So, after getting the dryer vent issues fixed, I figured we might as well keep making the laundry area more functional. So, I repaired the leaky hot water valve, replaced the washer hoses with these super-duper reinforced hoses that as supposedly better than stainless steel:
I also put a plastic tray under the washing machine -- just in case.
Next, I repainted the alcove in the same color as the living room, Cornerstone. We had two gallons of it left over.
Two shelves will be going up (one is actually already in place, but don't have a photo at the moment).
Here is a pic of the dryer vent routing now -- much better: