But First, Real Quick: A(nother) Laundry Room.

In my last post, I talked about renovating the back wall of my house to bring my window and door locations (fenestration, if you wanna get fancy!) into alignment with the stupid kitchen I designed, which just requires a few simple changes to every possible thing imaginable about my house.

You may have thought that getting this essential work completed(ish) would mean that NOW, FINALLY, AT LONG LAST, we are ready to dive into all things kitchen! Particularly because you know I’m liable to change my mind again and throw my life into total chaos for an indeterminate amount of time at the smallest inkling of a better idea.


Also, I literally posted those kitchen plans a year ago dear god what is my life.

The problem is one that I gestured toward in my last post, which now we will really dive into: to make way for The Kitchen, I’ve had to make some sacrifices. Namely, my first kitchen renovation, my pantry renovation, having a sink on the main level of my house, my sanity, the concept of “free time,” and last but not least…my laundry room. That last one stung, because back in 2014 I’d already turned it from this:

To this:

I’ll give you a moment to get over the absurdity of this. I’m still working my way through it.

Here’s the thing, though, and I actually think it’s kind of normal: the longer you live in a house (and more secure you feel about staying there), plans change as new ideas emerge, potentials reveal themselves, and you develop a better handle on what it’s actually like to live there. I moved to this house from a 5th floor walk-up in Brooklyn where the closest laundry machines were 3 blocks away, so having a laundry facility in my house at all felt like an enormous luxury, and there was a whole little tiny room off the kitchen just for that very purpose! At the time, I don’t even remember considering relocating it to a different spot, so I renovated the laundry room.

I loved that laundry room. It was small but had almost everything I needed, and truth be told I did a really nice job on the moldings and the tile. The tiling job in the kitchen was passable, but the laundry room was perfect.

So naturally I destroyed it. More specifically, I enlisted Edwin and Edgar to handle the demo, because I couldn’t face it. Let’s try to justify what the fuck I just did with a few semi-valid points:

  1. Nice as the laundry room was, it was in the way of my kitchen plan and specifically in the way of my tiny bar sink plan and that just will not do.
  2. The laundry room was maxed out on space, for sure. A utility sink in the laundry room would be, like, next-level awesome, but there’d never be space for that or anything else, really. It woulda been nice to have a bit more room for other cleaning-related supplies as well.
  3. The laundry room was on the first floor at the very back of the house, meaning that 95% of laundry went from my bedroom on the second floor at the front of the house, down a narrow hall, down a flight of stairs, down another narrow hall, through the dining room, and finally through the kitchen and into the laundry room. HARDLY inconvenient, but not especially convenient, either. Not luxuriously convenient. I strive for LUXURY (clearly, as you can plainly see by my lifestyle of dumping dirty dishwasher into my backyard because I lack basic indoor plumbing).
  4. Back then, relocating laundry to the second floor would have sounded to me like an insane and low-key impossible feat of plumbing and ducting wizardry. I’ve learned through intervening experience that it’s not that bad.
  5. If all of this seems like a massive waste of money, let’s keep in mind a few things. First, that the most valuable thing about the laundry room was the machines themselves—the subway tile and moldings cost a few hundred dollars but mostly just a lot of my time. Second, that time wasn’t badly spent, because, after all, the room was in constant use (and looking snazzy!) for a few years and gave me lots of practice to do nice tile and moldings in the future, too.

If you remain unswayed, I simply cannot help you. I’ve done my best.

I decided, in order to make myself feel not-crazy, that the new laundry room couldn’t just be new but also had to be improved. Want a slop sink? Let’s get a slop sink in there. Want it on the same level as the bedrooms? Let’s make that happen. Want a little more space for other cleaning accoutrement? We got that too.

(I don’t know who “we” and “let’s” refers to, except it makes me feel less alone to phrase things this way.)

There was plenty of internal debate about the location of this new and improved laundry haven, but I’ll spare you the details. There aren’t that many options, let’s be real. And the best one was…my office. Which I had already renovated from this:

To this:

Take another moment to peel your palm off your face. I’ll do the same! We all ready? OK.

I had a wee little office upstairs that I stuck in a sweet bright room. It was nice and I enjoyed it.

Naturally, this too I destroyed. But less than the former-laundry-room—no reason to gut this space! As before, let’s dive into some of the reasoning that led me here:

  1. The office served as a nice “home base” for paperwork and mail and stuff, but rarely did I actually sit in there and do work. I tend to work at my laptop either on a chair or a sofa or the floor. When I do want to sit upright at a desk, I like a bigger work surface to spread out so I can make piles of papers and feel important and grown-up.
  2. When I renovated this room the first time, the goal was really the renovation itself: I thought that this was the room where I’d teach myself to scrape, stabilize, repair, and skim-coat plaster walls—a process I’d be repeating on almost every other wall of the house. This kind of came to pass, although this little room taught me that hiring out the final skim-coating is 100% worth it. In any case, I had to make the room into something, and it was too small to be a bedroom, so it became an office.
  3. I do remember, however, that the decision to make it an office was dictated partially by the fact that it was such a nice, bright little room and using it for something like a closet would have felt like a big shame! But remember, this was before so much other workmy bedroom still had three windows instead of four and felt perpetually off-balance. The den still had a crazy bump-out that felt like it might fall off the rest of the side of the house. The room above the kitchen still had an exterior door leading out to a 15-foot drop to the ground below. In context, the office was small but just seemed so nice in a way that the other rooms weren’t.

Guess what. It’s still a nice room, but now all the other rooms are nice, too! Or on their way. This is very exciting for me. So as much as dismantling another space I’d already “done” sucked, there’s a real victory in there…somewhere…of loosening up about this particular space because other rooms finally feel way nicer than this little glorified closet. It has a higher calling and that calling is washing my undies.

SO. It has been decided. Someday this will all be for the best. Now it has to happen. And it has to happen in a very specific way, because this cannot become a thing. NOT RIGHT NOW, I HAVE A KITCHEN TO ATTEND TO. This is what I need out of this laundry room renovation:

  1. Fast. Lightning fast.
  2. Very cheap. Do you know how much kitchens cost? Way too fucking much.
  3. Functional. I want/need all the major players (sink, washer, and dryer) in place, but I can worry some other time  about improving it further. I’ve considered all sorts of plans that involve tiling the floor and/or the walls, and putting in a really amazing cool sink, and building in cabinetry and other storage, and…and…and…but that’s how this becomes a thing which I have already said cannot happen right now. Stop pressuring me! Someday perhaps I will circle back and do this kind of stuff when I can dedicate the resources to it.
  4. Cute—enough. This is primarily because I do not trust myself around my own things that I do not consider attractive. If something looks nice and put-together, I’ll be less inclined to treat it badly. This is ridiculous, I recognize, but it’s also true and there’s no use in fighting it.

While the walls and floor were still in good shape (well, nothing a fresh coat of paint couldn’t fix) from my previous renovation work, there was a major obstacle: the chimney. This chimney seemed to be causing structural damage to my roof, so it was demolished below the roofline when the roof was redone back in 2013. Some time later, I demolished it further down to the attic floor. And now, I had a choice to make: leave it or demolish it all the way down to the basement floor—three stories of chimney.

For some reason, I wrestled with this decision FOR. EVER. The chimney is totally defunct. It protrudes into the room and sits where, ideally, the dryer goes. The only way to fit two machines and a utility sink into this room is for the chimney to go, and I really wanted that goddamn sink. AND YET…I hate ripping original stuff out (even if it sometimes seems like I do with wild abandon, I really try not to!), and what if someday I wanted to expose the brick?? Or use the chimney to vent…something? Or have it rebuilt from the attic floor up? This literally kept me up at night.

Hold up. I have nothing to vent. I have no reason to rebuild the chimney from the attic floor, and certainly not the money. I’m not even into exposing brick chimneys like this—I think 99% of the time it looks stupid. HOW’S THAT FOR A HOT TAKE. Come at me.

