Our old chepo washing machine stopped functioning properly about a year ago. It technically still “worked” because it got clothes clean, but we had to manually start the spin cycle. Manually. Every. Damn. Time. Occasionally all it would take was a light push requiring no more effort than giving a kid a twirl on a tire swing, but usually the washer demanded curses, kicks, and a blood sweat and tears sacrifice before spinning the clothes.
I kept my eyes out for a good deal on new appliances and when one came up we jumped on it … I also had a plan ready to completely makeover the room. Once the Mr. and I got everything disconnected and removed, I took advantage of the empty space and painted it a grayish white that immediately made it feel bigger and brighter. The colour is “Swiss White” from Dulux and it took two coats plus a primer to cover that pink, which I think was original to the house. The light fixture got a hit of black spray paint and the drying rack a coat of white, just to freshen them up. We also replaced the doorknob and electrical plates as well as installed a new laundry tub and faucet. The new washing machine not only looks a lot nicer than the old one, but it actually initiates the spin cycle all by itself!
The wooden wall cabinets got painted a creamy white and all the door hardware was replaced. I took my time with this project, first using a spray primer, then an enamel paint applied with foam rollers for a leveled finish. I’m planning a similar treatment for the upstairs bathroom vanity so am super pleased with how well it turned out.
I love my laundry room because of its size and that it is on the main floor (not being noisy beside the bedrooms yet not banished to the basement either), but it is odd not having the machines beside one another. The washer and dryer face each other in the little room leaving gaps between walls that loved to collect household junk. We made the best of the unusual setup by installing a counter over the dryer. It makes the space seem more planed out and built-in, rather than just having an appliance floating in the middle of a wall. It’s also wonderful having a wall-to-wall surface for folding and pre-treating clothes.
This was a surprisingly easy project. We cut an Ikea EKBACKEN (dark oak effect) counter to size with a circular saw, and then supported it slightly off the dryer by screwing 1×2 boards into the studs along the wall. TIP: tape under the cut line before using the saw to prevent the laminate layer from splintering. We achieved a really clean finish and even drilled a hole for the electrical cord to pass through, cunningly camouflaged by a my framed Weekly Cleaning Schedule. The counter is simply sitting on the supports so it can lift right off if there is ever a need to access the back of the dryer.
I put a lot of thought into how to keep this utility room organised, luckily Ikea is always full of organisational solutions. A RÅSKOG cart is keeping all those extra bottles and cleaning supplies neat and accessible under the counter and a FINTROP system above the sink houses sponges, rubber gloves, and brushes. I also added wall hooks designated for brooms and dustpans, and tucked the ironing board away behind the door.
All said an done, we only spent $1850 on this makeover, including the two new appliances! Laundry is still a chore but it is certainly nice to have a pretty and well-functioning space to do it in. There is some sort of magic in design that means nice-looking rooms stay clean and tidy much longer than the drab ugly ones. Do we unconsciously work harder to keep a space we like looking the way we like it?
I really like the look of this room.