Photography by Amy Bartlam
When Nicole Salceda moved into this Bay Area home, it felt like things were falling into place. "We live in a community with tree-lined streets and a greenbelt where kids play and people walk their dogs," she says. "It's a neighborhood I drove through often and dreamed of living in."
As the owner and interior designer of Eye for Pretty, she knew she could use her skills to reflect the style she shares with her husband, Patrick, and their two sports-loving children. And the one spot where things were especially coming together was in the laundry room. "We've owned three homes, but we never had a proper laundry room," Salceda says. "Our washer and dryer were always located in the garage."
The coveted space became a reality during a second-floor remodel earlier this year, in which square footage from her daughter's bedroom was sectioned off as its own enclave. "Her room was huge, so this was the right decision," Salceda says. "Otherwise this laundry room wouldn't exist." In keeping with the rest of her home, Salceda aimed to create a bright workspace with an effortless feel, where neutral shades and shiny accents intertwine in a calm atmosphere. "We started from scratch, so the biggest challenge was making sure everything fit," she says. "Since this is a galley design, we had to make sure we could open the washer and dryer doors and still be able to stand behind them."
She chose space-saving appliances to accomplish this task, and then put black-honed soapstone countertops above to contrast the gray matte bricks below. Cabinets and millwork were painted Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter to incorporate a hint of color, while a mix of metals on the hardware and lighting add bits of shine. Salceda also selected a Fireclay farmhouse sink for compact yet impactful use, and put up the drying rack herself as a simple DIY project. Finally, she pulled accessories from her firm's namesake shop to make the brand-new laundry room feel lived in, and arranged a big vase of greenery to sit beside the window.
"After I finished this project, I learned to prioritize things that would make my life easier," she says. "By adding a laundry room upstairs where all the bedrooms are, it saves lots of time. There is also something to be said for making hard-working spaces not only functional, but beautiful. If I'm going to spend hours of my life doing laundry, it might as well be somewhere that makes me happy!"
Get the Look:
Revere Pewter Paint
The perfect shade of "greige" paint does exist! This soft neutral adds a little more interest than pure white cabinets, and it makes bronze hardware really shine.
No only do the dark soapstone counters look high-end, but they're also stain-resistant. Soapstone is a relatively soft stone, and like marble, it will gain a patina over time, so it's best for those who embrace the lived-in look.
To collect and sort laundry as it enters the room, leave out a couple woven baskets that can serve as catchalls for clothes, towels, and bed sheets.
Pretty Task Lighting
When you're in the middle of a stain removal mission to rescue a sauce-splattered shirt, you'll be thankful for the task lighting you installed above the laundry room sink. Opt for a brass sconce that looks beautiful day and night.
Just because the laundry room is a utilitarian space doesn't mean it shouldn't be filled with inspiring artwork. Consider painterly landscapes that lend a relaxed energy to the room.