Jun 20, 2012

Laundry Closet: Move-In to Present

Yep, closet.  My kingdom for a mudroom....  Ah, well.  The laundry closet is serving us just fine.

Here's a little context about our laundry closet.  It is right smack-dab in the middle of our house.  If you're sitting on the couch, it's directly behind you.  If you're leaving the guest bathroom, it's the first thing you see when you walk into the hallway.  If you're laying on the guest bed, it's right next to your head.  See, here's where it lives.  When you walk in the front door, there's the dining room and kitchen on your left, the living room on your right, and then a set of bi-fold doors just beyond the living room.  That's where.

Sneaky laundry closet.

If you came in from the garage, you'd see the office, linen closet, and guest bedroom on your left.  The master bedroom is on your right where the hallway widens.  I am unsure why our carpet looks pinkish and the walls appear an unsavory shade of brown here.  In real life they're both a very soft well-matched beige.

Alien abduction happening in the front yard?

Tangent here:  I love those three leaves on the wall!  Let's take a closer look, shall we?


This was a total case of oh-my-gosh-I-love-it-and-am-going-to-buy-it-even-if-it's-not-in-the-budget-because-I-can't-walk-away-without-it.  We got these from Fred Meyer this past winter.  Not on sale.  I seriously couldn't leave them.  (haha, get it, "leave" them??)

But I digress.  There you are, laundry closet!


When we bought this house (or, to be technical, when my parents bought this house), this was a big area of concern for us.  We had a hand-me-down full size washer/dryer that worked like a charm, but was LOUD.  Wasn't a big deal in our last house- the machines were in our utility room, which had a door you could actually close, and was very far away from the bedrooms and the den.  You'd never know if the machines were running until you heard the buzzer signal it was done.

Not the case here.  Those noisy machines would make watching TV impossible in this house.  We'd never be able to put a load of clothes in the dryer before bed and expect to sleep in this house.  We'd hear the washing machine draining while we ate dinner in this house.

So we started watching the sales. And around the Fourth of July last year, we found a big one at Best Buy.  Brand new top end HE front loaders that were suuuuper quiet and had very positive reviews, originally $1300 a piece, on sale for $650 each.  We were so excited!  We snatched them right up, the folks promised us they could hold the models until we were ready for them to be delivered in August, and all was right with the world.

True to their word, Best Buy delivered the washer and dryer the week we asked them to in August, about 5 days after someone purchased our existing set off craigslist.  The guys even hooked up the washing machine for me and started its initial cleanse cycle before they left.  I was a happy camper for about 15 minutes.  And then water abruptly began pouring out the bottom of the washing machine.  I ran over and shut the cycle off, but not before there was enough sitting water that I needed a beach towel to soak it up.  Thus began a week-long ordeal of calling Best Buy looking for a solution, them offering troubleshooting advice over the phone which resulted in more water on the floor, them offering to send someone out two weeks later (apparently their technicians will only visit our town every other Tuesday), then offering to send someone out within a week at an extra expense.  *Our* extra expense.  We talked to associates, managers, distribution managers, customer service representatives, corporate office representatives.  No one was able to offer us anything better than "we're sorry" and "wait for two weeks until it's our scheduled day for your town."  Stellar customer service, eh?  So we decided to return them.  And laughably, Best Buy agreed but said they couldn't come pick the washer and dryer back up until Tuesday two weeks from now.

So Steve and I dragged the defective(?) washer and dryer out to our garage to save our laundry closet from any more unanticipated water flow, and went back on the hunt for a new washer/dryer.

