The outdoor laundry room we've been working on for months is finally done! I'm utterly smitten with this new area of our home, and it's quickly become the command center for all of our family's activity. We pass by this room on our way in and out. It helps us keep all the dirt and grime where it belongs as opposed to getting tracked in the house on its way to the sanitation station!
We found a shed at a local hardware store that came with delivery and installation. That was a HUGE score, because trying to price out installation on my own often doubled the cost of the shed. Yikes.
Nate rented a concrete mixer and leveled out the area where the shed was to go (this used to be a big planter area on the side of our house). The work was done while we were on vacation, and we came home to find a whole new space ready for us to make it our own!
You can see from all the green chalk marks on the ground, we're already planning out where to lay the piping to the septic tank when we put a new bathroom into that old room that used to house our laundry machines.
I slapped a coat of paint on the outside of the shed to make it blend in with our home and help protect it from the California sun. Nate stuck up some extra shelving inside the shed, and I added a coat of semi-gloss white paint so that we weren't just dealing with splintery bare wood. I wanted this to be a rugged area – no fancy wainscoting here – but also easy to clean and maintain.
Accessories are minimal: a Wash & Dry sign I found at a local thrift shop, a vintage table from Nate's family, and an old teacher chair that I can sit in when I'm folding. I wanted a simple spot with an old-school laundromat vibe. The star of the show, of course, is our new washer and dryer that we've already raved about from our sponsor Speed Queen. These bad boys were the perfect fit for our durable, farm-y feel, with their all-steel base and stainless steel drums that have helped the brand develop an indestructible reputation. Speed Queen first made their mark in a commercial capacity, proving themselves in laundromats, college dorms and apartment complexes. Which works well, because with four little boys it sure FEELS like a dorm around here!
We've learned that when it comes to appliances, it's always best to opt for the high-end heavy duty item. Pick something that seems to be MORE than what you need so it can last through all the ups and downs and adventures that your family could possibly throw at it over the years. Our front-loaders can wash 18 pounds of laundry at a time, handling my king comforter with ease and managing it all with super-simple functionality.
There's plenty of space on the right-hand side for us to line up laundry baskets as-needed, or clear out the area for a quick sweep-up. It's also handy to have some covered, open floorspace like this when you live on a farm. I imagine this area will be put to use for everything from brooding baby chicks to sprouting seeds.
Can we stop for just a minute and admire the shelving and these baskets? Oooh, aaah. Literally anything and everything that is needed for running our household is in here, from bathroom essentials like soap and toilet paper to cleaning stuff and rags. This is already helping our household run so much more smoothly, since everything is in one centralized place and I don't have to send the kids and the husband all over the place to track down whatever random thing they need a refill on from moment-to-moment.
San Diego weather is relatively mild, but it does get pretty hot in the hills where we live so we're planning to put in some vents and cooling systems to keep things in here from heating up too much. Whenever you're dealing with liquids and lotions, that's one thing to keep in mind.
We called in our trusty electrician to route power in through the nearest wall in the house. He also added a light switch to a big, bright overhead light so it's no problem for us to do laundry anytime – day or night! We're going to add some bistro string lights around the patio to make a soft, glowing path between the laundry shed door and the back door to the house. We're also going to put a small overhang back here so it's no problem to get laundry done if it's raining.
This is a closer look at the electrical situation running between the house and the outdoor laundry shed. The plumber brought the gas and water line in for the washer and dryer, and I was actually surprised at what a quick job that was. We DIY a ton of stuff around our house, but water and power are two things that I always say are best left to the professionals. For jobs like this, you can ask them to give you a quote in-person or over-the-phone and if you don't like what they have to say, call around and ask friends for recommendations until you find someone reasonable.
One thing I hadn't anticipated about our outdoor laundry shed was the ease of cleaning up after playtime. The boys come barreling through the back patio, covered in dirt, and hop right in the shed for a quick undressing. Grime is left here outdoors – where it belongs – and they can scoot on inside for bath time with minimal mess. I'm honestly tempted to install an outdoor shower or a farm sink with a flexi-hose to just finish the job in one spot!
Have you considered hopping on the “she shed” trend? Is your laundry room currently situated in a spot that works for your family?