Our New Whirlpool Duets in Diamond Steel [and all the Heart Eyes Emojis]

If you follow @chrislovesjulia on Instagram–which you really should; I frequently post little project updates there when I am struggling to find time to post beefy updates here–you saw that our new washer and dryer arrived for the laundry room this weekend!

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First, a little backstory. While we were adding a window to the living room earlier this year, which we special ordered through Lowe’s, they (Lowe’s) got wind of our project and loved how it turned out. I received an email from their Senior PR specialist saying they have been watching our work for some time and would love to work with us on an upcoming project. At this point, we were starting to make plans for the laundry room and they were very excited about it and wanted to be involved in any way they could. Lowe’s. Lowe’s! #pinchme. They guided us when it came to the recessed lighting for the room, helped me find a tiny sink that would fit in that base cabinet pictured above (still on its way), and let us pick out a washer and dryer for the space. It’s a total honor to work with the loveliest people at Lowe’s and we feel beyond grateful for their generosity and support in this laundry room project.

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The washer and dryer–total stunners, right? We zeroed in on the Whirlpool Duet line (this washer and this dryer) because they had nearly 500 5 star reviews. What did we all do before online reviews anyway?! It comes in a few different colors, but the Diamond Steel finish felt like it would be fresh, but not lost, within our white cabinetry and walnut counters, and tie into the stainless steel appliances that we’ll be installing in the adjacent kitchen. We really wanted this laundry room to feel like another part of our home–to blend seamlessly and not feel like an afterthought or a utility room only. And it’s really getting there!

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So this weekend, amid bonfires, yard work, and barbecues, I did load after load of laundry and for the first time–I was happy about it. Ha! I still have to break out the manual and give it a good read because I’m sure there is so much I have yet to learn with these dreamy machines, but right off the bat here are a few of my favorite features about the washer.

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It can wash AND dry a small load! I can imagine this is really nice if, for instance, we remembered Greta has her soccer game first thing in the morning and it’s midnight before we remembered to wash her uniform. Instead of staying up to change loads, we can just set it to that. I also like the idea of the delay wash feature, so I can set it to start in a couple hours if we’re having a dinner party or won’t be home. I did use the steam clean, EcoBoost (repeatedly!) and FanFresh buttons this weekend. We were headed to a barbecue and I threw a load in but wasn’t sure when we’d be back. I hit FanFresh and when we came home the clothes were tumbling inside with a light fan going to keep them from getting that mildewy smell–you know the one.

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And the Control Lock button is a favorite…for obvious adorable reasons. ;)

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The dryer has a swanky drum light, wrinkle release buttons and they both have music-to-my ears sounds when you press a button–which absolutely makes a difference. Gone is the loud horn signaling it’s time to change the laundry. Huzzah! Now laundry feels fun and is easy on the eyes, too.

All of our thanks to Lowe’s for partnering with us on this project and sending the Whirlpool Duet 7.3 cu ft Stackable Electric Dryer with Steam Cycle in Diamond Steel and matching Whirlpool Duet 4.5 cu ft High Efficiency Washer with Steam Cycle in Diamond Steel our way.

How To Trim Out IKEA Cabinets

Last time we showed you the laundry room, it looked something like this:

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We had just installed our new Ikea cabinets and hardware, as well as lighting, too. (I could not find a pulled back photo of the cabinets with hardware before we trimmed it out–hence the lack of pretty gold pulls in the photo above.) While the room was/is definitely taking shape, floating cabinets isn’t a great look in such a tight space. It creates a lot of dark shadows and just feels unfinished. Fortunately, Ikea sells cover panels to fill in the gaps. It really is just a big sheet of, what looks like, a completely flat cabinet door that matches the finish of the cabinets. It’s up to you (err…us) to cut it and install it. And this weekend, we did just that.

We started with a few spare 2x3s we had in the garage. The filler piece was 1/2″ thick, so we measure from the front of the cabinet boxes (not doors) back 1/2″ so when we attached the filler it would be flush with the cabinet boxes. We secured the 2x3s into a stud on each side of the cabinets, making sure the boards went all the way to the ceiling so we could  attach our crown molding, too–we’ll get there in just a minute.

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There are a couple different ways that you could attach the trim pieces to the stud in place, but to avoid having to patch any holes (while we have an identical color, the paint sheen is really hard to match on these cabinets and trim pieces!) we opted to use heavy duty construction adhesive. And it worked like a charm.

