Basement Laundry Room

The Blue Laundry Room Door

The laundry room looked like this a couple of weeks ago.

There is still a bit of work to be done before I show you the finished room, but it’s looking much better now that the back door has been replaced. It’s been painted a beautiful robin’s egg blue too!

I picked up a couple of matching accessories when I was at IKEA last weekend. I don’t remember where I picked up that little geometric mug, but isn’t it cute? It’s more orange than the red washer and dryer, but close enough.

Now I’ll need something to put in those pots. Any recommendations for houseplants that survive neglect?

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  • Riley
    March 10, 2011 at 10:52 am


  • Shelley
    March 10, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Succulents. Love the color palette!

  • Ginny
    March 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Looks great! It is amazing how even a practical change–like a new door–can transform a space!

  • Martha
    March 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I have had great luck with Peace Lilies. They let you know when they need water (drooping!) and bounce back within hours once you give them a little attention… even if you’ve been out of town for a while.

  • sunny
    March 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

    wow…the blue and red look amazing together! And what cute accessories you found at IKEA. I love your taste and your creativity.

  • Kathryn Humphreys
    March 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    peace lilies and asparagus fern are both good, as is grass. And Eleanor would have fun trimming it.

  • Lori
    March 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Jade plant (slow growing, succulent), philodendron (droops to tell you to water it! and it’s trailing and can be clipped back to suite the size you want), succulents are “in” right now, and there are some wonderful varieties….

  • Erin
    March 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    looks great! i’m green with envy!!! i would use a spider plant, they are excellent air scrubbers!!! (and they have survived me, so they are REALLY hardy!) we keep one in the nursery too, just for the cleaner air for baby.

  • Lisa
    March 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I agree succulents. Hen & chicks are a fave here. Love the new space.

  • Laura
    March 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Snake plants! You only have to water them like, once a month at best! Also called mother-in-laws tongue, I believe. :) The blue and red are great together!

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d
    March 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    The laundry room is coming along. I love the blue door. Such a fun touch. We’re in the process of finishing our laundry room, too. You can read more about it here:

  • Violet
    March 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

    OOhhh I LOVE the blue door Nicole!!! Neglect you say? Try some cacti in small pots.. it’s about the only thing I can keep alive, LOL!

  • jjzach
    March 10, 2011 at 11:21 am


  • Amy
    March 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Ivy. I barely take care of mine and they grow like crazy.

  • Jen
    March 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

    and all of my feelings about baby blue have completely changed with that one door. time to figure out how to incorporate it into my place.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

      I know, me too. I’m not normally a fan of blue, but this I like.

  • Christa M
    March 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Ikea has some great fakes….if you’re ok with having fakes. Love the color choice for the door!

  • luuvely
    March 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

    aloe and ivy…i always remember my mother having aloe in our kitchen window…and i never remember her watering it like she did the others…

  • whitney
    March 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    sigh. this is the most serene laundry space ever!

  • jodi
    March 10, 2011 at 11:43 am

    so pretty!!

  • Erin
    March 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Succulents and/or philodendrons. The latter can live in just water.

  • jbhat
    March 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I am terrible with plants, so will say just some more of the billy buttons. But aloe would look really good.

    I cannot wait to see whole room.


  • RLG
    March 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    You are the queen of getting stuff done!
    With little ones, no less. I’m in awe.
    Everything looks amazing.
    BTW, many thanks for the post on pinks.
    I’m using BM Wild Aster for one of my girls.

  • Jill
    March 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    zz plant and sanseveria are both great plants. water once a week. neither shed like ferns or philodendron.

  • Robin
    March 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I saw that black side table and knew it was from IKEA. That table is on my wish list.

  • Dana @ House*Tweaking
    March 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I second the ALOE plant! I have quite the black thumb and I’ve been able to keep mine alive for well over a year now. Just throw a couple of rocks in the bottom of the pot, top with soil and plant your aloe. Water LIGHTLY once a week.

    Bonus: My kids love when I cut a stem off to open up and spread the aloe gel on their boo-boo’s and bug bites. Works great!

  • Marianna
    March 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    hello!! great blue door!
    in the pot you can put two cactus (the round ones) like this
    but you have to be carefull with the children
    or you can put candle cactus like this
    i hope you like my ideas

  • amanda6
    March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I love that pale blue with red. Just took a look at your “house tour.” I’m so impressed! You’ve done an amazingly beautiful job with your house. I love your eye for color and pattern. And your kids ate so cute too!

  • Rachel
    March 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I love aloe vera… and it has health benefits too. :)

  • Kate
    March 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Love the blue door!

