Before and After: A Smart IKEA Hack Makes This Laundry Room Look Custom-Built

published Jan 18, 2023
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Before: green laundry room with small closet and wood cabinets
Credit: Natasha

When your home’s most-used entry is also the space where frequent chores like laundry happen, there can be a serious bottleneck. Homeowner Natasha can attest: Her laundry room, which is also the entry to her home through the garage, made for tricky coming and going. “The original laundry room was basically a hallway with sliding closet doors on one side and a dated cabinet on the other,” Natasha says. “It was so narrow getting all three kids inside and getting their gear off. It felt claustrophobic and everyone had to step around each other.”

Credit: Natasha

Natasha had always intended to redo this area since the family moved into their home four years ago, but the project kept getting put off. “Once COVID lockdown hit, I needed a project as something positive to focus on,” she says. The laundry room was the perfect candidate.

Credit: Natasha

Over two months, Natasha and her husband totally transformed the space into something that’s both more cheerful and more functional. They kept the existing cabinets in place, but painted over the wood in a bright sky blue (Benjamin Moore’s Blue Nose) and swapped in new hardware in a modern matte black finish.

One thing the couple did remove, though, was the old countertop. In its place, they installed a wood countertop from IKEA. They also built used the same countertop over the front-load washer and dryer to make more room for folding and storage. Finally, they added a new faucet in a way more functional high-arch profile.

Credit: Natasha

On the other side of the room, opposite the sink, Natasha and her husband removed the sliding closet doors to make space for more practical built-ins. They look like high-end custom woodwork, but the couple actually made them from a couple of different IKEA pieces (the LIATORP TV unit for the bench and the HEMNES wall shelf for the top cubbies). Adding trim to the wall behind and painting the entire assembly the same blue as the cabinets makes them look like all one piece.

One setback in the renovation actually made for even better results in the after: When Natasha’s husband began to scrape the popcorn ceiling away, they realized it had been applied incorrectly and removing it would require them to skim coat the entire ceiling, a thought that Natasha says was “terrifying.” Instead, they opted for a tongue-and-groove MDF to give the ceiling a paneled look. “That was an unexpected additional cost but we love how it turned out,” Natasha says.

Credit: Natasha

While Natasha is still hoping to add some finishing decorative touches, the space already looks — and functions — so much better than before. “I love how bright it is now and that we have more space when entering the house through the garage,” she says. “The blue just pops from the white walls and the wood counters really give some warmth. I also love that socks can no longer fall behind the washing machine!”

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: Before and After: A Smart IKEA Hack Makes This Laundry Room Look Custom-Built