Bluestone Basement Laundry: Moldings! Walls! Storage!

This post is a paid partnership with Lowe’s! Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

A little over a year ago, you may recall that I got back from the most insane once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica. Antarctica! I still have a hard time grasping that it was real, but I went with my family and they’ll back me up on this. It was decidedly more of a vacation than an expedition, but the tour company insisted on calling it an expedition and that felt so much more adventurous and exciting. Whatever it was, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

An unexpected side-effect of going on this trip didn’t hit until a couple of months ago, though. I began having some variation on the same dream every single night—that due to some clerical error, or a last-minute cancellation, we were all headed back to Antarctica to do it all over again. Another Christmas celebrated at the bottom of the globe with penguins and icebergs. It was news I could not have been more excited about as I’d quickly clear my schedule and pack up all of last year’s gear and get ready to depart. Then I’d wake up really disappointed that I’d imagined the whole thing and think about it a lot throughout the day.

I don’t usually dream like this, by the way. Or make a habit of talking about dreams, because it is objectively the most annoying thing ever. Like even more annoying than talking about your own vacation which I AM ALSO DOING RIGHT NOW. I guess you could say I’m on THIN ICE here!!! GET IT?And now I’m your dad.

What is happening. I promise this is going somewhere.

Obviously, Antarctica is mostly about the wonders of our natural world, but I found myself really compelled by the unnatural wonders, too—specifically, how human beings in all their perseverance and inventiveness figure out how to make the most inhospitable place on earth into home. For decades now, Antarctica has hosted researchers from all over the world. You have to get there by ship, and it’s not an easy or fast or inexpensive journey. Once you’re there, you’re there. You have only exactly the supplies you were given—to eat, drink, stay warm, stay clean, stay entertained, do your job, keep from going nuts. When it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, these researchers basically don’t see the sun for weeks. Close quarters. Strangers you very quickly have to get along with. Grueling conditions outdoors. No real recourse if something goes wrong. It’s not unlike working on a space station, except imagine if the spaceship had to be built IN SPACE by the astronauts on board. It’s basically that.

Here’s the point: when I first got the go-ahead from Lowe’s to renovate the basement laundry project for Bluestone Cottage, I leapt at the chance and then realized I had no idea what I actually wanted to do or how I actually wanted it to look. I’ve thought a lot more about the rest of the house than I’ve ever dwelled on the basement, and so I figured I’d take the whole figure-out-the-basic-strokes-and-feel-it-out-from-there approach that sometimes I am wont to do.

AND THEN, one bright morning, inspiration struck. I awoke with A VISION. OF A THING I’D SEEN. Grabbed my phone. Located the pics from Antarctica. Port Lockroy, circa 1944. It’s a British research station that’s now a historic site, and also hosts the continent’s only gift shop and post office. That’s the exterior, above, clad in black tar paper and that hot hot hot red/orange trim. So good.

Oh, hello! This is a direction I can get behind for a basement laundry room. And I imagine the construction of it looked something like how I’m currently spending my days—working in a confined space, in the cold except for my Craftsman propane heater (a TRUE revelation, omg), with whatever supplies I have available, trying to keep any waste to a minimum and just make it happen.

(I know, I know. Yes, Lowe’s is sponsoring and supplying most of the materials. But to provide some insight on that, that doesn’t make it a blank check! I still have to be scrappy and crafty to make this room work, considering it needs E V E R Y T H I N G. Also, actually procuring those materials isn’t as simple as regular shopping, so MUCH LIKE THOSE ANTARCTIC EXPLORERS (except not at all), I can’t just run out every time I need something. Except to my garage, which like, those guys had to keep their stuff somewhere. Right? Except they didn’t really have power tools. You know what, never mind. I actually can’t imagine the logistics of building something on Antarctica in the 1940s; I’m sorry, I gave it my best effort, and now we will move on.)

Am I crazy? I might have gone crazy. But I also really want to rip off THIS WHOLE LEWK because it just makes me so happy? I love how modest and simple and un-done these spaces are. It’s preserved from when it served as both living quarters and an active research station, and had to function well for both so nobody lost their damn minds—a legitimate risk with all that isolation! I love how homespun everything is. And I love the use of color—you have to imagine that between the harsh conditions and the long stretches without daylight, it was a smart, strategic decision to introduce bright colors into the space and paint everything including the utilities. It feels like kind of unintentionally great design at work, and very appropriate for that finished/un-finished old house basement vibe. It’s never going to feel like just another room in the house, so let’s…not make it like the rest of the house!

How much do you want to bet they mixed the dark green chair rail paint (which is really just a painted line, not molding) with the white to make that color on the lower half of the walls? I bet they did. And it’s pretty perfect. I’ve become a little fixated on it.

I even love the glossy glossy walls! This is certainly old oil paint, and it just feels very”¦British. They know how to slap on a perfectly-imperfect glossy coat of paint like nobody’s business. I think this is true but I could just have a weird bias expressing itself. 

Look at this simple ceiling-mounted drying rack! Looks like a fun afternoon project. I love that someone took the time to create that angled detail on the side instead of just using square boards all the way around.

OK, are we feeling this direction? If you are not, well, that is TOO BAD because I am. Sorrynotsorry. Let’s paint some stuff bright green and party in the basement.

Here’s a quick sketch of what I’m thinking space-wise! I want the room to function well as a laundry space but it’s also going to need to pack in a lot of storage and still house all the utility stuff that makes the house work.

That little boiler room in the back is where you used to enter the basement when I bought the house, but relocating the stairs saved precious square footage in the kitchen AND created that little closet in the basement perfect for a high-efficiency hot water heater/boiler combo (likely the same one I have in my own house!). The alcove seemed like the most natural place to put the washer and dryer, side-by side (you MIGHT be able to squeeze stacked units in here, depending on the size/brand, but it would be VERY tight. The ceiling height is only slightly over 6 feet) with a nice work surface on top and some kind of storage above—I’m still tossing around ideas for that! Opposite the machines, I think I’ll just mount pegboard over that whole wall, and a vintage ceiling-mounted drying rack in front of it, with enough clearance between the two so it’s not weird. I had considered pegboard over the long work bench and shelving on this other wall, but I didn’t think that worked with the drying rack, and there’s nowhere else for that, so. We’ll all find out together.

This is where we left off, with the walls framed, electric and plumbing roughed in, Sakrete Self-Leveling Resurfacer laid, and baseboards installed! While I obviously want this to feel like a finished space, it’s still an old house basement—in other words, I don’t totally trust it, haha! So I’m trying really hard to be smart about the materials and the way the room is assembled, so any potential issues down the line can be addressed without major upset or drama. Basically I want the whole room to be an access panel because you just never know.

To that end, I used scrap Azek boards for the baseboards—a PVC board that’s really for exterior work, and therefore won’t mold or rot in the case of any moisture intrusion issues. Once painted it looks like wood, and it’s felt SO GOOD putting those piles of scrap to productive use!

