The view from our “front” door Post 3: What I’ve got in mind

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Progress Posts

Like I’ve said on the other posts about our laundry room, I’ve had some time to think about what I’d like to do in there to make it a nicer “front” entrance.  We had originally planned on putting a small desk in there to hold the mail and school papers.  That was before we even moved in.  It would never work where we wanted to put it.

It sat like it is for a few years before the wooden entrance lockers became popular and I got excited about that possibility.  A place for the backpacks and coats!  All of the ready-made models were a bit wide for our space and I was worried about how neat the kids would be able to keep them.  It hit me one day that we could make that idea work in an existing closet.  If you’ve read the posts leading up to this one, you’ve seen our built-in lockers, hidden from view in a closet:

That was a pat-me-on-the-back idea.  I don’t know why it took me as long as it did to come up with it…

But that didn’t make my “front” door view any nicer, just neater with a place for backpacks and shoes.  So then I began to wonder about a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in front of the hanging laundry.  I found some custom manufacturers of these things on the internet such as Highland Designs that seemed reasonable before I started adding things like paint and doors.  The traditional style was $298.00 unfinished and no extra options.  It went up to $745 once I added in just some of the things I’d like to have on it.  We could wiggle $300 into the budget in a month or two–$800 puts it on the “wouldn’t that be nice to do someday” list.

And the laundry room sat unchanged until I stumbled across Ana’s site.  I could build the unit even cheaper than buying it!  Ana has plans on her site based on Pottery Barn’s Logan modular wall system that she calls the Classic Storage Wall Base and Classic Storage Wall Hutch.  And the wonderful thing about building it yourself?  You can make it perfect for you.  Which meant I would be modifying.

I did it on paper first:

But I’ve also dabbled in SketchUp, which means that I tried to learn it on my own and with books out of the library and then after much frustration, turned off the program and vowed to never look at it again.  Then some nice person on Ana’s facebook page posted a link to another nice person’s website about tutorials for beginners who want to draw up woodworking plans.  This man is awesome.  Check the tutorials out here.

This is what I came up with after just a few of those tutorials:

What is great about this process of building your model in SketchUp is that it is like a virtual build.  It made me think about a few aspects of my plan that I might change and it prevented a MAJOR mistake in my finished project, all because you build your project with your computer first.

The bottom of this unit will house the litter box with a shelf above that for the scoop, bread bags for the yuck to go into, etc.  Then there are two drawers for hats and gloves, which currently live on a shelf above the lockers in the closet (too high for convenience).  The shelves will hold the mail and library books.  Best of all?  The entire thing will hide the laundry that dries on the rack behind it all.

I’m putting this project on hold until after the holidays for obvious reasons (like how busy it will already be) and for less obvious (I’m hoping that Santa will bring me some new tools that I’d like to break in on this).  Can’t wait!