  • Sabrina
    March 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I second the ZZ suggestion….they do great even in low light, and I water mine like every 2 weeks (but it’s in low light). Even with that neglect it still looks great!

  • Debbie
    March 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Your laundry room looks lovely! I can’t wait to see the entire room.
    I have good luck with violets, and they would love sitting in your window. Pretty white ones would look nice I think. They just need to be watered when the soil gets dry and you need to pull out or cut the flowers when they wilt. Easy.

  • Danielle
    March 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Snake plants! They help the air as well!

  • Pink Velvet Bird
    March 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I’d try some mint in those wee pots. Smells good…and make tea (from some types) and easy to grow!

  • Jessica
    March 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Cactus! They are the only things I can keep alive…

  • Jen S.
    March 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    The door looks great! What is the name of the robin’s egg blue paint?
    Love it!

  • jen {das sushi}
    March 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve moved on to succulents. I’m pretty sure I can’t kill these.

  • Laurie
    March 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I LOVE the red and blue together, it’s soooo pretty!!! I love ficus. I have lots of them in my house…they are my favorite, big and small!

  • cristina
    March 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm


  • ayleen
    March 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    looove the blue and red.

    i second succulents

    and as for mother in law’s tongue, ummm i killed that, so i don’t recommend it.

  • Jenny
    March 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    That’s the color of our front door! I love that shade of blue with deep red…one of my favorite combos. :)
    Can’t wait to see the rest; it’s lookin’ great!
    As for houseplants, maybe some small ferns?

  • Renee
    March 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Love the painted door!! I think I will carry this idea into our own mudroom/laundry that we are about to renovate. Thanks for sharing.
    Now I will put in another suggestion for cactus or “hens and chicks”.
    Can’t wait for the big reveal.

  • steffanie
    March 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I love it! Nicole, what color blue is that? I’ve been having such a hard time finding the right shade and that could be it…

    • steffanie
      March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      Never mind- got it!

  • Maria
    March 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Definitely a succulent of some type. I LOVE my trumpet jades and water them maybe once a month if I don’t forget. They look green and lush always and would look super cute in those pail like pots :) I adore the robin’s egg blue, so fresh on a door!

  • Dashfield Vintage
    March 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Your laundry is going to look fantastic!! We just painted our bathroom egg shell blue with white trimmings and a black & white check floor. The colour blue is so beautiful and calming.

  • Laura
    March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t know about a specific type of plant, but I’ve found that plants from Ikea (speaking of) tend to survive a ridiculous amount of neglect (because they’ve been having to survive in a warehouse?), versus my fancy garden store plants which were so highly cared for that I can never match up, and usually wither under my care.

    • Amanda Z.
      March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      I agree! I hauled an assortment of plants from Ikea in Chicago home to St. Louis about 4 years ago and not a single one has died. I’m lucky if I water them every two weeks.

      • Lauren
        March 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

        I’ll second that. I have a 6 month old and have found the plants we bought from Ikea have lived through 6 months of neglect. All the other houseplants have died. If they can survive the Ikea warehouse, they can probably make it in your lovely laundry room. (thank goodness the plants I chose for the baby room are from Ikea, there’d be something sad about dead plants in his room!)

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife
    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s already been said many many times, but succulents. I just love the little guys.

    Love the robin’s egg blue! Cannot wait to see the entire room!

  • brandi
    March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    If your window has no direct sunlight, I would suggest orchids (phalaenopsis) they actually thrive on neglect and come in so many gorgeous colours. They bloom for months at a time and are very low maintenance.

  • Nikki Kelly
    March 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    My favorite succulent is called string of pearls. Eventually they spill lovely strings of green pearls over the sides of the container. They even flower now and then.

  • amie
    March 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I think i just died a little seeing this.
    it’s so pretty

  • Rebecca @ beautiful square feet
    March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    A couple of people have already suggested this, but I’d go with Aloe Vera. I bought one from IKEA 4 years ago and it’s thriving. It’s in my bathroom, so I guess it likes the humidity in there, but I only water it when I remember (which isn’t often).

    If you do decide to go with this plant, here’s a tip – a Spanish friend of mine told me an Aloe Vera needs repotting when its longest spike is double the size of the pot it is in. I’ve followed her advice and as I said, mine’s doing well!

    Can’t wait to see what the whole room looks like (or the whole basement for that matter)!

  • Kim @ Life Analytical
    March 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Try snack plants, pathos, African violets(as long as you don’t get their leaves wet), and any kind of dracaena.