Demolishing the chimney had the enormous added advantage of being able to use the remaining void as a chase for all the plumbing and electrical, without losing any space in the small dining room closet below. I realize you’d have to be pretty intimately familiar with the layout of my house for this to make any sense, so don’t worry about it.

But also…ugh. That’s so many bricks to haul out of the house. It sounded like the worst possible way to spend a weekend, so instead Edwin and Edgar and I did it together one morning during that week we were working on the back of the house. It wasn’t so bad with three people. Now the chimney is in a pile in the backyard, where I’ll have to sort through it this spring to salvage what I can and dispose of the rest. That’ll be a terrible time. Let’s not think about it yet.

Instead, let’s think about all the laundry I’m going to do in this room! Let’s think about all the ways I’m going to use that SINK!

Literally, this is the plan. Hey—there’s a plant OK?! I made the mood board a) so I’d have a way to end this post and b) to drive home the point that WE ARE NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY HERE. I can dream really big but I’m forcing myself to dream small. See that rug? Discontinued from IKEA and I already own it. See that sink? It’s plastic and $95 at Lowes with a $23 faucet. THAT is the vibe. Functional and good enough with as few new purchases as possible.

I’m gonna rock that plastic tub sink, just you wait.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 3.15.18
    Joan said:

    I’m taking this all way too personally.

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      I swear this is as bad as it’ll ever be!

  2. 3.15.18
    nella said:

    It will be really cute and the plastic sink is fine (we have one). But washers and dryers are noisy; is it too close to your tv watching relaxing room?

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      I was a bit concerned about that, but luckily my machines are AWESOME and really quiet, plus some soundproofing (I’ll explain it all next time—this post was just getting long!) and I think it’ll be just fine!

    • 3.15.18
      Liz from Brooklyn said:

      I actually find the sound really soothing. Is that crazy?

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I don’t think it’s crazy at all!! I call the dishwasher, washer, and dryer my robots and I secretly enjoy hearing all of them do their jobs, haha! Working away, making my life easier! Appliances warm my heart, I guess.

  3. 3.15.18
    Kate said:

    Laundry on the second floor will be so worth it!

  4. 3.15.18
    Anna said:

    All makes complete sense, and second floor laundry room is amazing! But can you keep that gorgeous wallpaper?!

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      Sadly no, not really, BUT it’s still made (it’s from Hygge & West!) and I happen to have an entire extra roll!! I think I may use it in the first floor powder room!

    • 3.16.18
      Alison said:

      Oooooh. LOVE that for a powder room. Carry on!

  5. 3.15.18
    Ellen said:

    I think this idea is brilliant but I hate to see that wallpaper go!

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      Me too me too, but don’t despair! (see reply to Anna, above!)

  6. 3.15.18
    Ali said:

    Oh man, you are crazy, crazy man! :D
    It make sense if laundry room is close to bedroom / bathroom.
    What are you planning to do with old laundry room next to the kitchen?

  7. 3.15.18
    Jessica said:

    You gotta do what you gotta do!! Those were practice rooms. The kitchen is going to be the muthafukin main event in your house!! And congrats on getting that chimney outta there. You still have the other one! ONWARD!!

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      I have two, actually! Onward indeed!!

    • 3.15.18
      Jessica said:

      Two! Right, I sorta keep forgetting about that other side of your house …

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Sometimes I think I forget about the other side of my house!

  8. 3.15.18
    Kim said:

    Laws! I LOVE your posts so fucking much.
    I laugh, I cry, I am happy that this is not my house (or am I…?).
    I don’t like wallpaper AT ALL (because I’m not British. Okay I am, but only 7% and that 7% is not the wallpaper liking percent), but I adore that wallpaper in what is soon to be your former office. (I also oddly like the paper that’s protecting the floor and think it would make a great bowling shirt pattern. Just sayin’.)

    You are such a delightful writer and should add author to your list of “things to do”…not even joking.

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thank you Kim! That wallpaper really is gorgeous in real life—luckily I have a whole extra roll of it, so I’ll still have it in my life! And that pattern on the floor is so gooooood. It’s actually an old sheet of linoleum, probably from the 40s or so!

    • 3.20.18
      Jomichele said:

      That linoleum is awesome! Man I wish some manufacturer would reissue that design. Marmoleum, are you paying attention to this?

    • 3.15.18
      Rachel said:

      Oh my gosh I’m with Kim. I laugh so hard every time I read your posts. I want a book, haha!

  9. 3.15.18
    Jakob said:

    Don’t stress it, darling. The renovation for my 1904 Queen Anne has jumped from college rental to personal home and now to two Air B&B suites, with design-as-I-go changes for each use. For your laundry sink, have you thought about spending just a tiny bit more for the sink/cabinet combo? The bonus the is those sinks have this kind of built-in washboard surface on one side that’s great for hand washing things.

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one with an “evolving” house! Sometimes it just feels like spinning in circles.

      I actually already bought the sink, but that’s a good suggestion! Someday in the distant future I like to imagine putting in some perfect old soapstone sink or something, so I’m mostly thinking of this as something that will be easy to install and also swap out down the line when the right combo of time and money and inspiration comes along, haha! For now, getting the plumbing all the way up there is the big challenge, but switching from one sink to a different sink down the road should be pretty simple.

  10. 3.15.18
    ChelseaB said:

    So glad you’re back!! Don’t leave us again :)

  11. 3.15.18
    lc said:

    I have an unused chimney that extends from the sub-basement up to the attic crawlspace where it was taken down just below the roofline, four stories. Taking it out would add a 2×5 foot space in each of the rooms it passes through. It would be nice to have that extra space, but the disruption to finished and in-use spaces– and the prospect of all that patching in of walls, ceilings and floors– has stopped me so far.

    • 3.15.18
      Daniel said:

      Wow, now THAT is a chimney! I don’t blame you. It’s HUGELY messy and dusty and HEAVY and a total pain—and it’s tricky to do all that patching well (don’t forget baseboards!) without it being part of a much bigger project. If you don’t need the space, save yourself the headache!!

  12. 3.15.18
    nancy m. said:

    i love this mood board SO MUCH.

  13. 3.15.18
    Berry said:

    Oh, that hurts my heart! I love that little office. Although actually I think I just love that wallpaper, such a stunning statement. Will it be too overwhelming in a powder room? Two things to consider – you’ll have kitchen laundry to carry up to the laundry room, so make a space in the kitchen where wet stuff can dry/hamper can sit. And I find it very very handy to have a place to hang up clothes straight out of the dryer, so I would add a clothes rod in the room and a rod for empty hangers next to/above the dryer.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Good ideas, yes! Re: wallpaper—I don’t really know, but I’ve always had a thing for crazy wallpapers in really small spaces. I think it’s because my grandparents house was like that, and it was fun to walk from this white-walled hallway to this INSANE dramatic dark powder room with the wildest wallpaper. I think it could work! I’m picturing it above a painted wainscoting, so not floor to ceiling. :)

  14. 3.15.18
    Nora said:

    Love it. Love you.
    You wanna rip that chimney out even though it’s original? Go for gold! Your taste is fantastic and you seem to be able to work conceptually really well. You can totally trust your gut. I’m looking forward to the result. xx

  15. 3.15.18

    Whatcha going to do with all the bricks?! I’ll trade you those bricks for my cast iron utility sink. Both are easy to ship across the country, yes?

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! Maybe a LITTLE more complicated than light switches, but I’m sure we could figure it out ;)

      (I don’t really know, but I hoard them and have IDEAS about pathways and edging and stuff in the yard. Old Hudson Valley bricks tend to be very soft and porous and don’t always hold up outdoors, so I’ve been trying to be patient and let them weather a while before trying to use them anywhere.)

  16. 3.15.18
    Ros said:

    Oh, that’s the sink we put into our machinery room last year! a+ sink (… and faucet, I think we have the same one), marvelously deep and functional, you can literally put a bucket into it to soak things when needed. Learn from my mistake if you can – a bit of counter space next to the sink is very very handy, especially if you’re lacking a potting shed and wind up re-potting things in the middle of winter and this is the only sink in the house that is deep enough to fit the bag of potting soil… #ugh

    And our washer/dryer is in a closet off the bathroom right next to the bedroom. We have Samsung ones but I think they’re about as noisy… so, for the people wondering: if the door is open then you hear them. If the door is closed, it’s faint background noise, and frankly makes less noise than a car driving by on the street when the house windows are closed. It’s easy to ignore. (And YES having the laundry near the bedrooms makes life so much easier I don’t know why more people don’t do this!!)

