Friday, September 28, 2007

Article: Dream vacation

Something needs to be done with this laundry room

This year I managed to wrangle some extra vacation from work. I get the entire month of October off. It’s a rare opportunity that I decided to waste by working on the house.

We’ve been in this house about eighteen years and the one room I have ignored completely is the laundry room. I hate spending time in there possibly because I hate doing laundry. However, I am going to assume it’s because the room is ugly and if I change the room I’ll change myself.

At first I just thought I’d paint it a bright color. It is dirty white now and a coat of yellow paint might be just what it needs. But isn’t yellow both predictable and boring? To spice it up, I could paint the cabinets red. I stood in the doorway and stared at the coffin-like rectangular room. I could paint a red sun in the far corner and put a few red rays across the walls. It would still be mostly yellow with red cabinets. My imagination soared.

Of course the room needed a new floor. The current floor is sheet linoleum and has curled up along the edges ever since we lived here. I’m tired of that. So new linoleum. But what color? Red would be too overpowering. Yellow didn’t seem right. Maybe blue, then it would be like sun shinning on water. Or green, sun on the grass.

I started talking over my laundry room vision with my husband. I told him I want to get rid of the freezer that takes up one large corner of the room. It is full of food we’re never going to eat. We don’t need it anymore since the kids moved out. Rick agreed. To my surprise, he added that we should get a new washer and dryer.

So far I hadn’t really contemplated doing anything expensive. A new washer / dryer moves us into a different category. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there. Strangely, Rick was adamant about it. Our current set is old and functions poorly at best but they almost seem like part of the family. If we got new ones, maybe they would be more energy efficient. Maybe they would be quieter. Maybe they would be a color to match the new walls and floor. That last thing got my buy-in, we need a new washer/dryer.

The next time I had to do laundry, my mind viewed the laundry room in all its new glory. I decided to take before and after photos. I stood in the hallway snapping the photos when my eyes wandered to the hall itself. Because of Rick’s disability, he often puts his hand on the wall to steady himself. Years of this means that the walls are filthy. I’ll need to paint the hallway too.

Something inside me clicked and suddenly it seemed the whole house needed modification. I remembered that I originally planned to use stencils to put falling leaves near the ceiling in the family room. I could do that in October. That would require getting a really tall ladder since the ceiling is sixteen feet at its peak. While I’m up there I should change the light bulbs that have been burned out for the last year. And clean out the cobwebs in the high corners.

While I’m working in the family room, I should get the sheet rock repaired from when we had a plumbing leak two years ago. That reminded me that there is another sheet rock repair job to do in the kitchen. And maybe I should replace the wallpaper. I guess I need to take some more “before” pictures.

Suddenly a month doesn’t seem that long. I must be dreaming to think I can get all that done.

Photo: That freezer and the awful floor both have to go. And what about those dumb ladders?
Photo: We're going to replace this bland washer/dryer pair with a nice, new, brightly colored pair.


Rachel said...

I cannot wait to see what you've done to it once the job is completed. :) We are also beginning to remodel our home and I'm so excited about it. Have fun!

Gary Godfrey said...

So, I recently renovated a house before moving in, and am currently renovating our old house. Actually, on the old house I'm looking at it as 15 years of maintenance compressed into two months.

I've painted (or had painted) all the walls, replaced all the floors but pretty much left the bones intact. So it's not really a renovation - just a major clean up.

One thing you might consider in the laundry room is just doing ceramic tile. I did my first two tile jobs just a couple of weeks ago and it came out very nice. One was in the laundry room and the other was a powder room. I admittedly called out the pros to do the kitchen and family room. It's surprisingly easy work and doesn't cost all that much to get started. If the floor is concrete and level, you won't have much preparation to do.

But I really like doing this sort of work. But it's not as much fun to compress all the jobs into a short period of time.

I wasn't sure - how much of the work were you planning on doing yourself?

Good luck!