I took this hot n’ sexy selfie to commemorate my second encounter with DIY closed-cell spray foam insulation. I don’t think we need to go into that process again because WE JUST WENT OVER THIS, but I had a couple of leftover boxes of Dow Froth-Pak 210 from my guest room and decided to use them here. I’ll more than likely hire out the insulation of the rest of the house, but I needed this done now and it’s a reasonably small space to do it. Spraying over stone foundation walls feels…I don’t know, wrong? But it’s extremely common practice here for finished basement walls because it provides insulation, is unaffected by moisture, and creates a great vapor barrier—better than other materials because it doesn’t leave voids up against the uneven surface of the stone. In a newer basement with block walls or poured concrete, rigid foam insulation like this is more typical, and a big cost savings.

For the walls and ceiling, I opted to use this 1/4″ beaded birch plywood. Since I’m working almost entirely alone save for some help with the heaviest lifting, this material is lightweight and easy for me to manage on my own as I cut and install it. I think it’ll add some necessary texture and detail to the space, too! Covering the seams with simple trim and leaving screw heads exposed should make it pretty easy to remove the panels for whatever reason down the line, like if you needed to access a pipe or an electrical cable or just want to check on what’s happening behind the walls. And then easy to put back up!

As a precaution, I primed the back of each piece with this Rust-Oleum mold-killing primer, which seems to really be for safely painting over an already-moldy surface, but also should prevent mold from growing (or recurring) in the first place, if I’m understanding the can correctly. There’s an MDF version of this plywood, too, but MDF and moisture do NOT mix well, and…you know. I WORRY. ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Walls, going up! Getting to this stage is so nice. Something to look at!!

CAN WE KINDA SEE IT?! I still had scrap Azek boards, so I ripped them to 1/2″ thickness on the table saw and used them for the “chair rail” and the vertical seams. Those little trim pieces are just tacked up with a few brad nails—easy to pry off to access the screws holding the plywood up. I’m trying to squeeze every square inch out of each sheet of plywood, so you can see off-cuts from the walls beginning to make up the ceiling. It’s starting to feel like a room!

OK, so! In terms of some specific products that will make this MAGIC happen, I’m keeping it super simple and utilitarian, with a couple of upgrades!

THE MACHINES! Obviously the washer and dryer are going to be a pretty important part of creating a laundry room, and there are SO MANY options available now—I think back to buying my washer and dryer only 5-ish years ago and it’s like a different world out there! Washers that connect to Wifi! Dryers with built-in drying racks! Bright LED lights! The future is now, and it’s nuts. On top of that, there’s the age-old front-loader vs. top-loader debate, and now these incredibly snazzy machines like the Samsung FlexWash and FlexDry that have BOTH. Since I’m not honestly sure if this house will be sold or rented, and I didn’t want to blow my entire budget for the room on the machines, I was looking for something kind of mid-range and with good reviews. I’ve LOVED my LG machines in my own house, and I also love having a nice big worktop over a set of front-loaders—I prefer it to top-loaders or stacked units, personally, so that kind of eliminated the fancy Samsung FlexWash/FlexDry notion. Lowe’s tends to have a lot of appliance sales throughout the year, and I’ve noticed that last year’s models tend to go on clearance when the new ones come out, so that’s where I like to start my search!

THEN. And I’m embarrassed to admit this: I thought to check the measurements. Not of the nook where the machines are supposed to go—that’s definitely big enough—but the doorway down to the basement that machines need to fit through! OOPSIE. SOUND THE ALARM. WE HAVE A MAJOR SCREW-UP. Um. Do people still use…washboards? Because machines are not fitting down into this basement.

LUCKILY, because this is Lowe’s and solving conundrums such as these is kind of their thing, there were STILL a lot of options for me! Just different options—smaller options! It’s a small house, so I’m not going to sweat small machines. I actually think it makes a lot of sense. After lots of comparing reviews, prices, and features, I landed on this highly-reviewed Bosch 500-series washer and the matching electric dryer. There’s a slightly cheaper 300-series and a slightly more expensive 800-series—but I didn’t really see myself using the added features of the 800 series, so the 500 felt like a good bet. Other brands like Samsung, GE, Whirlpool, and LG all make their own version of machines this size, all available at Lowe’s, but the Bosch reviews put it over the edge for me.

One thing that’s highly intriguing (to me. just me?) is that the dryer is ventless—which some people love, some people hate, and most Americans don’t even realize is a thing. I guess in Europe it’s the norm if you have a dryer at all, so it’s gotta be OK right?! These small machines are also the norm across the pond, and often installed in kitchens like a dishwasher. From what I understand, the ventless dryer does take longer and clothes aren’t likely to come out bone dry like they do with a vented dryer, but the result is a more energy-efficient laundering experience that’s much gentler on your clothes and linens. So let’s embrace it. It also means I don’t have to figure out a way to vent a dryer here, which was MORE than welcome news—please don’t make me go into the crawlspace, for I may never return.

SO. Having cleared that hurdle, the other stuff came pretty easily. Let’s run it down. Here’s the same mood board again for easier reference, in case you haven’t committed it to memory.

WALLS! Walls and ceilings are this beaded plywood! At my store, this is back with the moldings rather than up with the lumber where the rest of the plywood is, just head’s up! There’s a different beaded plywood in the lumber section, evidently suitable for interior or exterior use, but it was a lot rougher and I worried the prep would kill me. The panels I’m using are very smooth and nice—just like the MDF panels but real plywood! It would be great for backing cabinets or bookshelves or a million other things, too.

PAINT! I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to rip off that kitchen in Port Lockroy. I got samples of Ginger Sugar, Kelp (how appropriate!), and Palace Green, all from Valspar—eek! So bright! Greens are tricky. I hope this works but like, it might not. Ha! I also think I’m going to take the cue from my inspiration and bump it all the way up to high gloss—I’ve never used this Valspar High Gloss enamel, so I’ll let you know! SO MANY THINGS SO UNLIKE ME, I KNOW.

STORAGE! First up is regular old pegboard! Pegboard walls are just so functional for a small storage space like this one, so cheap to execute (63 cents a square foot!), and have that cute vintage vibe. For a bit more money, steel or polypropylene look-alikes are available too. I’ll probably just pick up a mixed bag of hooks and stuff for it. I’m hoping this room also comes in handy for ME as I renovate the rest of the house!

For the workbench, I picked up one of these inexpensive, old-faithful Edsal shelving units. I grew up with these in my basement! I have them in my current basement! I’ve never assembled one as a workbench, though, even though it’s designed to do both, and I’m weirdly excited. Unfortunately the particleboard shelves it comes with are basically trash (they’re thin and sag with any weight) so I’ll be swapping those for cabinet-grade ply. I’ll probably paint the metal frame with one of the accent colors.

For the top of the workbench AND for the worktop above the machines, I sprung for this nice Baltic Birch butcherblock counter rather than ply or particleboard, and I think it’s going to be VERY classy. It’s actually the exact same butcherblock I currently have in my kitchen, and it’s great stuff—solid Birch and good quality. There’s not a lot of fancy happening down here, so I felt OK about spending the $240 for an 8′ countertop that should last approximately forever if properly maintained. I also think that natural wood element will add some nice balance with all the painted surfaces and the concrete floor.

For shelving, I’m keeping it simple, simple, simple. I think I’ll even reuse the wide boards that used to live elsewhere in the basement as shelving when I bought the house, and just use a few inexpensive, sturdy brackets like these.