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Nice! And yes, I’ll kinda-sorta-good-enough have counterspace next to the sink because the machines are side-by-side front-loaders, so you get a really good work surface on top!

      You make an excelllllent point about the noise—I’ll soundproof as much as I can, but honestly? It’s not a very quiet house anyway! I live on a fairly noisy street with fairly noisy neighbors and old windows…there’s always background noise from something!

  17. 3.15.18
    Robin Fink said:

    Hey Daniel,
    Thanks for making me laugh so hard. As a serial renovator, I can totally relate to getting things “livable” and then ripping them apart again {so many times!} Your writing skills and story telling skills are excellent.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I’m glad I’m not alone! :)

  18. 3.15.18
    Patt S said:

    I totally understand. It will be lovely when you are done!

  19. 3.15.18
    Sandy said:

    Great post. Loved the narrative that came with it. It’s your house to dream, design and handle how you want to. Although I love exposed brick, sometimes it doesn’t always fit the decor of the room/house and often the locations are pretty wack. I’m sad to see the gorgeous wallpaper go, but I’m sure you’ll make the laundry room simply smashing. Also, I’m jelly of a new laundry room, I’m in an apartment complex and its horrid to share with 18+ units.

  20. 3.15.18
    Devyn said:

    Jealous… We considered putting the washer/dryer to the second floor but the stairs snd doorways are so narrow, we didn’t want to go there. It worked out that our doorway to the basement was 1/4″ wider than our new machines. As former apartment dwellers, just having our own machines is priceless.

    Also…. 100% agree that exposing brick which was never intended to be exposed is wrong 99% of the time.

  21. 3.15.18
    Sharon said:

    Love love love your writing!
    As for “destroying” finished rooms, well, they served their purpose for a time but are now on to a higher calling. Has me seriously wanting to move our laundry to the 2nd floor from its current location (crammed into the tiny entryway between the garage and the house). Hmmm…

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Exactly! They did everything they needed to do, for the time they needed to do them. I expected that time to be longer, but hey! Maybe in my 30s I can just relax a little instead of needing to renovate the kitchen, since it’ll be done. :)

  22. 3.15.18
    Beth Khoundara said:

    I think this is a marvelous idea! Although your office was cute, that space will function SO much better as a laundry room! No more schleping all your clothing downstairs. Brilliant!

  23. 3.15.18
    Elaine said:

    oh crap, I have the same pile of bricks in my yard from when we demolished a chimney over a year ago :-0

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:


  24. 3.15.18
    Nola said:

    THANK GOD you have another roll of that *stunning* wall paper, it was the only down-side of the new laundry room that I could see and when done, you’ll be happy to have an upstairs laundry room and more room for the kitchen reno!! Good choices!

  25. 3.15.18
    Bonnie said:

    Sweet. Laundry upstairs is the best. I am surprised though that since the plan is to redo to room later, why remove the wall paper at all. Why not just use the extra roll to finish off where the chimney was?

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      If only! There’s just no way—there’s no plaster behind the chimney, so even just removing the chimney will damage the existing wallpaper, not to mention then trying to patch the wall (and ceiling!) and skim-coat it without totally destroying the paper…I don’t think it would be possible! It’s a bummer, but it’s also totally replaceable!

  26. 3.15.18
    Jill Greenberg said:

    It’s been a while since I saw a floor plan of your second floor, so I might be discombobulated, but isn’t the soon-to-be-former office off of the den? So you’d have to go through the den with your laundry to and from your bedroom? Which would prevent the den from ever functioning as a bedroom?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the laundry in that other little room – the one with two windows on the corner of the house that shares a wall with your bedroom? So it can be reached from the hallway?

    Since apparently I can only speak in questions, please feel free to read this entire comment with a Valley Girl accent.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      OK so yes—the new laundry/old office is off the den. The room above the kitchen is also only accessible through the den, so the den is already not really suited to be a bedroom because of that (it’s also a super awkward room to put a bed in since it’s so narrow). So from my perspective, that situation is unchanged!

      All things being equal, layout-wise yes I think it would make more sense to put the laundry in that other little room, but that room has two doors and two windows and a radiator! There’s no arrangement that works without blocking at least one of those things. Laundry machines are massive! Also getting plumbing to that room would be kind of nightmarish, whereas this room is really easy because I have such a big chase to run everything, and a gutted closet below.

  27. 3.15.18
    Aparna said:

    Your office was the inspiration for me (both in general and aesthetically) to turn my weird useless tiny room into an office/guest room of desperation only. So I am sad to see it go. But a laundry room on the SECOND FLOOR.
    The stuff of dreams. Totally get it. Good luck!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, that’s nice to hear that my little room inspired a little room for you! It’s like it lives on through its legacy, haha!

  28. 3.15.18
    Jeanna said:

    Laundry rooms on the second floor are so amazing……….until they leak. I would get one of those tray things for under the washer. And are you planning on hanging any clothes up in the room? I think you need more than that cute hook! Can’t wait to see how it all plays out :)

    • 3.15.18
      Mom said:

      JEANNA, you totally stole my post. That’s what I was going to say. Don’t forget the pan and a drain pipe out of it to somewhere helpful. Other than that I was going to add that this all sounds fucking nuts, but in such a good way. I gotta LOVE this kid so much. But, now where is he going to sit to write that novel we’re all waiting patiently for…

    • 3.15.18
      Leila said:

      Pretty much all homes in the U.K. have their own washing machines, including one in each flat in a block (”˜apartment in an apartment building’), so we are very used to the idea of washing machines being not on ground floor levels. Yes, sometimes they leak, but hardly ever. I’ve had one washing machine leak from the people upstairs in 15 years of living in flats. If your machine is newish (we know it is) and properly plumbed in the first place (counting on you!) then it’s unlikely. Go for it!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks everyone! OK, here’s what I don’t understand about the pan. If there’s truly a leak, will a little shallow plastic pan right under the machine really…do anything? Won’t there be way more water than that? And in that case, wouldn’t I just immediately shut off the water, which is really easy to do?

    • 3.16.18
      Jeanna said:

      Not all washing machine leaks are gushers………….if you have a slow leak or drip and are not immediately aware of it, it can of course cause damage to your floor and ceilings in the rooms below. I’ve had problems with overflow (foam) when my son used too much laundry detergent. I consider it cheap insurance.

    • 3.18.18
      kristina said:

      Daniel, I think the tray under the washing machine is to make sure that if there’s a leak, you notice it. If you don’t have the tray, water can seep through the floor underneath the washing machine without you knowing it for a long time, but with the tray, the water is forced out from under the washing machine so that you know there’s a problem.
      As long as I’m commenting (long time lurker), I also want to say that I love your blog and admire your style!

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Ah, makes sense! Thanks guys! Cheap insurance is a great way to think about it! :)

  29. 3.15.18
    LRC said:

    I think you are always improving your home and it is primarily your own hard work and time you are tearing up, so i think no need to explain yourself. Although I do love reading the explanation. Laundry rooms near your bedroom are such a nice luxury. I’ve always wanted a utility sink, so i’m jealous. My only question is though are you going to wish that the utility sink were downstairs closer to an exit? I’m usually in the communal spaces of my houses when i’m making a mess (painting (canvases or walls), repotting plants, etc.)

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I’ll have a kitchen sink and another sink in the pantry (which will be right next to the exterior door!), but I think that’s as close as I can come! That doesn’t really bother me, though—having ANY sink in the house at all that isn’t a double-tap 1890s bathroom sink feels like quite a luxury no matter where it is, haha!

