Laundry Room Wish List and Our Design Options

Laundry room design board & accessories | Classy Glam Living

You know the feeling of something so close, yet so far?  That's how I'm feeling right now about our upcoming move.  I've shared all of our new house's decor and design plans except for one very important room - the laundry room.  I've never really given much thought about a laundry room until I realized how much of a pain it's been with a basement laundry here at the rental.  Had this been a bungalow, it wouldn't have mattered.  But our rental is a 3-storey townhouse + basement, and that makes putting away our clean laundry back up 3 flights of stairs quite the workout.  Needless to say, I've just gotten worse in falling behind in this department constantly.

We had a great sized laundry room at our old house, and spoiled that it was upstairs with our bedrooms.  Most people prefer the laundry with the mudroom downstairs, but I may be the exception.  It's so convenient to have it upstairs, and makes laundry less of a chore... and a workout.  Though admittedly, I didn't think of it that way.

Our laundry room at the old house

Our laundry room at the old house

Luckily, the laundry room at the new house is also on the bedroom floor!  It is probably 2/3 the size of our old laundry room, so I'm determined to make it as functional as possible.

Builder's layout of our new house laundry room

Builder's layout of our new house laundry room

No upgrades were made with the builder for this laundry room.  We just couldn't justify the prices they charge for the optional upper cabinets and to have their favourite plastic utility sink fitted in a cabinet.  Plus, we didn't want to be limited by their cabinet selections nor the positioning for what I have in mind.

I have a simple wishlist...  but after having done laundry in the basement, these seem like luxuries:

  • lots of task lighting

  • countertop as folding station

  • ample storage

  • drying area - hang drying and lay-flat drying

Nice and bright lighting

The smell of fresh laundry would be more enjoyable in a brightly lit laundry room. Back at our old house, the laundry room lacked natural light and was dark, lit only by the builder's dome light fixture that we never switched out.  At the new house, my first priority for this laundry room would be installing task lighting.  This photo from Rambling Renovators below is my inspiration for bright task lighting.  Even though this laundry is in the basement, it's nice and bright with the pot lights.

Folding station countertop

We had a long folding space at our old house's laundry room, but it was under-utilized since it was another dumping spot for miscellaneous household items.  I'm paying for that now, as I miss that dearly and would love to have a folding counter at our new house!  

A popular trend is to build the laundry room to function like a small kitchen, minus the cooking part. Pull-out hampers, built-in ironing boards in cabinets used for kitchens, and of course, a countertop as the folding station, just to name a few.

This photo below is my all time favourite.  It's such an elegant space to do laundry!  I also love how the countertop above the washers/ dryers is beautifully equipped with laundry supplies.  

Hampton Design

Hampton Design

My plan is to run a countertop from the laundry sink and across onto the washer and dryer as the folding station.  That should provide lots of space for folding and decorating :-)

Storage and lots of it

To avoid another dump site at the new laundry room, I need to designate a place for everything from the get go.  You know, the usual suspects of light bulbs, extra cleaning supplies, vases, containers, etc.  Don't know how they always found their way onto my laundry counter back at the old house.

I love this combination of closed storage and open shelves with baskets.  The open shelves make the backsplash area look higher than it is, and in turn make the ceiling look taller.  Open shelves would be an ideal spot to store frequently accessed items, such as towels and other linens.

The Block Glasshouse by Darren & Dee

The Block Glasshouse by Darren & Dee

This set of closed storage with frosted glass labels is super cute!  The glass doors also help to reflect light in a small space, making the laundry room appear brighter.

Source unknown

Source unknown

Drying areas

There just never seem to be enough room to hang dry our delicates here at the rental.  I'm just drooling over the hanging space above the counter in these photos:

I was back and forth on the location of the hanging space.  If we do install the hanging rod above the counter, our hanging garments will face the entrance of the laundry room,  I'm not sure how well that'll go with the clean and uncluttered look I'm after.  

My best option is to leave the wall above the machines only for storage cabinets, facing the entrance, and install the hang drying racks on the wall beside the doorway, like so:

This way, the hanging garments are "hidden" from sight when you look in.  I've already gotten this collapsible hanging rod to go on that wall.  It'll be folded in when not in use to minimize the space it takes up.

And these foldable drying racks from IKEA can go under the rod, collapsed when not in use also:

Design options

While the wall with the drying racks won't be too attractive, my plan for the opposite storage wall will hopefully make up for that.  My dilemma is whether to match the base sink cabinet fronts to our graphite set of machines, or to choose a wood toned front to add warmth.  These are currently my coveted choices from IKEA's SEKTION kitchen series:

Glossy grey

Glossy grey

Walnut effect light grey

Walnut effect light grey

These horizontal wall cabinets, also from IKEA's SEKTION series, would be great for the upper storage.  We can run them along the length of the wall, leaving out the bottom door for the combination of open and closed storage options mentioned above.