LIGHTING! I had the electricians rough in 4 recessed lights, plus a box over the machines that I’m not entirely sure what to do with yet. Normally I’m not into recessed lighting in an old house, but in a basement with 6′ ceilings, I’m not sure what else you’d do! Recessed lighting has come a long way from the cans I grew up with, though—all the LED options are much less conspicuous, and they last 30 years!—so I think they’re a really practical choice here. Good lighting in a basement is absolutely essential to it feeling like an OK place to be. I’m hoping I like the light quality of these GE 65-W equivalent dimmable lights, which will just screw into the housing that’s already there and sit flush with the ceiling.

STYLE! CHICNESS! I’m excited to dress this room up with a few accessories and things (even if it’s just for photos, it’s so much fun after you’ve done a bunch of hard renovation work!). Most of that stuff will probably be practical items like tools and vintage bits and bobs, but I think a simple warm indoor-outdoor rug will work well down here, and Lowe’s carries a great selection of them under the Allen + Roth label—which, by the way, has rescued me countless times when I need something good-looking and well-made and affordable (so good for lighting, especially!). A rug feels like something very faraway and distant, but I’m trying to have this done in like a week, so I guess nothing is really that far off—ha! WISH ME LUCK. It’s possible/probable I’ll need it.

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. 2.7.19
    Sara said:

    Love the aesthetic! I had a Bosch ventless dryer in a former home and I will say that now living with a vented one (and a child…) having laundry dry in 40 minutes vs 2.5 hours (this is not an exaggeration about the difference in timing) it SUCKED if you ever had multiple loads to do, which I always did since I separate my lights from my darks. Towels basically never dried fully, so definitely incorporate somewhere for line drying as well. I could never go back to ventless now. That said, if it’s what you have to work with, it’s still better than no dryer. One thing I would recommend is that you specifically teach the buyer, or more importantly for you, the renter, how to clean the machine. There are several filtration parts, more than a normal washer and dryer with the Bosch models, and if you don’t clean them the machines malfunction. Just a tip from a former owner who never thought the washer/dryer manual was something she needed to read…

    • 2.7.19
      Ann said:

      I had the same negative experience with the ventless Bosch. Towels are impossible, sheets are complicated, everything takes forever, and you’re constantly cleaning the filters/draining moisture. Ultimately, we risked the low-ceiling spider-filled crawl space, put in a vent, and bought a vented dryer. (Though, I suppose that if we’d had room for an interior clothesline big enough for sheets we would have been fine and if I’d thought to paint the laundry room that old Arsenic green I might not have cared. …

      Speaking of Arsenic: Look at F&B write “Arsenic has a lively, stimulating feel despite its name being derived from the poison that was rumoured to have been in the wallpaper that poisoned Napoleon after his capture.” It’s very British…)

    • 2.7.19
      Lesley said:

      We painted the kitchen walls in our last house in Arsenic! (Well, the closest match I could find, which I think was Kelly Moore Tarragon Tease.) It looked amazing.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Oh, I know Arsenic! Never used it but it’s so great (the color, not the substance). Lowe’s doesn’t carry Farrow & Ball paint but they do claim they can color-match it. I feel like the one I picked is pretty damn close, though!

    • 2.7.19
      Emme said:

      I was in Europe for a few months during the winter. The worst was the combination washer/dryer that took 4 hours to give me hot soggy clothes. Ended up buying a clothes horse, but my dry clothes felt scratchy and stiff this way. I looked online to see if I was using it wrong. Nope. Some people suggested buying more clothes so I’d have something to wear while my clothes spent 10 hours drying.

    • 2.7.19
      Colleen said:

      I just finished three years in Brussels with laundry in the kitchen and a Bosch ventless dryer, and I have to say I hated it. Laundry takes forever to do because the dryer runs forever. And the clothes are never really 100% dry. Towels are a disaster as are heavy sweatshirts. Basically clothes came out very hot but damp and I still had to hang them around the house to get completely dry. I loved my time in Brussels, but hope to never again be forced to rely on such machines for laundry!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Interesting, I’ve never heard of anything like that! Good to know for the future.

    • 2.8.19
      Chaucea said:

      This is the one I use and it is FANTASTIC!

      Highly recommend this kind of a venting system over any kind of ventless dryer (lived in Norway for a few years, used several of those ventless dryers, VERY mediocre performance compared to a regular vented dryer.)

      Of course, getting the dryer to vent to the outside would be ideal. Interestingly enough, folks switch over their dryer vent to this indoor lint trap filter thingy in the winter to warm up their home and add some humidity to the air.

    • 2.8.19
      Lala said:

      We have had those exact Bosch models since we moved to the UK 4 years ago and have zero problems with drying time. It may take slightly longer than a vented dryer, but never long enough to be a real inconvenience. The water tank needs to be emptied is pretty big, so may be good to advise renters to empty it after every load instead of letting it get full since it does slop out a bit when you carry it to the sink.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      That’s good to hear! I think it must be a different model, though, because I’m almost certain this one doesn’t have a water tank at all—instead it drains through a hose just like the washing machine! I was concerned about what you describe because there’s no sink to dump into down here, and carrying a full water tank up to the kitchen definitely seemed like it would be a massive pain! But glad to hear you’re happy with it!!

    • 2.8.19
      SLG said:

      I think a lot of these models have a both a water tank and a drain hose. If you have a place for the drain hose to drain, you can set it up that way so the water tank never gets used.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Thank you for the suggestions, Sara! Hoping for a good experience here—and definitely noted on the cleaning! It does seem like there are lots of tips and tricks in the manual for these that help with most of the common issues people have…proceeding with cautious optimism!

    • 2.19.19
      C said:

      Hey, Sara, I would say that the reason your unvented dryer took so long is that you had it in a room with closed windows and doors. You need to let the humidity out, which normally we do by leaving the outside door open and closing the laundry door. The dryer works by heating the air in the dryer, which means it can hold more moisture, then blowing it out to be replaced by dry air. If the wet air recirculates you’re not going to get ny evaporation. You need fresh air.

      (This is because laundries in Australia always lead directly outside so you can easily hang stuff on the line.) In the Us you’d need to open a wondow, or open a window in the room next to the laundry. I would never put a ventless dryer in a basement, as the dampness issues are already too big. Skmetimes when I was a kid i’d put the dryer on without opening the door and there would be humidity literally dripping down the walls.

  2. 2.7.19
    Seana said:

    I audibly gasped when I saw the interior of the Antartica building. Those greens! Your laundry room is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  3. 2.7.19
    Alexis said:

    I didn’t realise vented dryers were a thing until I started reading American DIY blogs and saw people talking about where the vent would go, I’m like, what vent?
    I have the same LG machines as you, except maybe smaller? Mine is the size of a dishwasher and fits under a standard kitchen counter. Clothes do come out of the dryer bone dry if you leave them in there long enough, never having used a vented dryer I don’t know if it takes longer. My ventless dryer makes the room air pretty warm and dry when it’s running, which might be an added bonus of your Bosch one, in a cool and dampish basement?

    • 2.7.19
      Maria said:

      Same experience here, no vent, no problem!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Good to know, thank you both! Yeah, my LG machines are the full-size ones (American-size ones?), but it’s nice to know that the smaller ones are good too! All my LG appliances have been amazing—even my 12(?) year old secondhand fridge hasn’t had a single problem.