  30. 3.15.18
    SheLikesToTravel said:

    Exactly what LRC said… it’s ok to change it up just because you wanted to change it up. Although sometimes I run through the justifications that I am going to use with others just to help convince myself. Excited to see this change too!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha, yes! It’s really me thinking aloud, because these decisions aren’t at all easy—it took almost a year between deciding that the old laundry space would be better given over to the kitchen, and second floor laundry would be awesome, before I actually worked myself up to doing anything about it because it just felt TOO CRAZY to throw another inch of the house into temporary dysfunction while still being kitchen-less…but ultimately doing this first felt like the only viable path forward! Just a lot of mental gymnastics to get there.

  31. 3.15.18
    Kelly said:

    Seems totally reasonable to me. I would be so happy if I didn’t have to lug laundry all through the house to the downstairs. Can’t wait to see how it goes! Don’t make us wait to long to see! ;)

  32. 3.15.18
    Ryan said:

    See, what some people may fail to grasp is that although you may be destroying “finished” rooms, the other option is to live with non-functional, half-finished rooms for 10 plus years instead. You are so smart to just pick the easy, cheap, get it installed now sink in the laundry. I instead have lived without a laundry sink for 8 years even though I had the plumber add the drain for one in my basement when he also put in the washer standpipe. So I soak things in the bathtub and then carry the heavy sopping wet linens to the basement to finish washing them.

    I think you were 100% right about removing the chimney and can’t wait until the laundry is done and makes room for the butlers pantry. I thought it was funny recently when I saw the same fridge in the butlers pantry discussion on YHL for their beach house and they compromised by adding a mini fridge in the main kitchen (which turned out to be redundant after all – duh).

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Ryan! It’s so true, as crazy as it sometimes feels, I don’t really think the alternative is any better! All options are difficult! We just do the best we can with the time and money and motivation we have. You’ll get that sink put in some day!!

      (so funny about John and Sherry! Maybe now that my kitchen plan is *basically* YHL-approved, people will get off my back about it! Ha!)

  33. 3.15.18
    Louise said:

    So glad that you are back writing, you really write the best house-renovation blog. Laundry on the second floor is dope. I have actually taken it a step further. We have a small bedrom converted to dressing room/ drying room. We do not use a dryer and hang everything up. Now I have the drying rack in the same room as everyones wardrobes. After I put the kids to bed I can do laundry for everyone, the best! Forget about a view over the sink in the kitchen, if possible have a drying rack with a view!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Oh NICE! That sounds like a dream set-up!

  34. 3.15.18
    Babs said:

    Let me guess, you’re going to paint the sink black!
    Thank you so much for sharing all your renovating trials and tribulations with us. You are an inspiration.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I’m not sure how well white plastic would take paint, but it probably would look better! ;)

    • 3.18.18
      Sarah said:

      Okay, I have to chime in here. Daniel, I enjoy following what is happening in your house, and you always crack me up. (Come at me, HA!) And your readers, GAH, painting the sink black. I’m dying! You need your own Rolling Stones Paint It Black version for all your black-painted things.

  35. 3.15.18
    lynne said:

    I used to rent a house with a stacked washer and dryer upstairs, and the spin cycle of the washer made the whole house shake. Not sure if the problem was the washer being unbalanced, stacked, or the floor not being properly supported. Now I have laundry in the basement and while I don’t miss the shaking house, I do miss natural light in the laundry room! Now if I want to see if a stain has really come out of a shirt, I have to run back upstairs to see it in a good light.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, that sounds like probably a combo of the machines imbalanced and the structure of the house. I gotta say, I feel pretty confident this isn’t a huge concern with my particular machines—I chose them in large part because the reviews about how quiet and not-shaky they are were better than the competitors, and I think probably well deserved! They’re super great, but there does seem to be a big range out there in terms of vibration.

      It’s funny, I hadn’t really thought about how much more natural light this room has than the old laundry—now I’m even more excited! I kind of forgot that was important to doing laundry well but you’re absolutely right!

  36. 3.15.18
    Shayna said:

    A slop sink was the first “renovation” I did in the first house I owned. It wasn’t worth every penny. And the first time you go to wash out paintbrushes or dye something in it without worrying you’re staining a $500 enamel farm sink you’ll be glad for the cheapie. I was.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Yes! For…oh, about 18 months now, the only sink in the house has been my double-tap porcelain antique bathroom sink, and that has suckkkkkkeeeeddddd because even though it’s just a sink, it’s a GLORIOUS sink and really needs to be treated like the antique that it is. I can’t wait for something a *tad* more practical for the day-to-day!

  37. 3.15.18
    NestFan said:

    Laundry room on the second floor is a great idea – worth taking apart your nicely tiled laundry for (even if it wasn’t demanding to be used as a pantry in your kitchen renovation.) I hate hauling laundry around. So much to the point that a basement laundry in a house no longer seems appealing to me at all – it should be in a part of the house I regularly spend time in, ideally on the same level as, and near, my bedroom.

    Though if you want to stop doing stuff only to have to redo it all later, why put in that temporary sink at all? Put in the plumbing for it, and wait for the right sink. You’ll be immersed in kitchen stuff, so keeping an eye out for an inspiring sink while doing the kitchen should seem possible. My building’s basement laundry room has what looks like that exact sink now, and I can guarantee that it falls into to category of looks-cheap-so-not-kept-up-nicely. It has a dirty film on it (despite frequent professional cleaning) – plastic is not as easy to keep clean as stainless steel, ceramic or porcelain, or even concrete. You probably think you can always reuse it in a future basement workroom renovation, but you’ll probably want something larger and sturdier if you ever do that anyway. And, as someone who used laundries without sinks, if you have a sink that works in the upstairs bathroom and a bucket, for occasional pre-soakig or scrubbing, you won’t miss not having one temporarily right in the laundry room. And you’ll probably find the right sink to install sooner. Just an idea – you may have this sink already installed in there.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I totally understand what you’re saying, but not all “re-dos” are created equal! Doing some fancier finish work down the road is a HUGELY different proposition than all the stuff I’m doing now just to get this room up and running—it entails running plumbing and electric through two floors, dryer vent ducting up through the attic and out of the house…it’s kind of a big deal! But just exchanging one sink for another sink with existing plumbing in place should be very simple, like changing a light fixture. I really just want (borderline need, just so I don’t go crazy!) something RIGHT NOW that isn’t a whole big PROJECT, you know? Plus, we all know you never find what you’re looking for secondhand when you’re actually looking for it! ;)

    • 3.17.18
      NestFan said:

      Oh, yeah, it’s so true, but I forgot about that – you do never find the exact thing you want when you are looking for it. Not in real life, anyway, at stores and sales and such.

      Now with the internet I sometimes find the exact thing I’m looking for within a minute of starting to google – I found a few great old furniture pieces that way, and it was so strange that they popped up immediately in the first search, that I decided it was just meant to be and bought them online, sight unseen.

  38. 3.15.18
    Rachel L said:

    Soooo I think this might all ready be your game plan but I think you should just keep your eye out on Craig’s list for an awsome old soapstone sink. I’m constantly seeing them and it’s killing me that I cannot go and bring them home! And I bet you could find one for about the same price. Maybe even free I’m obsessed with my local “buy nothing” group and Facebook people give away the best stuff.

    As to the amazing ness that is laundry on the same floor as your bed room – yes! We love it – we don’t have much choice being on he second floor of a two family and I didn’t want to have to go to the basement, so we did the opposite that you are doing now we added the laundry to our pantry off our kitchen. But I digress the only downside we are experiencing is that since it’s an old house of wood construction the vibration of the spin cycles kinda shake the entire house. But I still think it’s worth it.

    Also I’m so happy you are posting again, You always make me feel so normal for all of our half finished diy house crazynsss.

    • 3.16.18
      Caro said:

      Yes! I ripped one of those old soapstone sinks out of my last house – it worked but it was damaged. Most older New England houses have one and not everyone enjoys living with them. Someday one will just appear in your life with no effort on your part, and until then, the Lowes one is a good functional place holder.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Old big soapstone sink would be way cool! I see them every now and then, too. I should maybe re-join the world of Facebook just for the local secondhand scores!

