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One Room Challenge Week 1: DIY Basement Laundry Room Renovation

by - Wednesday, April 06, 2022

What's that? The One Room Challenge starts today?? And we're participating?!

If you're new to Rambling Renovators, welcome! My name is Jennifer. I help people create functional and beautiful homes, I help brands create digital content strategies, and I've been writing this blog since 2007. I live with my husband and daughter in Toronto, Canada in a centre-plan, colonial style house that we've infused with the fresh traditional style we love. We DIY all our renovations and have a fondness for architectural details, built-ins, and classic decor. See our home renovations here.

Yes, it's true! We've decided once again to jump into the chaos of the ORC. If you're not familiar with it, the ORC is a bi-annual event where 20 featured designers and hundreds of guest participants (like us!) are challenged to make over a room in just six weeks (extended to eight weeks during Covid). This being Week One and factoring in time to take photos and blog post writing for the reveal due on Week 8... that leaves about 45 days to get a room renovated.

OMG. That sounds like not a whole heck of a lot of time to do anything.

But we're going to try.

Though I wouldn't count on us actually finishing on time.

Why? Because we're renovating our laundry room for this ORC. Yes, that would be the very same laundry room we planned to start renovating TWO MONTHS AGO. The laundry room we have not done ANY work on.

one room challenge laundry room, laundry room renovation, laundry room before and after

(I should really just give up now)

I wasn't exaggerating. We have not made any progress with this space. This is the problem when you have a perfectly functional yet unattractive private space in your home: there is no reason to get working on it because the only person inconvenienced by its unsightliness is you.

Here's the thing though... I've found the ORC to be a great motivator in the past. Need proof? There's the bathroom we took down to the studs and infused with French style. And the living room we completely transformed for the ORC in 2017. Or the basement we completed at the start of the pandemic that has proven to be a sanctuary these last few years.

bright white basement, neutral basement, coastal basement
Our bright basement renovation


It can be done. I hope putting our intentions here on the blog will keep me accountable. But let's be real... renovating in these After times can be demotivating. Prices of materials are higher. There's shortages on lots of things. We're all still working from home (and my office mates are really getting on my nerves, ha!). And generally, day after day, is tinged with a bit of melancholy and "what's it all for" kind of feelings.

Do you know what I mean? 

But we will go forward. And we will make progress! 

Let's recap where we are. Be prepared. I have not zhushed or tidied up the laundry room in any way. What you are getting in these photos is real, unfiltered, Stanwick family messiness.

one room challenge laundry room, laundry room renovation, laundry room before and after

one room challenge laundry room, laundry room renovation, laundry room before and after

I know how lucky we are to have this large laundry space, even in its current state. Its not creepy, its well lit, and there's folding space (AKA where laundry sits for weeks until we put it away, lol!).

But there's many things we need to deal with:
  • mishmash of a ceiling
  • exposed plumbing and wires
  • textured walls
  • inefficient use of the space
  • lack of flooring
  • lack of closed storage

But I've got a plan for all that! I am SO excited to transform this space and give it structure, functionality, and style. Have a look:


Are you excited about the new plan??

Dividing large laundry rooms into two smaller rooms has kind of become our thing. We did the same in our previous house and created a galley style laundry room with a hidden storage room behind it.

basement laundry room, galley laundry room, laundry room renovation
A Galley Style Laundry Room Renovation

This is really the fun part of the renovation for me. I love figuring out the layout and really maximizing the use of the space. I like turning pinterest pins and 2D ideas into a 3D model. There's something about dreaming up a vision for a space and believing you can bring that vision to life... nothing else compares.

We've got to do a lot of work to make that happen. First up is tearing out the old ceiling and getting the HVAC lines moved. That happens soon so follow me on Instagram to watch our progress (or lack thereof!) in real time.

Let's do this!

one room challenge laundry room, laundry room renovation, laundry room before and after


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