    • 2.8.19
      S@sha said:

      Me too. I’m currently living in Europe for my job and my washer and dryer were provided for me, so I don’t remember the brand, but I have no problem with the dryer. It does take a little longer, but if I choose the right setting my clothes come out perfectly dry. And if they don’t, I hang them on the line or on a drying rack. No big deal.

  4. 2.7.19
    Linda said:

    Think carefully about that high gloss paint. The higher the sheen the more any and all blemishes stick out.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Oh I know, usually I avoid it! But in this case I think it’s gonna work. I think. I hope. Ha! If not, it’s just paint!

  5. 2.7.19
    Lisa said:

    We had the same Bosch washer/set in our last condo and really liked them. The dryer does take a long time, but we found by playing with the settings (extra dry +3 dryness) that it got everything dry and it did seem gentler on our clothes. One quirk was the dryer start button, you had to hold it for exactly 1-2 seconds. If you only tapped it or held it too long it would beep twice and refuse to start, with no explanation of what was wrong.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Oh man, haha! Good to know. Now I’m so curious to get these up and running!! It does seem just from reading and reading and reading reviews that a lot of the issues people have fall more under the “user error” camp than anything really being wrong with the machines other than they’re different than what we might be used to. Futzing with the settings seems pretty key.

    • 2.9.19
      KarenJ said:

      I had that exact same issue with the dryer button when we first got our units and even had a repair tech come out because I was convinced there was something wrong. Nope. Turns out that unless the button is pushed exactly the right way for the exactly right amount of time it won’t work. The tech actually “trained” me on how to push this darn button – with me pushing it and him commenting on my technique – “too light, too long, not hard enough” etc. Good grief I felt foolish! Aside from that though I have been really happy with them and don’t really find a big difference in drying time.

  6. 2.7.19
    Rachel said:

    A basement laundry inspired by ANTARCTICA… you are amazing and so creative! I love it!!! Want to come do my creepy 1920 basement laundry with adjacent exposed dirt crawlspace? Pretty please?!?

    • 2.7.19
      Ryan said:

      I have the same! I’m considering building a wall/door thing to close up the access to the dirt crawl space which would also enclose the furnace but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. After seeing these inspiration photos I might embrace my similar green painted basement steps and floor (why did they paint the floor?) I”m so glad we have a basement laundry since the house only had the vintage laundry sink/tub when we moved in but I dream of a clean, organized laundry space someday.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Hahaha, I really don’t like crawlspaces!! PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME!! But I love a creepy basement, so sure. :)

      Ryan—def ask your plumber if it’s a good idea or not! It might just be a matter of adding a vent to the door, or you might not even have to. But probably not something you want to guess about!

  7. 2.7.19
    Moxie said:

    I love it! I think it’s going to be such a cozy happy space when you’re done. Maybe for staging, a nice print of a pic from Antarctica for the wall?
    We’ve been using the Edsal shelving in workbench configuration in our kitchen for about a year now. (There’s about 2 sq feet of counter space otherwise, but also big huge open spaces? This apartment was very poorly designed.) I was worried about catching my arm on the bits that stick up at the ends, but knock on wood, I haven’t so far. I’ve also taken to threading the end of a flour sack in the holes, so yay easy sorta towel rack! We had planned to swap out the shelves for plywood, but have consistently found something else to spend the money on. So far they’re holding up pretty well, even the one with the microwave on it.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Nice! And good to know about the shelves—maybe mine are so bad because they’re in the basement? They do hold a lot of heavy stuff, too. But they’re so bent and saggy it’s kind of insane, and it’s exactly how I remember the ones in my basement storage growing up. Unsurprisingly, I was the one who liked to sort and organize and purge contents from those shelves on my family’s unsuspecting behalf, so I’ve spent a lot of time around those particleboard suckers! And once they’re dusty, it’s like they can never be clean again. I have strong feelings about this, apparently. Hahahaha.

  8. 2.7.19
    Lesley said:

    Greens! Fun!

    We have a vented dryer but still prefer to air dry lots of our clothes. Too rainy here for outside clothes lines, so we have a rack in our basement. Point a fan at the rack and even jeans will dry overnight! A drying rack and fan would be a good combo with your efficient but slow dryer.

    • 2.8.19
      Mette said:

      OMG! Never thought of that but it definitely makes sense! I have a drying rack in our guest room for drying clothes which is the standard solution for apparments in Denmark (In Denmark electricity is expensive to encourage the use of more enery efficient solutions = very few people have dryers). However, it’s an eyesore, and a fan to make the clothes dry faster is a fantastic idea!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      A fan pointed at the drying rack! Lesley, you need a promotion. I don’t know who you are or what you do but you deserve it. :)

    • 2.8.19
      Another Lesley said:

      Maybe this is something only Lesleys know? I also use a fan to dry clothes. Here in the South, if you can’t put something in the dryer, it will definitely go sour without a fan.

  9. 2.7.19
    al said:

    i recommend investing in a vintage cordomatic retractable clothesline; i love mine on my back screened-in porch. i have the blue one.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      I was considering a retractable clothesline!! I always forget they exist. Why don’t we all have those?!

    • 2.8.19
      doorot said:

      The Devol ones are to die for…

  10. 2.7.19
    Mollysusie said:

    Just so you know, I’m going to be a whole copy-cat on everything you decide for this project, because my basement needs help and I have no vision. Or bison as autocorrect helpfully provided.

    • 2.7.19
      Jess said:

      Same here! I just emailed my husband who can’t read the Internet at work “remind me to show you Daniel’s blog post tonight, great idea for finishing the basement without drywall!”

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      I’d be honored for you to draw from my bison! :)

  11. 2.7.19
    Ivana said:

    Really great work! You should be proud of yourself. Also the cabinets you built for the pantry are just solid quality (I’m a cabinetmaker and you have better cabinets then a lot of people that spent tens of thousands for their kitchen).

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much for saying so, Ivana! I’m not sure I believe you but it’s very nice to hear! :)

  12. 2.7.19
    lisa anne said:

    I love the Antarctica inspiration, love the colors… love the glossy ceiling and the reflection of the cans!
    I’m coming over with a basket full of dirty clothes :-)

  13. 2.7.19
    Kat said:

    YES to the vibe, YES to those colors! Swoon! Also, please do a tutorial on the hanging laundry thing – I’m obsessed. It’s v. Shaker.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Ah! So I already have one I bought years ago for my first laundry room, but there’s nowhere for it in my current laundry room so I was just gonna hang up that! Don’t make me build another thing, Kat!!!! ;)

  14. 2.7.19
    CS said:

    Check out Speed Queen washers. Because they can be disassembled for delivery, they are a great choice for tight doors/stairways. I live in a 160 year old Philadelphia row home with a 24-inch-wide door to the basement stairs and there was no problem getting the unassembled Speed Queen in. The delivery guys took about 30 minutes to deliver and reassemble it.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Woah, never heard of that! Fascinating. Thank you!

    • 2.8.19
      CS said:

      There is the added bonus that you get to spend days talking with friends about if “speed queen” is a better term for someone who likes meth or someone into really fast sex. Or both.

