ProSource of Kansas City West

Presenting a dining room converted to a laundry room - a 2013 REMY award winner. This 1960’s era split-level has been well maintained by the current homeowner. The homeowner had updated the large eat-in kitchen and spent several years creating a lush welcoming backyard. The home had met her needs and those of her ‘four legged kids’. Then in 2012, her mom moved to live with her. That transition created a new challenge. As is typical of this vintage split, the main floor consisted of a modest entry and a long living room/dining room area, stretching across the front of the house. An eat-in kitchen and family room overlooked the backyard. There was no bathroom on the main floor. The bedrooms and bathrooms were a half stair flight up, the garage and storage room a half stair flight down. The laundry room had been placed in that storage area in the rear of the garage. A fourth level down from the garage to the basement housed all the utilities. Merging households requires adaptation by the participants and, in this case, the house itself. Though her mom’s health is good, multiple trips each day up and down stairs to wash clothes and use the restroom became problematic. A reassessment of space was called for. The plan developed was to re-purpose existing space on the main floor. With her mom moving in, the seldom used living room became a den/office for mom. Because the dining area had never been used for its original intent, it was a logical solution to turn the dining area into a new laundry room with a water closet. Having worked with the client on the kitchen remodel a few years before, she contacted my firm once more; this time to create the new laundry room. The first step was to assess the viability and cost of creating water supply and waste lines. The unfinished basement area beneath the main level afforded ample space and height to accomplish this cost effectively. Access to the electrical panel in the basement meant moving the needed power to the new location was affordable as well. The carpet, which covered the original wood floors, was removed. A stub wall was created on the east exterior wall to house the water lines for the washer and 220 for the dryer. A 3’x 4’10” area of the southeast corner of the room became the water closet. The existing opening between the ‘dining and living’ areas was enclosed leaving a 4’ opening constructed to accommodate a pair of frosted glass pocket doors. The walls in the northeast corner were opened at backsplash height to allow the electrician to wire for the needed outlets, switches and power for under cabinet lights. Once the dry wall was complete, the client painted the ceiling and walls. Next, the floor refinishers came in to sand and do a preliminary coat of finish on the floors. The cabinetry chosen for the room matches the kitchen, a maple wood stained in a medium cherry. Here we accented with a band of espresso trim running below the decorative crown which complimented the tuba granite tops. The front loading washer and dryer sit on drawer pedestals 10” above the wood floors making them more ergonomic. Above them frosted glass insert doors provide storage for seldom needed items. On the north wall, which backs up to the kitchen, we placed the single bowl sink. To the left of it, a tall pantry houses brooms, mops and the sweeper. The west wall, backing up to the living area, became another area for storage and space for folding, hanging and drying delicates. Stainless steel hanging racks attach to the wooden back board and fold out for use. A stainless steel bar attaches to the top of the cabinet for hanging larger items to dry. Once the cabinets were installed and the granite counters in place, the client installed the tumbled marble backsplash; and, the plumber installed the sink, faucet and stool supplied by the client. The electrician installed the drum shade chandelier, completed the electrical finish, and the floor people did the final finish and polish of the wood floors. The job was complete. As our population ages and multiple generations merge households, projects like this will revitalize aging homes, and make life for the occupants much more comfortable.

Project Team