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Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall …

February 17, 2014

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.

wall open to studs

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.

mudroom before and after

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.

wood frame around electrical 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.

dryer on pedestal

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.

washer and plywood ramp

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?

washer lifted onto paint cans

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.

washer and dryer on pedestals

Our shy tuxedo, Fred, says “Heh-woe” from his dryer-top aerie. Yes, the kitties really do rule the roost around here.

Fred in laundry basket

And finally … a nice surprise!

My friend Jessica at Cape of Dreams nominated my blog for an Apartment Therapy Homies Award for Best Home Project & DIY Blog.  I am honored! I’ll let you know if I make the finals!

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From → Kitchen

13 Comments
  1. For the record, I don’t need a stronger wife. I have the one I want. I just need to coordinate the days to move heavy objects with the days that my big strong guy friends are not out with bad backs!

  2. What a story! I love the back hall shingles. 🙂

    • Thanks! Eric did a great job, didn’t he? It almost seems a shame to paint them eventually.

  3. Pedastals. For washers and dryers. I had no idea such a thing existed. Wow. You learn something new every day. The laundry room is looking great. I also love the shingles.

    • I don’t know when these pedestals became “the thing.” But I do appreciate the storage and the extra height. Too bad such a simple thing is so pricey!

  4. D’Arcy,
    The machines looks great, your husband is strong, those machines look not only heavy, but slightly awkward to lift due to their box shape. I really wonder if manufacturers understand how they irritate their buying public with stunts like changing the “standard” on their products each year. Just enough to make sure you have to buy a specific item the year it’s made, or lose.
    We had a cat named Fred, I love the indigninant look on Fred’s face, like he’s saying, “Excuse me, I’m bathing here, privacy, please!” 🙂
    xo,
    Karen
    P.S. I’ll vote for you on the homies…I was nominated too, so nice.

    • Thanks, Karen–I’ll vote for you, too! How fun that some of us who are blog buddies are on the list! You interpreted Fred’s look correctly! 🙂

  5. First, the wall looks amazing… and the trim around the electrical panel is amazing. Great job, Eric. I’m a sucker for details like that. Totally worth the effort!!!

    I almost bought the pedestals for our w/d too but decided in the end I’d rather have a counter across the top. As I’m getting older (hello back!) I almost wish I had a little more height. That sounds like heaven at this point. Yours look fantastic!

    • Thanks, Stacey! Yes, my back told me to shell out the dough and buy the pedestals already!! We are so lucky that our guys are into home projects, huh? What would we do without them? I really wish I could give Eric some sort of prize for all his hard work.

  6. Tom & Judy permalink

    You two amaze me. You just keep plugging along and making amazing changes to your home. I agree with everyone else, those shingles are beautiful just the way they are. Don’t paint them. They can be an accent wall. With Eric’s trim around the electrical box, you don’t even need art to cover it. Hope to see you this Spring. Tom and Judy

  7. You are so right, Eric has done an amazing job in there. We will be going to Vermont for Eric’s daughter’s wedding in May, so the only way you’ll “see” us this year is if I wave as we fly over Bonnie’s house! 🙂

  8. I love the shingles! They turned out so beautiful. And Fred….well, what can I say. 🙂 (I voted for you btw).

    • Thanks! I have been passing on to Eric all the compliments his shingling is getting … makes him feel good!

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