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That one time I won a washer and dryer (and then had to re-remodel the laundry room)

Y’all. I won a washer and dryer. Won them. Me. I’m still in disbelief.

I actually received them back in November and am just now posting about it (thanks to the second part of the title). Even though it’s been a few months I still ogle and caress them each time I start a huge load of crusty boy laundry.

It started back in August when I saw this post over on the DIY Showoff about a laundry room competition.


I would have never entered except that I had JUST published this post about raising the cabinets and had good pictures on hand. So I pinned my photo using their hashtag and didn’t expect anything to come of it.


Ten days later Roeshel published this post saying I was a finalist. Ack! I got a little hopeful…my current set wasn’t doing so hot and  a new set would be seriously amazing.

old washer and dryer

About a month passed and I didn’t hear anything, so I figured a new washer and dryer were not in the cards for me…but I e-mailed Roeshel just to check. She said a winner had already been chosen but they were having trouble getting in contact with them. I poured over my spam folder, but there was nothing. Bummer.

THEN, a few days later, I got THE E-MAIL. The first winner never responded and I was the runner-up! It took me all of three seconds to call up Adam and yell at him “HOLYCRAPYOU’RENOTGOINGTOBELIEVETHISIJUSTWONAWASHERANDDRYER!”     To which he was responded with something like “wait…you what? How in the world… do you mean NEW ones? Like brand new?” Haha…brand new isn’t something that happens around here very often.

Some of you may remember seeing stray appliances floating around our porch this summer…


We bought our old set off craigslist (for like $250?) back when Adam was in the Army and we lived in New York. The washer was damaged during the move back to Texas, which caused it to become the loudest washer in all of history. As in rattle the walls, don’t even try to sleep, watch TV, talk, or think while the washer is going type of loud.

Then this summer Adam’s brother somehow acquired an old washer and dryer set….the EXACT same set as ours. His had been left out in the elements and looked kinda terrible, but Adam decided to combine the two washers into one washer that worked. He succeeded – though it wasn’t fun or easy – and I basically asked him to give up and let me buy a new craigslist washer about 1000 times.


We basically had washers on our porch all summer…I even had to hide them behind bushes to take pictures of the front of my house.

IMG_1761e washing machine

After the washer combining debacle it worked better…still a little loud, still a little leaky, but better. If it was not for winning this contest we probably would have owned that set for another five years. Or ten…or whenever Adam could stop reviving them.

So finally delivery day came. Samsung was awesome, they were quick and responsive and they even let me switch the top loading set I was supposed receive for a front loading set (we received this washer and this dryer).


Just look at all those buttons! It’s weird to me that a washer and dryer can have so many options, mainly because I never even color sort laundry. If it’s dirty, it goes in the wash – that’s it. I may have to start exploring my laundry options though.

There was a little problem with the set though….they are kinda huge. WAY bigger than our old set. We had to remove the laundry room door, cover the sides with a towel, and squeeeeeze them into our house. They are also way taller than our old set, so the counter had to come out.

new washer and dryer

Adam didn’t really build and install it to easily (or ever) be removed, so he had to rip the whole thing apart to get it out.

laundry counter

 I didn’t want to make him rebuild it and do a ton of extra work, so I decide just to leave it counterless. But…I missed having a counter. Without that counter I didn’t have a place to stack all the random crap and paper clutter that comes into our house. Without the counter that stuff started spilling into the worst possible place…the kitchen.

Uh, I mean…I really needed a place to fold laundry. Because that’s what you use a laundry counter for, of course…not for piling up stuff that doesn’t have a home. 

From there we basically had to re-remodel the laundry room…or at least it felt like it. I’d love to say this was an exciting task, but nothing creative was happening…just a bunch of boring tedious stuff (not that I’m complaining!).

Adam rebuilt the counter and put it back in (much higher), which means I had to  make new curtains. I spent about an hour looking at fabric choices online before I realized that I LOVED the previous fabric, and it was not against the rules to buy the exact same one again.

Jayda Bramble

Jayda Bramble from Joann.com (I don’t remember what I paid, but it was WAY less than the $35/yd it is listed at now).