  39. 3.15.18
    Melissa Dixon said:

    I am pretty sure I felt real live actual heartburn from this post!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      You and me both!

  40. 3.15.18
    Alli said:

    I’m reeeeally digging this new zero-f*cks-given blog vibe. The new upstairs laundry room will be amazing.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! Giving too many fucks is a luxury I just don’t have right now! My life is shambles! Hopefully I can still make things nice without falling into the perfection trap that makes progress feel so impossible and finishing feel so unachievable. I just want to get shit done!

  41. 3.15.18
    Holly said:

    I have a cast iron sink if you want it. Not deep like a utility, but it’s fun.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Hey, feel free to shoot me an email with photos/dimensions! I have…let’s just say SEVERAL sinks floating around here waiting for a home, but if I could put it to use…more space could be made. ;)

  42. 3.15.18
    Kelsey said:

    I’m just starting the process of renovating my basement and I, too, am SO EXCITED FOR A CHEAP UTILITY SINK FROM LOWE’S.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:


  43. 3.15.18
    Diane C said:

    I love this post.
    I love the laundry room near the bedroom, where the undies live, duh!
    I love pans under washing machines + seriously adequate drainage.
    I love the idea of keeping the wallpaper and using the other roll to finish the future former chimney hole.
    I love having a hanging bar for clean clothes in the laundry.
    I love installing a towel bar on the underside of an upper cabinet to hold the hangers just waiting for fresh, cleaned clothes.
    I love the way you use profanity. (Should I say I fucking love it? Yes.)
    I love that you are back, sounding like your adorable, sassy self.
    As a token of my undying affection, have you heard of a website called 99 Cent Knobs? Occasionally, they have really stupendously awesome stuff for great prices. Like 99 cents. Really.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thanks Diane C! It’s nice to be here. :) :)

      I wasn’t aware of that site, no! But now I’ll be keeping an eye on it!! Thank you!!

  44. 3.15.18
    Eva said:

    A friend of mine was looking at a house very much like yours, a Queen Anne that had been split into two dwellings in the 40s and later put back together, and she was complaining that there was a kitchen on the second floor, she thought it was ugly and weird, and all I kept saying was ARE YOU KIDDING YOU CAN TURN IT INTO A LAUNDRY ROOM! Truly, being able to do laundry without maneuvering a laundry basket up and down old house staircases and around railings is a luxury few will ever experience.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Yes, Eva’s friend! And/or learn from this guy and KEEP IT UNTIL YOU DO YOUR REAL KITCHEN IF YOU HAVE TO RENOVATE THAT! Having a spare kitchen right about now would make my life a lot easier!

    • 3.18.18
      Kyla said:

      Oh, absolutely! My parents live in an 1899 Victorian that was turned into a two-family in the ’40s, and they cleverly waited until their long-term tenants moved out to start the main kitchen renovation. So instead of having to do the awful makeshift-kitchen-in-a-dining-room thing, we had a full kitchen on our second floor for those months. (Although now that I think about it, they must have done something with the fridge–the apartment kitchen of course had its own fridge, and while the new kitchen was getting a new stove rather than the extremely aged one which had a pilot light and needed to get lit with a match, I remember that we used the same fridge in the new kitchen.)

      Other awesome ideas for extra kitchens: upstairs craft rooms. I would love to have a space, with plumbing, for doing potentially messy art projects. (I mean, screw that, I’d love to have a space to do art projects which is not my dining room table, but hey.)

    • 3.19.18
      Eva said:

      haha I actually thought about your erstwhile 2nd floor kitchen when I was reading about your renovations. Would have been nice but what can ya do about it?

      My friend ended up not buying that house, and going with another one that had a renovated, new kitchen on the main floor and the original kitchen was turned into… A LAUNDRY ROOM. I’ve also been to a few estate sales in houses where these “upstairs kitchens” have been converted to painting/other craft studios.

  45. 3.15.18
    Marg said:

    This is a perfect example, you saw the forest! (I’m referring to, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”) Being able to change your plans and adding a second floor laundry room will give you a more beautiful kitchen, pantry area. Well done! You will eventually forget the pain it was to get there

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      That’s the hope! It took quite a while for me to get a handle on how to best use the different spaces in this house, but now that I really feel like I’ve figured all of that out, hopefully it’ll be smoother sailing from here on out! So excited to be putting things back together!

  46. 3.15.18
    Alma said:

    Ok, this did it. You are intent on giving me a heart attack. Have you any idea how I struggled with the destruction of the laundry room?! Well, do you? This next one better be pretty. There, I vented.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      LET IT OUT! It took me almost a year between deciding about the laundry and actually doing it, mostly because I couldn’t really accept tearing out my old laundry room. That was a brutal day. BUT IT’LL BE BETTER IN THE LONG RUN. Short term pain for long term pay-off!

  47. 3.15.18
    Dru said:

    We moved from a lovely, well proportioned home in the leafy suburbs to a cement house that a flipper had filled every closet and the attic with HVAC. Our 3,200 square foot suburban home cost us about $1,200 per year to heat to a very comfortable temperature. The cement house on a farm in the country cost us $6,000 to heat to 52 degrees.

    Plan is to remove most of existing house from the foundation and rebuild, using insulation. In the meantime: we’ve built a farm, a commercial kitchen (required by law, all we grow and take to market must be in a separate place) while building hoophouses, mobile pens for our poultry, rebuilding vehicles, adding plumbing and septic to another existing building, salvaging so many sinks, chairs, windows, doors (the replacement house will be built around windows and doors we have taken as other people remove them). A sliding glass door with the rotten parts of the frame cut down, hinges added and a door knob makes an outstanding front and back door. Or turned on it’s side makes a cool long, thin, high in the wall located window to see out when standing only.

    See what we have done? Your blog has inspired us to realize that nothing is permanent or needed in a structure. Every bit can be redone, refaced, reoriented, refinished.

    Thanks for the inspiration in just tearing in up. And then doing it again when a better solution reveals itself. I mean, I can’t see through walls can I? Or maybe, with the right tools and crew…I actually can see what it could be!

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Wow, what a fun, intense sounding project! If anything I’ve done has helped you through it in any way, that makes me so happy to hear! Thank you! :) <3

  48. 3.16.18
    Milly said:

    Longtime reader, first-time commenter, inveterate destroyer and re-imaginer of good-enough spaces, frequent over-drinker who demos in haste and repents at leisure, haver of eyes much bigger than her budget. Just here to say that I love your house and your voice and your incredible estate-sale rugs and armoires– and I have complete confidence in your ability to rock both the laundry room and kitchen situation.

    And for whatever it’s worth, I really appreciate this corner of the Internet that you’ve made– nobody comes here to snark, because you are deeply relatable and hilarious and it’s clear you’re not here just to Create Content, but to bring us along as you turn your house into YOUR house. It’s heartening to see people react to your sincerity with sincerity. Thanks for making that a thing.

    • 3.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much, Milly, that’s all so kind! I’m afraid I can’t really take credit for that, though—YOU (and the people above and below!) made that a thing! I’m honored and proud to be associated with it, though—I know people being this awesome online is an incredible rarity, and I just feel so lucky to have it here. xoxoxoxo

    • 3.18.18
      Kyla said:

      So true, and well said.

      I always read the comments here, because not only are they not trollish, they include interesting information or reflections–when people say they love you and your writing, they do it in an interesting way. :^)

    • 3.20.18
      Hannah B. said:

      Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed. It’s so damn good to have you back, Daniel!

  49. 3.16.18
    nole said:

    Ooooh, I can’t wait to see how this turns out! I’m very curious about the soundproofing you’re planning to add and how you handle the plumbing and venting. We’re currently debating trying to move our laundry closet on the first floor (a stacked unit literally in a tiny vertical closet in the back corner of our 1,200 square foot house) to a legit laundry room on the second floor with all the bells and whistles ”“ which feels like something that only dreams are made of for tiny houses in big cities (we’re in DC). But it seems like a LOT of work, so please share all the details!

