Mudroom Makeover: One Room Challenge Week 3

Here we are, folks! Whoa, we’re halfway there there (cue Bon Jovi). If you walked into our laundry room right now, you’d think that it doesn’t look like we got a lot done this week, but trust me, what looks like nothing was actually a lot of work. You’ll just have to take my word for it. We spent Saturday trying to figure out the best and most cost effective way to build this custom cabinet to go between the washer and dryer. Who knew that we would find the cabinet base for less than a quarter of what it would have cost us to build it ourselves at the Habitat ReStore?

For those who aren’t familiar, the Habitat ReStore is run by Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit that helps folks get into home ownership, and uses volunteers to build the houses. Jonny volunteers with them regularly, and has a lot of fun doing it. The Habitat ReStore is like the thrift store version of Home Depot. You can donate and buy all kinds of things, from cabinets to light fixtures to doors. It’s not all used either–lots of big box stores donate their extra inventory. The cabinet base we found was still in its box, and at $10, we were thrilled.

Measuring out the sides to cut down the bottom and back to fit.

Since both sides and the back of the cabinet will be hidden by the washer and dryer, they really just needed to be white and sturdy. The cabinet was a little wider than we needed, so Jonny cut it down to size with a table saw, and it fits like a dream! We ordered birch butcher block from Home Depot for the top, and I’m excited to see how it matches the rest of the cabinets.

If you’ve been following along in my Instagram stories, you may remember our little issue with the vent in the mudroom. It didn’t have a grate when we bought the house, but that wasn’t an issue because the bench was covering it. It’s still not a huge issue, but because we want the bench to be stationary, we need to have a grate covering the hole so that we don’t lose things like socks and tennis balls and dog food kibbles down the duct that will be unreachable. Because our house was built in 1926, the grates are not standard modern sizes, and differ in size from room to room. Custom cast iron grates we found online were $150+, and I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on something that will be completely hidden. So, true to our character, we bought an old, nasty, rusty, spider webby, grate from someone’s renovation project for $60 on ebay. With $10 worth of steel wool and Rustoleum black satin spray paint, it looks like new. And cost less than half as much.

Then Hank decided to tear up some steel wool, and I was worried he’d swallowed some, but after a call to the emergency vet on Sunday, they told us not to worry unless he stopped eating. But he keeps eating… dryer balls, sticks, fluff, and that’s the problem! Regardless, I’m glad he’s okay and we didn’t have to pay a massive vet bill.

The only issue now is that we discovered that the vent box (technical term) is a little bit warped, and we’ve got to fix it before the grate will actually *fit*. That’s the thing with projects. One little grate turns into fixing ductwork and calling the emergency vet… It’s like that book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” but with steel wool and spray paint.

Speaking of paint, you know I have a hard time deciding, so this week I’m painting swatches of six different Sherwin Williams hues–all some variation of sage green for . Our kitchen is painted in SW Rock Garden, and I wanted to complement it without making our entire house green.

This weekend’s project is painting green swatches, building the cabinet doors, painting the cabinet, bench, and the board and batten, and installing, sanding and staining the butcher block. Luckily, my in-laws will be in town, so we’ll have help (not sure if they’re aware of what they’re getting themselves into by visiting us in the middle of a project). Tune in next week!

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