  • Jaimie
    March 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Pothos are nearly impossible to kill. I have five. Everything else has pretty much died :( Any philodendron should survive well also (they’ll start looking a little sad and wilty to let you know they need watering, as will the pothos).

  • Dina
    March 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    The only plants that I’ve ever had that were **easy** to take care of were begonias!

  • kristen f davis
    March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    it looks so good! i have a blue door, too. :)

  • Audrie
    March 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Love how the door looks! My favourite paint colour :) And I agree with the pothos vote for easy plants… or cacti? Or soft succulents?

  • Monique
    March 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Go to the Garfield Park Conservatory and get thyself a succulent!

  • Martina
    March 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Pretty! Succulents and cactuses. Or is it cacti?

  • Ash
    March 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    The only thing I’ve never killed (and I have a black thumb) is a succulent. It doesn’t need much water and I’ve kept it alive for over a year!

  • Ashley
    March 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Ivy is very forgiving

  • Kathryn
    March 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    My mother always called it a peace lily. I’m not sure what the technical term is. It’s not particularly pretty or interesting, but it’s a great plant to have since it practically tells you when to water it (only when it looks a little droopy, no more than that) and it perks up in a matter of minutes.

  • Kris Mays
    March 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I can’t seem to kill my Aloe Vera plant.

  • jenn
    March 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    zamiouculas. i got it from ikea, i water it like once every 4 months and its barely in any sunlight. its a trooper. or cacti. you water them once in a blue moon.

  • kim
    March 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    aloe vera – defintely. from one tiny plant 10 years ago, I now have aloe coming out my ears – and it thrives on neglect! and for bonus points, you can break off a piece and rub it on a burn, or excema, or dry skin!

  • Holly G
    March 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Love the Robins Egg Blue! So spring-like!

  • Ingrid Hames
    March 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    ZZ plant. It survives neglect the best, in fact it does not like it when you take care of it… The room is very cute so far, love it! :)

  • Jean
    March 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I second (or is it third, now?) the recommendation of aloe vera plants as next to impossible to kill.

    I love, love, love the blue door. It’s so pretty and unexpected.

  • Alana
    March 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Hahah! I have that sewing machine. I love it. So cute.

  • Alana
    March 10, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Oh— re: plants, try “Mother-in-law’s tongue”. Very sculptural, too.

  • Heidi S
    March 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    A agree about the aloe plant. I have several that I water once a month or so. Also I have a jade tree that is equally easy to take care of. You could also try a spider plant. Easy to grow, cheap and it is also suppose to be excellent at improving air quality.

  • mk
    March 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    love love love! that blue almost makes doing laundry enjoyable!

  • Ali
    March 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Succulents are so easy to take care of! They are also unique and hardy!

    Love the color choice of the blue door! So Lovely!

    You use color so brilliantly!

    ~ Ali

    March 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve always loved that color combo (red/aqua) and I second the succulents suggestion, as well as other air plants like tillandsia. so easy!

  • kaelva
    March 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I have an aloe plant that actually thrives when I ignore it.. I used to attempt to take care of it but then I ignored it and now it’s making babies and is all kinds of happy.

  • Your Mother
    March 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Uncle Ray can give you an offshoot of his spider plants – he has many. My cat always eats them though. And Aloe vera is very easy to grow.

  • Cathy
    March 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    You may have covered this before… but what is the best way to paint a door? Spray paint? What finish. It looks gorgeous!

  • rhiannon
    March 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm


  • Gaelyn
    March 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I believe the orange-red cup was from curiosity shoppe ( I have some too). Its looking awesome!

    Oh and I agree, succulents all the way.

  • Emmmylizzzy
    March 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm


  • Janel
    March 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    My arrowhead plant has somehow survived in my house during the past nine years. Proof that you can’t kill these things: I just got through twelve weeks of morning sickness. My plants live on a windowsill above my sink. I didn’t do the dishes for those twelve weeks, which means I didn’t water the plants. My arrowhead is still kicking. It has to stay away from the kids, though, because the sap is poisonous, but if it’s up on the windowsill in a laundry room, I’m sure you’re safe. African violets are way too sensitive to bother with. Here’s a link describing the plant:

  • Diana Smith
    March 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    i LOVE the blue! Beautiful color!

  • Alex
    March 11, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Not sure about the plants, but what’s with the molding? Why is it so far from the door?

  • talyon10
    March 11, 2011 at 2:50 am

    hi i love your blog so much everything so beautiful i wish i could be your friend…

  • Beck's Chic Life
    March 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Like some others said Succulents (jade, aloe, hens and chicks) thrive on neglect. Cacti too.

