Monday, May 25, 2020

The One with the Laundry Room Reno: Part 3

Welcome to the third and final (and lengthiest!) part of my laundry room renovation! This is the fun post where I share all the little details that made the room come together so well! Be sure to catch Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven't already. 😉

Where to begin?

I started with a Pinterest board for my laundry room reno, which you can see below. This was where all of my ideas came together to create the overall vibe and aesthetic for the laundry room.

The pin that was my main inspiration was this one from farmhousejourney on Instagram, with a few modifications to personalize it to my preferences:

For starters, we painted the walls Repose Gray. This is the same color as the rest of the house (with the exception of the bathrooms and bedrooms).

We purchased two 15" x 30" cabinets from Lowe's to hang in the corners above the washer and dryer. I wanted concealed storage to help make everything look clean and uncluttered.

I painted the cabinets Icing on the Cake by Benjamin Moore. I wanted a super light turquoise that wouldn't fight against the gray walls. The room would need a tiny bit of color, and I think this was exactly what it needed! I was a bit nervous buying paint based solely on the color displayed on my computer screen, but since I refuse to go out shopping, I just kept my fingers crossed that this would work. And it did! YAY!

I wanted an accent wall behind the washer and dryer, so I went with this peel and stick one from Lowe's. It was a breeze to install and looks great!

The cheap-o contractor-grade light fixture was also on my list to replace. See how awful it was before? And how much better it looked after?

I absolutely loved the industrial matte black fixture from Lowe's, and it was perfect for the room. It really brightened everything up quite nicely and fit the overall vibe I was going for.

As you may have discovered in Part 2 of my laundry room reno, I selected Whirlpool's smart capable 5.3 cu. ft. high efficiency top-load washer and Whirlpool's smart capable 8.8 cu. ft. steam cycle electric dryer, both in chrome shadow. There are TWO main reasons I chose these beauties:

  1. Smart Capable. In other words, I now have an app on my iPhone that allows me to control my appliances. I love technology, and it was a no-brainer that I'd want this functionality in my new washer and dryer. I get notifications when both finish their cycles, I can restart the dryer with a quick tap, and even assign tasks (via automated text messages) to request hubs or LO move or fold the load. It's brilliant and my life will never be the same!
  2. Load and Go Dispenser. Because I'm SUPER LAZY EFFICIENT, I wanted my washer to be efficient, too. This incredible dispenser allows me to add enough detergent for 20 loads of laundry at one time, and it automatically dispenses the correct amount for each load. MAJOR WIN!
The boys are fascinated by the newest additions to the family! They love that they can watch the washer through the window on top.

And of course there's a window to watch the dryer... AND A LIGHT! How fun is that?

Now for my MOST FAVORITE FEATURES in the laundry room (minus the incredible new appliances, of course): NEW SHELVES!

First up? This custom shelf and hanging rack!

I was So.Very.Tired. of the awful white plastic-coated wire shelves in the laundry room. They were ugly, difficult to clean, and things were constantly falling through them. The height wasn't my favorite, either.

To go with the industrial vibe of my reno, hubs and I bought 2" x 12" by 12' boards. We planned to put one on the wall with the hanging rack, and one over the washer and dryer.

I stained the boards with Minwax oil-based stain in Aged Barrel.

Then I bought a zillion pieces of galvanized pipe fittings, flanges, elbows, and more to create a hanging rack attached 

I didn't like the galvanized finish of the pipes, and wanted the hanging rack to match the appliances as much as possible. So I picked up Rust-Oleum Flat Metallic spray paint in Antique Nickel and painted all of the pieces before assembling them and attaching them to the wall and shelf.

We wanted the shelf about 12" from the ceiling, and the pipe was about 4" below then shelf. I absolutely LOVE this shelf and the ton of space the rack provides for our hanging clothes!

I love how it matches my second favorite shelf -- the one above the washer and dryer!

My final favorite shelf is the awesome drop-down shelf! If you remember from my "before" pics, we used to have a shelf for folding clothes attached to the wall with chains. It could fold up and out of the way when needed. It was functional, but not the prettiest thing ever.


We knew we'd still need space to fold all.the.clothes. when the reno was complete, but we knew there had to be a better way! Hubs found these awesome folding shelf brackets on Amazon, and they were the perfect solution!

I used the same shelf as before, but decided to cover it with the peel and stick wallpaper I used on the accent wall behind the washer and dryer. I think it looks super cute and love that it stores out of the way when not needed.

See how perfectly it shows up when needed? I just love it so much!

Here are a few links to some of the other fun finds from my new laundry room!

