Wash, Dry, Fold, and Repeat: Our Laundry Room Stripped Down

Doing laundry is one of the chores to loathe, but if you don’t do it, will suck you in and drown you in a sea of dirty and/or clean clothes.  I have also been known to move piles of clean laundry from couch, to bed, to chair for several days only because I was hoping that the laundry fairy would fold it and put it away. Yep, that never happened. For the first time in about 4 years I finally had a real laundry room, but the functionality, not to mention the fashionability of this room, left little to be desired.

So UGLY!
So UGLY!

The previous owners so graciously left us the washer and dryer and while it “worked”, the washer put out hot water randomly even though I had it at cold. I even double checked to make sure the hot and cold lines were not crossed, they weren’t. Then the dryer, that took at least 2 hours to dry your clothes and even then could not promise they wouldn’t still be damp. We clearly were not winning any eco-efficiency ratings with this set. Oh and let’s not even get me started on the awful florescent ceiling light, the gross wire rack with mystery sticky substance, and the goldenrod wall color. Needless to say, this room needed some hard core TLC.

When we sold our house, our buyer wanted the washer and dryer and since we were not using a moving company and instead really nice friends, the thought of transporting those two items sounded like a nightmare.  I was super sad to leave it behind, and even more regretful when we inherited the set that was already in the house. I could have lived with it, but 4 hours total time to do one load of laundry did not make this momma happy. We had a front loading washer and while we know that it’s not a crowd favorite, we have had no issues with mold or the washer smelling bad. The washer that was in the house was a top loader and even I didn’t mind it, I didn’t like having the agitator. Our clothing got caught around it and it just didn’t seem like I could fit all that much stuff in the washer. I looked at the agitator free top loading washers, but here’s the problem I found, I’m only 5’4″ and I had a difficult time reaching the bottom of the washer. Reviews of this type of washers said the same thing; it wasn’t just me.  Before we purchased anything, we decided to sit down and figure out what we wanted in the laundry room.

For the longest time, my goal has always been to keep the laundry IN the laundry room from start until I could put it away. I didn’t like the idea of hauling the items to the living room or the bedroom to fold the clothes. This meant I would need a surface to fold and just the top of the dryer didn’t seem like a sufficient amount of space. It was in that moment that we decided getting the front loading washer and building a counter to go wall to wall was the logical choice for us.

Hip hip hooray for a laundry counter!
Hip hip hooray for a laundry counter!

Oh the dryer…

Purchasing the washer and dryer did not go as smoothly as planned. I made the mistake of assuming we had all electric connections and the day of delivery discovered when cleaning out behind the dryer, that our dryer is actually GAS!!! The things you learn. Where we purchased the set, they don’t keep gas dryers in stock, they have to be ordered from the factory. But before that can happen, a plumber has to come out to inspect the gas line to make sure it’s ok to have a new dryer installed and if not, fix whatever is not sufficient. THEN, they’ll order it and again, only the plumber can install the dryer because it’s a safety issue. Aaaahhhhh. Basically we ended up having a dryer sitting in our living room for about a month before it was installed. Which then dawned on us, we dodged a huge bullet by letting the buyers have the washer and dryer from the old house.

Next came storage and what we were going to keep in the laundry room. Upper cabinetry above the washer and dryer seemed like the typical logical choice. But the more I thought about it, I realized there would be no easy way for me to reach the cabinet with how deep the counter needed to be. #shortgirlproblems  We actually didn’t need a ton of extra storage in that space, but if we decide we do down the road, we can always add cabinets. The last thing I wanted to do was add something that could potentially hold excess and clutter.

I literally laid out the items that would live in that space, I discovered that maybe all we really needed was a rolling cart beside the dryer and the wall behind the door.  When we open the door to the laundry, you don’t see the supplies.  As for the other things to keep in the laundry, I didn’t need a big drying rack because honestly I don’t hang dry many things. I was fortunate to find a wall shelf with a single metal bar to hang items to dry. The ironing board and iron are stored on an over the door holder on the back side of the laundry door.

Decorative and functional
Decorative and functional

In trying to keep with the “coastal farmhouse” feel, we decided we wanted to try our hand at a pallet wall and keep things pretty rustic. You can read about how we completed that project here. Gray paint we had on hand made the horrific yellow wall color disappear. A light fixture with a coastal feel replaced the ugly florescent light, and completely brightens the space!

New light!
New light!

I used galvanized letters we already had and a few pieces from a local vintage shop to add a little decorative touch. My search for one final decorative piece landed me to the Easy shop for The Country Barn and this super adorable sign.

So. Cute!
So. Cute!

After two long months of waiting and working on the space we were finally DONE!

Drumroll please…..

So close!
So close!
Done!!!
Done!!!

We’ve been using this space for a couple of months now and it’s not only a space I aesthetically love, but it’s extremely functional. I have yet to carry a piece of laundry outside this space unless it’s being put away.  The reason why I think it works so well is because we designed it with our needs and function in mind. The counter has been such a great touch because I have plenty of room to fold everything.  And if need be, I can shut the door hiding the folded laundry if I don’t have enough time to put it away.

I highly recommend designing your spaces based on your family and on your flow. Think of ways that could help you achieve your tasks faster and more efficiently. Don’t forget budget. Aside from the cost of the appliances, the total cost for this space, including decor was just under $300. Even if you have to start small and just get the baseline, you can always add to your projects later.  As long as you start out with a well thought out plan, you’ll reduce the chances of making bigger costly mistakes.

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