Monday, October 21, 2013

Half Finished House Tour: Laundry Room Before and After

I know I promised you a how-to on fixing a washing machine - it's coming in a day or so.  Trust me, it's a long project that's even longer to detail!

But until then, enjoy a before and after of my laundry room closet!

Here's what the laundry room looked like for a looong time:

Pictured: my original washer and dryer.  At least the dryer is still chugging along...  

The light up there was a double fluorescent rectangle of sadness.  The shelf was too high to have laundry soap/dryer sheets in easy reach, and didn't provide great storage otherwise.  Socks were continually sacrificed behind and between the machines.

After living with this setup for a few years, we figured out what was really bugging us about the space, and set out to fix it.

We wound up with this, which we've been pretty happy with so far.

First, lets talk about the light.  The sad fluorescent replaced what used to be a single bulb in the garage, and the laundry got this pretty halogen setup.

In that picture, you can also see the hanging bar we installed.  It's just a metal pipe cut to size and spray painted a creamy color to match the trim.  I wish we had installed it just a little farther back into the closet, because sometimes the hangers knock into the bifold doors when they're up there, but it has been a good solution, generally.

We also installed a folding/stain prep table.  We just used a big ol' piece of plywood, painted it and gussied it up with some nice trim.  Remember to cut a hole for your hoses, if the outlets are above the table.  We installed it with simple wooden cleats, and it just rests on top without needing any nails (which is handy when you have to push it up to take out the machines for repair.

A basket for laundry stuff, a bowl for loose pocket change. 
We had to raise the table when we got the new washing machine; the line you see is the original level line.
Hose opening, linty trim.
And, of course, we replaced the sad wire shelf with 2 stock cabinets from Lowe's.  Before hanging them, we screwed them together to make one big unit.  I painted them the same trim color as the rest of the house, and stenciled a pretty design in the same color, but shinier finish.  Then, we added some knobs that I might spray paint brushed nickel to match the rest of the house (but might just leave the way they are...).

I finally got around to painting the laundry nook's walls this weekend in celebration of having a functional washer again.  I picked a light blue without even bringing paint swatches home (living on the wild edge, here), and it turned out OK and doesn't clash with the blue of the rec room like I worried it might.

I put these fancy big knobs on the bifold doors instead of the plain wooden knobs.  I like them, but I'm still debating on whether to put the doors back on or leave the laundry nook open to the rest of the room.  Now that the washing machine doesn't sound like a jet engine at takeoff anymore, the sound dampening they provide is less important.

So, what do you think?  Love it, hate it?  Doors back on or stay open - what would you do?

Also, if I can take a moment to whine - why is our laundry room on the bottom floor, with all the bedrooms (i.e. the place where laundry is made) on the THIRD?  I might have forgiven the builders if they also installed a laundry chute, but mostly its just lots of lugging around here...

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