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hello there.

Well, whaddya wanna know?  Here's the plain and simple truth:  My name is Rebekah Tennis and I love design.  I love paper, the way it feels, its weight and texture.  I love extra special touches on little things: homemade tags on gift-wrap, old stamps on an envelope, and twine on nearly everything.

My husband, business partner and all-around solid rock Matt would probably tell you that he likes tools - lots of 'em, finding the perfect way to do something, taking things apart, and precision in everything. 

So you might as well have guessed by now... we are the perfect match for an old letterpress studio. Together we farm rice and have three adorable and active boys ages 5 and under.  This keeps us fairly busy, but whenever we have a spare moment, we crank up our 102 year old Chandler and Price platen press and pull some prints, or whip out a card line on the Heidelberg. 

There's more, oh yes, there IS more - but that's what this blog is for.  Take a look around, get to know us, our great town of Chico, California and our beautiful presses.


{ a laundry room }

It seems that in January, everyone is seeking a clean fresh start. Be it going back to the gym, eating fresh healthy food, making new business plans, organizing every messy closet in the house, you name it, it’s a bit purifying after the decadence of the holidays. So how about starting 2012 off with a nice little before-and-after?

I present to you our laundry room:

This is the part where I hang my head in shame. I hate laundry. I hate the dirty part, and the clean part. Folding brings me no joy. Sorting dirty socks even less. But still. There is no excuse for the room looking like this, none at all. However, this is how it looked for months on end. Really.

It’s incredibly difficult to take pictures of a Laundry room! Not enough space, and to many tiny corners and crevices out of sight. Here is the other side of the room:

…picture me leaning as far backwards over the washer as I could to get this picture.

So, I’m really blessed to have a laundry room at all. In our last house, the laundry was in the garage… not nearly as fun. However the space in our current home was white, with builder beige tile and one big fluorescent strip fixture. It just lacked any inspiration. Which I seriously need extra of to get the grueling task of laundry done!!

Now that I’ve bared the ugly side of my washing space to you, take a look at it cleared up (this is the “sell the washer and dryer” picture):

That’s it. Much better, but still no pizzazz.

Soooo, I went to work pinning up a moodboard on Pinterest. (You can see all my pins here.) It looked something like this:

I love everything in that pinboard. Let me tell you, some folks have some phenomenal laundry rooms out there! Very inspiring.

Okay, so we sold our washer and dryer (in one afternoon!), we painted, we scrubbed, we cut and installed butcher block (post on this to come later) threw down a rug and some accessories, and… do you want to see it now?

Let me repeat again: it is HARD to photograph a laundry room. Don’t even get me started on trying to deal with the light coming straight at you from the window.

I’m so happy with how the room turned out! We had decided to do this on a very small budget, spending really only on our new washer and dryer, to get the best functioning energy efficient ones that we could afford. So, the tile had to stay (although I love the penny tile from my pinterest board!), and we mixed our own paint from leftovers, used our old kitchen faucet to replace the leaky laundry one, etc.

My favorite thing might be the butcher block…

It lends such a warmth to the room, and creates a wonderful work surface.

I decanted all of our soaps and detergents – the dark blue is Tide HE, the clear is Woolite HE, the dry scoop is Oxyclean…

They work SO well in these containers, it’s surprising! I never realized how much of a chore it was to lug my Costco-sized container of detergent over and pour it in, usually having a big residue in the cup… this works and looks much better.

If it had been my choice, I wouldn’t have picked white laminate, but it’s just a laundry room, so we didn’t change it. We did replace the leaky groaning faucet with our old kitchen one, and installed an under cabinet light (from ikea) so that I can see better when hand-washing clothes:

Mostly, the sink comes in handy for soaking dirty kid things:

Mr. Doggie included.

On the left wall, I hung a bunch of vintage (100 year old) receipts that I got from etsy. I simply used a glue dot to attach the top clothespin to the wall, and pinned the rest to the hanging ribbon. Easy as pie.

I love seeing the sundries people bought a century ago.

