Sunday, May 1, 2011

DIY - Laundry/Mudroom redo

H and I have been busy this winter. First we painted the hallway off the kitchen. That took us some time, as we had to patch some dings and this was brought about by the installation or rather pending installation of some new doors. Our house is just about 24 years young and as such some things like, doors, need some attention.

When we first moved in, I bought this. A wonderful hallway system. Perfect for coats, storage of umbrellas and shopping totes, the diaper bag (which we gave up about 4 years ago), my purse and a great place to sit, to take off or put on your shoes. It was also a good place to set a kiddo. Across from it, I had a shelf for storing our shoes. When it was just H and I, and one little person with little tiny shoes. This worked. When it was H and I and one small person and one tiny person not wearing shoes, it worked. Now that it is H and I and two reasonably sized, not so small people, it has turned into a mess of coats, shoes, book bags, school papers, tote bag, cars, Lego pieces and so froth. It is a circus, pure and simple and it has slowly been driving me mad. Right over the edge.

Right down the hall, is the laundry room, which is nicely sized, if not oddly arranged. It once had a strange and random desk unit in it, which when we bought the house, I thought was a splendid idea, only, there was no phone jack and pre-wifi, no way to link up to the Internet. Also if the washer was chugging away, it was far from a peaceful work station. Also, with toddlers in the house, the laundry room  is as far away from the family room as possible on the first floor. Not good for keeping an eye on busy and inquisitive hands.

So we eventually took out the cabinet and counter top, which comprised the desk leaving some damage to the wall and clearly showing that the contractor who built this house, cut some corners. Like not finishing the entire floor. For a bit, we had a pine entertainment unit of my parent's functioning as additional storage in its place.

After tripping over more shoes than I can count and having nowhere for guests to hang their coats, I decided we needed to make some changes.

After looking at blogs, considering closet systems, paying attention to HGTV shows, I decided the solution was to convert the laundry room, to a laundry/mudroom combo. I don't fold or iron in the laundry room, there isn't room really. It is close enough to the door we enter and exit all the time, with a small change in traffic flow, and it would work.

So I convinced H we needed to go this route. This was the working theory this winter. H was less excited about the idea, but I was determined. Then we all got sick and that pushed the project back a bit. I shopped around, pricing out options. It is not a big space, but I wanted four cubicles or lockers, one for each of us. The room is not that big and I have to deal with the various doors, the window and the function of the space.

I also did not want to "over" do it. This is not the designer show house. This is about function. This is about teaching little people, well ok all of us, the discipline of putting out stuff where it belongs, every time.

I also, really wanted something not shipped here from China. I complain about globalization but I participate, we all do. So I did some searching, finding Sawdust City. An American company, making furniture to order, in America. Plus they will paint it a rainbow of colors. I was sold.

SawDust City was an awesome choice! I found them in a random google search one morning. They are a family owned business in WI. The customer service was A++. I custom ordered and they were awesome. They even called, letting me know the item had shipped when expected and that it should arrive in the time frame I had requested. It is the kind of service that says: we appreciate your business. I am not a country/cabin look kind of girl, but in this case, this is exactly what I was going for. It just worked. Some of their systems, their closet type systems are fantastic. I just don't have the space, but if you do, I think you need to give them a good look. They are also on Facebook.

I might have been able to find a carpenter local, but my limited searching had not produced much and this was close to what I had pictured in my mind. It also fit the budget if H installed it. He had said he was not up for this project, with so many of his own, lingering over the overly long and overly cold and snowy winter.

I convinced him.

He prepped the wall.

I cleaned up.

I primed.

I taped.

I painted with the assistance of my BFF.

We had to paint the entire room, we did not have any paint left, which matched the existing color. We also did not want to buy more paint. We have so many left over cans from the previous owners, so we went with this off-white color, which works. I agree with H, it brightens the space.

I ordered.

It came on this truck Thursday.

H unpacked it.

I took pictures.

H installed it.

I am happy. I need to clean up, shop for a rug and get things arranged. I am thinking extra storage baskets on the top shelf. We are not completely done. I am thinking of painting the existing cabinets and we have considered a new washer, but for now, we are well on the way to a more functional and organized entryway, mudroom, and laundry room.

I will post finalized pictures when I get done. For now, I see light at the end of my organizational tunnel. There will be incentives to get on board with my plan and trust me their will be consequences if people fail to get on board.

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