  15. 2.7.19
    Marieke Laauwen said:

    My husband did a 6 week sciencetour to antartica in 2016 and it sure was the trip of a lifetime.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Cooooooooool. In another life, I would totally try to do a research stint down there for 6 months. What a fascinating way to live. Alas I’m kinda busy, not a scientist, and quite sure I would fail the mental health evaluation. ;)

  16. 2.7.19
    Emma said:

    I LOVE the inspiration and your design plan! My only fear is that, if you pull this off, I will have no excuses for my scary 1918 basement/laundry room.

    Also, FWIW, I vehemently disagree with the poster above who voted against high gloss paint! You must do it! For Antarctica!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      For the continent! For the revolution!

  17. 2.7.19
    Chris said:

    Great plan Daniel! Re: recessed LEDs. There are some even slimmer options, which i used in my kitchen to great success. they look like these:
    These are the ones I used, but similar. The light part is the same depth as drywall so they can even be put up over(under) a rafter beam. Best thing I ever did in my kitchen, absolutely changed the space.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Yes! I’ve used ones like that too—and EVEN THINNER ones I think called Razors. I’m not honestly sure why the guys installed the traditional high-hats except that I didn’t specify and I guess that’s just their default.

    • 2.10.19
      Bean said:

      Thank you for the very specific LED lights–Chris and Daniel–these are exactly what we need in our new house. Lesley is right–a fan pointed at the dryer rack is a thing in the South (probably because it rains so often). But, I very much needed some recessed light suggestions, and both of these will solve a lot of problems. :-)

  18. 2.7.19
    Peggy Z said:

    I have a friend who has always said green is your mother’s color. Whose Mom didn’t have a green couch? I must be a lot older now as I’m especially drawn to greens in any shade. I can’t wait to see those greens in high gloss. The laundry already doesn’t even feel the same!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Haha! That could be true, although my OWN mother (who has conspicuously, to me at least, NOT COMMENTED on this post—lol lol lol) has HATED green forever. Like HATED it. Therefore we never really had any green around at all. Like not even a little, except the houseplants. Of course my brother decided his favorite color was green, but he’s red-green colorblind so I think he was just being a little shit. :)

    • 2.9.19
      alliea_2 said:

      My mother also didn’t like green in the house, and told me it was an old country superstition in England (or at least in her rural part of it) that having green in the house would invite the Green Man in. For the same reason the Christmas tree only came into the house on Christmas eve and left on the 12th day, because God’s protection over Christmas could keep the Green Man away.
      I’m probably about to put a dark grey/green (Little Greene’s Pompeian Ash) on the walls of my snug. Wish me luck!

    • 2.8.19
      Hannah B. said:

      My parents STILL have a green couch! (and pink walls, oye!)

  19. 2.7.19
    Jacqui Bennetts said:

    You could consider adding an external vent like you might put in a bathroom to rid the basement of moisture when the dryer is running. That is something we do here in New Zealand if we have say a rental where the dryer belongs to the tenants and doesn’t get vented but we don’t want the laundry to be driping with moisture. You can get through wall and through window versions

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Good call! It would be tricky here but could probably be done somehow.

  20. 2.7.19
    NestFan said:

    I think you are assuming someone like you will live there, and need a large workbench – which I don’t necessarily think is the case for someone who rents or buys a small house that was just completely renovated. I’m thinking that given that the house is small, more people might want to use more of the basement for storage – by buying some tall storage shelves to put boxes or bins of stuff on – rather than for workbench use. But, given that showing a workbench may be partly due to Lowe’s sponsor wants, and that it will give you an indoor place to work while you are working on the house, it will work – and someone can also use it for just storing stuff on if they want.

    I’d have put the washer and dryer on that long wall, with the hanging rack right next to the washer – so I wouldn’t have to carry wet clothing that I wanted to hang from the washer to the other side of the room – it’s not a huge room, but I’d want to take wet stuff out of the washer, or partially dry stuff out of the dryer, and hang them up while taking the least amount of steps possible, like 2 or 3 maximum. Then there’d also be a longer counter to use for folding clothing and scrubbing out stains – I like using long laundry counters. I’d have done a smaller workbench in the W/D alcove, and/or one where you are putting the drying rack next to the stairs.

    Given that this is the U.S., where people expect their clothing to dry fast, I’d put in a vented dryer – though you may be beyond that in your planning process now. There are buyers for whom that will be a dealbreaker, if they realize that the dryer is slow-drying when they look at the place.

    You may want to tone down the brightness of your colors a bit if the basement gets little light. The bright paint stands up in Antartica with the brightness of the sun bouncing off the white snow when it is light out, and when it is dark out, remember that they didn’t use much wattage in indoor lighting in decades back. I’m all for color, but the brightness factor might need to be turned down a bit with little sunlight and the wattage a 21st century person will want in a laundry/workbench room. Same with the gloss on the paint – I think you’ll find that regular gloss, or likely even semi-gloss, will get the effect you want without bouncing light around in a small enclosed space like super gloss paint will.

    Whatever choices you make, making this room into a nice looking laundry room with room for other functionalities as well will be a great improvement over the typical local house basement that is unfinished, or partly-finished, with just a washer and dryer and some other stuff randomly stuck in it. Finishing the room – the floor, walls, ceiling, and insulation – with the laundry and other built-ins will make this house stand out.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Thanks! I’m really trying not to assume much of anything about a future buyer/tenant—I feel like that often leads to bad/ugly decisions when in reality maybe the buyer will have exactly my taste! But I’m also not assuming that person is me because most people are not me. I think the workbench (which, just to be clear, has absolutely nothing to do with what Lowe’s does or doesn’t want: they want me to do a good job on the space with a reasonable budget using products available at Lowe’s but are not at all involved in the design direction or even specific product selections) is a super versatile thing—storage shelves underneath and a generous work surface on top, that’s it! Considering the size of the house, this is going to be the single biggest work surface in the whole place, so I think that could be very useful! Folding, sewing, art projects, whatever! If I had this in my basement, I’d do so much less stupid stuff at my dining room table, ha! And totally on the paint colors—the crisp Antarctic light isn’t something to discount!

    • 2.9.19
      Ellen Leicht said:

      About the work bench – you’re right, every home needs a spot where it’s safe to swing a hammer at something or smear some glue on something no matter how handy you may or may not be!

  21. 2.7.19
    Ashley said:

    If the ventless dryer seems to be an issue, you could add an electric heated drying rack. My mother uses one of these:
    for her house. Her dryer is vented, but she doesn’t dry a lot of her clothes (sweaters, delicates, etc) and she LOVES this.

    Your inspiration board for this space is fantastic, and I love the thought and care you are putting in for whoever ends up living in, and loving, this space.

    • 2.7.19
      Leila said:

      I second this – they’re amazing! Though I don’t have a dryer at all and just dry my clothes on a rack in the window, and on radiators, my mum has a heated rack and it’s great.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      I’ve never heard of this! Love that idea. Sounds cozy too. I bet a cat would want to live on it.

  22. 2.7.19
    Jacqui Bennetts said:

    Oh I see from other comments that these ventless dryers are a different thing than I am used too. So my comment is not valid they have a condenser in them I guess.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Ah, thank you for clarifying! I’m not really sure what to expect but it doesn’t seem like the room getting moist/humid is a common experience with this set-up because of the condenser. It’s all new to me, so I’m learning!