  50. 3.16.18
    joanna said:

    Soooo nice to hear from you Daniel! We’ve missed you!

    As to the kitchen/laundry/office plans, let’s just say, that whenever I struggle with a home-related decision (like: is that really necessery? I’ve done that room just couple years ago! Am I crazy to burn money on something completely usable?) I think of you and I can talk myself into everything. Well, almost..:D.

    Good luck with your plans and may your projects go quickly and smoothly.

  51. 3.16.18
    Thalia said:

    Love your posts Daniel, and I totally get the constant re-doing and evolving nature of renovating a house! We have been renovating ours and started with the living room and office as we needed somewhere to relax! Five years later we are back to the beginning and are renovating our living room again (and I’ve got my eye on changing the office now too…). The general response from people has been something like, “Umm, didn’t you already do that room…?”. I mean, yes, but after living in a space for a while you realize what works, what is functional (read: dysfunctional) and your style changes. Anyway, all this to say that I am enjoying seeing the multiple stages of transformation and understand the sitch!! :)

  52. 3.16.18
    jana said:

    why do i find every update from you so utterly fascinating and exciting? I SUPPORT YOUR DEMOLITION WAYS DANIEL. what’s even the point of a laundry room if it’s not convenient?

    also. my husband might hate you after this because i don’t know why i’d never thought of it until now… i’m now inspired to rip out our old defunct painted chimney in our kitchen now… uh oh.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Uh oh! Wear a mask!! ;)

  53. 3.16.18
    j said:

    This talk of a washer/dryer, with sink no less, right next to the bedroom, is DOWNRIGHT PORNOGRAPHIC! I have not had a washer/dryer in my entire adult life. Have to lug laundry down to the laudrymat next door and pay $7 for a large load (yep, that is correct folks, life in the glamourous East Village) which often leaves nasty stains, never has hot water, and never really cleans thoroughly . In fact, I have been known to pack bedding when traveling three states away to be able to hang it on a clothesline for a few days so it becomes bright and white like sheets should be.
    My $.03 since I did maintain my mother’s house for years: a pan under the washer is key no matter what.
    Are you going to have clothesline and can I visit and use it? Your place is not that far by bus from the city.
    Have you ever checked out Timorous Beasties wallpaper? My fantasy wall paper. So expensive, so beautiful, even freaky.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha, I’d love to have a clothesline! I actually had one but the tree it was attached to died and got cut down.

      I hadn’t seen that paper! Thanks for the introduction!

  54. 3.16.18
    Albert C said:

    Hi Daniel,

    It’s always fun to read your blog! Good luck with your plans.

    Recently I’ve read an article about the trend of house renovation nowadays:

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Albert C!

      Interesting read! Kate’s blog is great, and I think the overall idea of house-positivity is a good one, of course. I also understand that home improvement is, like all things, a “trend,” and there’s certainly a subset of that trend reserved for people who’s houses don’t actually NEED renovation—I guess I’m thinking about, well, McMansion culture of gutting perfectly good kitchens on 10 year cycles because they’re no longer as stylish (but just as functional) as when they were installed. For the environmental impact of that alone, I don’t like that. This is part of why my kitchen feels like a huge deal that I have to get right, because I don’t want to be tearing it out EVER. Small changes over time to suit a new need or satisfy an aesthetic desire? Sure. But the trash-it-all-and-start-over approach is actually one I have no interest in when it’s avoidable.

      The argument, or observation, described here applies in some situations, but overall is FAR too reductive. The claim is that “most of the time,” houses under renovation don’t need to be because there’s nothing actually wrong with the house. Unless there’s some data she can point me to, I don’t buy that at all. She’s essentially casting home improvement as a fun pastime carried out by people who’s houses and lives stand to benefit only superficially, but I don’t believe the work on my house falls into that category, and I don’t really know anybody (though I guess I could list some bloggers, haha) who’s houses do. There actually *is* a lot wrong with my house, and I’ve been working for almost 5 years to fix those things. Trust me, I didn’t install a bunch of new plumbing and heating and electric and a roof because those things were working great and I had some money to burn. Eventually, things do just wear out or become outmoded or hazardous, and fixing them is important—for reasons that she seems to either omit or malign. There’s a moment in the essay when she notes the “sinister change” that occured after the recession in the way we think about housing (again—is there any data for this?), because “average Americans began thinking of their homes as monetary objects to be bought, sold, invested in—consumed—rather than places to be experienced, places in which our complex lives as human beings unfold.” There’s a nice sentiment there, kind of, but I feel like the privilege inherent in this statement is a little astonishing, honestly—because at the end of the day, houses ARE monetary objects that are bought, sold, and invested in. It’s very often the biggest investment somebody will make in their lifetime, and protecting and trying to grow that investment IS really important unless you just..I don’t know, don’t need to care about money? All of my money is in this house. I’d like to get it back someday if I ever chose to sell, and I don’t even have kids or other family relying on me to manage that investment wisely.

      Home improvement done right SHOULD result in a home that functions better than it did before. That is a good reason to renovate, because your home should serve and enhance your lifestyle. But where is this functional line drawn, I wonder? A beige kitchen will technically function the same with a fresh coat of white paint, but isn’t it a functional improvement if it makes the homeowner spend more time cooking in it? Because they aren’t bummed by their surroundings being…ugly? If it didn’t matter, why bother trying to make anything attractive at all? Contrary to Kate’s argument, I’m not really all that concerned about making myself “more acceptable to others” through improving my home, but I am concerned about my ability to live comfortably and safely and productively within the walls of my house. Isn’t it possible—and dare I say healthy?—to put effort into things because they’ll make you and/or your loved ones happy? Even IF that effort is exclusively about creating something beautiful (or more beautiful than before), I fundamentally don’t believe that there’s no functional pay-off there.

      And JUST BECAUSE, I’ll just say—there’s a whole hell of a lot of conflation going on here, as though all housing is created equal. Kate should know better than most people that this just isn’t the case, because the “McMansion” culture/aesthetic is typically identifiable by a complete lack of a defined style or architectural formality—it’s bad design, essentially, which is why it’s funny and able to be mocked. They’re also typically rife with crappy materials and poor construction that do, actually, tend to need replacement much faster than houses of earlier eras. But the argument I’m reading here is, essentially, that ALL houses ought to be preserved as they are for what they are, and I think that both overstates the value or cultural importance of bad design as much as it understates the value of good design. The hollow-core doors from 1988 I grew up with are not the same as the solid wood 150 year old doors in the house I own now—I think you can probably guess which ones I wouldn’t blame someone for replacing.

      Anyway. Now I’m curious, what do YOU think? :)

    • 3.19.18
      Mary Beth said:

      Hi Daniel – I am a long time reader and this is a first time comment. I read the article and I had some thoughts to share with you. First, I agree, if the beige kitchen is bringing you down and you can afford the paint – paint the kitchen! A house is a structure that surrounds your home. I home is meant to not only bring shelter, but also provide warmth, comfort and safety. As an aside: it breaks my heart that so many people in this world are living in homes that do not provide these basic things for them.

      I wonder if the point this writer was trying to make is that we have all become too obsessed with appearances. I love design and creating a warm, happy feeling in my home, thus I have been reading design blogs for years. At first they were great, full of wonderful ideas and inspiration. However, gradually I began to see changes in some of my favorites and I see it more and more as time goes by. I think of it as the ‘instagramming of life’ and I am feeling a little judgey of the whole scene. This is not a comfortable feeling for me and I am struggling with it and giving it some thought.

