nothing makes me happier than a brand new and ready to use agenda except for an already filled and completely scrapped one.

I am currently using the Bando 17 month planner which has one of my favorite prints to date. In a job where I do a lot of idle chit chat, this design has been a cute little icebreaker a number of time over. Each year, I try to do something and say something a little different with my planner. Since it’s a book that gets such heavy usage for me, I try to go for one that is not only cute but also sturdy and high quality. I really put the Bando planner through the ringer and it has held up even better than some of the more expensive planner I’ve had over the years. It’s a great price and I am also willing to pay a little bit extra for celebratory stickers. For some reason I am a sucker for stickers.

Here are my top picks for planners this season in a pretty decent range of prices, a few are even personalized. I apologize in advance because apparently all I care about this year is pink, gold and stripes. Happy hunting for your own planners.

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