Saturday, November 26, 2011

Laundry Room, part deux

I think the laundry room is officially finished.  I have been adding things as I've needed it to make it somewhat tolerable for me to fold laundry there.  I've made it two weeks with my new attitude on laundry (fold it now, not later) and it's been great to have my Saturday evenings free from mismatched socks and quests to find hangars.

Here it is!
This is the view from the door looking in.  I love the room but it didn't turn out anything like I had envisioned!

I had intended on putting up a prefabricated counter top that I was going to purchase at Lowes and have cut to size.  To mount it, I put two 2x4s that I painted the same color as the walls and screwed into studs.  

The plan was to put the washer and dryer in and then put the counter top over it.  We could pull it off to get behind the washer if needed and it would be a great space to fold clothes.  Easy peasy.

Not so much.  The dryer couldn't go back to the wall because of the venting.  My washer and dryer were now sitting TEN INCHES from the back wall and there was nothing I could do about that.  The guy that hooked me up was very unsympathetic and suggested hiring someone to re-vent the laundry room.  Don't think so.

So I bought a board.  It was a very cheap board at Lowes that I asked the nice man to cut to size for me.  I didn't have to haul out the table saw and do it myself and I got the two cuts for free.  I also grabbed two 2x4s cut them and screwed them across the width of the board at the back and again in the middle.  Instead of being the 25 inches deep that my counter would have been, the board was 35 inches.  LOTS bigger than I had originally wanted AND it was ugly.

I found cheap fabric on clearance and cheap clear vinyl ($3.99 a yard at Hobby Lobby!) and covered the board like I was upholstering it.  I popped it in and I have a counter top that is even cheaper than what I was going to spend on the prefab one.

It's a good thing I'm tall because it would be hard to reach the cabinets with the washer sticking out that far if I wasn't.  This design probably won't work well for the shorter folk but it works for me.  I mounted two cheap plant brackets and put a curtain rod between them for my hanging clothes.  I put a piece of leftover dowel in the rod to make it stronger.

This fits perfectly between the cabinet door and the door to the room.  I also hung my ironing board up on the wall and got it off the back of the door so the door now opens completely.  Yeah!

Those are two $1.19 hooks found in the hardware section of Home Depot.  They're made for the garage but they work well for what I need them to be.  I added three colorful bins on the counter:  one for adult hangars, one for kids' hangars and one for mismatched socks.

So far it's working for me and it's very convenient to have everything in one place.  There's room for two in there but when you start hanging clothes and the drying rack is down, there's really only room for one.  That's fine because I prefer to fold alone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The most AWESOME drying rack!

My latest and greatest project has been my laundry room.  I jumped on an early Black Friday deal and upgraded my washer and dryer to. . .  ta da!  A front loading set!!!

The laundry room HAD to be updated.  I had a wish list.  First, foremost and top of the list was ROOM.  I needed room to fold the clothes as soon as they came out of the dryer.  I needed a place to dry the clothes that needed to be hung.  I needed something a lot more efficient than my current laundry practice. . . wash them, pile them into various laundry baskets placed strategically against walls to keep them from toppling and fold once a week.  It took hours.

I started with a very simple project before my new washer and dryer came.  I wanted a wall mounted drying rack.  I found an awesome one online at Home Decorators Collection  (picture on the link) but I didn't have an extra $140 laying around to spend on it.  So, I built my own.

I actually had most of the stuff laying around the house to build it.  I used a 24 x 36 picture frame that had the glass broken out of it as the frame of the piece.  I used 1x2's to build the inside frame and 1/2 inch dowels for the rack part.   The fabric is printed duck fabric.  It turned out cute, didn't it?

I started out by cutting the wood to build a frame to fit inside the picture frame.  I then cut dowels to fit inside the frame I was building, adding a half an inch to the total measurement.  I marked where the dowels were to go and then, using a drill bit slightly larger than the dowels, drilled into the two side pieces about 1/3 of an inch.

I nailed three sides of the inside frame together and then put the dowels in before adding the fourth side.

Once I added the fourth side, I painted the entire rack with white spray paint.  After it dried, I put on three coats of sealer.  I didn't want the damp clothes to warp the wood at all.

While everything was drying, I covered the inside of the picture frame with my fabric.  I am sure most fabrics would work but I chose a duck fabric.  It's thicker and I really liked the pattern on it.  I just stretched it and stapled it.

Make sure to get it nice and taunt.

And it was time to put the rack in.  I salvaged the hinges from my husband's bucket of leftovers.  If I had to do it over, I'd probably go buy a few larger hinges.  Because the rack sticks out of the frame, I had to mount it this way.

I gave them a light coat of spray paint so you can't see it.  I had to figure out how to keep the rack from crashing open when I used it.  I didn't have any chain I was willing to sacrifice so I used ribbon.  It's worked great so far!  I just stapled it. . . .

And it's finished!  I bought the Command strips to mount this to the wall.  That way, I didn't have to find studs or drill through my piece.  I bought the strips for the large sized picture.  The box says it can hold 32 pounds.  My piece is much lighter than that, even with clothes on it.

I've had this drying rack for a few weeks now and it's working beautifully!  It folds up nice when not in use and doesn't take up any valuable floor space.