Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall …
While I was busy stripping and repainting Old Mother Hubbard’s doors, Eric had his own project going in our mudroom. (We never call it “the mudroom,” even though that’s what a Realtor would call it. In our parlance, it’s “the back hall.”)
This room started as a covered back porch. It may have had half walls, and probably a corner post. As I imagine it, it was a charming spot to look out over the backyard, and part of me wishes it was still a porch. I assume it was enclosed as part of the kitchen’s 1940s remodel. Now, it’s the laundry room, and I find it exceedingly charming NOT to have to go downstairs to do laundry. If I had to do laundry in the basement (like my mom did when I was a kid), I would simply throw out my dirty clothes every week and buy new ones.
The back hall is part of the kitchen project because it’s been torn up a bit due to installation of our new electrical panel, and it shares flooring and paint treatments with the kitchen. A couple of years ago I painted it egg-yolk yellow with white trim. That’s when I realized I’d have to tone down the yellow to a buttercream for the kitchen.
Eric had to take the interior wall down to the studs to have the new panel installed.
When you last saw the back hall we were having the linoleum installed. Here, you can see the wall on the right has been sheathed with plywood.
Up in the first photo, you can see some of the house’s original cedar shingles. I want the two original exterior porch walls to be shingled once again as a nod to the room’s past. (I plan to paint them the same color as the house’s exterior to complete the effect.) Eric indulged me by patiently sanding, cutting, and applying shingles to match the original three-over-seven (inch) courses. Then he created a beautiful frame around the electrical panel to match the trim throughout our house. We’ll have to produce some sort of art piece to fit inside the frame to cover the panel.
With the wall completed, the real fun began. I bought my washer and dryer a few years ago. I was tempted to buy pedestals with drawers to go underneath them, but I didn’t feel like paying and additional $500 for the set. Instead, Eric built a platform with drawers underneath, and it worked quite well, except for one disadvantage: If we needed to move the appliances, the big single platform was difficult to contend with. I had to make up my mind—did I want to invest in pedestals at last, or should we simply put a counter over the washer and dryer? I decided I want the storage that the pedestals offer … and my old back doesn’t want to bend so far to scoop clothes out of the dryer. Off to Sears we went to track down matching pedestals.
WARNING: If you’re buying a washer and dryer set and are considering buying pedestals, bite the bullet and spend the damned money NOW, because for no good reason other than to annoy their customers, manufacturers change the footprint of their appliances every year. My W&D are from 2008 (eons ago), and while the salesman didn’t exactly laugh at our request, an online search turned up one used pedestal on Craigslist … in Wyoming. Rats! (That’s not really what I said, but it is a four-letter word.)
I had nearly given up on the pedestal idea when I spied two Samsung pedestals at Lowe’s for a mere $199 apiece. They were plain white and looked just fine. How much different could they be? If our washer’s feet didn’t fit in the right spot, Eric could just remove the attachment hardware, couldn’t he? Yeah, sure.
Duke was concerned about the dryer taking up his usual kitchen-island spot, but pleased that a blanket appeared on the floor.
Eric didn’t have much trouble making new attachments for the dryer, and hefted it solo onto the pedestal (lifting a dryer singlehandedly amazes me). But the washer, which weighs a ton, was a totally different story. First, we attempted to muscle it up a steep plywood ramp. Nope. We didn’t have enough maneuvering room in the tight back hall, so we used the ramp to ease the washer over the threshold and into the kitchen.
I am no longer of much use when it comes to lifting heavy objects, so we teamed up: Eric lifted one end of the washer at a time while I stuffed random objects underneath. Paint cans. A 4×4. Isn’t this how you would lift a washer?
At this point I must have blacked out, because I have no memory of how we finally got the washer onto the pedestal, but it happened. Then, once it was attached, we had to get the whole thing back into the back hall. I remember being told to push (kind of like childbirth??), but I was wearing bedroom slippers on linoleum, and the washer pushed me. In the end, Eric persevered. I don’t know what we’d do if he weren’t so strong!
We immediately threw in a load of laundry. Several minutes later during its spin cycle, the washer was rockin’ and rollin’ on its new pedestal, dancing like it was in an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. We had left the little felt scooter disks under the pedestal! And they are still there.
So here’s where it stands: The washer sits slightly higher than the dryer because, unlike the dryer, its feet do not fit the pedestal hardware. Eric substituted two pieces of plywood for the original hardware. He’s going to replace the plywood with thinner metal … but that means dragging the machine back out and lifting it off and back on again. Eric says he needs a stronger wife. I plan to be out of town that day.
Our shy tuxedo, Fred, says “Heh-woe” from his dryer-top aerie. Yes, the kitties really do rule the roost around here.