All day today the sun was out, the winter stayed inside the shade…*

*Lyrics from All Day Today by Hospitality. I’m attempting to seek out new artists, new sounds, new experiences for my ears. Check it out, if you like. And feel free to recommend some ear-sounds for me.

I love impromptu house projects. I really, actually do. What I don’t love are the crazy deadlines that accompany them. But the spontaneous impetus to make something better than it was before? Yeah, love. So, last weekend when we were continuing to deal with the state of the basement…

The basement! It's a total work-in-progress filled with cast-off furnishings, DIY supplies and other remnants of our life that got boxed up during the renovation but never got unboxed.

…we began by clearing out the laundry room. Before we began our mini-makeover the following things were issues: the folding area wasn’t working as well as it could; the floors were grungy to look at; and, there was unused space that could have been better utilized for household storage (to get it OUT of the basement once and for all!). All of these things were fixable by a little elbow grease (and a thorough vacuuming), paint, reorganization (and imagination) and some thrifty re-purposing.

The folding table that we had been using was too deep (30″). When we did our kitchen renovation the laundry room was a hotbed of plumbing and electrical activity, including all the filth and detritus that came along with it. When we had our dryer vented outside with proper, rigid venting (to maximize the dryer’s efficiency) the machines were inadvertently not in the original position that they had been there when we first set up the folding table (they had been moved to give workers access to areas crucial to work going on upstairs). So the room got narrower (as I got wider, unfortunately, compounding the issue). Solution: use the leftover laminate countertops (25″ deep) that we’d installed in our kitchen when we first moved in (and before we completely gutted the kitchen for the better).

We had perfectly usable lengths of countertop in excellent condition just sitting in our basement. We had legs from our folding table that were useful (and attractive), and some good ideas from a friend about mounting the tops with heavy-duty brackets. Our goal was to keep the space tidy, flexible and as open as possible. So, a few hours cleaning, plus a few hours painting (and then a night letting paint dry), and a few more hours tinkering and you get this:

AFTER: Tidy, clean, ready for organizing bins filled with construction supplies, household overflow and sparkling fresh laundry. Ahhh.

The floor paint we used was from Home Depot (Behr porch & patio paint in Low-lustre silver grey). Now, normally I’m a complete Benjamin Moore fanatic (the paneled walls are BM Aura Lily Lavender) but, as I said, this was an impromptu idea and the only place that was selling paint by the time we went to get it was HD (plus it was the closest). And the paint we used was… gulp… awesome. Virtually no odor, coated extremely well, good color (in pre-mixed gallons) and dried quickly and evenly. (I couldn’t believe how nice it was, considering my last few experiences with interior paints from HD and Lowes were awful.) The silver and chrome racks we already had – just reorganized their positions – and the countertops were from a time gone by.

All in all, I think we spent about $35 for paint and supplies, and about $24 on brackets. A little time, a little effort and a little thinking saved two sections of countertop from the landfill, and helped to make this space work for us again. Now, back to the laundry that piled up while we were busy sawing, drilling, sweeping, vacuuming, painting and oohing and ahhing. Some pictures of our toil and trouble. Enjoy! xoxo