 We ripped out the old trim and replaced it as well (same as we’ve been doing in the rest of the house). This laundry room door/wall is incredibly crooked though, so the door trim was about an inch off the wall. I used spray foam insulation to fill in the gap … and forgot how much that stuff expands. It expands A LOT. In case this ever happens to you let me just tell you –  trying to scrape it off with a butter knife while it is still wet is a horrid idea that you will instantly regret. Waiting till it dries and then sawing it off with a steak knife? Basically a stroke of genius.

expanding foam

Adam and I considered replacing the door (because it’s in rough shape), but then I got online and priced doors. Turns out that exterior doors are way over our budget, so the boys and I removed the old one and gave everything a fresh coat of paint instead.

door painting

It also turns out that the previous owners painted the door with oil based paint, and I was using latex. I’ve never attempted this whole “paint over oil with latex” thing, but I cleaned, primed and painted it just like google said, and I’m crossing my fingers that it goes well (and not like this).

Here is what the laundry room looks like now, after the re-remodeling…

DIY laundry room

So, basically the same as before.

laundry room from the porch

Except for these babies…

Samsung WF405ATPAWR

…whom I love so much. They hold so much laundry.  Literally like three times as much as my old set. (Unfortunately that doesn’t cut down on the amount of folding I have to do. )

front loading washer and dryer with counter and curtains

Here is the laundry room in all four stages. I think it’s safe to say that we will not be making any more changes to this room…which makes this the first room in the house we can officially call finished!

Four stages

So, curious minds want to know…what’s the best thing you’ve ever won?

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  1. Geez, you win a washer and dryer and the best thing I’ve ever won is concert tickets. I’m so jealous! I need a new set bad-style. My dryer quit like 2 years ago so I’ve been line-drying stuff. I know I can get one on Craigslist for decent money but mine’s gas and I found that it’s not hooked up the “traditional” way (with a flex hose – it’s all steel piping). So that is a challenge I’m not ready to tackle by myself. Gas leak = no bueno. Congrats though, that set is super nice (and I think the curtains hang prettier now, too!)

  2. The first Thing I ever won was a hot air balloon ride at a company Christmas Party. I was so excited!!! (Except I would never go on one, so I knew I was going to give it away) It was for a romantic champagne brunch that was to view a sunrise. I thought, perfect, I’ll give it to my dad for his engagement!! It was absolutely the best timing. I gift it to him and find out, it was good for only one person… He would have to purchase a ride for his new bride to be!! *le sigh* I can only imagine how they looked when they opened it and saw it was good for one person… I mean, some prize!

  3. WOW, that is so cool that you won!! Congrats…I wonder if the other person ever found that email buried/or in spam?haha..Their loss, your gain:)

    I actually was blessed to win a $2,080 sleep number bed in 2010!! I gifted it to my sweet Aunt & she loves it:)

    Your writing style cracks me up btw lol..I really love reading your blog..Your laundry room looks great!!

  4. Holy cow that is so awesome you won them! I have been entering a bunch of blog giveaways and randomly won a set of decorative pillows. At first I wasn’t that excited as its really not my thing, but they are the most luxurious thing I have in my house (of secondhand and super cheap furniture)! I never in my entire life would have spent $100 on throw pillows and that’s what makes winning them so much better.

  5. When I was in Little League they had a contest to win a 20 inch tube TV. You had to sell the most Candy bars out of anybody in that league, which had hundreds of kids. I spent everyday after school walking around neighborhoods try to win the TV because my parents said that if I did, I could get a fancy cable line in my bedroom. I ended up winning the TV and used it up until my husband and I got stationed at Camp Lejeune and he let somebody borrow his truck for a week so they would give him their old 32 inch flat screen. We still use the flat screen and now he wants a bigger one and I told him not until this one dies and then he can get a new one. The sad thing is the tube TV died three months after he got the 32 inch so he could about the TV he wanted.