Tabletop Clock

Runner Rug

Lamb's Ear Wreath

Laundry Co. Metal Sign

Bamboo Plant

Rectangle Serving Tray (to store all the fun pocket finds during laundry day) 😉
You couldn't see this one in any of the pics, but I bought this magnetic lint bin and attached it on the right side of the dryer for quick and easy disposal of lint!

Endless Love and Laundry Sign (I stained the frame to match the shelves)

WHEW! This was a crazy-long post! Kudos to those of you who made it this far! I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my beautiful new laundry room!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The One with the Laundry Room Reno: Part 2

Okay. If you read Part 1, you know that we recently completed a major overhaul to our laundry room, including new paint, a new pocket door, and a super useful laundry basket storage nook.

There's so much more to share!

For starters, let's take another look at the BEFORE and AFTER pics:

Quite a change, yes?

In my previous post, I shared about the pocket door and laundry basket storage nook. This post will be dedicated to THE TWO BEAUTIFUL APPLIANCES you see in the AFTER pic above! And apparently there will need to be a Part 3 to discuss all the other pretty stuff happening in our renovated laundry room. 💗

⚠WARNING⚠: There was A LOT OF DRAMA involved in the purchase of our new washer and dryer. Consider yourself warned!

Okay, so we needed new appliances. Our current washer and dryer were manufactured in 1999. While they are solid workhorses and have been excellent for our family these past many years, now that there are 7 of us, we simply needed more capacity to keep up with all.the.laundry.

So, over the past 6 weeks, I have ordered FOUR SETS of appliances.


I'm detailing this here for my own sanity purposes. And because it's my blog so I can do what I want. But mostly because I love documenting our family's experiences so we can look back at them here years later.

On March 30th, I ordered a set of Samsung appliances from Home Depot, to be delivered on April 20th.
After several weeks of excitement and anticipation, the fact that Home Depot didn't allow returns for appliances had really started to stress me out. I was afraid I wouldn't like something about the Samsung units, but would be stuck with them. So within 72 hours of my scheduled delivery, I canceled my Home Depot order.

On April 20th, I ordered the same washer and dryer directly from Samsung, since they DID offer a return policy. Yay!

I sat on that order for a total of TWO DAYS before I canceled it because, after additional research, I found the Samsung washer lacked one of the critical features I wanted: a detergent dispenser that would automatically dispense the right amount of detergent for each load, rather than having to add it each and every time. Yes, #lazy.

After seemingly endless research, I finally determined Whirlpool made the washer (and dryer!) of my dreams. On May 2nd, I ordered them from Lowe's, since they offer a return policy for appliances. I wasn't too concerned about needing to return them, but since I can't shop in the stores and talk to the sales folks about this large purchase, I just needed the safety net.

These babies were scheduled for delivery on May 19th. It would be a long 2+ weeks of waiting, but we were in the midst of several of our laundry room projects, so I suspected the time would fly by.

I was SO excited about the Whirlpool set! So much so, that everything in our laundry room was renovated with those exact machines in mind--from colors, to dimensions, to finishes... EVERYTHING.

Five days before my scheduled delivery, on May 14th, I contacted Lowe's 800# to confirm they were going to actually INSTALL the appliances, not just deliver them.

NOTE: At the time, I was working hard to convince myself I'd be okay with a Lowe's employee or two in my house, as long as they were masked and had shoe covers on, because I couldn't imagine hubs and I attempting to deal with moving washers and dryers ourselves up/down a flight of stairs, especially given my condition of being almost 8 months pregnant.

I spoke with a lady named Terry at the call center who insisted I HAD to add additional items to my order if I wanted the appliances installed (hot/cold hoses, dryer steam hose, and dryer vent). Now, I already owned all of these items and they were all in perfect working condition, but I begrudgingly agreed to allow Terry to add these (unnecessary) items to my purchase in order to ensure installation. Of course she stated I could simply return the items to my local Lowe's after the delivery. Thanks for adding an unnecessary trip out of the house during a worldwide pandemic, Terry. However, by adding the items to my order, she essentially CANCELED my original order, and created a NEW order, with a scheduled delivery date of my new appliances now moved out 38 DAYS to JUNE 26TH! 😡 You guys, on that date, I am planning to be discharged from the HOSPITAL after BIRTHING A NEW LIFE.

After several rounds with her, her inability to connect me to ANY supervisor, several more calls, a few online chats, and multiple calls with the local Lowe's store managers (at two different locations), it was determined there was nothing they could do about my original order. These specific appliances were backordered with Whirlpool. The quickest they could get my order to me was now June 8th... essentially 3 more weeks after my order was originally scheduled to be delivered, and 5 weeks after my original order was placed.

