Laundry room reno, or as I like to call it, my laundry cubby.
When we moved into this old house the washer and dryer hookup was in the already tiny kitchen. That was definitely not going to work so we decided to move it upstairs (this move baffled my mother-in-law). To save money, we ran the water and drain lines right up the wall it was on which landed it right at the end of our hallway on the 2nd floor. This was not a bad idea since our hallway is 6 feet wide and runs the length of the house! It’s wasted space, and since I didn’t have anywhere else to put it we left it there……for 2 years! It just sat there at the end of the hallway staring at me, daring me to do something about it.
I thought about moving it again, reconfiguring the bathroom or sticking it in my daughter’s room. but there was really no good solution. In the end it’s staying right where it is and we are building an enclosure around it. Although this is the easiest solution it is by no means easy. To build a wall we need to deal with 2 doors and an attic fan. We couldn’t move the bathroom door without doing an entire renovation of the bathroom so we decided to stack our washer and dryer and create the tiniest laundry room you have ever seen, hence the name: “the laundry cubby.”
Now, I know chic, well-appointed laundry rooms are all the rage but I just don’t get it. I don’t want to spend any more time there than I have to and that’s why my daughter and my husband do their own laundry. For us the laundry cubby works, but it is not for everyone.
Framing in the end of the hall (once we figured out where the wall was going) was the easy part. There is a window at the end of the hall and I didn’t want to lose that light. I decided on a transom window above the door to deal with that problem. I also decided on a barn door so that we would not have a door swinging out into the hallway (one of my pet peeves) since there was no room to swing it in. Truth be told, I am not a fan of barn doors, mostly because they are over used and have become a cliche, but in this particular case it was the only solution.
Now I had to find a door. Solid wood doors are expensive but I knew I could find one cheap at a flea market or yard sale. I only had a small list of criteria, it had to be 32″ wide, solid wood, and I would prefer some glass, again, to let the light through. I finally found one on Marketplace for $30! It was dusty and needed to be cleaned and painted but it was perfect. The first picture is me bringing the 80″ door home in my tiny car!
This is my almost complete laundry cubby. No more wasted space at the end of my enormous hall, and I have a laundry area that suits us just fine. Light streams through the window (that has not yet been installed) and glass door but I did install a film on the glass so that it would hide the cart and laundry basket while still letting light through. I have a little folding cart I pull out when I need to do laundry and push back when I am all through.
This is not the answer for everyone but it the answer for us for a few reasons: 1) we had a huge hallway that was basically unused space upstairs where the washer and dryer fit; 2) I did not want or need a fancy laundry room; and 3) we stayed within a tight budget.
Here is my takeaway: There is no cookie-cutter solution for everyone. Sometimes you have to break a few rules to make it work, and even though this took us 2 years to get done, it was probably for the best. We needed to live with this a little while to be sure we were doing the right thing, and for a very impatient designer that was tough.