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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Laundry Room Dreaming, Part II

If you remember my "intro to this house!" post, I talked about my grand plans for moving the laundry room to the second floor, taking over one of the two walk-in closets in the master bedroom. Then (and I hadn't blogged about this) we had a contractor come over and look at it, and he thought the best place for it would be taking over part of the playroom, since they could just go right through the wall into the bathroom to access the water and wouldn't have to go through the floor or ceiling at all. I was super excited about that plan and ready to go.

Until, of course, we loaded all the kids' crap toys into the playroom and I realized I really didn't want to give up a single square inch of the room. Much less like 10 square feet. That might change as the girls get a little older, but for now, I need all of that room for all of those toys (ok, I really don't feel like they have a RIDICULOUS amount of toys, but they have several items that take up a good amount of space, like a play tent and a kitchen and a table/chair set, as well as enough books to give the entire population of Greenland reading material for five years. So they need space.).

Then Chris decided that a running washing machine and a running dryer is too loud and he didn't want it in the bedroom closets because he thinks it will keep him up all night (I've seen the way the man sleeps so I strongly disagree with his assessment, but since it's his house too...I guess...sigh...he gets veto power). So that's out. Until I change his mind.

That leaves either the hall linen closet or the bathroom linen closet as options upstairs, but I haven't used those spaces enough yet to make a decision about losing them.

So we're back to square one, with the laundry room remaining where it is - on the main floor, in a sort of mudroom/laundry room combo that is heavy on the laundry room and light on the mudroom. The problem with that is that I've now had a glimpse of life with a real mudroom/drop zone right inside the garage door, and I LOVE that.  A place to hang your coat and drop your shoes and keep things that you need to remember to take with you in the morning and just generally a place to put things that need to be easily and regularly accessed.  So I really want a nice big mudroom.

That's somehow magically also the laundry room. In a space that is only big enough to hold a washer and a dryer and a basket full of shoes (which somehow is always empty, because the shoes are scattered all around it).

Since, as far as I know, the laundry room exists only in this universe and I can't use some wormhole/alternate universe magic to create a mudroom on top of it, I think I came up with a decent and hopefully AFFORDABLE!!!!!!!!EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!! solution. And then, after talking to the contractor that I'd been talking to previously, I think we came up with an EVEN BETTER, permanent, amazing solution.

Here's the laundry room now.

And here are a couple of living-the-real-messy-life pictures (this area has collected a few things that I'm not sure what to do with yet...like the half-filled fish tank):

My first idea was to take out the soffit and the upper cabinets and stack the washer and dryer there, then put in mudroom lockers on the other side of them (and probably more cabinets above the stacked washer/dryer since it will only be 76" tall once stacked).

Something like this:

Especially awesome after my one year old crumpled it up! Pretty much Picasso, right? I'm sure you could tell IMMEDIATELY but that's the washer and dryer on the right, then the lockers to the left, with four wall hooks inside the open area. Preferably built exactly to these specifications, so crooked and using some sort of squiggly wood.

I emailed this idea to the contractor (George) just to see what he thought, and in a total coincidence, he was like five blocks away. So he stopped by to take some measurements, and while we were talking, we kind of simultaneously came up with what I think is the best idea yet. Maybe even better than putting it upstairs, since I won't lose any upstairs storage (although I'll still have to cart loads of laundry up and down the stairs, so if I could wave a magic wand I'd still put a dedicated upstairs laundry room in somewhere).

Here's the floorplan of what we're thinking:

So we'll still pull out the soffit and replace it with high, deep cabinets. Where the lockers were in my original plan, we'll put in a smaller closet. The existing closet will become two mudroom lockers, and we'll run a low bench across that wall with cubbies for baskets. Here are some freaking fantastic drawings of what we're thinking (Forgive my AMAZING artistry):

(I drew this at night on purple paper, so.....yeah.)

I am SO SO SO EXCITED about this idea. Maybe even more excited about this than the original idea. I think it's a great use of the space, and does a nice job of seperating the mudroom area and the utility area. Downside: It's obviously more expensive. It's no longer AFFORDABLE!!!!!!!!EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!.  Even if we DIYed it or used St. Danny, it'd still be way, way, way more money. So. That leaves me with two options, since going back to my original idea is not really an option now that I've seen this. Can one go back to canned tuna after tasting fine sushi? (It's late. I'm tired. Shut up.)

1. Sell a kidney. Any takers?
2. Leave it as-is while we save up money to do it. BORING.

Hopefully Chris is so taken with this idea that he is willing to sell his car to finance it. I mean, we don't at all live in a bike- or public-transportation-friendly city, so it'd be a sacrifice, but WORTH IT RIGHT?

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