As you may imagine, my pregnant hormonal self was NOT having any of this! There were more anger and tears than I would care to admit. But in the end, I decided to CANCEL the order completely with Lowe's. I just couldn't even deal with this company any longer, and refused to spend this much money with them. There had to be another way.

I went back to Whirlpool's site and searched their list of authorized retailers. Best Buy showed the appliances were backordered and completely unavailable to order. Home Depot had them, but said it would be 4+ weeks until delivery. But then, I found a hidden gem in their list of retailers: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery! Turns out they had a location here in the Upstate! I had never heard of them, but gave them a call with all of my fingers crossed!

Guess what!? They had both my washer and dryer available in one of their warehouses!! Happy dance!

I ordered them on Thursday, May 14th, and they were scheduled to arrive FOUR BUSINESS DAYS LATER on Wednesday, May 20th! YAY! This would definitely help us stay on schedule with our renovation, and help us to finish up the job so I could FINALLY focus on preparing for Cinco's arrival in just a few short weeks!

Without any issue, the appliances arrived as scheduled last Wednesday!

But, because of our luck, when the delivery driver unboxed the washer... it looked as if it had been mauled by a fork lift!! 😭 See?

NOTE: I should mention that we sold our washer and dryer last Tuesday, in anticipation of our new ones arriving on Wednesday. So it had already been a few days of no laundry (not good!). I was super bummed with this development in the process.

Wonderful. So we had no choice but to refuse the washer, and accepted the dryer. However, I was able to call Ferguson and it turned out they had another washer they could send my way! It would be here in TWO business days. YAY!

The new washer arrived in Greenville bright and early last Friday, May 22nd. I asked if they could PLEASE deliver it the same day since we were headed into a 3-day holiday weekend. Unfortunately, they had several drivers on vacation and couldn't schedule us until the following Tuesday.

Hubs and I decided we didn't want to wait the extra 3 days, so he rented a truck from Home Depot and went to pick it up himself.

When he arrived, he asked to have the washer unboxed so he could check it for damage before he'd accept it. The guy who was helping him was NOT a warehouse/delivery person, nor apparently skilled with a utility knife (as you'll soon see), but he grabbed a nearby utility knife and went to work.


As you can imagine, I was NOT thrilled to get this phone call from hubs! And you can CLEARLY see on the image below that the box CLEARLY stated EXACTLY WHERE to cut, towards the BOTTOM of the box, complete with a DOTTED LINE all around all four sides of the box as a helpful guide. 

Yet this guy cut a good inch or more ABOVE the line, right into our beautiful new appliance. 😭

It's just never easy, is it?

I immediately picked up the phone and was on a call for an actual hour and 8 minutes with a rep at Ferguson, during which time hubs was literally just stuck standing around in the warehouse, waiting. I was told there were literally NO managers who could approve a discount on our now damaged appliance. She finally told me the branch manager, Jake, was on vacation, but he would call me when he got to his gate at the airport after reviewing the images and information on our case.

Um, how long would THAT take??

Meanwhile, let's remember we're paying for the HD truck by the minute...

I just can't make this stuff up, folks!

Let me just end this drama here by saying we eventually accepted the washer, but only after hubs was able to get someone at the Ferguson warehouse to write up a "contract" they both signed, indicating we were expecting a discount to be applied to our purchase once the manager(s) returned to work next week. Their solution had been to just send us home with the damaged washer to use for 2 weeks while we wait for them to have a replacement shipped to us.

So lugging a washing machine upstairs, using it for 2 weeks, then lugging it back downstairs, only to lug another one back upstairs, after having already moved our existing washer and dryer downstairs, all during a worldwide pandemic when I refused to allow anyone in my home, meaning hubs and I would be responsible for ALL of this appliance moving ourselves... um, NO THANK YOU. I told hubs I'd be happy with a nice discount on our purchase considering it was their mistake. I didn't want to deal with a replacement. So we'll see what they come up with next week when the managers are back.

Long story already-too-long (sorry!), hubs and I, along with a pivitol furniture dolly, managed to get our new washer and dryer upstairs to the laundry room, despite my being 34 weeks pregnant at the time! I didn't do any super heavy lifting... just some pushing and shimmying.

END OF (this) DRAMA.

Now my beautiful new Whirlpool washer and dryer are safely in my beautiful new laundry room! More on the details of the new laundry room coming up in Part 3! And for those of you who read this far, GOOD JOB! You must be super bored with the quarantine to read all about my family's appliance drama. 😉  LOL!

P.S. If you're really, really bored, check out Part 3 here!

The One with the Laundry Room Reno: Part 1

There's a LOT to share about the laundry room reno. This is Part 1. Part 2 can be found here! And here's Part 3!