IKEA SEKTION horizontal wall cabinet | Laundry room design board | Classy Glam Living

As for the countertop, this slab of Caesarstone in White Shimmer with pieces of mirror chips in it would pick up the white shimmery lines of our builder's floor tiles.

To add visual interest, the curvy lines of these moroccan lantern backsplash tiles create an interesting juxtaposition against all the flat surfaces in the laundry room.

Since the Mr. is a visual person, I've put together this design board to help him visualize what's in my head.

faucet    /    1    /    2    /    3    /    4

faucet / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Designing the laundry room to function efficiently is a must, making it pretty is a bonus.  Don't know about you, but laundry is my most dreaded chore.  I'm hopeful that beautifying this utility room will help me get back on track with our ever growing mountain of laundry.  The logic is simple:  happy laundry room --> happy wife --> happy life  ;-)

Which base cabinet option would you choose?

Marble Testing with Household Staple - Red Wine

MARBLE ETCHING TEST RED WINE | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

*****  SEE OUR KITCHEN COUNTERTOP REVEALED HERE!  ******

CLICK TO SEE OUR MARBLE COUNTERTOP ALTERNATIVES

Using marble for kitchen countertop and backsplash is ever more popular nowadays.  We see the most beautiful kitchens on Houzz and Pinterest clad in some kind of marble, and without a second thought we would put that on our kitchen wish list.  But how practical is marble for a real kitchen that gets a fair deal of daily usage (and without an immediate wipe down)?  That's why we looked at marble alternatives in this post, and it actually became our blog's most repinned topic... 900+ and counting!

Us marble owners wannabe's are most likely concerned with the three main cons of marble:  cost, maintenance, and etching.  The nicest piece of marble is most likely double+ the price of manmade quartz stones, not to mention the extra care that natural stones need.  Proper sealing of the stone gives it some extra time to avoid severe etching.  So, what is etching?

Etching is the dulling effect caused by the chemical reaction of acidic spills on the calcium based marble.  Basically, any red wine, citrus juice, tomato sauce, etc that come into contact with the marble would "eat away" at the stone upon contact, and make it feel rough to the touch if left for a long time.  Is there an "appropriate" length of time that we can ignore these acidic spills?  We did a little experiment to test that out.  

BIANCO NEVE | CLASSY GLAM LIVING | MARBLE ETCHING TEST

We were given a sample of Bianco Neve at our appointment with the stone fabricator.  It is a white marble with beautiful depth and crystalization that sparkles as it catches the light.  As lovely as it is, we had to subject it to our household staple and etching culprit - red wine.

This piece of sample has a polished finish but is not protected by any sealant.  We separated the sample piece into quadrants...

MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

Applied a teaspoon of red wine on each quadrant...

HERE WE GO!

HERE WE GO!

and did a time lapse test of 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and 4 hours.

WAITING FOR THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

WAITING FOR THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

30 seconds is easily the time of a splash of tomato sauce on the counter while the Mr. is at the stove, before he notices the splash to wipe it up in time.  

30 SECONDS OF RED WINE STAIN | MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

Don't know which of red wine or tomato sauce is worse, but even the 30-second rule yields a slight etched mark.

A SLIGHT OVAL DULL MARK IS SOMEWHAT VISIBLE 

A SLIGHT OVAL DULL MARK IS SOMEWHAT VISIBLE 

Next is the 5 minute mark, the dulling is a lot more visible now.

5 MINUTE RED WINE STAIN | MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

Sometimes we wouldn't notice a splash at the stove until after a meal, which may be around 30 minutes.  If that's the case, the polish is gone.  I would consider this moderate etching.

30 MINUTES RED WINE STAIN | MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

Under the reflection, here's how the sample looks like with the time lapse red wine test.  The 30 seconds, as expected, has the least visible etched mark.  The 5 and 30 minutes etching are comparable in person.

MARBLE ETCHES UNDER REFLECTION | RED WINE MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

4 hours after the red wine spill...  oh that can easily be the time that we notice a spill after a gathering.  What will happen then?

4 HOURS RED WINE MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

After 4 hours, the red wine darkened the spot it occupied on the marble.  The spot was clearly dull and also felt rough to the touch.

4 HOURS RED WINE MARBLE ETCHING TEST | DULL SPOT ROUGH TOUCH DISCOLORATION | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

In comparison to the other three quadrants, the 4 hour red wine stain has completely dulled the polish, even though they were all dulled to some extent.

4 HOURS RED WINE MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

In this view, the discoloration of the 4 hour red wine stain has created a dark spot at the lower right quadrant.

DISCOLORATION OF MARBLE | 4 HOURS RED WINE MARBLE ETCHING TEST | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

And that concludes our test.  Looks like the 30 second rule also applies to spills on marble!

Did I just make your head spin even more, or did this test help to make your decision process much easier?  Will you be able to live with the etched marks on your beloved piece of marble and tell the story behind each mark?  Or does your kitchen countertop have to be perfectly polished even with serious daily usage?  Our decision may surprise ourselves either way.

