Our Laundry Room Remodel is finished! Let’s take a look at some of the finishing touches, and then we’ll get to the reveal!
After we went under contract on this fine Georgia home nestled in a small subdivision in the unincorporated outskirts of Suwanee, Handan and I made the obligatory floor-by-floor, room-by-room inspection with a home inspector. One of the things I remember best about that day was the inspector’s reaction to the laundry room. After he poked around and satisfied himself that all was as it should be, he thereafter referred to the room as “the football field.” I think he was shocked at how much real estate had been allocated to the laundry, and since the previous owners never had more than two machines and a tiny wire shelf, the football field seemed all the bigger.
If there’s one talent my babes has in spades (in fact there are many), it is the ability to walk into a room for the first time and instantly visualize what she would change and how.
So even before we closed, Handan had the kitchen remodel finished in her mind. This is no exaggeration. Before we actually owned this house, Handan had not only entirely re-designed the kitchen, but we had bought the new stove and a new washer and dryer for the laundry room with deliveries scheduled for the day after closing. For someone as risk-averse as Handan, she was taking a pretty big gamble that this closing (which depended on the successful closing of our CT house) would go off without a hitch…in the middle of the ultra-panicky beginnings of the pandemic!
Unbeknownst to me at the time, my babes also knew exactly what we’d be doing to the laundry room. In fact, I only learned her plan for the laundry room when we started the remodel.
How differently our minds work! While she plotted and schemed for the betterment of each room, I wandered around, mouth agape, pondering where we’d go for dinner that night.
While a tempest of numbers swirled through her brain – a maelstrom of measurements and money – my thoughts spun lazily, like an old Victrola playing soft and forgotten music in a fire-lit parlor.
But I guess that’s why we fit so nicely together – our strengths and weaknesses rarely overlap, and it allows us to accomplish so much more than we ever could separately.
Anyway, let’s get back to the laundry room remodel. My last update was all about the wallpaper backsplash. I had planned to write two more posts on the laundry room – one for the cabinets and one for the reveal. But then we got to thinking, and we decided we just wanted to share it all in one post. The room is done! Why wait?
Although you caught a few glimpses of our cabinets in the wallpaper backsplash post, let’s have a little peek at the installation.
As we mentioned in the plan post, we went with the least expensive cabinets we could find at Home Depot that still had the shaker look like our kitchen cabinets. And as with the kitchen cabinets, we didn’t want to risk a botched job by DIYing the installation, so we called our trusted installer San to help out.
San is a wizard. He can make the cheapest cabinets look fantastic!
The moment San had driven the last screw and hung the final cabinet door, my babes swooped in to fill those unacceptably empty voids!
I once wrote in one of my very first blog posts:
Aristotle once said that nature abhors a vacuum – that a void cannot exist because the denser matter that surrounds it will flow into it as it seeks a new balance.
My dearest wife is living proof of this idea.
Give her a void…and she’ll fill it.
At this point in the project, we were waiting for our butcher block countertop to be delivered to Home Depot for pickup. It’s the exact same acacia countertop we used for vanity repurpose project.
Once that arrived, San came back and installed the plumbing for our laundry room sink.
We already had the sink and the faucet, and now that we had the countertop, I could make the sink cutout.
For this project, I upgraded my 7-year-old corded Ryobi jigsaw to this new Ryobi One+ Cordless Brushless jigsaw, and I’m so glad I did! It was the first time I’d used a cordless jigsaw, and it was awesome!
Back upstairs, you can see why we needed all that cabinet space in the laundry room. Not for “laundry stuff!” Oh no! We needed storage for craft room overflow!
Oh, by the way, I’ve never officially introduced you to our new craft room. Don’t worry – that post is coming soon!
San took over the sink installation now that he had the cut-out countertop.
Just through the wall of the laundry room is the garage, and in that garage is our old fridge. While San was here, we figured we’d have him run a PEX line to the garage fridge, so we could have some extra ice capacity.
Aaaaaand, while he was doing that, we asked if he would be so kind as to run some power to that back garage wall. Besides the ceiling outlets that power the garage door openers, the entire garage had only one outlet.
Now it has two.
Okay, at this point, the room was as you saw it in the wallpaper backsplash post. Almost done, but not quite.
You see, someone who shall remain nameless (but whose name rhymes with “bon bon”) didn’t order a long enough countertop, so we had to order another one. Then, when that counter top arrived, we discovered that it was too wide and not thick enough, because someone (who was born in a country that rhymes with “jerky”) had ordered the wrong one! [You’re so lucky that I love you, you jerk! LOLOLOL – Handan]
It’s just a good thing that there’s someone out there (whose name rhymes with “egg”) who loves the other person so much and is perfectly happy to overlook these little foibles.
Eventually and at long last, the final acacia countertop arrived at Home Depot. My babes and I retrieved it and set to work on the final component of the laundry room remodel build: the washer/dryer countertop.
The plan was to have a floating countertop, supported on two sides with supports drilled into the walls and on one side with a spare piece of countertop.
First, I set up my laser level to shoot a line where we wanted the top of the countertop to be. I then measured down 1 1/2 inches – the thickness of the countertop – and marked the wall.
Then I repositioned the laser level to shoot a beam through the point I marked on the wall. The beam indicated where the top of the supports would be. Next I used my super-amazing stud finder to mark the drill/screw points.
