My waffle: stenciling the laundry room

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This is our laundry room. Sexy, right?

Laundry room, decorating a laundry room,

Yeah, I think so too. I would love to paint this room a happy color to offset the tedium of doing the laundry, but I’m too late. The best time for painting would have been before the washing machine and dryer were installed five years ago. Short of moving the machines or morphing into an 8 inch painting fairy, there’s no way for me to paint behind them. I could just stop painting at a certain point, but I know that seeing a half-painted wall (you can see behind the machines while doing laundry) would bug me.

So how about stenciling? It’s pretty trendy right now. I’ve been seeing stencils on walls, stairs, bookcases, chairs, pillows, the list goes on.

stencils on bookcase, stencils

I could do an “allover” type of stencil in which a geometric design is repeated continuously to look like wallpaper.

Cutting Edge Stencils, allover stencil, stencils

Or I could do a design spaced out more randomly and further apart, like the “Zinnia” stencil below

Flower-stencil-zinnia-stencil, stencils, decorating with stencils, cutting edge stencils

Another option is doing a one-off, like this “Dandelion” stencil

Dandelion-stencil, Cutting Edge Stencils, Decorating with Stencils

Are some of you shrieking in horror? My worst fear is that it will look tacky and badly done (I’m not the craftiest of gals). Also, doing an all-over type of stencil might be just as hard as painting. A more randomly spaced or one-off stencil might help the room look more cheerful, but I also worry that it will look too cutesy.

My current idea is to either do the “Zinnia” all over the room or this “Birch Tree stencil” (minus the birds) for the wall with the window. It could look cool…or ghastly.

Cutting Edge Stencils, Decorating with stencils

I really need your help with this waffle. I’d love to make the laundry room a prettier place. Could stenciling help me do that? Or should I just put some of the kids’ artwork in Ikea frames and be done with it?

Do you need help figuring out how to freshen up a room? Click on the button below to send me a waffle and get help.

16 responses

  1. Thanks for the comment, Molly! My son loves helping me make the madelines, especially the food processing part. I second the recommendation of wall decals. I have a couple of them in my house, and they are fantastic. You can position and reposition them however you want.

  2. I feel like I could have written this post. I have been stalking all the stencil companies and have tagged every single one you have there as a favourite. I think one of the allovers or the zinnia would be perfect in there.

  3. you need cabinets in there! the shelf is barely functional and cabinets are super affordable, especially if you put them in yourself (which would be particularly crafty, i know….we had ours installed by someone else!!). but cabinets will be both functional and beautiful…they would totally change the look of that room!

    • And then there could be tons more storage…

    • totally agree with cabinets!!! how can you reach that high now? new shelving/cabinet will hide the holes – check out dunn lumber, BMC, or – ikea, or a carpenter (worth check the price). i’d choose 20″ deep shelves, installed it 12″ above the w/d. then you can add the stencil in between the shelves and w/d – it will look like a tile. i would paint the other wall/s pure white. add accessories – basket on the w/d; pics or art of kids on the opposite wall. also change the light fixture – ikea has nice ceiling ones. add cute/color shade on the window.

  4. Go with paint and framed artwork or some vintage washboards. Stencils are only for art directors and San Francisco boutiques.

  5. paint it teal, or super bright yellow/gold. Like I said in my vote, they make thin rollers that make it easy to get far enough behind the machines that you won’t see where you stop. Or, get fabric and put a tension rod between cabinet and wall and have a pretty fabric run behind the machines. Then you should tackle that shelving. Looks very hard to reach!

    • It is hard to reach! I had big plans to replace the shelving with something lower (and without slats that things fall through) but it is tightly nailed into the wall in many locations. Tearing it out might be a bit more than bargained for.

  6. OK. 2 words. Wall Decal. Below are some links (one is even zinnias)
    These peel off thingies will allow you to get the effect you want without the need for precision and craftiness needed to make it look great. And if you hate it you just peel the darn thing off and all that is wasted is the money, not money, time, and effort. There are lots of other websites selling zillions of pattens. Just google it:

    • Thanks for the links! Strange, I have been thinking about a wall decal for Tessa’s room, but it never occurred to me to do it in the laundry room. I hadn’t done much looking at actual decals, though, so this helps for both rooms.