  6. I had to laugh when I read this entry, Ashley, because a few weeks ago, I wrote a post called Laundry Room Envy (http://talesfromasearshouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/laundry-room-envy.html) and put a link to your laundry room because it’s so nice and ours is in a nasty 75-year-old basement. But the one good thing I DO have is a Samsung washer and dryer LOL. I’m happy for you! (And in my post, I admitted that while I envied your laundry room, I didn’t envy your laundry with two toddlers :-)

  7. You deserve to have that new set, but you have got to start sorting ok? I’m trying to remember the best thing I’ve ever won….. needless to say nothing the size of a car or washer/dryer combo.

    1. Mom has never sorted…. not to say that’s the best way. The neglect to sort is engrained in tradition. Who has time to sort when projects are waiting! Sorry Ashley

  8. How awesome! That is the best prize ever! I won a light sensor/dimmer once which I still feel pretty chuffed about.

    The new, bigger size set with the raised counter hides the water connection which looks better so yay for the bigger set! I think the new set is WELL worth the makeover on the laundry room and it looks beautiful. I have laundry room envy.

  9. I must admit, I usually don’t win anything, but once… I won a Kitcheaid stand mixer. Ironic, really because I hate to cook and hate to bake even less (mainly because I’m no good at it). I have to say though, I could actually see myself baking with this thing… you just dump all the ingredients in, stand back and watch! That’s my kind of cooking! Your laundry room looks great, by the way!

  10. i can’t say that i have won anything extraordinary, but i do have experience with the paint issues that you may have dealt with on the doors if you hadn’t done your research first. when we bought our house almost 3 years ago, the roof over the garage needed to be replaced and the previous owners had already gotten a quote from their preferred contractor. thankfully our realtor has experience with the contractor’s in the area (her dad is one) and she was able to tell us not to use that contractor due to their shoddy work. before the house went on the market the bathroom was fully repainted in this awful creamy color that covered every paintable surface and then the owner was relocated to an old folks home. so no one used it for at least 8 months before we moved in. fast forward to about a year after we moved in and we start noticing that the inside corners in the bathroom aren’t as “sharp” as they used to be, same with where the trim met the wall. for a while we couldn’t figure out what was going on. then things started cracking. the bubbles that had started growing in the corners and trim started cracking and “cracks” started showing in random places on the wall. then we started getting spider-webbing of the paint on the wall. now there are cracks and spider webs throughout the bathroom that show a “lovely” shade of mint green underneath. after just dealing with it for so long (i took to vacuuming the walls of paint chips on a weekly basis), we finally have all the gear and the knowledge on how to fix it thanks to the help of someone at home depot. now we just need the time to do it!!

  11. I’ve won several things before but I envy you your washer and dryer, mine were all smaller items. I’ve won two IPOD shuffles (separate times!) I gave the first away but then figured someone up there really wanted me to have a shuffle so I kept the second one. I’ve also one a $100 to a clothing store I liked but have nooooo memory whatsoever entering the drawing. I didn’t believe them at first when they called me. Your washer and dryer is soooo shiny and pretty.

  12. Congrats on the Samsung front loaders. I have the same ones.
    When I was a kid, I won tickets to a Knicks(basketball) game when I bowled 3 strikes in a row. A crazy thing I have never repeated, except on the Wii.
    My sister won $100,000 a few years ago. You know those things they have when you get entered every time you use your Visa card. She didn’t believe the guy who called to tell her, she thought it was a hoax. We all said the same comment– we never thought people actually won those things.
    Your laundry room looks great!

  13. Some genius needs to invent a dryer that will fold clothes… and put them away!
    I don’t usually win anything but have won some things this last year. I won some awesome printed burlap bags from Online Fabric Store, a set of dishes from Unskinny Boppy, and a $100 gift certificate from Opal Alley! I’m on a roll!!!

  14. Congratulations – that’s fantastic! And the laundry room looks awesome. I like the rod for the curtains better than the clips, I think.
    I think the best thing I ever won was three hundred bucks. Also I won one of those metal house number signs from a blog giveaway. Yay for winning things!