Okay. So pre-quarantine, the hubs and I had a HUGE list of home improvement projects and major renovations we were planning to do this spring before baby Cinco arrives in June.

The upstairs hallway and loft were to be painted.

The carpet in the entire house was to be replaced with hardwoods (except in the bedrooms and office).

The second closet in our master bedroom was to be converted to a bathroom off LO's bedroom.

The back patio was to be turned into a 3-season room.

The upstairs loft was to be converted from a pointless waste of space to a functional room with a wall of built-in bookshelves to solve all of our homeschool book storage woes.

And the laundry room? Well, it was just supposed to get a nice coat of Repose Gray paint to match the rest of the house. 😍

With the onset of COVID-19, we quickly realized our strict quarantine to keep myself, the baby, and our heart warrior, Chase, healthy, we simply couldn't and wouldn't allow contractors to work in our home.

Good news?

We could paint the upstairs. We could work on the loft. We would allow the contractor to close in the patio since it's outside.

Bad news?

No new flooring. No new bathroom. YET.

Bonus news?

We had some extra time on our hands, and decided to tackle the laundry room with more than just a new coat of paint!

Here's a quick pic of the BEFORE pic. Flat, contractor-grade beige paint, full of scuffs and scratches. Obnoxious wire shelving in awkward places. And sadness. Lots and lots of sadness.

A quick AFTER pic! So much excitement to share here!

To truly appreciate the overhaul of this room, you'll need to see more before pics. Let's take a look!

DISCLAIMER: This room was a MESS! And I didn't even take one hot minute to tidy anything up before taking pics. I wanted to capture this room in all of its awfulness!

Here's a pic looking into the laundry room. Note the ghetto $12 light fixture that came with the house.  And the aforementioned wire shelving. And the door that blocks the entire right side of the room.

You'll also see a drop-down shelf hubs put in years ago so I'd have a space to put folded clothes. And our lame 3-bin plastic laundry sorter. It wasn't very functional for a family of 7!

Don't forget to check out the floor: the cheap-o vinyl laminate. This didn't get updated simply because the contractors will need to pull up the laundry room floor to access the water lines to run for LO's bathroom (adjacent to the laundry room) eventually, so this floor had to stay--for now.

Then there's this. This is one of the WORST USES OF SPACE in the entire house! For starters, this "nook" is completely hidden by the door when it is open. And you can see sheets on the floor... these typically end up on the floor of the nook, shoved behind the door, often to be forgotten on laundry day.

Also, board games? Surely the laundry room isn't the most logical location to store board games. But the only other option was the loft, which was a HUGE mess of misused space... though that work-in-progress is improving! I can't wait to share the next phase of the loft's built-in bookshelves here!

Seriously. These pics are just plain embarrassing! But I needed you to see just how incredibly awful it was in order to truly appreciate the reno!

The first MAJOR improvement to the laundry room was the addition of a pocket door! Hubs bought a kit and went to work! He was able to reuse the existing door in the pocket frame, so that saved some dough!

He had to cut out the drywall inside the laundry room to install the track.

He had to remove the entire door frame as well.

And then remove some more of the drywall. I was happy to see none of the drywall in the loft needed to be removed. Hubs did a great job of working this project from the laundry room side!

I won't devote a ton of time to the crazy amount of work hubs put into this pocket door, but I will show an "AFTER" pic! Check out that beautiful door frame! Wait until you see how spacious the laundry room is without a big ol' door in the way!

Now let's take another look at the useless nook that used to be hidden by the door. I have a GRAND PLAN for this space that will revolutionize my laundry life! Check it out:

As you can see in the pic below, hubs finished the pocket door install, the laundry room has been painted gray, and the nook has been painted a bright white semi-gloss to match the  trim.

Next, hubs added six horizontal 1x2s in the nook.

I painted the 1x2s white to match!

Any guesses what we're going for here? If not, check out the image below! I LOVE it!

It's a laundry basket storage nook! This area was sized perfectly for this, and I don't even know what took me so long to make this happen!

Of course I needed labels for the baskets, so I created (and laminated!) these to help the kids keep track of where everything goes!

That's better! Six labeled laundry baskets, stored in the nook, off the floor, completely out of the way, and no longer hidden by the laundry room door! SCORE!!!

What a HUGE difference this made to our laundry room! No more games, puzzles, and miscellaneous junk shoved behind the door in the laundry room! Now it's a functional space that is completely life-changing! No lie!

I have much more to share about this room's transformation, including ALL of the beauty you saw in the "AFTER" pic at the beginning of this post that I didn't even discuss here! Click here for Part 2

Be sure to check out Part 3!