Back when we were working with our architect to tweak the layout of garden floor of the house, we looked at a few options.
In the end, we decided that we’d plan for a separate laundry/storage room sandwiched between the bedrooms with the option of turning it into a media room later on.
Once the renovations on our living space were completed we moved in and forgot about that room. We set up laundry on the 3rd floor temporarily while we were renovating that space so we didn’t have to face schlepping to the laundry mat. Hence, the “middle room” on the garden floor became our Room of Requirement. In the Harry Potter books, the Room of Requirement is located on the 7th floor of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When you need someplace to hide something, the room opens for you. So if you did not know where to put something, it went in there. We were derelict in our blogging duty of taking “before” photos, but you get the idea.
Then the day came when we had to get our own washer and dryer. During renovations, we’d changed our minds again and thought we’d put the laundry in the basement and went back to the idea of using the spare room for an office/media room. The basement, however, wasn’t getting any cleaner now that my spouse had turned it into a workshop. It also meant another set of stairs to travel when we do the laundry. So, it was back to the original plan.
The challenge now was how to get the room to serve both purposes. First, we had to get rid of the half-wall (what were we thinking when we agreed to it?!).
We had not finished the floors in that room yet because we knew there needed to be plumbing installed. Installing a new gas line for the dryer, we knew, was going to be tricky and costly. We called several plumbers who came out and then either never came, never gave us a quote, or gave us one that was ridiculously high (a common problem with tradespeople in NYC). If we wanted any liveable space in the room having a giant washer and dryer in the corner would be awkward. The size of washer/dryers available were also problematic. With all the small apartments out there you’d think there would be more options for city dwellers.
After much back and forth, we decided on the Whirlpool Duet electric washer/dryer set because they were several inches smaller than all gas washer/dryer sets. We were concerned about how well an electric dryer would dry clothes but it has worked out fine.
The next step was painting and installing the floors.
After completing all the necessary plumbing, which actually went through the walls and not the floor, we installed the hardwood floors. This took less than a day and was easy to do yourself if you have the tools. We hired Keith to assist–he helped us install the floors in the rental unit so he had all the necessary tools already like a nail gun and two hands work more quickly than one. This room was square and there was no baseboard molding so it was pretty simple.
What a difference nice floors make!
We made a trip out to Kuiken Brothers in Fairlawn, New Jersey to get the molding. We like their moldings better than anything you can get at Home Depot or even Dykes Lumber, and the service is much better. We bought colonial casings in primed poplar to match the rest of the house. There are also really great hiking trails out there near Sterling Lake so we made a day of it.
The next issue was how to hide the appliances. We could stack them and build a closet but again you are left with something awkward. We chose the only other option, put them side by side and install cabinetry around them.
We went to our local cabinetry shop, Park Slope Kitchens, where we previously purchased both of our kitchen cabinets. After we got a price on a high-end modern cabinet, we came down to earth and purchased painted wood cabinets instead.
We had a lot of needs. We wanted to hide the laundry appliances as well as our printer and internet equipment like the Mac mini and tuner. We also needed storage for laundry supplies and all household supplies. If that wasn’t enough, we wanted to hide the cat litter box. After having an unsightly junk room for years we desired something that would hide our chaos.
After having a junk room for a few years, we desired something that would hide the chaos. We chose the budget-friendly Design-Craft line with maple door and plywood construction.
We worked with one of the designers and came up with a design that, while not perfectly lined up, worked.
The challenges of installation and how to install a self-flushing kitty litter box, that’s another story….