December 21, 2016

Lesson 232: The Before & After of Our House (Laundry Room * Playroom)

Mark and I became homeowners just over two years ago. After months of searching for perfect, we ended up landing on "checks a lot of important boxes" and also "super affordable" and signed the papers after only walking through one time.

In the future, I'll walk through multiple times to really get a feel for the place (and look out for cheap DIY projects, grrr), but alas, first-time buyers.

Our house is great for a few reasons. The house itself is a 1960's ranch, and as every contractor who's come through has told us, "it's built well." What a refreshing phrase! Built well. I like that.

Our neighborhood is established, mature trees, quiet, mostly retired neighbors, minimal traffic. As homes have turned over, a few younger families have moved in, and so though we don't have many neighbors our age, we really like the ones who are here.

Our backyard is flat, fenced in, and what I like to call, quirky. There are shady spots and sunny spots. A garden. A playground. A dirt pit. A shed. A concrete slab. It's all very flexible, and we are able to host different sizes of groups, all ages back there. It's not the Bethel property, but it is nice.

Inside, the description of the house surprises me. Friends come over for the first time, wanting the tour, and I'm usually a tad overwhelmed by just how much has changed inside since we moved in. We never intended to overhaul her, but have just steadily chipped away at things, and the result is that she looks a whole lot different than when we bought her.

Before moving in, we ripped the built in glass door off the shower, took a plastic built in desk out of Ford's room, removed plastic shelving from Samara's rooms, repainted all the closets, refinished all the floors in the bedrooms, and just walked around removing random plastic items attached to the walls.

We also set ourselves up on a regular bug-removal system. Every three months, a friendly fellow comes and sprays. Y'all, I hate cockroaches. Cute names don't fool us Northerners turned Southerners. Bleh. This was literally the most important item on my list!

Because most of the fun stuff has occurred on the front end of the house, that's where this tour will take us, but a few comments about the back of the house. Both Ford and Samara have had beadboard installed in their bedrooms, every bedroom but one has been painted, ceiling fans changed out, closets customized. We've made some changes to the main bathroom and still need to fix the holes in the walls I put in the kids' bathroom. Yikes! Maybe when all that's complete, I'll get it up here.

But for now, if you've made it this far, you're ready for the pics of the front.

A while back, I posted the beginning of the process of renovating our laundry room. (Here and here.) I thought'd it become a thing, but it never became a thing, and you've never seen the end result. Sorry.

Alright, here it is.


This is the day we moved in. You'll notice the open door. That is how we enter the house most days, from the carport. Immediately to the right was our small laundry closet. Two sets of bi-fold doors, a space for the washer / dryer, and some cabinets. You'll also notice the teal cabinet in the bottom left, signifying this closet was just off our kitchen.

Behind this white wall is a bricked in storage closet, which is accessible through a door in the carport.

These photos are from after living here a while. Actually, these photos are from the day before demo! (And from the day we returned from Summer Conference.) As you can see, in real life, laundry went everywhere! Welcome home, Ashbaughs.


We blew right through that white wall, leveled the floor, created a functional laundry space with storage, hooks, organization, and continued back to add a window ... and a half-bath! Before we installed this bathroom, the only accessible bathroom for guests was in the back of the house, and it's Mark's and mine. With all the people we have in and out of our house, this option is way better!

Hooks. A shoe basket. A shelf for Mark's current books. A random basket for dirty dish towels (and for when children change at the front of the house). With regular upkeep, this spot stays relatively organized.

This photo is meant to show you how both sides of the room relate to each other. In the small nook to the left, we keep our laundry detergent. There's just enough room to access the appliances, pull clothes from the dryer, fold them, and turn slightly to the right to stack them on the counter.

This is the small storage side. There's a 4 foot cabinet, with room for the laundry baskets to fit underneath. The small door is where Mark keeps his briefcase.

The nook with the yellow stool has our ironing board (which is never used), a broom, and if I had an upright vacuum (which I don't), it could fit in there.

And this is the small, bright, half-bathroom!

Y'all, this room is so wonderful that we forget about life in the before. The black door on the left leads to the backyard, so my dirty children can come in from outside to use the restroom, without tracking mud all through the house. They can change from their wet things immediately when coming in from play. It's really just wonderful!

Also on this time around, we made some changes to our playroom. I'm not sure how to describe this room other than as an uncomfortable cave. The floor was peeling, brown linoleum. The only natural light came in through some door windowpanes. The fireplace was a shockingly cold white. And the whole place just sort of smelled, maybe like it had been a dog's domain? The paint color was fine, but dark. And the ceiling was just kind of gross. Also, a massive light/fan hung from the ceiling, making the room feel smaller. As Mark says, "I hated being in that room."


I also must have hated this room, because there are not very many before photos.

 There's that fan!


The absolutely most important change we made to this room was adding a window! The biggest window we could fit. We also repainted the fireplace a softer white, added a mantle, and removed the metal surround. (No, we don't currently use the fireplace. I know you wanted to ask.) We painted the walls and ceiling, changed out the ceiling fan, and installed the softest, most kid-friendly carpet in the whole world. I'm not kidding, little Ford pooped on this rug the first week and I just wiped it right up. No stains at all! We also splurged for the memory foam carpet pad underneath. It's very comfortable to lay on this floor, and with the amount of wrestling matches that occur in here, it's necessary.

Because it's Christmas time, there is a Christmas tree in the photos. Normally, we don't have a Christmas, but another chair.

And the other side of the room, even though there are no before photos.

So, now we spend a lot of time in here. It's kind of quaint and cosy feeling. Clean. Soft. Comfortable. There's not much the kids can break. And though it's not huge, we've fit 20 college students in here at once, so it totally works!

We lived with and were content with these changes for a full year. But then summer came, and I got restless?! Excited?! Motivated?! Whatever the word is, I got bit by the renovating bug again and this time tackled the big one ... a complete overhaul of our kitchen, dining, and "pretty room."

This post has gotten long enough though, so I'll leave you here, waiting on the edge of your seat for the next installment of those photos! Hopefully before next December?!

Lesson Learned: That bathroom though ...

1 comment:

  1. KATHERINE!! this is so, so, so great!!! i love the look of the bathroom, it gives me inspiration for our downstairs half bath.
    also, when we moved in someone put our ironing board in the attic. i've never gotten it down.


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