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Laundry Room Renovation | Week One

interiorsChloe | Boxwood Ave.2 Comments

I enjoyed sharing the process of our dining room during the One Room Challenge this fall so much that I thought I'd share a similar series as we renovate our laundry room. It's always fun to see a space from start to finish, and I love being able to share my ideas with you! 

We didn't have plans to remodel our laundry room, but my friends at The Home Depot approached me about working together on a "clean sweep" campaign for spring. How could I say no? 

So here we go...less than 30 days to remodel a laundry room. I was lucky to find an awesome contractor available to help us from demo to finish. We also have a really great tile guy who will be helping us with the backsplash and flooring. 

Our home was built in the 60s and when we moved in, it hadn't been touched. The linoleum, pink bathrooms, and wood paneling was all original. While some love mid-century modern, I do not. Over the past year, we have remodeled our kitchen, dining room, entryway, and guest bathroom. It's nice to have those big projects wrapped up so that I can focus on smaller projects entirely. 

I have worked with Home Depot quite a bit in the past, and I really love any opportunity I get to partner with them. They always allow creative freedom which is really nice because I know I won't have to compromise my designs. So needless to say, I'm very excited about this project...

 

farmhouse laundry room DEsign plan


Farmhouse Laundry Room Design Plan from boxwoodavenue.com
 

So let me tell you about our laundry room... 

It is really, quite large. It has a beautiful window that looks out over the apple trees. It has loads of storage and cabinets, and even has a "drip dry closet". I have always envisioned a door where the window is because it leads right out to the apple trees. I spend so much time outside under the trees, and out with the goats, that a door here makes much more sense than a window. 

I also knew I wanted to remove the drip dry closet, while it's definitely unique, it's similar to the indoor BBQ...not functional any longer. Aside from those two structural elements, the rest of this room will all be cosmetic updates: adding crown molding, new flooring, base boards, cabinets, countertops, and backsplash. 

Once the room is finished, I hope to have an area where I can not only do the laundry, but also wash fruits and veggies from the garden as well as prep flowers. 

Home Depot has so kindly provided me with cabinets, countertops, Kohler products (sinkfaucet), hardware, a washer and dryer, and a new vacuum. I am feeling incredibly grateful. Our current washer and dryer is hanging on by a thread. The washing machine sounds like a rocket ship, whenever someone comes over while it is running they ask, "What in the world is that noise?"

The lid is also broken - even after replacing it, it does not stay open, so I prop it up each time I do the wash, plus the lid-lock latch completely broke off, so we have to jam a little piece of plastic in each load to trick the washer into thinking the lid is locked. Even with all of that said, I am very grateful to have a laundry room, and a washer and dryer at all, but I am so excited to have a brand new washing machine that works! 


before photos


While designing this space, I wanted to push myself a little bit out of my normal "white" comfort zone. Rather than selecting white shaker cabinets, I chose a beautiful gray, and to keep the cool tones present throughout the room, I'll be using aged nickel hardware and black and white accents. 

I visited the Home Depot the last time I went to Reno to select a countertop. I had heard all about Quartz countertops, but I have yet to use them in our home. After doing a little bit of research, it seems that Silestone Quartz is a designer favorite. I have selected the Statuario color because it is a nice bright white color with minimal veins - I wanted to keep the color as light as possible since we will be installing in black slate tile

Speaking of, it was a tough decision as to what I should install for flooring. I like a nice bright space, but the classic style of slate really sucked me in. I think it will tie the white counters and gray cabinets together really well. Once I decided on slate, I then couldn't decide if I should opt for herringbone flooring or a more traditional stacked pattern. Ultimately, I chose the traditional route. While I love herringbone, it didn't feel right for this room which I want to look very minimal and clean. 

It seems that I have something against upper cabinets because once again, I have decided to skip them. The laundry room is 130 SF, so we will have sufficient storage without the upper cabinets. However, I wanted to keep the room interesting, so we will be installing vertical paneling on the walls as well as a counter to ceiling backsplash on the main wall. To say I am excited about the backsplash is an understatement. I splurged on Clé tile, and I cannot wait to have those little terra-cotta beauties in my hands! I selected the color "rice paper" because I loved the gray and green undertones (I did not care for the subtle pinks of their "weathered white").

Finally the light fixtures...I learned my lesson during the one room challenge to check, double check, and then triple check the sizing. Photos online can be deceiving! I am so glad I did because the lighting I initially wanted would have been much too large for the wall. We spent a good hour mulling over placement and style, and in the end I selected these classic farmhouse style sconces from RH to be placed above an open shelf on the main wall. 

That sums it up for week one...we have finished demo, and now our contractor is wrapping up plumbing and electrical! Next week we will begin to put it all together, and we are hoping to have everything wrapped up by the first week of February. I hope you enjoy following along as this room comes to life. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me today, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 


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Cheap Household Cleaning Products with a Free Printable Cheat Sheet

livingChloe | Boxwood Ave.3 Comments

A quick & easy guide to using the cheap household cleaning products you already have! With links to make your own cleaning products, and how to organize a closet!

I am so very excited to be tagging along in Julie Blanner's #CelebrateOrganization tour! If you're visiting from another blog today, welcome! I'm so happy you're here! 

Today I am sharing how I tackled my cleaning closet in 30 minutes, and some tips for making the most of the cheap household cleaning products you already have! 

Free labels for making your own inexpensive household cleaning products! boxwoodavenue.com

In the process of organizing my cleaning closet, I realized that, in reality, there are only a handful of cleaning supplies that I truly need in our home: Castile soap, Borax, baking soda, lemons, salt, essential oils, and vinegar. These ingredients are cheap, easy to find, and most importantly safe for your whole family. If you, like me, are in need of cleaning out & organizing your cleaning cupboard, I've listed how & when to use each natural and safe cleaning product below. Enjoy!

