Laundry Room Work Counter

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Project by FranBo posted 05-09-2012 03:49 PM 2717 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently converted our unused small formal living room (as indicated on the original architectural plans) into a large LAUNDRY PALACE and female work cave for my sweetie. The renovation was extensive and included carving out a new doorway to improve flow through the space, adding washer and dryer utility connections, building a huge work counter that fit into the “shape” of the front of the room, adding pendant lights above the counter and spotlights towards the washer/dryer combo, building a storage cabinet, a travertine and tile backsplash behind the washer/dryer, a wood panel and shelf above the washer dryer, an arched doorway with “thick” wall (2×2x4’s), and installing a small clerestory antique window as an interior window to light the powder room behind the laundry room. The work counter is an open frame “thing” with 34” counter depth and backboard, perfect for folding laundry, working on a hobby, using as a desk, gift wrapping, etc. Top is red oak. Frame underneath is red oak table legs (I needed 8,) and southern yellow pine rails, cross pieces, corbel bars, and sliding shelf carriages. The sliders were a suggestion from sweetie for easy access to the lower shelf level, which I agreed to and changed mid way through the project. The heights of counter top and shelf were governed partly by the windows behind them which face our front yard. I have installed half-height cafe shutters to the lower levels of the windows to provide privacy but let filtered sunlight through. Everything functions great and sweetie loves the new luxury laundry room! As a residential designer/architect, I have done several renovations in existing homes to enlarge small, dark laundry rooms. They are usually neglected by designers, but the reality is that they are used almost non-stop in every home. This was my first real furniture building experience. As a non-cabinet maker, I tend not to think in terms of 3/4” thick precision-built plywood boxes with euro-hinges. I love heavy “medieval” furnishings, arts and crafts, rustic woods with character, and super strong mortise and tenon joinery. My tools and shop are very limited, but I’m slowly adding stuff to the shop. Hope you like!

-- Fran B, Residential Designer

11 comments so far

View OregonWoodRat's profile


169 posts in 2796 days

#1 posted 05-09-2012 04:02 PM

That is fantastic. For having limited shop and tools your skills and final product are great.

-- Peter, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

View FranBo's profile


33 posts in 2814 days

#2 posted 05-09-2012 04:23 PM

Thanks WoodRat! Part of the fun is keeping things economical and getting big bang for the buck out of simple tools and inexpensive woods. I don’t and won’t ever have Norm’s shop equipment he he he …

-- Fran B, Residential Designer

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 2772 days

#3 posted 05-09-2012 05:11 PM

You certainly took the laundry to a whole new level! That is one impressive space. I may have to do something about our little slice of laundry hell now!
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2815 days

#4 posted 05-09-2012 05:47 PM

That looks great, way to nice for a Laundry room/wife cave. It came out great, nicely done.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3973 days

#5 posted 05-09-2012 06:26 PM

You have unfortunately raised the bar for us husbands everywhere, thanks a lot. You make a girl cave like this and all women who see this will expect this or better. I can’t imagine how it could be any better but you know expectations.
JUST KIDDING, it’s great and well made. Keep up the good work. Hope you both enjoy the space.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2912 days

#6 posted 05-09-2012 08:47 PM

This is very impressive, should make a slightly boring chore much more enjoyable…no more “Cinderella” feeling! Looking forward to seeing what else you design/build

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View FranBo's profile


33 posts in 2814 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 12:10 AM

Thanks everybody. Be careful if you show this to your wife. She may put you to work. Vakman (and everybody else) the next project is the mud room adjoining this room. It’s well under way with another antique window, an interior removable panel system, beadboard ceiling, shelves, doggie water and food station, second pantry, classic mud room bench, and best of all, a large deep work sink in a special open frame table/cradle thing-a-ma-jig, which I am almost finished with. I need a place to clean my brushes!

-- Fran B, Residential Designer

View balidoug's profile


497 posts in 2987 days

#8 posted 05-10-2012 12:26 PM

Wow. somebody either really enjoys laundry, or is going to. But you’ve got a point, for all the time spent in them, why are they usually dank little closets? You’ve found an amazing solution, and done some really great work.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3812 days

#9 posted 05-10-2012 04:33 PM

wow, that is a fantastic renovation, i think i could just live in that room, i love the table you made, the back splash is beautiful, what a grand job, a 5 star project if you ask me.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View timothyee's profile


17 posts in 2736 days

#10 posted 05-10-2012 04:39 PM

One word comes to mind….. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

-- timothyee, Florida,

View FranBo's profile


33 posts in 2814 days

#11 posted 05-10-2012 11:24 PM

Thanks guys , yes, sweetie enjoys her laundry duty much more now, and, in that observation, we can ALL LEARN A VALUABLE LESSON he he…

-- Fran B, Residential Designer

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