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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Laundry | One Room Challenge Week 1

Thursday, October 3, 2019

W e e k   O n e

B E F O R E  

Can a laundry room have French Country style? Plans for my laundry room are to replace damaged sheetrock, to update the washing machine and dryer connections, and to insulate the room better to keep it warmer in the winter. What began as purely functional updates has expanded to give the room the style I love ... French Country. 

Since I am working on the room anyway, why not take the opportunity to do a complete overhaul and to add beautiful French Country style? Why not go for it! Why not remove the sheetrock walls and ceiling down to the studs and create a completely new functional and beautiful laundry room? As my daddy always said as I was growing up, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right."

And why not do it within six weeks as part of the 
O N E   R O O M   C H A L L E N G E ™

Guest Participate 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Washer and Dryer

Welcome to Week 1 of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE™ hosted by Linda of Calling It Home and sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens. 

Yesterday, twenty featured designers kicked off this Fall's ORC™ with their plans. Today, guest participants joined in the party to share the spaces we are updating over the next five weeks. 

It's confusing I know... six weeks or five weeks... hmmm... We post six times, but there are only five weeks between the first post and the final reveal post. 


Let's begin by taking a tour of the laundry room BEFORE updates begin. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before White Panel Door
The door shown leads from our garage into the laundry room with another door that opens into a short hall to the foyer of our post and beam house. 

Yes, you are looking at two wallpaper patterns in the same room. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Post and Beam
Here is the door opening into the short hall to the foyer. 

The posts and beams in the laundry room are part of the room's structure and will remain, but will be white-washed. The tile floor was installed about three years ago and will remain. The chair will be reupholstered with a French Country blue and white toile fabric. 

The washer and dryer are in a set-back alcove to the right of the garage door.  

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Damaged Cabinets
Cabinets above the washer and dryer are damaged and will be replaced. Week 2 of the ORC™ is when I will share plans for new cabinets for the room. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Floral Wallpaper
The sheetrock will be removed from all of the walls and ceiling.  

During our first winter in the newly-built house, the laundry room was cold all the time. That's when we discovered insulation in the walls and ceiling had been left out. We added blown-in insulation to the walls and ceiling as best as we could. However, the laundry continued to be the coldest room in the house. 

Once the sheetrock walls and ceiling are removed, all of the old blown-in insulation will be removed. New insulation batts with vapor barriers will be installed between the studs in the exterior walls and between the joists in the ceiling. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Fluorescent Ceiling Light
The fluorescent ceiling light will be removed. Wiring for additional lighting and an additional wall light switch for the room will be added while the ceiling joists and wall studs are exposed. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Damaged Baseboards and Sheetrock
Tongue and groove vertical boards will be installed on all of the walls instead of sheetrock and wallpaper. Tongue and groove boards will also be installed in the ceiling instead of sheetrock. 

The walls will be painted white, and the ceiling will be white-washed to match the posts and beams. 

The baseboards will be salvaged to be re-used as molding around the tops of the new cabinets above the washer and dryer. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Two Washer Connection Boxes
We live on two acres in the countryside outside any city limits and have a septic system. The original plumbers installed a washer connection drain for the water to empty into a pipe that leads into the woods instead of emptying washing machine water into the septic tanks. The purpose of that drain was two-fold: water the trees and keep detergent and bleach out of our septic system. 

A second washer connection box was installed for the incoming hot and cold water lines and a functional drain into the septic system. For the past several years, the washing machine has been draining into the septic system with no problems. 

Therefore, the plan is to seal off the drain pipe in the wall that goes to the woods and to remove the old plastic connection cover from the wall. A new washer connection box will replace the old rusty plastic connection box that houses the water lines and working drain. 

The dryer connection will be updated, too. A new in-wall dryer hose vent connection box will be installed between the studs. This will allow the dryer to be pushed up against the wall without crushing the dryer hose. A more efficient new exterior dryer vent COVER with louvers will be installed on the outside wall of the house. 

French Country Laundry One Room Challenge Wk 1 Before Window Shades and Hanging Rod
The clothes hanging rod will be reattached in the same place. The wood blinds will be replaced in the window. 

We keep cat food and pet supplies in the small floor cabinet beside the chair. The cabinet is French Country style with shaped legs and definitely is staying in the updated laundry room, but will be painted to match the wall cabinets. In Week 2 of the ORC™, I will reveal the color for all the cabinets. 


I am excited and nervous. Excited about all the plans to add tongue and groove walls and ceiling, to update the washing machine and dryer connections, and to insulate the room better. Nervous about getting everything finished in time for the Week 6 reveal. 

And, I am excited to add French Country style to another room in the house. Several French brocante treasures from years past will be part of the updated laundry room! Plus, I am finding a few new things to add. 

Be sure to visit all of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE™ featured designers and guest participants for inspiration. 

See you next week with my design inspiration board! 


Botanic Bleu is a blog about a French-inspired garden and home in a post and beam house on two acres in the countryside, twenty minutes outside Fort Worth, Texas. Built with help from family and friends, beginning with an old-fashioned barn raising, the house is now being transformed from American Country to French Country one day, one project, at a time. All done on a budget with easy-to-find materials. 

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