In my last article I described our latest project, which was removing a peninsula that closed off the kitchen from the dining area. No regrets! However, it posed a question as to what I would do with the pretty panel that faced the dining area and backed the peninsula. My husband was successful in removing the panel in tact, which pleased me; to have destroyed it would have been very disappointing to say the least.
I did not know if or how I would use it, but I would have offered it up for free to anyone who could use it before I would have it cut up and put in the trash. The panel was set aside in our breezeway for the time being; I passed it many times a day when I went to the backyard or garage. It was always on my mind. I decided I needed to measure it and see if I could find a place to use at least part of it, if not all of it.
It dawned on me with its dimensions, it might be a perfect panel for hiding the space behind the washer and dryer and the wall. Since we replaced the original apartment-sized stackable units with full sized appliances, we needed to rotate them 90 degrees, leaving the backs exposed to the side wall of the basement. The smaller units had been housed in a cabinet, hiding the vents and hoses against the back wall. With the rotation, those unsightly, but necessary hoses were exposed; and you could see where the painters had painted back as far as they could reach on the wall, without moving the bulky appliances. It was just plain ugly and I would see it every time I walked through the hall or went to the basement.
With the measurements of the panel in mind, I used my trusty tape measure on the space and discovered with a little cutting down and turing the panel on its side, it would be a perfect covering for the gap between the wall and machines. Now I had to convince my husband this was a great use for this panel. I am the idea person; he is the engineer who can figure out how to attach it to the wall.
The result is perfect! I love that the pretty panel is useful again, and that the ugly space between the wall and stackable units is hidden, and I did not even have to paint it. My original thought was to have the panel on a sliding mechanism, similar to a sliding closet door, for easy access to the machines if necessary, but my husband decided in the short term to simply screw it to the wall until he comes up with cabinets above the machines. Saving the panel from the landfill has been achieved! It is a win, win either way—proving once again that reusing what is salvageable is the best way to recycle.