Melissa’s Rise-from-the-Floodwaters Laundry Room

To say that Melissa Brown was surprised when her San Diego home flooded would be an understatement. At eight-months pregnant and with a four-year-old running about, the timing could not have been worse. But Melissa and her family took the tragedy in stride, and now after many months of cleanup and re-construction, Melissa’s family is back in their home.

As Melissa tells it:

“On January 22nd, a little creek off our private bumpy road turned into a rapid river from the rains. The creek eventually flooded over rushing onto our property. I was 8 months pregnant, as big as it gets and watched flood waters enter into my home like the movie Jumanji. Water came through the foundation and exterior walls entering into every room. In a matter of 20 minutes our home had 8-10 inches of water in it.

Flood water sure is messy. Our hardwood floors buckled, windows fogged, carpet was basically floating and our cabinets began to soak in the contaminated flood waters. Everything twenty four inches and below needed to be dried out, ripped out, repaired or replaced. This included our laundry room, which got the most damage as it is near our front door where a large amount of water raced in.”

It took roughly 3 months before Melissa’s home was livable again. During clean-up and reconstruction, Melissa’s family lived in an RV in their driveway. Rather than see the flood as a total disaster, Melissa and her husband took a lemons-into-lemonade approach to rebuilding after the disaster. And that approach extended to the laundry room:

“Prior to the flood our washer and dryer were side by side, but on a DIY pedestal my husband made.  It was nice having them at arm level as they are front loaders. We purchased these a few years back as we needed a Kenmore upgrade. For years we have been frequent Kenmore customers. Our fridge is Kenmore as well. We did some research at the time and felt these affordable units best fit our families needs and budget. We loved the style, color and felt the front loaders would be beneficial when we are teaching our kids how to help around the house and do laundry. Our saying is “we all live here, we all help out.”

During the remodel we really looked forward to trying something new with the laundry room as it is fairly small. We needed some function to it as well as style. Before, we didn’t have a countertop.

We decided to stack the washer/dryer to create more room for counter space and storage (which we love by the way). Though our kids probably won’t be able to reach the dryer (on top) for awhile, it is more functional. My favorite part is how they do stack and create the space we need and also add style with the black and grey look.

My husband and I worked together drawing out what we wanted and needed and then hired a contractor to do the work. We have a tall panty on the left side for brooms, vacuum and soap. The great part is our appliances are still going strong! Thank goodness they were up above the water!”

Welcome home, Melissa!


Jason Loper

Jason Loper is a self-professed doyen of the domestic arts. In other words, he hasn’t met a household project he hasn’t enjoyed tackling. His latest project is renovating a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed American System-Built Home in Iowa.

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