DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

New Floor in the Closet/Laundry

We made a snap decision last week to pull up the floor in the closet/laundry room and replace it, we always hired the CleaningPRO Floor Sanding Auckland in order to take care of it but we figured this year that it was time to replace it. The floor that was in there was in really rough shape and we figured the time to put down a new floor was before we added the baseboard and got the room filled with stuff.


In retrospect we probably could have refinished it but we didn’t realize until we had pulled up a couple pieces. The existing floor was 1/2 in instead of the standard 3/4 inch which can make it hard to refinish.

There were 2 layers of flooring. The subfloor and then this floor which was under the 1/2″ oak.


We pulled all of the top layer of floor up and laid down new 3.5″ wide oak flooring.


We borrowed a flooring nailer and went to town. The 3.5″ wide flooring goes down faster but it’s not as flexible so It’s hard to get warped pieces straitened out.

At the end of the day, it looks great. Total it probably took us about 6 hours.. most of those in the wee hours of the night as we were trying to get it done. We were not expecting it to take us that long. That’s about how many hours total we spent on the kitchen floor which was HUGE in comparison.

house 072

All in all, it looks great and it’s done which is worth a lot these days! Next on the list for this room:

  • Paint
  • Baseboard
  • Laundry Base

As always, I’ll keep you posted!


Master Closet & Laundry – Getting close!

Last summer, I developed a detailed plan for the master closet/laundry.  See the post here:

Master Closet and Laundry Design July 3, 2012sv

I really like the design and I’m even more convinced of its utility.  The idea is to put raised front-loading washer/dryer in the corner of the room and use 3 Ikea Expedit shelves as the bones of the shelving units.

The wall with the window and the laundry units would be situated like this:

with the adjacent wall looking something like this:

Now that drywall is getting close, it’s time for me to start thinking about the details of the space.  For instance, the ends of the purple clothes rods in the above picture.  Should I have a vertical piece of lumber to frame in the space?  Or should I have a clothes rod bracket that just free-floats?


Master Closet and Laundry Design

Designing the master closet and laundry room has been one of my biggest challenges.  You can hire a professional interior designers, they will create the interior design that makes it uniquely fit for you. I’m trying to merge economy, functionality, and beauty into one uber-space.  I want a built-in closet with custom cabinetry and loads of beautiful details.  Something like these custom closets I found on Pinterest:

I also had to merge the functionality of a laundry room with my dream closet, the solution ended up being a custom cabinetry project.

The first thing I had to nail down was what kind of shelving system to use. At first I thought, Oh, I’ll use that wire shelving stuff.

But it just doesn’t have the refined look of a custom built-in. But it is easy and fairly inexpensive. I kept thinking and I came up with these:

The expedit shelves from ikea come in white and are just $59.99. I’ll add feet to adjust the height and use two of them in a T shape for the majority of the space.

This is a rough sketch. The two Expedits are in black. The torquoise is a shelf that will go all the way around the room. the purple lines are clothes bars and the purple dot indicates the clothes bar coming out of the corner. The adjacent wall looks something like this:

Here you can see the purple dot turns into the long hanging section. Another Expedit will hold more sweaters etc. The ceiling shelf extends all the way around and a lower shelf gives even more storage.

For the shelves, I plan on using an assortment of storage options. I love the expedit cubbies for stacks of jeans, sweaters, etc. In doing an inventory of our clothing, I realize we need lots of stacking storage. That’s what really got me started thinking about how to use the expedits in the closet. For the large shelf around the top of the closet, we will fill that with suitcases and sleeping bags and all the long-term storage stuff that you don’t want in the basement. For the small stuff, I have an assortment of the adorable boxes from ikea.

They match my color scheme and everything!

For the laundry corner, I’m planning on wall-mounting two 30″ base cabinets. These from Ikea are on the list at $83 each:

They are super plain and kind of ugly but I was thinking of covering the doors in a vintage kitchen tablecloth or some cute vintage kitschy fabric. I’m a little worried these full size base cabinets are going to be too deep to be useful but I love the look of them.

To bring the front load washer/dryer set up off the ground, I want to build a pedestal to hold laundry baskets.

