We’ve publicly shared some pretty hideous features of our house on Bye Bye Brooklyn. No shame in our game. Our house has 130 years of history in its walls, and some pretty crappy design decisions were made along the way. We’re not worried. The house has really good bones, and it’ll be fabulous in no time.
Still, there is one room that grosses us out so badly that we seriously considering not sharing the before pictures. For the sake of keeping it real, though, we have to document the crustiest of the crusty.
Deep breath. Here we go:
This is the back door to our house, which is actually the door we use most often. It leads out to our back yard and garage, and leads in to the kitchen.
This room’s main purpose at the moment is for sunbathing:
That’s Jabba. She’s not much of a DIYer, but she’s a professional napper. While we’re upstairs demolishing rooms, she’s downstairs sunbathing and snoozing. Or interrupting to remind us it’s lunchtime:
She hangs out in the entryway a lot because it gets great sunlight through its super-ghetto windows:
Someone repaired that glass with clear packing tape. You can hardly see the crack, right? Right??
We’ve also been using this room as a place to store our recycling:
Our bike locks and helmets were thrown in here as well:
The windows overlook the ugly trellis that we’ll be ripping down:
And, in case you hadn’t noticed, there are no walls. Whoever renovated this room (and I’m using the word “renovated” very loosely), did a pretty terrible job of insulating. Everything is sort of crunched in and mushed down (total no-no), and they never got around to sheetrocking the walls. Or the ceiling:
One cool thing about this room is the exposed brick that’s been painted white:
Here it is on the other wall:
Oh, wait, I’m sorry. That’s not brick. Those are shingles. As in, the stuff that’s supposed to go on the outside of your house. The entire wall is covered with shingles that were painted white to “match” the brick:
All of those black spots you see on the shingles are places where we pulled out nails. The dorm fridge is what we lived out of before we got our shiny new fridge. Not gonna lie: that was a rough couple of weeks. You can also take a gander at our washer & dryer hookup.
We’ve been excited about having a laundry room pretty much since we started looking at houses to buy. We daydreamed about living the kind of life where we could wash our clothes while watching a movie. Throw our wash in the dryer without navigating through screaming kids running laps around the laundromat. Leave our laundry in the dryer overnight. And — oh, bliss — never ever again having to wear bathing suit bottoms as underwear because we’ve been too busy to drag our hampers across the street to the stupid, noisy laundromat.
Anyway, on the shingled wall, you can see a poorly sealed doorway (and even more nails):
Apparently this room was once connected to our half-bathroom, which was also recently “renovated.” It’s nowhere near as horrible as the laundry room, but it’s not pretty either. We’re guessing this space used to be an outdoor porch, and someone converted it into a half-bath and laundry room. And they did a pretty horrible job of it. To seal up the doorway, for instance, they just nailed a piece of plywood to the frame, painted it white, and called it a day.
There is one thing we plan on keeping from this room:
Bradley’s pretty indifferent about it, but I kind of love that faceplate. Can’t you see it painted bronze and looking really fabulous in another room? It’s one of those just-so-weird-it-might-work things that we’re going to try, and if it doesn’t work, then in the trash it goes.
We also found a thermometer in the room:
The Royal Order of Moose? Garbage.
Ugly light? Garbage.
Wait, no, we take that back. This might be salvageable. Capiz shell is all the rage right now, and with new fittings for the inside and a better way to hang it — a way that doesn’t include a cheap brass chain — we might make this work. Maybe. If we’re not totally smash-happy by the time we start renovating this room, in which case, it’ll probably die a horrible sledgehammer-related death.
We’re not really ready to renovate this room yet (we have a one-room-at-a-time policy), but we needed to get that stained carpet out. Luckily, this was a poorly done DIY job. It’s a theme in this room. So we didn’t have to rip up any carpet tacks or deal with any glue. Someone just used a stapler to staple the carpet to the wood. And we’re not sure they used a real staple gun. They looked like normal office staples. Moral of the story: people are weird.
The carpet came up easily, and underneath, we found a perfect preserved Jackson Pollock painting!
Upon closer examination, though, we found that this was not a Pollock but a cheap knock-off by Scott:
Oh well. You can’t win ‘em all. Or, apparently, you can’t win at all with this room.
…just kidding! When it comes down to it, it’s still a laundry room. And a useable one now that we put a washer and dryer in it:
Whee! When I snapped that picture, those puppies were hooked up and doing one of the four loads of laundry we did that day. No bathing suit bottoms up in this hizzy!
We initially planned on buying new front loaders, but since we decided to splurge on kitchen appliances, we cut back on our laundry room budget. After reading a lot of reviews, we decided that maybe front loaders weren’t that great for us. I’m extremely allergic to mold. We’re sure other people are having great mold-free results with their front loaders, but we’re not going to risk it.
After looking at a lot of top loaders, we decided to buy a used set off of Craigslist. So many people are getting rid of their 2 or 3-year-old top loaders in order to buy new front loaders. There are tons of deals to be had, plus buying used keeps perfectly-good machines out of landfills. By going to Craigslist, we were able to be both eco-conscious and budget-conscious.
How budget-conscious? Drumroll please! We got our machines for……$150 each! $300 for the set — and there’s nothing at all wrong with ‘em. We’d actually given ourselves a much-higher budget of $1200, so we technically saved ourselves $900.
As far as renovating this room goes, it’s pretty low on our list right now. But we’re already talking about doing a very light, airy look for both this room and the adjoining half-bathroom. Something modern but beachy. We’re taking our cues from the white brick wall and thinking white paneled walls and minimalist cabinetry. We’re also planning on keeping the floors light — either white or light grey — to contrast with the black floors throughout the house.
And, while we know there’s no room in our half-bath for a claw foot tub, we think this works beautifully:
No rush. We’ll get to it when we get to it. For now, we’re sticking to the upstairs renovations. But we’re super excited that we can do our laundry while we’re working on the rest of the house. Or watching movies. Or going out for dinner. Or sleeping…
What we learned from this project:
- We don’t know who Scott is, but we want to have a long talk with him.
- Everyone’s jumping on the front loader bandwagon, which is great for the rest of us who don’t mind an energy efficient machine that’s a couple of years old. Check Craigslist!