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Cleaning Up! A Bath And Laundry Room Combo | ORC, FALL 2020, WEEK 1

A collective kick in the butt.

So I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I was up for it. I've been in a bit of a reno rut. It's not that we haven't been busy this summer bloomscaping our new backyard garden. And now that the air is chilling, it's not like we don't have a long list of interior projects to capture our attention. It's just that with all the chaos in the world near and far, I have to say my creative spirit is a bit exhausted. Maybe you're feeling the same way.

Sometimes we just need a gentle nudge to reset. And I got one the other day.

I had been procrastinating about joining this fall's #OneRoomChallenge when I saw a picture of our transformed garden shed, our spring ORC project, featured on ORC's Instagram.

It reminded me of the supportive community of home improvers who are out there doing their best on projects big or small, with whatever they have, to make their homes special havens. It reminded me of the kindness and generosity of strangers who are brought together virtually through a shared interest, cheering each other on with every milestone met. It reminded me of the power of positivity and our optimistic desire to create beauty where none existed before.

This was the kick in the butt I needed. Thank you ORC.


In its eighteenth season, the One Room Challenge™, takes place in April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers take the challenge as Featured Designers. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process over six weekly posts. Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.

In addition to following along, everyone with a blog or Instagram account, is welcome to join the fun as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up each Thursday, flooding the internet and social media with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement.

This is our second One Room Challenge as a Guest Participant, but it's the first inside project we are tackling in our new home. See our first ORC - the makeover of our flower studio and garden. We are #LovingLeuty.


It's A Wash

Equal parts laundry room. Equal parts bathroom.

Our new home is not big, not small. Really, it's just right. But with 2400 square feet spread over three floors for our family of five and black lab George, every inch has to work really hard to maximize its potential. This is especially true of our basement combo laundry/bathroom.

THE GOOD THING: someone else at some point dug out and finished the basement. THE BAD THING: someone else did it. Meaning it's not our style. Meaning we are not sure about the quality of the work.

THE BEST THING: we are tearing it all out and starting over.

The Plan

OK, the pictures don't lie. This space is in need of an extreme makeover. To be fair, the room is looking her worst in these images as we had already started some of the demo when they were taken. I just keep telling myself this is a moment in time, and when we are done, this room is going to be fabulous, fresh and functional.

It's always more cost-effective if you don't have to move the plumbing and in our case we can work with the existing layout of the toilet and shower which is great. We plan to install a new toilet, remove all the tile on the floor and walls and build a new shower stall and storage closet. We're getting some help to do this as ripping out those tiles is going to be a big job.

Everything except the new washing machine goes. We are moving the washer and new dryer beside each other and will create a work surface/counter on top with storage below. The sink will be tucked to the far right-hand corner for cleaning up people and things. I love a statement sink - but haven't quite decided yet if blue will make another appearance or if we go in a different direction.

This door which gets in the way is going to be replaced with a pocket door. New windows are ordered but won't be installed by the end of the ORC so we'll have to imagine how nice they will look. Plumbing and electrical will be assessed and upgraded by our professional contractors. Because it's basement level, we want to add as much light as possible, through fixtures and design decisions, like wall colour, tiles and work surfaces.

Up Next

I love demo so next week will be a good one. We'll be peeling back the layers to see what surprises lurk beneath all that tile. We'll also finalize the design direction, so the shopping can commence. Oh what fun.


Check out some more.

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