In the center of the room, I’d like to build an island with lots of drawers. I’ve been looking for a dresser that is long and low with fairly shallow drawers. As usual, Ikea to the rescue.

These Tarva dressers are $149 and shallow at just 15.5″ deep. That will let me put two back to back and not completely overpower the room. I’m planning on oil-based high-gloss white paint to start. I’ll probably get tired and cover the doors at some point. I’m not 100% sold on the Tarva. I think I’m going to need to get into the space and really seek out what it needs. It may be that a bit more hanging storage or a round boudoir ottoman is more appropriate.

The tentative layout for the room is like this:

The closet was once a bedroom so it has it’s own closet. I’m planning on lining that room with ceder planks and making a ceder storage closet out of it. It can house the coats, the furs, etc. I plan on waiting to see what we are lacking before finishing up the design of that sub closet.

You can see I’ve added a shoe shelf. I have a Gorm Shelf with 6 extra shelves that I’m planning on painting a high-gloss oil based white. The shelves are slatted with is great for shoes and I wanted something with adjustable height shelves so I could store boots, heels and sneakers.

I believe Ikea is discontinuing the Gorm system so I was glad I got in on that while I could.

I’m also planning on a large full length mirror. Something highly functional. I’m thinking like 3′ wide by 7′ tall. They do sell framed “prop against the wall” mirrors that big. I’m keeping an eye out for one at a garage sale but mirror places will cut you a mirror any size you want and deliver it. I’ll probably end up doing that and adding some molding if I want to frame it. It will probably be cheaper in the end.

And there you have it, my closet.  Now I just need to finish hauling out all the plaster and lath, lay the drain and pull supply for the washer, connect the gas for the dryer pull the 2 electric circuits for the laundry and the rest of the closet, replace the windows, have a drywall guy in, and paint.  Then, I can start building the ultimate closet/laundry room.  We have lots of work ahead of us but it is fun work and the end result will be so worth it!


Washer-Dryer Options

I am so torn about my washer/dryer.  I am putting the washer/dryer in the master closet.  It is on the 2nd floor so I’d like it to be fairly stable and not vibrate too much.  I’m not too worried about noise.  It will be on the other end of the house from the Den and the Master Bedroom so I think it’ll be ok if it’s a little noisy.

Water is very expensive in the Boston area so High Efficiency Washers make sense.  I’m not the hugest fan of front-loading.  I find it to be much less ergonomic to get into the washer with it being so low to the ground.  Then again, the ability to stack is very nice.  That would give me room for a folding surface next to the washer/dryer stack.  Then again, The top of the dryer is already a great folding surface.

The laundry area in the closet is in a corner to the left of a window.  There is just enough room to put a washer/dryer set side-by side.  I also then have the option to put cabinets above the washer dryer. If I get front loaders, I can put a surface above both of them though. Great folding surface and such a chic built-in look.

The top-loader can look chic and practical as well:

I’ve narrowed it down to a couple options.

The first is the low-end, cheapest washer/dryer set I cam buy.  Amana from Home Depot.  The Set with a gas dryer is $878.  Still pricey.

Amana Washer

One would think I’d be able to get them on Craigslist but no luck.  They are just as expensive or more than 10 years old and I don’t want to carry them up the stairs just to have to replace them in a couple years.

The Next step up is the lowest-end energy efficient top loader, the Maytag Centennial series which can be used with GIGA Turbines. At $1096 for the pair, they are just $218 more expensive than the lowest end and they will be quieter, more efficient, and higher-end looking.

Maytag Centennial

The next step up is the Front-loader set. This set from GE is $1498 which is quite pricey. $620 more than a standard washer/dryer.

GE Frontload

I’m leaning toward the high-efficiency top-load. I could go down a notch with the dryer since those are all equally inefficient. There is no rule that says the washer-dryer have to match and if I’m not planning on stacking them, I don’t need to get a matching set.

  1. 4/6/2012 | 8:23 am Permalink

    We still have the same washer the builder gave us with our first house in 1986. I prefer top loading for the sake of my back. We had the front loading at hewitt and you just had to get on the floor. Not too bad when you are young.
    I would go with efficient top loading personally.