  • Kirsten
    March 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Succulents. Seriously. I can’t keep anything alive but these. And they look so nice and structural, too. You could do a variety of different kinds, if you liked. I think that would be nice.

  • Beth@Just{Heart}It
    March 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I once read a quote by Steve Bender, who said, “Impatiens are so popular because they’re so easy. Fail with these, and your only option is plastic.” :-)

  • WES
    March 11, 2011 at 7:34 am

    African Violets are difficult to take care of they need a lot of light and if they are in a basement window it will probably be too cold for them most of the year.

    I have to get on the succulent bandwagon, a jade plant doesn’t like to get too cold so a basement window might not be a great option. Aloe and hens and chicks are great if you neglect them. As are snake plants (mother in law tongue.

    Here is an article about plants that also help clean the air that I read yesterday. Many seem to be pretty hardy and like neglect.

  • Katie | GoodLife Eats
    March 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I agree with the person who mentioned Pothos being easy. I have gone a week + without watering mine and it always comes back, plus when it gets too long you can cut the vines off and place them in a vase of water and they will get roots which then after a while you can plant in the original pot to make it fuller or plant as new starts in a different pot.

    It looks so pretty – I love the blue door, it definitely brightens things up.

  • Courtney
    March 11, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Pothos, definitely. Actually Ivy is great too. Just have to keep the Ivy moist so that painted pot would work well. Just throw a glass or two of water in it every week and it will grow like crazy. The pothos only needs a glass of water every week or week and a half. They will grow like crazy. Good luck!

  • brooke
    March 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    i found these on etsy last night:

    no need to water!

  • Rebecca
    March 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I don’t know if you need art for the laundry room, but this would be super cute:

  • annie
    March 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I have been unable to kill a plant that I have called Mother-in-law’s Tongue. Some little ones would be cute.

  • carrie
    March 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

    A peace plant survives neglect! I water it maybe once a week. When the petals start to wilt, I swear, you put water in and less than a hour later they are all perked up again! Plus, I love the idea of a “peace plant”.

  • Shannon (8foot6)
    March 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I just bought several plants from ikea/walmart that are supposed to be hearty! (They all require the soil to dry out in between watering – since I often forget to water my plants, this is perfect for our home!)

    The ZiZi from ikea is probably my favorite

    Here are some pics!

  • samsonizzle
    March 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Before I moved I had something that I loved and it grew and grew even with my neglect. Couldn’t remember the name of it but someone else mentioned an arrowhead plant and that is what it looked like. I too had an aloe vera plant that thrived, almost to the point where I’d call it not an easy maintenance plant because I soon had the feeling I should re-pot it into something bigger (though I never did and it still did wonderfully, but look up aloe vera “pups” if you’re so inclined, I think you can basically split the new sprouts and have a second plant). Both of these were the only plants I could keep alive in my surrounded-by-trees German apartment, and they thrived in the bathroom with a privacy-glass window, so not a lot of light I would think. I watered them rarely, but I think they loved the humidity of the bathroom. I would assume the laundry room would be the same. Oh, and the most maintenance I did on the arrowhead plant was to remove the spent leaves/stems every week or three to keep it looking fresh. Wouldn’t need to do that necessarily as eventually those spent stems shrivel away to nothing and get pretty well hidden among the new growth, but perhaps it might help to keep it growing in nice and full. Personally I just found it kind of satisfying. Had to feel like I was in some way responsible for those great plants!

  • Erika
    March 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

    LOVE the door! And the accessories are perfect! Philodendrons are great house plants; nearly impossible to kill. Jade plants are easy to care for too.

  • Beth
    March 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Jade plants. Any of them really, they take a long time to grow so you won’t have to repot all the time and you can pretty much ignore them 29 days a month. Water them really good every few weeks and they are fine.

    With all that great sunshine a cloche over a plant would also be an option, that way you really wouldn’t have to even water it!

  • Lauryn
    March 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    rosemary!! likes to be hot and pretty dry, in other words: neglected. and a bonus, its smells great.

  • Natalie
    March 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I can tell that room has got potential.. and i love the great red colour of the machines (:

  • Maureen
    March 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Love the laundry room. As for the plants, I suggest pothos, philodendron and peace lily also called spathiphyllum. I have two green thumbs, but those are the plants I give to my friends who do not have green thumbs. If you are not a plant person, aloe, succulents, jade are easy to over water and ivy often gets bugs. Good luck! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  • Kat
    March 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Succulents for sure! They are super cute and I have the worst luck with plants, but these guys survive my black thumb! Home Depot has tons of varieties and they are very cheap. The spikey, aloe type ones are the most resilient.

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