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives

Kitchen Countertop Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Classy Glam Living

*****  CLICK FOR OUR RED WINE TEST ON MARBLE  *****

*****  AND OUR NEW KITCHEN COUNTERTOP REVEALED  *****

Hope you had a fantastic holiday with your friends and family.  We're just starting to get back to the groove of things after a long hiatus.  December seemed to have zoomed past, as we squeezed in tons of work before our one week cruise vacation, then came back in time for Christmas. And now, we're almost into the new year!  That also means we should start looking at stuff for the house.  

We have a list of home projects to research on even before we move in.  As mentioned in the kitchen trendspotting post, there are some trends that we would love to incorporate for our new kitchen. We've contemplated a lot through the months and have decided we really love the look of marble countertop and backsplash.  Instead of braving the malls during Boxing Day weekend, we went to check out stone slabs for kitchen and bathroom countertops.  It was just a preliminary researching phase for us to look at the different types of marble and how they differ in veining and colouring.  We also wanted to see if there are any marble alternatives for countertops.  

Just so we weren't looking at every single kind of marble at the showroom (with a constantly whining little man - "Mommy, I only want to look at 5 more"), we turned to my Pinterest Kitchen board for inpirations.  

Marble looks that we love - more white background with soft grey veining:

image via    smitten studio

image via smitten studio

Marble looks that we're not too hot about - grey undertone, less white, busy pattern, dark grey veining

image via    Domaine Home

image via Domaine Home

image via    cynthiacarlson.com

If we didn't narrow down our preferences, this marble selection at Ciot would've been quite overwhelming.

wall of marble selection at ciot | Classy Glam Living

wall of marble selection at ciot | Classy Glam Living

Before arriving at the showroom, I also considered Carrara marble.  However, it looked almost grey with no whites, as in the piece in the second row, third from the left.  It's lost its appeal to us, as it would just blend in with our grey kitchen cabinets.  From the marble selections, we narrowed down to Statuario, Statuarietto, and Calacatta.  They all exhibit a more white undertone with grey veining.

Nothing is more intriguing than looking at slabs of marble!  This is a slab of Calacatta marble we saw at the showroom. 

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Calacatta Marble | Classy Glam Living

 It's beautiful as is, but it has too much of the brown veining in it, which Calacatta is known for. 

Calacatta marble | Brown and gold veining | Classy Glam Living

Calacatta marble | Brown and gold veining | Classy Glam Living

It would go nicely with a wood tone kitchen, just as how Jennie Garth used it in her new home's kitchen.

Jennie Garth's kitchen with Calacatta Gold Marble

Jennie Garth's kitchen with Calacatta Gold Marble

For our grey cabinets, we would need a slab of marble with more grey veining.  Statuario and Statuarietto marbles both have a white undertone with grey veining, but Statuarietto has a busier fine grey veining in its white parts.  So it's no wonder that Statuario marble is the most valuable of all marbles - the whiter a piece of marble, the more valuable it is!

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Statuario vs. Statuarietto Marble | Classy Glam Living

Then the stone expert showed me a slab of gorgeous looking Statuario marble...  or is it?

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Statuario large slab TILE | Classy Glam Living

It's not real marble!  It's a huge slab of marble look-alike TILE!  The stone expert said to fabricate this into a counter would cost slightly less than Caesarstone.  However, the cost savings would be more dramatic without a complicated installation, eg. a slab of kitchen backsplash.  Unlike regular porcelain marble imitation tiles, the printed veins aren't pixely nor fake looking.  The best thing is, this is heat resistent, which eliminates my fear of discolouring a slab of marble backsplash at the stove!  There're so many applications for this product, we're so excited about it!

Another marble alternative that is very hot right now is the new Caesarstone, Calacatta Nuvo.  It's the first piece of Caesarstone with such a white background to imitate marble veining.  Unfortunately, the Mr. has had his mind set on the more authentic veining of marble, and nothing can replace its natural beauty.

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Caesarstone | Calacatta Nuvo | Classy Glam Living

If we were looking for a piece of Carrera marble alternative, then this piece of Super White would be a great choice.  It's more durable than marble, and its colouring and veining closely resemble that of the Carrera marble.

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Super White Granite | Classy Glam Living

If you're shopping for a slab of marble, then I hope this post has showed you how to navigate through the differences between the white slabs of marble and alternatives.  Going to a slab showroom can be overwhelming, and knowing what you're looking for will help you focus and make it a more fun experience.

***CHECK OUT OUR RED WINE TEST ON MARBLE***

To leave you with something simply stunning...  an amazing slab of geodes:

Slab of Geodes | Olympia Tiles | Classy Glam Living

Slab of Geodes | Olympia Tiles | Classy Glam Living

The crystallization withinin the slab is just mesmerizing.  I can stare at this for hours...  but maybe not with the little man around.

Kitchen Countertops - Marble and Look-alike Alternatives | Closeup of Geodes Slab | Classy Glam Living

How do you protect your marble countertops?  Do you know of other marble alternatives?