  23. 2.7.19
    Laurel said:

    Love it, Daniel! It looks so great! I love the vibrant color. I think 2019 is going to be the year we start seeing more color in the home design world and you’re kicking it off with some true pizazz! You’ve been working on so many awesome projects in this space that are applicable to my own basement laundry and I can’t wait to re-read these when I finally get around to working on that space.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Laurel! :) :)

    • 2.8.19
      doorot said:


    • 2.8.19
      doorot said:

      Yanni? :)))

  24. 2.7.19
    Cado said:

    Love this concept a lot! Not sure what dryers are like in the US but condenser dryers here get plumbed into the drainpipe, no need to empty trays of water. Otherwise they’re just like any other dryer: lint filters just the same, they take the same amount of time and the clothes do get bone-dry, not sure why they wouldn’t? Unless a US ventless dryer is not the same as a condenser :)

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Yes! That’s how this one is designed to work. I don’t think that’s the case with all of them, but I knew I couldn’t expect people to empty a bucket of water into the kitchen sink upstairs just to dry their clothes, so I made sure the one I got worked that way! I should have mentioned that in the post—I forgot about the ones with the thing you have to empty because I disqualified them so quickly!!

  25. 2.7.19
    Susan said:

    The research station reminds me a lot of Julia Child’s kitchen which also dates to the 1940s.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Yessss! Thank you for linking to it—been a while since I looked at it! I love that kitchen so much. I never noticed that the lower bank of cabinets on the right is a different shade than the uppers! So close! But different! It clashes! And it’s perfect! :)

  26. 2.7.19
    Ellen said:

    Daniel, Love the inso pics, can’t wait to see how the finished room looks, to add to your British utilitarian vibe check out these:

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Oh yes, I love a Sheila Maid!!! They’re so gorgeous. I have one that’s the same concept and similar, but American-made and the metal frame parts are wood. It’s nice…but not as nice as the real deal.

  27. 2.7.19
    Kathy said:

    I have that washer/dryer in my apartment! I… have a love hate relationship with them. They’re nice, but as people say, it takes much longer for your clothes to dry. Also, I’ve found that I always have to run an extra rinse cycle. Yesterday I dried a load for over 2 hours and the clothes were still damp coming out of the dryer. It also has an ending beep that could wake the dead when it’s done, and well, the one on the dryer is easy to turn off, but the one on the washer involved much googling and swearing. But I think it’s great for a rental, since despite the long dry time, it doesn’t use up a ton of electricity and my electric bills per month are blessedly low. Plus, since I live in a concrete high rise in a Chicagoland suburb, figuring out how to vent that outside for each of the ten units on every floor for twenty floors and six buildings would be… pretty tricky.

  28. 2.7.19
    Heidi said:

    You have a great talent for making utilitarian spaces comfy and cozy!

  29. 2.7.19
    Elise Steele said:

    I love laundry rooms! and pantries! My dream home has more details planned out for these rooms than any other lol. The aesthetic of utilitarian and fuctional is somehow beautiful in its own way. Your inspiration pics are fantastic. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  30. 2.7.19
    Sara L. said:

    Fantastic inspiration pictures! I love that style of place, old and utilitarian but cheerful and colorful at the same time. Those greens are lovely! I’m guessing you’re going to bring in that red-orange in some accents?

    Also, I lived in Germany for a number of years, and had a ventless dryer. It had a condenser so you had to dump out a big container of water after every load, which was kind of annoying but kind of cool at the same time, since you could visualize just how much water was still in your clothing after a spin cycle! It does take longer than a vented dryer, but as long as you use the right setting, my clothes were always perfectly dry, and never got that “too dry” burned smell you sometimes get with vented.

    Can’t wait to see it all come together! Love that bead board.

  31. 2.7.19
    Lynne said:

    It’s going to be a great space! I had a laundry room in a basement utility room in my old hous and it was so depressing to do laundry in there. I couldn’t cover stuff permanently either so we used peg board on all the walls and ceilings. I painted it a bright white and it made such a huge difference! It was a cheap way to fix the ugly! Years later when our old house was n the market again snooped the real estate listing and the pegboard walls are still there!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Nice! I’m sure it’s extremely handy!! I’ve actually NEVER had pegboard and admittedly didn’t realize how many components you can hang off of one! I’m starting to get jealous of this basement, haha.

  32. 2.7.19
    Arianna said:

    Love the plan and colour scheme, all really exciting to see it finally come together! But I’m with the many people who have had bad experiences with a ventless condensing dryer. I would really warn you that they really don’t work that well. Our clothes never dried and easily got that musty smell. When we renovated our house i installed a proper Maytag vented dryer and my British husband thinks it’s the best thing that has ever happened to clothes, sheets and towels. There really is no substitute.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Welp, we’ll find out together! I gotta say, more than vented dryers, it does seem like there’s a HUGE range in quality and user satisfaction among ventless models, so I’m hoping that these Bosch models live up to their high reviews.

    • 2.8.19
      Arianna said:

      Yes I hope so for you too! Maybe the technology has moved on and they actually do the job. I eagerly await your report! You are such a bad ass and keep up the amazing work!

  33. 2.7.19
    Phyllisa said:

    I’ve had a ventless LG washer/dryer combo for over 10 years (please don’t die now that I’ve admitted your age LG – I LOVE YOU). I initially bought it to fit in a tiny utility closet where I only had enough width for a washer and not enough height for a stacked, so one unit that did both was too awesome for words. I’ve since moved and have room for separates, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?!? It does take longer to dry, but overall I’ve been incredibly happy with it.
    All the best!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      That’s great to hear! I’ve always been curious about the combos.

  34. 2.7.19
    Tom said:

    Thanks buddy for the post..I love reading about your adventures. My basement is not all that different, larger maybe and a tad more finished and certainly dry in the winter when the heat is on – the clothes lines have been up down there for a century – and it works very well. All that being said, you give me plenty of good ideas on possible improvements. I have two original wash tubs, still functioning, hooked up to the sewer line – so when there is a back up…ugh. There’s the old coal shoot window and the fruit cellar and a chase intended for the original gas lighting pipes to go upstairs. I dream of finishing it off, but hesitate to disturb any of the original elements. Maybe I should have you come for a consult! Anyway I wanted to tell you you look great in your insulation selfie….you should include more selfies in your blog!


    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Old coal shoot! Original wash tubs!!!! DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!

  35. 2.7.19
    Nikki said:

    I cannot wait to see how this lovely room turns out!
    RE: paint colors, I’m not sure if it is the same shade, but the majority of the first floor of my home is painted Ginger Sugar. I love the color, but it is the most transformative color ever, based on lighting. In the main living space where there is loads of natural light, it comes off as a cool grey. However, in our hallway and dining room where the light is limited and synthetic, it is very warm, almost to the point of looking like a different color, even though it is visible from the main living space. If Ginger Sugar turns out to be too pigmented for you, my new favorite white for dark spaces is Behr White Moderne, it doesn’t seem to lean warm or cool and seems to stay pretty consistent with all sorts of lighting. We actually painted our entire (1300 sqft) basement that color just over a year ago and I still cannot get over how good it looks!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Good to know!! I’ve yet to crack open the can so I have no idea how it’ll play in this light. From the chip it looks VERY warm—I’m kinda after a warm white here, like in the inspiration pictures! Hmmmmm.