  15. Yay for winning a washer and dryer! I have total laundry room envy as my laundry room right now is a coin laundry mat! I love that you kept the same look in your laundry room, I thought it one of the prettiest and most functional smaller laundry rooms I’ve ever seen. Happy washing! :)

  16. Wow! Congratulations:) It’s so fun to win something when you are thrifty and try to do-without so much of the time. It makes that luxury even better. And I appreciate that so much, that Samsung was so accommodating to allow you to switch to a product that better suited your home and family. Says a lot about their company! I’m sure with your three boys a nice washer and dryer is basically the best thing ever:)

    I don’t think I’ve ever won anything really big. I did win a $100.00 gift certificate to gilt.com but I’ve yet to find anything to spend that on. Other than that I enter blog contests ALL the time and I’m doing my best to enter every honeymoon sweepstakes on the internet right now. :)

  17. Nice win! Just think, you’ll have another set for “staging” your patio! LOL! I have a front load set too, but you know, if I had it to do all over again I would get a top load washer with the bumps on the agitator. Call me old-fashioned but I feel these don’t clean as well. I want a table on top of mine as well. For one, to keep it from getting scratched and dented (they certainly aren’t built very tough!) and to have folding/stain removal area.

  18. Congratulations on winning. I can just imagine how you felt; I never win much either. They look great and the renovation of the renovation looks just as amazing as the first time!

  19. Sweet! I like it alot! Did you consider the counter w/out the curtain? Or the curtain on the sides??? The washer and dryer are just sooo pretty!!!

  20. Nothing! I have wondered if when I enter drawings on blogs if I should check back to that post because I sure wouldn’t see an e-mail in my junk mail folder.

  21. I won a kitchen remodel! Yup, HGTV’s Spice Up My Kitchen remodeled our kitchen. It was completed in record time (12 days)….but we’ve had multiple problems and think it would have been better if we did it ourselves (fellow DIY’ers). Oh well! It was a fun experience!
    LOVE your laundry room!! I really enjoy following your blog. Love your honesty!!

  22. I absolutely love the new laundry room. I was thinking of doing the same thing~~ The cabinets above are so great. Mine currently has a metal shelf that does not have near enough storage. Did you just pop out the inner panel and replaced it with chicken wire?? Very cool! My summer project for sure~~
    Thanks, Therese

  23. Sometimes the Gods do you a favour and send you something for free! They look great, and very fancy. The coolest thing I ever won was $500… in a talent competition. I sang, and just about wet my pants when they called my name. I spent the money on things I love, because I NEVER do that. It felt good. :)

  24. Congrats, that is awesome! I love your laundry room and envy anyone that has a real one inside the house. Our laundry is in the garage so I’m always jealous of these cute indoor spaces. One quick note, you do know that on most of the newer front loaders you can reverse the direction the doors swing, right? That would make it much easier to transfer loads from one machine to the other.

  25. WOW! Congratulations. Your laundry room is really beautiful. I can’t believe you made that lovely space out of what looked like builder grade cabinets.
    The biggest thing I ever won was a gaming computer for my husband. I spent over 5 hours on a scavenger hunt on the website. It was a lot of work, but paid off in the end. He’s still using it, 10 years later (and with a few upgrades along the way.)
    Congrats to the lady who’s sister won the $100k. That can be a life changing lump of change!

  26. How awesome! I love your laundry space! Ours is currently in our dingy, unfinished basement. We’re moving soon and having a laundry room is high on the list of wants (as well as finally having a dishwasher!).
    I think the only thing I ever won was a huge container of Sharpie markers in various colors. It was weird.

  27. Hurray! That’s awesome, Ashley! I am SO SUPER excited that you won! I loved what you did before the win and love that the win inspired the total completion. Beautiful! Congratulations!

  28. I won a patio! I had to submit photos of the area I wanted the patio, write my plea, and something else.. -I dont recall…Oh I think it was the design I pictured. (It was a nat’l contest with 3 winners) …So I wrote a very clever poem. I knew I was going to win! I even said to my husband one day- hmmm I am surprised I havnt heard about the patio yet…then 2 days later I got the email! It is 18 foot round with path to other patio- they also bordered my current concrete patio with the same cobbles. It even included full installation and some limited landscape around it… :-) Prior to that the best thing I won was the “smallest freckles” at my grade school freckle contest. I think the patio is better. (it certainly is bigger).

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