      On a happier note, I really like your voice. You feel honest and sincere. You have undertaken a significant project which has become a lesson in love, patience and endurance. All of this tells me that you are fine young man. Kudos to your mother.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thanks Mary Beth! And thank you for chiming in! I think this topic is really interesting, and there’s some good thinking in the piece Albert linked to—I just think it lacks a ton of necessary nuance, which in part you’re pointing out! I think part of the problem is that the article plays fast and loose with conflating home improvement culture as it applies to consumers with home improvement culture as it applies to content-creators, and those are very different things. I’m not sure which blogs or projects you’re referring to specifically, but I think we’ve probably had similar experiences here—seeing or at least perceiving home improvement being done for the sake of content rather than any of the “legitimate” reasons to renovate. The part I take issue with is the idea that this notion applies across the board, and specifically to regular homeowners who are just renovating their own houses—that part of the argument seems wildly overblown to me. That being said, you’re not wrong to notice that shift—I just think it has to do with the shifting economy of blogging (and other forms of amateur online content creation), not some new trend that’s caught the nation by storm. ALL forms of home-improvement content (books, magazines, TV shows, etc.!) have ALWAYS profited off of the concept that things ought to be frequently renovated and improved. It’s how they and their advertisers make money. So for those bloggers (and this is really apart from whether any of us like it or not, which is a whole other thing!), a large part of the “function” of their renovation is to create content, and in turn to create profit, because that’s how they make money. And ultimately, I can’t fault them for that—even if I’m not particularly interested in reading about it or doing the same thing myself.

      I think the issue lies in how we perceive these forms of content creation very differently, when honestly we probably shouldn’t. When Martha Stewart Living manufactures project after project after project for decades, we don’t even question it! But when a blogger does the same thing, we find it annoying and unrelatable—EVEN THOUGH presumably we kind of like them on some personal level and, theoretically, want them to be successful…but only in a particular way that doesn’t feel too aspirational and make us feel alienated (of course, it has to be a little aspirational because otherwise we probably wouldn’t read it, right?). 10 years ago, it wasn’t possible for bloggers to function like large lifestyle publications because they weren’t treated as such by advertisers, so it’s no surprise that content felt, perhaps, more authentic and personal than it often does today. That’s changed, though, and we’ve watched the change occur often in real time on our laptop screens with people we feel personally connected to, so it feels like a bummer. I just wouldn’t ascribe the change to some broader nationwide insatiable hunger for home improvement generally, because I’m not convinced anything actually has significantly changed there. It maybe just feels like it has because of the sheer volume of available content (not to mention a stronger economy than the mess we had when Bush left office, and people always renovate more when they have a little more money to spend on such things).

      Which I think leads into what you point out about “instagramming of life,” and that does feel like a real (and, perhaps, damaging) trend. I don’t think the impulse to show your best face to the world is anything new, but all the various means by which we can now do it is. So I feel like what was once the domain of magazines and books—to show some perfectly curated, well-lit scene—has now become the domain of anyone with a camera phone and a tiny bit of editing know-how. We’ve also created all these ways (*cough* PINTEREST *cough*) to express ourselves through our taste rather than any personal output. Our focus is often so much more on “curation” than anything we actually do/make/create, and I think THAT does an excellent job of making us feel inadequate and not good enough, because the dissonance between what we can recognize as beautiful and the reality of our own circumstances is typically vast. This is coming from a person who’s living spaces are all over Pinterest, and I feel like nothing I do can meet this impossible standard we’ve created and now, maybe, expect.* Especially if you tend toward perfectionism, this can be so crippling and damaging because we’re so inundated with “inspiration” that we’re no longer OK with making something good and nice; we have to make it THE BEST and falling short of that makes us dissatisfied with our work even when it’s good or at least well above average. I think to some extent both content creators and consumers alike have always struggled with this, but the issue is just so much more magnified by all these new platforms that encourage us to constantly compare our own output or ideas to literally an entire world’s worth of imagery, and then even contribute with our own that, naturally, we want to be able to stand on par with any other beautiful image we can find.

      *side note about expectations: I’ve been thinking about this a bit as a result of the responses to me buying and installing a cheap plastic sink in this room rather than the “right” thing (more expensive, more unique, more old, more beautiful, more time-consuming, more…aspirational), and I wonder if those responses would have been different 2 or 5 or 10 years ago. Which is in no way an attack or critique on anyone questioning the plastic sink decision, but it does feel like there’s a certain gut-level negative reaction to seeing something so basic and normal in this kind of context—like it’s not good enough—and I wonder if that’s part of a broader cultural shift that inspirational must be aspirational, whereas I tend to find that the opposite is often more true.

      I’m getting too sucked in! It’s all fun to think about. What a time to be alive, haha.

  55. 3.16.18
    Robin said:

    NO PRESSURE – but what is happening with Bluestone Cottage? And the house you re/built? You are busier than most people I know with this one house so no pressure, just curiosity!

    PS – you are right about the cheap sink – my slop sink is stainless (HA!) steel and will never be clean again after dyeing, potting, and other non-laundry uses I have given it. AND it is built in – making it a pain in the ass to replace.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Bluestone is essentially sloooowwwlyyyyy getting attention while mostly waiting for me to get to a place where I can finish her up. It doesn’t feel good, but I feel like I HAVE TO at least get my own house back to being functional before I can totally dive back into that project. I’ve learned that trying to renovate multiple properties at the same time is just not really possible for me (I’m aware that some people do, but whenever I try it usually ends badly!), so I need to get to a reasonable stopping point with my own kitchen (think walls but no paint, probably a stop-gap sink, my old cabinets instead of new ones…) and then it’s full steam ahead with bluestone because I have GOT to get it done. I clearly made a mistake in buying that house, and I’m just trying to manage it as well as I can. It’s tough. On the flip side, the house that I built has been done for a while, with a couple of happy homeowners, and I’ll show you the whole thing soon and very soon!

    • 3.20.18
      'col said:

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear that Bluestone is sitting there like a millstone around your renovate-y heart. And weirdly sorry to hear you describe it as a mistake, although obviously the person who gets to decide that is you. I do think that eventually you will do something lovely with it, even if it ends up being a good-enough lovely rather than a change-my-world lovely; that house is lucky to have you even though it is taking a long time. Perhaps I just long to shield you from all feelings of regret!

    • 3.21.18
      Ashley said:

      I agree with Col – Bluestone is going to be special because of all the things you will learn and take with you when it’s done. Regrets are only for the opportunities you let pass you by out of fear and worry. No matter how this opportunity plays out, you didn’t let it pass you by and that makes all the difference

  56. 3.16.18
    Jennifer said:

    1. The internetz missed you and we’re all really happy when we see you.
    2. Kitchens are too freaking expensive.
    3. I have Chicago brick on my exterior and fireplace. It’s not going anywhere and it’s not going to get painted over. You, my husband, and Joanna Gaines, come. at. me.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      1. Thank you! I missed the Internetz.
      2. YEP.
      3. OMG, I wasn’t saying THAT!! That’s the kind of brick that shouldn’t be painted! Stick to your guns!

  57. 3.16.18
    Ana said:

    This makes total sense!
    I can’t wait to see your new laundry (and kitchen, and everything you dcide to do, for that matter!)
    Plus, if I may: I just LOVE your writing! (Yes, in caps!) You write with so much wit and sarcasm and sass, I can’t even!

  58. 3.16.18
    Doorot said:

    Mom for president!

    But what I really want to know is…… are you going to get a butler?

    • 3.18.18
      Cmash said:

      She’s got my vote!

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Does my dog count? She can’t serve cocktails or anything but she can cuddle on command!

  59. 3.16.18
    tony said:

    Love the laundry room idea. Please, however, reconsider the plastic sinks. I have had them; they never satisfy. Cheap, flimsy and make do. Look on craigslist for vintage, twin laundry sinks; they can often be had for the taking.

    They are made from either stone or concrete. I promise you they will bring your years of pleasure that the inexpensive plastics ones never will.

  60. 3.16.18
    tony said:
    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Sure—SOMEDAY though, Tony! That thread you linked to is kinddaaaaaa the whole reason for the right-now-install-it-in-an-hour plastic sink. I just need it done and working—and I really DON’T need to get super side-tracked with trying to fix leaky and probably non-standard parts on a thing that weighs several hundred pounds and making a big production out of it! I’m just one guy who really needs a kitchen more than the DREAM laundry sink, trust me!