      (What’s this Behr you speak of? NEVER HEARD OF IT LALALALALALA *cough*sponsoredbylowes*cough*)

  36. 2.7.19
    Lori said:

    Oh man, I am so here for these process posts! Utterly riveted tbh. One question: were the stone walls sealed with something before you did the studs & spray foam? Or does the spray foam essentially seal it? (My grandparents’ 1800’s farmhouse basement was so much like the Bluestone basement that it’s uncanny, including the 6′ ceiling height.)

    Somewhat unrelated (or maybe related cuz I bet you just used one for the baseboards), I have reached that point in my DIY life where I need to buy a laser level to save my sanity. Do you have one that you really, really like, and if so, could you affiliate link the hell out of it so I can buy & we can both benefit?

    P.S. A+ dad joke, so terrible.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      The spray foam should essentially seal it. The walls were previously painted, probably with something like Dryloc, so I vacuumed and tried to get rid of any flakey parts and then went for it with the Froth-Pak.

      Lowe’s doesn’t have an affiliate program, haha! But I have this one which I…think I like? I use it with an old camera tripod, although Lowe’s carries the tripods too. To be honest I don’t often end up using it because a regular old level usually feels easier than getting that one set up, and then moving it around and re-leveling it, and also I’m afraid I’ll look into the laser and go blind, but it does what it’s supposed to do? They can get SO expensive so I think it’s a good one to start with if you need something for interior work that does the job.

    • 2.8.19
      Lori said:

      Thanks for the red! I need to use it for crown molding and also outside to level an area of the yard & adjust retaining walls accordingly, and I am so sick of tripping over bubble-leveled string lines. I actually have a few crappy tripods floating around, so I am set on that end. Really glad I’m not the only one paranoid about accidentally blinding myself with the laser, though!

    • 2.8.19
      Lori said:


    • 2.9.19
      Liz said:

      I’m curious about possible structural issues with the foam… these old stone foundations breathe, and that moisture needs to go somewhere right? To avoid pressure on the foundation? Do you already have a drain system in place? Reason I ask: a friend just had part of her basement waterproofed (as opposed to re-pointing the problem walls, I think?), and the process was to drill weep holes, install a french drain to a sump pump, and then closed cell foam on the walls.

  37. 2.7.19
    Chaucea said:

    Braided rug! That type of rug is very true to the period. And Lowe’s has lots of them listed. In the perfect green tones. :D

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      So funny—I had the exact same thought yesterday! And I love a braided rug! And round is probably just the thing for this space! I’ll check out the Lowe’s options—thank you!

  38. 2.7.19
    Lisa said:

    I have to say, we used the British washers and dryers in airbnbs a couple of years ago, hated them. The dryer just basically spun it, did not remotely get anything what I’d call dry. (Also water came out of the dryer? What’s with that?) The system is easier on your clothes, but, you really need a “drying closet” or some small warm space where forced air heat comes out, or a heated rack, to make it work. Especially in a cold basement, I am imagining many mildewing articles of clothing:(.

    • 2.8.19
      Lisa said:

      I had to come back to say that despite my gloom around those kinds of dryers, I do love the aesthetic:).

  39. 2.7.19
    greta clark said:

    I knew it was going to be fun and stylish!

  40. 2.7.19
    Pooch said:

    I love it! When you’re finished, please come install an Antarctic laundry room in my house!

  41. 2.7.19
    Deb said:

    Ah, the eternal what dryer is better question. My personal favorite was the vented to nowhere dryer with a knee high over the end to catch the lint. Good times. I love this space and can’t wait to see the finished product but really love the process stuff. Did you just nail the ceiling panels directly onto the floor joists?
    I have so much work to do in my basement and now have some motivation to get going. I feel awful I called this space crummy in a comment and am off to say a bunch of Hail Mary’s as penance.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Ha! Mine was…vented right into the Olivebridge crawlspace, where it caused both the floor and exterior wall to rot and pretty much catalyzed the most exhausting renovation ever.

      I did just nail the panels up, yes! Actually I screwed them, thinking that would make them easier to remove intact if necessary, but I wonder if finish nails would have accomplished the same thing with less work and less flex over the uneven joists. Ah well.

  42. 2.7.19
    Emily said:

    I love the inspiration pictures! I can’t wait.

  43. 2.7.19
    Elaine said:

    I have that exact Bosch combo and love them – particularly how quiet they are. The dryer doesn’t take 2 hours – but maybe I do small loads? I keep mine separate and am 1 person so who knows. But I do love them and haven’t had any problems. (There’s no water to drain – it drains into the washer’s drain. So convenient and nice.)

    Love the design and inspiration you went with here!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Yay! Great to hear. Thank you. I feel better, haha!

  44. 2.7.19
    SLG said:

    We just bought a washer and dryer and had the same tiny-space condundrum as you. After some exhaustive and exhausting research we settled on Miele ventless, with some trepidation about whether it would really work. It’s been totally fine! The washing machine takes longer to finish than our old one, and the dryer takes around the same time as our old vented one did. Depending on the load, sometimes it ends damp, but you can either set it to “extra dry,” do a quick 2nd cycle, or dump the laundry on the coach to finish airing out. And hey, the Yale Appliance Blog people are supposed to be the best out there, and they list Bosch compact ventless machines as among the best:

    On thing I did discover in all that research: at least some of the Bosch compact washing machines aren’t supposed to have bleach used in them, ever. Something about it hurting the machine’s innards. Hopefully yours won’t be one of them but worth checking the manual to be sure.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Interesting, I’ll check on that! I don’t really use bleach at all so I wouldn’t have thought of it!

  45. 2.7.19
    gillianne said:

    To Lowes: Thanks hugely for sponsoring Daniel’s projects. That means he gets to do more projects and then tell us all about them in his uniquely Daniel way.

    (To Daniel: fyi, the last link, to Allen + Roth rugs, doesn’t work.)

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Argh, sorry! Thanks for catching it!!

  46. 2.8.19
    Pippa said:

    Oh that comment “Regular old pegboard” has me gnashing my teeth in frustration. If only I could get me some of that stuff and not the ugly stuff with holes aligned diagonally. I wish we had Lowe’s in Australia.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Oh how odd! Who knew! I wish we had wallabies in the States, if that makes you feel better?

    • 2.13.19
      hjc said:

      You could do a wallaby/pegboard cultural exchange!

  47. 2.8.19
    Pat said:

    It is going to look soooo cool! Does the basement have water issues? If it does, I’d look into getting something like Flor for the floor. A rug of any size that gets wet weighs about 5000 pounds and takes 6 guys to get out of the basement. If not, I second the braided rug!

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Not that I can tell, but I’m not ruling out that it might at some point? I feel like most basements around here do get some water every now and then like with REALLY heavy rain or something, so I’m keeping an eye on it. That’s mostly why I was thinking indoor-outdoor, since those rugs can get wet without the problem you describe! But braided would look so pretty. Hmmmm.