We ended up at Judd & Black, a local appliance company.  Their prices were the lowest we'd seen (we checked Sears, Home Depot, and Lowe's) and they assured us that not only would they be able to send out a technician same-day if we had any difficulty, but they would also be able to deliver our washer and dryer on any day we chose.  We ended up choosing a top of the line Electrolux washer/dryer set.  The major selling points were, of course, it was whisper quiet.  The salesman was able to pull up a youtube video of the washer placed on updended cinder blocks running the spin cycle with a load full of towels- it hardly wiggled and barely made any discernable noise.  Second, both the washer and dryer had steam cycles.  This means that it is possible to sanitize almost ANYTHING in those puppies.  Dog beds.  Pillows.  Tennis shoes.  The steam cycle in the dryer is also a-ma-zing for taking out wrinkles.  I hardly ever iron anymore.  It also had a million different cycles to choose from, my two favorites being "Quick Wash"- about 15 minutes for an average size load, and "Allergen"- which runs super-hot and includes steam.  And on top of that, it was energy efficient, so between the two machines, we got an $800 rebate from the manufacturer and a $200 rebate from our energy provider.  All that to say, totally worth the money.  And Judd & Black called to make sure we were happy with our purchase.  And offered to refund us a portion of the purchase price when the washer showed up with a quarter-sized dent on one side.  That's what customer service should be like.

Meanwhile, it look lots of phone calling and a Better Business Bureau complaint before Best Buy refunded our money (six weeks after they had picked the washer and dryer back up, to be exact).

Moral of the story:  Never buy appliances at Best Buy.  Always buy appliances at Judd & Black (and if you go to the one in Everett, ask to work with Mary- she's great).

End rant.  Back to the laundry closet.

These bi-folds had funky little white wooden pull handles when we moved in.  Oddly, the handles were placed at the inner edge of each bi-fold, so it had two little pull handles that met in the middle.  While it might look better that way, it makes it MUCH harder to slide the bi-folds open and shut.  So we removed the white handles, patched the holes, and replaced the pulls with some nice (what else) oil rubbed bronze ones to match the door hardware in the rest of the house, located in the correct spot on the door.

Behind Door #1 AND Door #2.

I wasn't joking when I called this a closet.  It is juuuuust deep enough to close the doors.  The glass-fronted upper cabinets were a craigslist find.  It was the perfect dimensions for the laundry closet, and structurally everything was good.  But it had legs and was a terrible scratched-up flat silver color.  It was no match for Spackle and spray paint, though.  We just removed the legs, patched them up with Spackle, removed the glass panes and hardware, sanded everything to within an inch of its life, and then used enough glossy white spray paint to choke a horse (which I think is six cans' worth).  Once it was dry, we put the glass panes and hardware back on, and simply screwed it to the studs.  You can see the support underneath the cabinets.  Still need to patch and paint that at some point....

In the closet.

I wanted this space to be fun, because let's face it, laundry is not.  The paint is the same blue that is in our master bedroom and bathroom, Valspar's Rising Tide in Sherwin Williams' low VOC line, Harmony.  Low VOC paint is great because it's less harmful to the environment and it doesn't have that terrible fumey paint smell, so it's not as bad for you to breathe.  The garbage can came from Ikea and the ironing board cover came from an adorable Etsy shop, City Chic Country Mouse.  Go visit.  You will be hard pressed not to fall in love with their fun ironing board covers, dish towels, oven mitts, and aprons.

You can see all of the rigamarole we keep corralled in that cabinet.  Laundry supplies, extra batteries, extra candles, cleaning sprays, extra vases, extra light bulbs.  We use baskets to keep like items together and for easier access- sometimes you just need to pull a basket out and set it on top of the washer and dryer to see everything in it. 

Makes you want to start a load of laundry?  Didn't think so.

My favorite part of this whole room, er, closet, is our cheeky little rag bag.

Someone's wearing sassy pants today.

Seriously?  Who folds those things?!?!  It's an exercise in futility, people.  I custom ordered the bag from Zazzle.  I just googled the crown image and set the type and the message and they screen printed it for me for about $12.  Sassy AND cheap.  (No snide comments, please.)

There's a little more to be done here.  Obviously, the support for the cabinet needs to be patched and painted white.  I also want to add a little fun art.  I found this fun idea online.  I think I'd choose to cover the letters with nickels instead of fabric, though.  It'd feel like my own personal laundromat in there.  Wonder when I'll get to work on that project??


And now I'm feeling guilty about our overflowing laundry basket.  Duty calls.

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