More little details…

My favorite Mr. Darcy towel. I spray-painted the existing brass fixtures with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint. And a tiny dish for pocket finds. My most recent pocket find (yesterday) was six green peas. Somebody has found an interesting way to hide their lunch…

Our new light fixture…yay! Schoolhouse style from Overstock. Anything to replace the tube lights that were there before…

That’s pretty much it! Although, we can’t forget the stars of the show:

Our new washer and dryer. They work fantastically and I couldn’t be happier.

Coming up next – how to mix paint, install butcher block and bully Sears into better appliance pricing!!

January 11, 2012 - 10:22 am Tina Dahl - Hi Rebekah! Your laundry room looks great and I LOVE the yellow!! I could not agree more with the overwhelming need to organize, declutter and otherwise get our house in tip up shape. We are in the process of getting closet organizer systems installed in the kid's two rooms and on Jeff's side of our walk-in closet. Then....it's on to the pantry, and the office/den, laundry room, my side of the closet, etc.!!! Happy organizing! Tina

January 11, 2012 - 10:26 am Elisa @ What the Vita - Beautiful AND functional! We're working on our laundry room right now and this post couldn't be any more inspirational. We're also planning on adding butcher block or some kind of folding space on the top of our machines... but I really love your idea of putting detergent in pretty glass bottles! I HATE our huge plastic tub and how it gets detergent everywhere. Love this!

January 11, 2012 - 11:19 am Melissa - Seriously!!! this is the most beautiful before and after laundry room EVER!! i'm loving it! :) Those Etsy 100 year old receipts are GORGEOUS!!

January 11, 2012 - 11:46 am Kristen - Wow, I am so motivated to go tackle my laundry room, now! I love that you did a budget-friendly makeover and got great results! You can always add penny tile later :)

January 11, 2012 - 12:23 pm Mrs. Limestone - I already told you this but I love this but I sort of hate you for having a laundry room and a letterpress studio. tee-hee

January 11, 2012 - 12:35 pm Doreen - Looks fabulous! Where did you get the decanters for the detergent?

January 11, 2012 - 12:53 pm rebekah - Thanks all! @doreen from crate and barrel. Full resource list and price break down coming Friday!

January 12, 2012 - 6:33 am Laura - Ooh, so pretty and fresh! How did you do the oil-rubbed bronze paint over the brass? Did you sand first? And have you ever covered over a tacky brass finish when you had to hand-paint? I need to do some spots (a vertical support pole stuck deep in a built-in bookshelf, don't ask, just join me in muttering about the previous owner) that I will not be able to take out and spray, and I'm stumped about that. If I hand-paint a new metallic finish will it look weird? I just want to be builder-grade-tacky-faux-brass-finish free in 2012!

February 8, 2012 - 6:48 am Kayla - Hi! I'm visiting via your guest post on Brooklyn Limestone. One question I had for you that I don't see answered here...is that a kitty door on the cabinet under your sink for a litter box? I've always wanted to try something like that for my pets. Love the room and love your blog! I'll definitely be adding you to my daily blog round up :-)

February 8, 2012 - 11:51 am rebekah - That is a kitty door, Kayla! We had a precious kitty (passed away in June 2010) and that was where her litter box was. It worked pretty well as a litter space, we did include a litter box over besides to keep the smell down even more. Thanks!! :)

February 9, 2012 - 11:26 am Jenn @ Orange & Peach - I never thought I would love a laundry room as much I love yours! It looks beautiful. I wish my laundry room had a window, I love how much natural light it brings to yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

February 10, 2012 - 1:52 am Cathy - Hi Rebekah! I popped on over from your guest post on Brooklyn Limestone- what a fantastic laundry makeover! I think you've done a great job of photographing what is obviously a tight space :) Your post comes at a great time for me as well as we are just tackling our own laundry- I hope ours turns out as good as yours!

February 7, 2013 - 10:43 pm marie - Awesome! I really love to have a laundry room like yours. I envy your designing skills! I'll surely keep your creations on my list. Thank your for sharing!:)

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