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I applied the adhesive (you can find it next to the caulk) all down the stud and pressed the trim piece, that Chris cut to size using a table saw, into place. Because the trim pieces are relatively light, it stuck with no real effort on our part and since it won’t be holding any weight, we feel pretty good about it staying put.

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Once the side pieces were in place, we added an additional board in the top center of the cabinets for the crown molding. The main difference here is this board was flush with the cabinet boxes to line up with the, now, flush trim pieces the crown molding would adhere to. We added that board using our finish nailer right through the inside top of the center cabinets.

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We also used the finish nailer to put the crown in place once we had it positioned just where we wanted it. So at this point, all the trim pieces were in place and it was looking a lot better, but a little rough still, too.

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If you look closer, you can see how disjointed everything looks. Cracks and holes and a couple different colors thanks to the unpainted crown molding.

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I’m not sure when it started, but this finish work is kind of my favorite part. Caulking lines away is so instantly gratifying! I caulked above and below the crown molding, and on either side of the new trim pieces using a thin line of caulk:

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Followed by finger dipped in warm water to smooth everything out.

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Once the caulk dried, I painted the crown the same color as the cabinets (Valspar’s  Soft Wool in semi-gloss) and put back on the cabinet doors. What a difference, right?

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Here’s the before and after trim, one more time:

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Obviously we are using Ikea cabinets here, but this same method would work for any kind of cabinet, I imagine, and makes everything feel so much more finished. Speaking of, we’re getting close in here. The washer and dryer arrived over the weekend–can’t wait to show you that, tomorrow! We’re just waiting for the sink so we can work on the countertops and wrap this room up.

We Bought A Bed!

Our bedroom has taken a backseat as of late while we traveled and worked on the laundry room–more updates there later this week! The damper came when we waited too long to purchase the bed we had our eyes on. It was my own fault really. You may remember in the mood board for the master (check out the original post here for links to all the products pictured), we picked out a pretty four-poster bed.

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I had some insider information that Crate & Barrel was discontinuing their Osborn 4 poster bed in the fall and I thought it would surely go on clearance and we could score a deal on it. Well, it is on clearance, but all the king sized beds are sold out! I was a little disappointed, but we had been waffling about purchasing the bed due to the height of the top rail–it is just barely taller than Chris (barely, barely!) which did bring up some obvious head-meet-wood concerns. So, maybe it was for the best.

Actually, scratch the maybe–it was for the best. Here’s a life lesson for you: Never decide to remove a ceiling fan in the middle of a cooler season. When we designed our bedroom, it was winter time and we thought it would be no big deal to nix the fan in order to fit our dream 4-poster in. But now that the weather is warming up, we remembered how much we love sleeping with our ceiling fan on. Ha! While we definitely have plans to replace it with a more modern option, a lower platform bed was becoming more and more appealing. Here are a few we were deciding between:

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The more beds I looked at the more I discovered I loved the look of a lower mattress, (that could stem from our bed being so incredibly high for the past 6 years) so a bed that didn’t require a box spring became ideal. Also, to my surprise, ditching tufting for a more casual feel felt more like us. In the end, price definitely came into play. The Restoration Hardware bed was perfectly us, but did I love it over $2000 worth? No! (Tell me we aren’t the only ones that measure our love in $$ when it comes to products.)  On the other hand, we both really loved the warm wood legs on the West Elm option and it felt like a steal at $900. So…winner winner! We bought ourselves a bed!

I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth mentioning again–we never make a larger purchase online without a coupon. Shipping and surcharges and tax can add up like crazy when shopping online. Whenever we’re ready to buy, I search Ebay for a coupon and order the search results in order from lowest price and go from there. I prefer Buy It Now listings with coupons, but have emailed auctioning sellers to see if they would take X amount to close the sale now if I am trying to make a purchase before a sale price is gone. They’ll usually email me the promo code as soon as they receive payment so I can complete my purchase. In this case, I purchased a 15% off West Elm coupon for $3.50 and saved $134.85. Worth it!!

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The bed is still en route, but we are clearing out our old furnishings in our bedroom to make room. Selling our old bed and the jute rug and possibly the nightstands, too–they may be too high for the new low slung bed. And remember the wall-mounted lamps we originally picked for the room? They’re also on the way (eee!!) and we have started the search for a new rug. Our only hesitation about the new bed is we painted the room with a light colored wood in mind. We’re just crossing our fingers the color works well with the upholstery tones, but if not–it’s just paint and the color can be tweaked. Here’s to more progress on the bedroom front!