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The first room when you walk in/out of the house shouldn’t be an eyesore. The design, or lack thereof, sets the tone and mood whether you’re leaving for the day or coming home. My laundry room is the only corridor from my garage to the rest of the house. It was ugly, poorly designed, and I hated it. I tried to spruce it up by hanging wine glass racks on the cheap shelves that the builder put in, but that only went so far. I tried to conceal the washer and dryer but that was a poor attempt. I finally came to the realization that the room needed a complete overhaul.
What I wanted was a wine cellar. What I was envisioning was way above my budget. What I still needed though, was a functional laundry room. I had to find a happy medium, and I needed to be able to afford the upgrade without eating the cost. A laundry room upgrade won’t likely increase the market value of my house, so this frivolity was solely for my pleasure, or rather my sanity each time I walk in the house at the end of the day. What to do with this room? Climate controlled wine cellars are more for long term storage, and though the idea of having one greatly appeals to me, wine in our home is consumed and not stored for more than a year or so. Having a butler’s pantry isn’t necessary without a working butler, but I do entertain quite a bit, so I needed a place to store excessive stemware and items only used for holidays and parties. The idea of a wine pantry (multi-purpose: wine cellar, butler’s pantry, laundry room) began to form in my mind.
I measured the room and designed bird’s eye and standing perspective mock-ups in PowerPoint of how I wanted it to look. This made my ideas easily communicable. We attempted to get a kitchen designer from our local Lowes and Home Depot to contact me. Surprisingly, no one did, even after multiple attempts. Then we went to Angie’s List with the request and designs. One contractor never followed up on a site visit and bid. Another contractor told me he didn’t work my area, even though his website said he did. And a third contractor quoted $10,000. Seriously? $10,000 For a laundry room? Back to the drawing board, or in my case, PowerPoint.
I adjusted the design to an overhaul we could do ourselves from ready-to-paint cabinets from Lowes. I had to scrap the wine fridge and washer/dryer concealment from the design because that was above our skill level. We would also have Home Depot install granite to match the kitchen countertops they put in last year. Our visit to Home Depot to order granite was a breeze, especially having everything pre-measured in the mock-up. My husband had fun demolishing the existing shelves, and we patched/smoothed the walls without really needing to retexture. In addition to the ready-to-paint cabinets, we purchased unfinished wine rack cubes from Amazon (VinoGrotto 24 Bottle Stackable Wine Cube).
I designed the wine pantry to be an extension of the adjacent kitchen, so I used leftover paint from the kitchen to repaint the walls of the laundry room. I matched the cabinet paint to our kitchen cabinets and purchased economy knobs and handles as well. We measured, marked, leveled, screwed, sanded, primed, painted, stained, bricked, and added hardware. Home Depot came in with countertops to complete the build. All materials, including the granite install, was just under $2,000. Not bad!