  48. 2.8.19
    Linda said:

    I live in France and have a washer and dryer in our kitchen. I’ve had the combo washer/dryer and hated it. The clothes came out a mangled mess and weren’t usually totally dry. I now have a vented dryer and it works great but the electric bills are incredibly high here and I try not to use it much, just a rack. I do get scratchy towels that way but if I put them in the dryer when wet with a softner sheet for ten minutes and then finish the drying on a rack, they are much better. I’ve gotten used to a small washer and learned to do a wash twice a week to keep up with everything. I’d kill for a laundry room.

  49. 2.8.19
    nella said:

    If that isn’t the definition of inspiration, I don’t know what is. And you had taken pictures of the place, which you had saved! It will be lovely.

  50. 2.8.19
    Jen said:

    I’m so happy you’re going with the green! I was afraid that color was going to mean gray, and while there’s nothing wrong with gray, it’s just so ubiquitous now. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  51. 2.8.19
    Catherine said:

    This is going to be the cutest!

  52. 2.8.19
    Joe Shmoe said:

    Love your inspiration! I would also suggest not doing a ventless dryer. I lived in London for 4 months and hated our ventless dryer. Clothes are scratchy and hard.

  53. 2.8.19
    Carmen said:

    I love the inspiration and am super impressed with how authentically you are translating it into the space. It just looks right. I admit I was kind of raising my eyebrow at the baseboards attached directly to the framing, but your reasoning makes great sense once explained and I love how it is turning out. It reminds me a little of my grandparents basement laundry in a very rural farmhouse built in the 40s. Love your posts.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Carmen! That’s high praise!

  54. 2.8.19
    Brenda said:

    I love the Antarctic inspiration. I swear that minty green color is in every old farmhouse kitchen in Maine. When I moved here years ago I started seeing it everywhere. My thought was that Sears had it on sale for years so the thrifty Mainers used it wherever they could. I painted the vintage pegboard in my kitchen that color. It makes me smile every day.

  55. 2.8.19
    Tanja said:

    Call me a weirdo, but the most charming thing about your inspiration photos is the hot-water bottle on the door frame.

    • 2.8.19
      Daniel said:

      you know, i’ve looked at that photo a hundred times and thought it was a small cutting board. ha! of course!!! and i love hot water bottles!!! nothing like it on a cold winter night. extreme coziness.

    • 2.9.19
      Tanja said:

      I couldn’t agree more! Such a simple but genius invention…

  56. 2.8.19
    Celia M. said:

    I’m really excited to see the final result! Love the colors you chose – and your inspiration.

  57. 2.8.19
    Cheryl said:

    Love! Your inspiration for this is fantastic!

  58. 2.8.19
    J-Dub said:

    Tanja, I noticed the hot water bottle too. It’s so, well, perfect.
    Daniel, Cup of Jo just yesterday had an interview with an Antarctic scientist (first woman to ski solo across the continent) and I’m in such awe of her. And now your laundry room! It’s almost like a sign, go to Antarctica! Or maybe just “have a hot chocolate?”
    I’ll be lurking to see how you like the recessed lights. I have a similar low-ceiling laundry area, off my kitchen not in the scary basement, and have been puzzled as to flush overhead lighting. Anything with uncovered bulbs or openings seems like it will turn into a dust/lint magnet day 1. Did you consider other types of lighting? And high gloss paint….go for it. I used high gloss in my closet pantry and it’s so easy to wipe clean and the shine makes me smile every time I open the door.

  59. 2.8.19
    jeannette said:

    Wonderful to have you blogging again in your typical, thoroughly detailed and creative way. It really adds a lot to my day. Thanks for this!!!! Write on!

  60. 2.9.19
    Minna said:

    Oh my goodness. You MUST see Encounters at the End of the World if you haven’t already. It’s an incredible, ponderous exploration of the anthropological weirdness of Antarctica told only as Werner Hertzog can. Love the inspiration. It reminds me very much of the sweet, basic kitchen interiors of many older Finnish lake cottages. Anyway, here’s alink to the film:

  61. 2.9.19
    Elizabeth said:

    YUSSS so satisfying to see those walls go up. I love the Antarctic inspiration! I’m excited to see this progress.

  62. 2.10.19
    Kim said:

    I’m sure you would love to drag yourself down to West Virginia and work this magic on my terrible basement, right? Because this is going to end up looking so nice and I LOVE it! I really love the 40s look of your Antarctic inspiration, so I think when this is finished it’s going to be right up my alley. Love that Lowe’s is helping you get some inspiration on this project.

  63. 2.10.19
    Kate Davidson said:

    I am in the UK and have a ‘condenser dryer’ which is ventless. We have 6 kids, so lots of laundry, and I wouldn’t go back to the vented option. It takes only moments to empty the fluff and water reservoir after every couple of loads and items come out bone dry with no problem.

  64. 2.10.19
    Sara said:

    Our 1929 house has crazy-narrow stairs down to our basement, so we also went with the Bosch 500s. We’ve used them 3-4 times a week for 6 years and they have been perfect! S. In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  65. 2.10.19
    kmkat said:

    I somehow missed your Antarctica post last year. Wowzers, what an experience!

  66. 2.11.19
    Tonya said:

    I’m curious, are you putting a laundry chute in or something similar? Seems like it would make it a little more convenient since you have 2 stories to climb for laundry.

  67. 2.12.19
    Amanda said:

    I love it so much when travel and design converge into a hot pile of awesomeness! Some of my favorite things we’ve done in our home were inspired by our travel experiences–how things look, how people live, how people store stuff. We home exchange, so we get to see how real people in different places live in their own homes. I also love how this basement and the kitchen in your house are so strongly inspired by pre-WWII design. It’s like all my historian dreams come true.

  68. 2.12.19
    Katie said:

    Wow this is totally inspiring me to do a bit more work on our basement! We have made a little workout area, lots of shelf storage, etc. but now I want to do something like the framing/beadboard and make it look a little nicer.
    One thought I had is to consider building a platform/pedestal for the washer and dryer to go on in case of any future flooding. Given the age of the house, it wouldn’t be shocking to have plumbing issues at some point. Even if your basement has apparently never gotten water in 25+ years according to the past owner. ;)

  69. 2.20.19
    ~mwt said:

    Daniel, I am so glad that Lowe’s is sponsoring you and so happy that it has resulted in more posts that yesterday, for the second time, I left home headed for one big box store and turned the car towards Lowe’s instead– even though it was farther away.

  70. 2.27.19
    Heidi said:

    I had a good laugh reading the condenser-dryer-hater comments! I guess I’m just more settled-in in Europe than some other North American peers.

    They’re so much gentler on clothing, I can’t understand why someone would want to subject their precious clothing to anything else. I’ve never had a time-problem with my dryer but I guess that’s more because the “Eco” cycle on the washer takers 4-5 hours!

    (And let’s not even get into the use of softener and adding scent to laundry hehe)

  71. 4.12.19
    Cathy Rust said:

    Hi Daniel,
    I’ve just spent the last hour reading and admiring your gorgeous laundry room creation – renovation. Congratulations on a beautiful result! You have really done your Antartica journey proud. I’m curious about whether or not you’ve started using your ventless Bosch dryer and if so, what your results have been. In theory, ventless dryers seem like such a great idea for spaces where venting would be challenging – plus they use a lot less electricity.

  72. 10.25.20
    Arlene said:

    Why did it take so long to find your blog??? I can’t wait to show my husband this. Thank you for your break down and being so detailed.