Free labels for making your own inexpensive household cleaning products! boxwoodavenue.com


Free labels for making your own inexpensive household cleaning products! boxwoodavenue.com

A quick guide to

All-natural, safe (and cheap!) household cleaning products

Lemons

One of my favorite natural cleaning products is a lemon. If you've ever cleaned copper with a lemon, it's like magic before your eyes. Miracles in action. 

Cut a lemon in half and you've got yourself two handheld sponges to go crazy with. Dip it in some salt and it becomes an exfoliating machine that cleans copper, cutting boards, and countertops. Just rinse with water afterwards!

Lemon juice can also be added to white laundry loads to brighten them up without using bleach. Or, try using a lemon peel, ice cubes, and 1/4 cup kosher salt in your garbage disposal to get rid of any icky odors. 

Also, lemon juice & a little cream of tartar makes for a great grout cleaning paste. Grab a toothbrush and let your kid earn their allowance! 

Borax

The original 20 mule team. Borax soap can be used in so. Many. Ways. Dissolve 1/2 cup Borax with 1 gallon of hot water to form a non-scratch solution to clean walls, scrub pots and pans, baseboards, moulding, counters, floors, and much more. 

Instead of Comet, use Borax in your toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few hours then come back with a scrub brush to clean well. This method also works for dishwashers – scrub the inside of your dishwasher with Borax, and line the bottom of the entire machine with the soap. The best part is that you can run the next load of dishes just as your normally would, safely. 

Borax will get rid of stains, soften, and deodorize laundry as well! Combine a bit of warm water with Borax to create a pre-treatment for stained laundry, and add 1/4 cup to the wash to boost cleaning power.

"The reason why borax is so effective is because of its pH. Stains are often acidic in nature, and borax brings acids closer to base. This means borax breaks down stains on a molecular level."

must reads for the new year


Vinegar

Right up there with lemons is vinegar for me. It comes in giant gallon jugs and can be used to disinfect pretty much anything.

Need an all-natural and safe all purpose cleaner? A 1:1 water & vinegar ratio is what I have started using in our home. It works great! Add some essential oils to the mix so that your house doesn’t smell like vinegar - or, try infusing with citrus peels to completely mask the vinegar smell! 



You can run it through your coffeemaker to clean well. Simply run a few blank pots before your next cup ;) You don’t want to drink a cup full of vinegar infused coffee!

Vinegar also gets rid of soap scum, and mineral buildup in showers, simply secure a shower cap filled with vinegar on your shower head, leave it for a few hours, then run hot water. It will remove any serious buildup. 

 

If your iron has stains or clogged steam holes, you can follow the same procedure as a clogged shower head! Fill a small plastic tupperware 1/8" high with 1:1 water & vinegar, place the iron in for 10-15 minutes to loosen buildup. Then, fill the steam reservoir 1/3 of the way with distilled water and run the iron on the steam setting until all of the water has evaporated. 

If you have murky glasses, try soaking them in vinegar for 10 minutes, then wash as normal. All buildup should dissolve in the vinegar, but if it doesn't, use a little baking soda to scrub left over residue. 

Vinegar is not safe to mix with bleach or hydrogen peroxide, and becomes completely useless if mixed with baking soda.

Baking Soda

Like lemon juice & cream of tartar, baking soda with a bit of water makes for an awesome cleaning paste. Use on walls, grout, or other tough spots.

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and mixed with a bit of essential oils, it becomes an all-natural air freshener! I mix a big batch of baking soda with essential oil and keep it in an open container for multitasking.

Baking soda will absorb grease, so if you spill some oil on your marble (yikes!), on your garage floor, or need to spiff up your BBQ, slather on a baking soda & water paste, let it sit (overnight for toughies), then wipe up and rinse with warm water.

Castile Soap

I recently discovered castile soap, and have become a huge fan. I have been using it for everything! Try mixing about a tablespoon with 1/3 cup baking soda for a homemade soft scrub! #genius

What do you use to clean your floors? Next time try ¼ cup of castile soap & 2 gallons of warm water!

If you need to clean leather furniture, use a few drops of Castile soap & 1 quart of warm water. Use a damp cloth to clean any residue or gunk left over from spilled cheerios or beer.

There are SO many more uses for this olive oil based soap, find the dilution cheat sheet from Lisa Bronner here

Plant & Essential Oils 

I have written before that I used to think of essential oils the same way I think of Mary Kay. But, since I have started using them, I have become a huge fan.

Essential oils have natural healing and disinfecting powers and can be safely added to most cleaning products to scent or add cleaning power. For a list of 101 uses for essential oils, click here!

Coconut oil is another amazing cleaning superhero. I have a friend with severe acne, and when she began using coconut oil as a facial cleanser, her acne cleared up! I had planned to write a post about replacing my after-shower lotion slathers with coconut oil, but that post never got written. It can be summed up by: it worked wonders for my skin, and I always smelled like a mermaid. 

Coconut oil isn't just for the body. It can be used to remove scuff marks on leather & wood, or repair damaged wood. It can also be used to loosen debris or clean leather products!

I hope you have enjoyed this quick post sharing how you can use the all-natural, safe, and cheap cleaning products you already have in your home! If you love to organize, or if you need to organize, I've linked some wonderful ideas below!


Get more fabulous household cleaning & organization tips & tricks from some of my favorite blogs!

Julie Blanner

Shades of Blue Interiors

The Zhush

French Country Cottage

Ella Claire 

Thistlewood Farms

Beneath my Heart


I'd love to share more organization tips & easy recipes with you!