Rearranging my Awkward Closet into a Real Laundry Room!

Feb 24 2019
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By rearranging a few things I am determined to make an awkward closet into a real room. My laundry room ended up like this just like the majority of the house: I was not only on a shoe string budget but also felt like I was in a total rush. It was over a year ago, just after my divorce, when I started to slow down and realize something: I have NO deadlines.

I could take my time with my whole home!

Not only that but I no longer needed to put up with a space just because it was functional. I could change anything I wanted – simply because I wanted to!

So it turned out I’ve actually been hating my laundry room for awhile now.

A Plan of Attack: My Laundry Room Remodel - Covering Major Ugly! How to disguise some major problems while still adding joy and beauty to a small space

I was doing laundry the other day and realized that I’ve also been unconsciously working on this room in my head for a very long time.

This room has some major weirdness going on but it also has potential.

First I emptied it.

Than I totally cleaned it from top to bottom. The cabinet on the wall was made by my grandparents’ years ago to be above their own washer and dryer. I painted it and added hardware to it when I first put this room together but now it needs a new coat of paint like everything in my house (more on that coming up).

It is actually a rather big space for a closet at 4 feet deep by 6 feet wide.

But it felt totally underutilized with awkward hard to reach spaces on either side of my laundry unit.

Not to mention it was REALLY difficult for me to reach the upper cabinets because I had to lean over my machine to get to them. (Cheers to us short girls, you really gotta hand it to us!)

I turned the unit and slid it against the wall on the left as that was my initial plan so then I turned it and moved it to the wall on the right. I moved that machine back and forth WAY too many times one night after work…

There were MAJOR issues with either place.

I was determined to use my Grandma’s 48 inch long old steel counter top but the actual depth of the closet is 46 1/2 inches – I was going to have to hack out an inch and a half of sheet rock and studs no matter where I put the machine to fit the counter in over it.

If I put the machine on the left (where I originally wanted it) I would have over a foot of sheet rock and studs to deal with but with the machine on the right it was only about two inches of one stud.

On top of that, with the machine on the left hand side, I would have to raise the counter top up quite a bit higher than I wanted to avoid the hoses and the outlet… damn.

On the other hand though with the machine on the left I would be able to utilize the weird nook on the right hand side and make some really cool built in shelves… That had been the plan anyway.

And then there was the real kicker, the machine’s door opens on the left, meaning with the machine on the left the door would literally open in the opposite direction that I would want it to… And, no (I checked), the door cannot be moved to the other side.

So, my plans changed, the machine ended up on the right! And all it required was an extension cord to do it, I didn’t even need to buy extension hoses!

The space suddenly felt huge. Oh but now I have one very ugly back wall with hoses, the drain, water lines and stuff and I got to thinking about a different way to “fix” it.

Curtains!

Curtains made from a table cloth!

I fell in LOVE with this one I spotted on Amazon. With the plan of the bright curtain running across the whole back wall I knew it could be really pretty.

But first my counter top needed to come back into the room.

I used a one inch speedbore bit on my door frame/wall to create the groove I needed for the counter top to slide in. (This is not a load bearing wall, I built it four years ago lol.) I used L brackets to provide support for the rest of the counter top.

The counter itself is really sturdy so I knew I didn’t need to provide support for the center of it. I put the brackets in so it sits about an inch above the machine.

Rarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourselfRarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourself

It worked out REALLY well to have the machine on the right because it literally takes up 30 inches of space, the exact width of one of my closet doors. I built a little “wall” with bead board to cover up the side of the machine and provide support for that side of the counter. And, also, for looks as you can see my closet doors are basically just sheers that are framed out.

It was at this point that I decided that rolling doors here would work better for me then the hinged doors.

I took the closet doors down, removed their hinges and then created a frame at the top for them to be sandwiched in. I did this by removing the trim on the outside and lowering (and leveling) the top piece of trim across the top of the doorway. I did the same thing on the inside of the doorway with another 1×4.

Then I just added casters to my doors and removed the knob on the door on the inside.

This makes a lot more sense! The door on the inside on the right I will rarely (if ever) use and the door on the left rolls easily. They also lift and come out in the event I need them totally out of the way.

There is a TON more work to be done but I am already super excited with how its shaping up! Next up is my shelving challenge and what the heck am I gonna do with that dead space behind my machine now!?

After that I can finally paint!

(Yes that is a washer/dryer combo machine by LG and I absolutely LOVE it. In about 2 1/2 hours it washes and dries my clothes without needing an outside vent and using a LOT less water than a regular machine. It also plugs in to a regular wall outlet unlike dryers that require a much bigger receptacle. Cheers to never forgetting my clothes in the washing machine again lol! Oh and YEP it is kinda beat up and dented, I purchased it “brand new” from a scratch and dent place.)

Rarranging my awkward laundry closet into a real room by moving my washer dryer. Turning my hinged closet doors into rolling doors, diy, do it yourself

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8 Comments

  1. Toni (in Niagara)
    February 24, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Oh Tarah! I don’t know what your “real” job is, but you could certainly be successful with your own design and remodel business!I’m very serious, and I’d hire you in a flash to advise on our 1862 house!
    Best wishes –
    Toni
    BTW – Please let me know if you are ever coming to the Niagara area. We have an Airbnb – no charge for you in return for a brief consultation!!

    • February 24, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Toni, thank you so so much!

  2. grace
    February 24, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Tarah, You do realize your Grandmother’s “steel counter” is an enameled tabletop, don’t you? From the 1940s, and it’s in pretty good shape. Just don’t drop anything heavy on it so you don’t chip the enamel off. Keep plugging along, girl. We’re rooting for you. 😉

    • February 27, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Thank you Grace, I wondered about that and I’m so glad to hear I was right about what kind of countertop it was! That’s very cool and exciting and I will totally take good care of it! Thank you!!

  3. February 24, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I love how you always making improvements I have a suggestion for you for that space behind your washer dryer, how about one of those drop-down dryers that can be folded up against the wall when not in use if you had things that needed a little more drying or even a rack for hanging things as you take them out of the dryer?

    • February 27, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Karren, now that is definitely an idea I’ll think about! Thank you, have a great week!

  4. March 1, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I love the way you put doors on your new laundry room. Such a great idea for converting them. I look forward to seeing your next project

    • March 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you hon! I like them much better like this!

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