You know those laundry rooms you drool over on Pinterest and think “One day it will be mine…. oh yes – it will be mine”? Well that was me until we bought our fixer-upper foreclosure house in the summer of 2017. The house itself is only nine years old but it needed a lot of work and was in disrepair. Of course, I started my pin board of ideas and if you read the previous blog post about rehabbing the old soapstone sink, you’ll recall that I wanted to design the room around that giant, gorgeous, 400lb piece of amazingness!
We wanted to keep the original tile that was in that bathroom and not go too crazy with new floors because of all the other work that needed to be done to the house. The laundry room is a fairly small bathroom with the typical closet style folding doors that you keep the washer and dryer behind, so we worked with what we already had and just removed the closet doors as well as the original vanity which used to abut the door, so the layout was neither functional nor spacious by any means. I also had my amazing tile guy pull up some of the tiles that were in the back of the closet space and put them where the original vanity was. That was a lifesaver because we have no idea what tile was used and of course there certainly wasn’t any extra!
Once we did that my contractors had to do some drywall work in order to relocate the plumbing for the soapstone sink. Then it was time to paint! I’ll be honest my level of drywall sanding left something to be desired, so now I see patches that need to be fixed and it drives me nuts, but thankfully it’s really only noticeable (to me anyway) in one place! I decided to go with Benjamin Moore Classic Grey because it’s a hint of color but light enough for a small space. Painting in general was interesting at the house because we did it when we weren’t living here yet and the amount of lights they had in this place were minimal to start with. While there was a switch and wiring somewhere in the wall, there was no vanity lighting in the bathrooms. Because of the low lighting conditions, we had a few of those portable halogen work lights because they threw some great light, but Jesus they are dangerous! In the process of about a week I managed to burn myself on the grate cover twice, melt the plastic hose on the shop vac, and almost burn the house down. Not for nothing but those things are hot!!! It was also the middle of summer and we had no air conditioning! They are a great tool, just be careful when using them!
Ok back to the remodel! Before we officially set the sink in, we moved the washer and dryer into place and hooked that up and then secured the sink into place. There isn’t enough clearance to get the washer and dryer out with the sink there as they will need to lifted up and over – which brings me to probably the funniest (husband note: Not really, but pray continue…) part of this whole remodel. I really wanted the washer and dryer to be raised up enough for laundry baskets underneath to maximize the amount of usable space. Because my husband is having a love affair with his Fisher and Paykel laundry machines (husband note: My preciouses) and didn’t want to leave them for the buyers of our previous home, we had to take them with us instead of buying new ones like most normal people do. (husband note: you lost that Facebook contest, I was right. People don’t want to wash their clothes in someone else’s washing machine). The newer models also come with their own risers or drawers but hell, if keeping his washer and dryer make him happy then who am I to kill his laundry dreams?
Tony knew he was in for it when I was out in the garage one night drinking rose and measuring up a storm trying to figure out what dimensions I would need for this elaborate setup I concocted in my head. Once I had the measurements we went over to Lowes and while he was off getting some other stuff for the house, I was trying to figure out how many sheets of this plywood we were going to need. Now I will preface with this: I’m not dumb. I do have a Master’s degree however math has NEVER been my strong suit. There have been many times that we all laugh hysterically at my obnoxiously inferior calculation skills. This was one of those times and he tells it much better than I do, so here is his story:
So she’s standing there in the middle of the aisle with her fingers out counting them and then blankly staring at the different sheets of wood. We obviously needed something a little sturdier than your basic plywood, but she tells me she’s figured it out! We need eight, 8×4 pieces of wood to make this laundry stand. I’m scratching my head and ask to see her measurements. After talking through it, we ended up needing only three sheets, cut here, here, here, and here. We’d end up with a couple extra pieces, but there you go. Again – I just saved about $300 in wood. Dear lord.
When we got it home and cut it up, we had to measure out the spacers and screw it all together. After that it was time to paint it. I figured we might as well just paint it white to match the base of the sink and call it a day. We gave it a few days to dry before we brought it in.
I was so excited to finally see this come together and set it up! At this point I don’t think I have ever, even to this day, heard Tony swear so much in my life let alone swear at me because I literally had measured this thing to the centimeter with zero wiggle room. We had to get it up and over the sink, and then under the washer and dryer which couldn’t be moved more than 6 inches total. It was a legit government operation and I did not think it through. So there we are swearing and laughing at each other twisted in ridiculous positions trying to get this 59” x 31.5” x 12” riser over the sink, then under the washer and dryer, and then put in at an angle because the lip of the closet also equaled 59” in length. Somehow, we miraculously got it in and it works awesome but in hindsight there are definitely some things I would do differently. Taking measurements before I drink 3 glasses of wine would probably be number one on that list! Now, as a result Tony checks my measurements on any projects we do going forward!
After the washer and dryer were in on their new platform it was time to figure out where I wanted shelves. I decided that I wanted to do plumbing pipe shelving in there so we cut and stained the pieces we wanted to use. The first shelf really wasn’t going to work with the piping so we decided to use some L-brackets to secure it and give it a little extra support. Once those were in it was time to decorate!
I had been picking things up for months here or there for laundry room décor and then just keeping it aside for when it was time to pull it all together. Most of the décor pieces came from various antique shops around the area including the chalkboard, which wasn’t actually for sale but I asked anyway. Much to my surprise and excitement they agreed and I think I paid a whole $25 for it! The hand was already dawn on as well, I just touched it up with a black sharpie and used some stencils to write on it with chalk. Three is the number of our house so I do have a few random 3’s throughout different rooms.
Overall I’m very happy with the way the room came out, and there are some other things that I’ll probably do as time goes on but at least it’s a place to enjoy doing laundry (if that’s even a thing)! Tony thinks it looks like “Pinterest threw up in the Laundry room”, but hey you can’t win um’ all!