I had some scrap pieces of 2 x 4 in the basement that I used for the countertop supports. I held one up to the wall where I had marked the studs and marked the side of the stud.
Then I used a speed square to mark a line down the face of the 2 x 4.
I drilled a pilot hole through the stud. This would make screwing easier, and who doesn’t like a simple screw?
Yeesh, take a look at that beak in the picture below! Paint that thing green and toss in a few warts and you’ve got yourself a real Halloween spooker!
I placed the board on the wall and lined it up so that the top of the board was level with the beam (Handan helped me hold it in place). Once I had one side screwed in, I used a torpedo level to make sure I was getting the other side screwed perfectly in.
For the next support, I used a carpenter’s level across both supports to make sure I was level.
After screwing a support on the side wall and making sure everything was level, we moved the machines back in place.
At this point, we needed to place the countertop on the supports so we could measure and cut the final support piece.
After placing the countertop, I shimmed it until it was level in all directions.
Now we could measure the gap between the upper counter and the lower. Since nothing is square in the house, we took measurements at the front and back, and to no one’s surprise, there was a 1/2 inch difference.
No worries about that, though – I just cut a scrap piece of acacia a little bit wider on one end. After dry-fitting the support board and re-checking the levels, we removed the countertop (so I could trim it to size), and I applied some wood glue to the bottom of the support piece.
Then I pressed it in place.
We now had our three sides of support for the washer/dryer countertop. Because I was working with scrap, the acacia I used was slightly shorter than the countertop it sits on, but Handan actually liked it that way, so all was good!
Handan and I then carried the trimmed countertop back inside and placed it on the supports. I didn’t secure the countertop, as we’ll likely need to remove it from time to time to access the washer’s water lines or in case we need to remove or replace the machines for any reason. Since the supports are perfectly level, the countertop sits solidly and won’t be moving anywhere unless we move it.
The final piece to this laundry room makeover was a new light fixture. The old one was some sort of yellowed-glass booblight that met its demise during the course of this remodel. During the latter stages of this project, I had installed one of my powerful, color-balanced daylight photography bulbs in the naked socket, and I loved the light it gave – it was perfect for a laundry room.
I told Handan I wanted to use photography light bulbs, so we needed to find a fixture that could accommodate their length. Since the big 105 watt fluorescent bulb (equivalent to a 500 watt incandescent) was just too long at 9 inches, we looked for a fixture that would accept smaller 45 watt photography bulbs (equal to 225 watt incandescent). She found a perfect fixture that holds three bulbs. That would give incredible light! These bulbs give full-spectrum light at a temperature of 5500 Kelvin. They are simply amazing, and I recommend them for any work space.
This is what they look like in real life at full brightness.
I underexposed this photo so you could see what the bulbs look like in the fixture. Beautiful, pure-white, daytime light.
I also have a mixture of these lights, big and small all around the basement. Not only do they make everything easier to see and work on, but the process pictures I take for the blog don’t come out with the garish yellow glow from “soft” or “warm” indoor lighting.
And that’s it for the build! Our laundry room remodel is finished! Now let’s get to the reveal! Near the end of the post, there’s one more cool thing I’ll be showing you, so be sure to scroll all the way down!
Remember, this is what we started with:
And this is what we have now!
Yes, that’s a lot of toilet paper and paper towels. What can I say? I now have major trust issues when it comes to paper products and pandemics. Don’t judge until you try driving 1000 miles during a nationwide freakout when every fast food joint is closed and every gas-station bathroom (the ones that are open) is out of paper.
To paraphrase Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind:
As God is my witness…as God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this, and when it’s all over, I’ll never be without toilet paper again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill, as God is my witness, I’ll never be without toilet paper again!
As you can see, my babes didn’t miss the opportunity to re-arrange and re-decorate the industrial pipe shelves.
And since this is kinda my room (and Baris’s room)…
Some guys live the thug life, I’m living the sud life. Those are vintage detergent ads Handan found and printed.
And since I know everyone loves to look inside other people’s cabinets…
This is craft room overflow. It was sorely needed!
More craft room overflow. Most of this stuff is from Dollar Tree and will be used in future crafts.
Here’s a good look at the countertop support. I really like that way it turned out.
Dollar store bucket and Cricut vinyl = perfect lint receptacle!
Looking back the other way…
What I wanted to show you is behind that door. No, not the ironing board nor the technicolor apron…the other thing.
It’s a first-aid cabinet!
How awesome is that? Handan found it on Amazon – it’s called Cabidor, and it is an incredible space-saver! It stays shut with a small magnetic catch.
Well, that’s it for our laundry room remodel! Now it’s down to business in there.
Wash, dry, repeat.
Wash, dry, repeat.
- GE Washer
- GE Dryer
- Acacia butcher block countertop
- Hampton Bay cabinets
- Stainless steel sink
- Wallpaper backsplash
- Industrial pipe shelves
- IKEA BYHOLMA baskets
- IKEA RABBLA Baskets
- Whitmor baskets
- Better Homes & Gardens storage basket
- Letterpress drawer
- Cabidor first-aid cabinet
- Farmhouse chandelier
- Photography light bulbs
- Stud finder
- Self-leveling laser level
- Ryobi brushless drill and impact driver
- Ryobi cordless brushless jigsaw
- Torpedo level
- Trim square
We love it when you share our posts on Facebook and Pinterest!