  61. 3.16.18
    Lindsay said:

    Excited to see this project unfurl. You’re going to be so happy with an upstairs laundry! Have you considered a retractable clothesline (as opposed to a permanent rod)? There are some adorable vintage ones floating around. https://www.etsy.com/listing/582877219/vintage-red-retractable-wallmount?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=retractable%20clothesline&ref=sr_gallery-1-1

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      I was thinking about something like that, yeah! That one is really cute. Hmmmmmm!

  62. 3.16.18
    Michelle said:

    Hi Daniel,
    Things must be so different in the US compared with here in Australia. We would never place a laundry on the second floor. Most of our laundries have their own external door, so that you aren’t taking wet things though the house to the backyard etc. We use dryers a little as possible and prefer sunlight and fresh air to dry and disinfect clothing etc. My husband sails and the thought of him dragging his wetsuit through the house upstairs to wash it out and then back through to the house to hang it to dry gives me the heeby jeebies! Mx

    • 3.16.18
      Pippa said:

      I’m with you Michelle,
      The thought of the washing machine doing its spin cycle thing on anything other than a concrete slab give me the willies. But I suppose when you live in a place that has freezing cold snowy winters then the practicalities of a dryer would trump a washing line. We are blessed in that most of Australia is mild enough to use a line all year round.

    • 3.18.18
      Arianna said:

      It’s definitely a cultural difference as here in the U.K. we never have nice enough weather to hang clothes outside with any regularity so a second floor laundry would be a dream! Hauling laundry up 3 flights of narrow Victorian stairs get very old!

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      I secretly sort of love when non-Americans get horrified by American laundry habits, haha! It is quite different here—it’s so infrequent that the weather is good for drying clothing on a line! And admittedly, even when it is, I rarely do—with FULL recognition that it’s inferior to air drying and natural sunlight, like most Americans I love my dryer and think of it as a completely indispensable part of the laundry process!

  63. 3.16.18

    Man you are my kind of crazy. I’m sure you will do an epic, luxurious laundry makeover in the distant future but for now I’m REALLY EXCITED to see you pull together a cheap laundry and make it look beautiful. It’s easy to make an expensive laundry look beautiful but I find doing it on the cheap way more inspirational and relatable. xx

  64. 3.16.18
    kmkat said:

    We have a similar sink in the laundry room, purchased by my husband with zero input from me. I dislike it with the heat of a thousand suns, mainly because I envisioned a lovely stainless sink with an elevated faucet with a foot control. But the sink has served us well enough for 15 years (gasp!). Someday you and I will get the sinks of our dreams, but until then… plastic will do. (Just don’t go washing out paint pans in it. The plastic stains.)

  65. 3.17.18
    Junedotbe said:

    I think YOU rock!
    Also I totally get your point about living in a space for a while and then coming up with new ideas about how to better use that space. Happened to me as well, which is why this time around I’m still using a temporary kitchen nearly 3 years after moving. Also funnily enough, reading your post, gave me the idea about installing my laundry/utility room in a totally different area than what I’d previously considered ;-)

    PS. re robots, you should definitely add one of those hoover robots to the mix! That thing is so determined to hoover every nook and cranny, that it totally motivates me to finally do some housework…

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      You know, I actually bought a Roomba about three years ago, and I was so underwhelmed by it!! It would get stuck somewhere EVERY SINGLE TIME, never make it back to its charging dock, die, need to be reprogrammed every goddamn time…and now it just doesn’t work at all. That thing was like $500! It might be a while before I’ll dip my toe back into the world of robotic vacuuming. ;)

  66. 3.17.18
    Ita Darling said:

    Are you keeping that fabulous wallpaper? #pleasesayyes Inhave been obsessed ever since you did this office.

    • 3.17.18
      Ita Darling said:

      Ok. Found the answers above- I’m late to this comment party. I’m thrilled for your fast and dirty laundry room Reno.. but I’m ready with $30 to chip into your fanclub’s Kitchen reno GoFundMe..

      For the record – I’ve always been Team Refridgerator Other Room!!

  67. 3.17.18
    greta said:

    I love your sink. We have the exact sink and faucet in our garage. It is deep enough to trap an opossum in (like I once had to do)and keep him safe until I could figure out what to do. How dirty can it get in an indoor laundry room? Just do messy stuff in a bucket outside.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      OMG OPOSSUM. That’s amazing. <3 <3 <3

  68. 3.17.18
    Chris Uebbing said:

    I have to laugh because I cannot envision my laundry facilities being anywhere bur my basement. Take the linens off the bed/kick them down the stairs/pick up any dog hair wafting around/launder all the detrius away. Can’t help but mourn your previous laundry room, but naturally looking forward to all the new spaces,

  69. 3.17.18
    Willa said:

    Was literally screaming the entire post. Love the progression and the flashbacks. So looking forward to seeing the new spaces!

  70. 3.18.18
    Bethany said:

    reading this post made my Sunday morning coffee-drinking, while my kids played in the other room, experience even more heavenly.

  71. 3.18.18
    Arianna said:

    Daniel, honestly nothing you do surprises me anymore and I LOVE IT After living in a house for 7 yearsx I have come realise there is no such thing as done and for people like us who live for this shit, that is a good thing. Your house grows and changes like you do and as long as you are still loving the process it’s totally worth all the pain. We knocked down a blocked 5 ft wide chimney breast in our house that went from the roof down through 3 floors!! It was awful to go through at the time… the dirt was shocking… but we gained 2 feet in width in every room and no more trying work around it.

  72. 3.19.18
    Sara L. said:

    I know I am way late to the party, but I just wanted to say, as much as seeing that gutted laundry room hurt my soul, moving it up to that little room is genius. You already made the adjoining room a public one, and using the chimney area as a plumbing chase is brilliant. I am so excited to see how all of this fits together in the end. But man, I bet you wish you were two or three people at this point.

    • 3.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Or four or five or six ;) ;)

  73. 3.19.18
    Liza Vandermeer said:

    I am feeling very happy to see your new posts. I really like your house, (as much trouble as old houses are, they are always worth it in the long run) and I also like your determination and sense of humour. Can’t wait to see the kitchen take shape! Just in a good way, though: no pressure.

  74. 3.19.18
    Liza Vandermeer said:

    Another comment: since somebody else has brought up YHL, they have a good discussion about putting a leak pan under the washing machine in their second-floor laundry room.

  75. 3.20.18
    Amelie Harms said:

    “I realize you’d have to be pretty intimately familiar with the layout of my house for this to make any sense, so don’t worry about it.”

    Like 95% of your readers. Yup. We’ve got nothing else to do. :-D

  76. 3.21.18
    Kate M said:

    You’re going to have a sink again! That’s awesome! Our utility sink cracked a while back, and it took us forever to replace it because we were looking for The One Sink, and finally one day my fella said “enough” and went to the ReStore. I came home like 3 hours later and he had bought the thing, built the frame, and hooked up all the plumbing. I could not BELIEVE we went a year without one and then just got it knocked out in one day for $30. Is it the most beautiful sink there ever was? No. Is it perfectly adequate to wash sweaters in? Yes. 2018 is officially my Year of Perfectly Adequate.

    (Also I would mourn the wallpaper but I saw your powder room plan and it’s going to be AMAZING in a powder room, I can’t wait.)

  77. 3.23.18
    anne said:

    You make me laugh when I really need it, thank you, and I love following along with your progress on your house.

  78. 3.27.18
    Alexis said:

    Hi Daniel – I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! But as the unhappy owner of the same plastic sink, danger danger Will Robinson!!! It’s got ugly rough edges, the plastic gets gross/impossible to clean and the fixture that comes with the sink is beyond terrible. I’ve had my eye on this baby from Rejuvenation which has a surprisingly reasonable $250 price tag and comes with either grey or navy trim: https://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/products/alape-bucket-sink

    Just a thought – I’m very good at spending other people’s money!

  79. 3.27.18
    Christina said:

    I know, I KNOW, this is supposed to be a git ‘er done laundry room.

    But I was scrolling Craigslist, and I’ll just leave this here, in case you’re planning a trip to Albany soon:

    • 3.27.18
      Daniel said:

      NO STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP (i’m crying) (i might buy it anyway)