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Before and After: Fresh Finishes and IKEA Cabinets Transform This 1990s Laundry Room

published Apr 2, 2020
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Before: Beige laundry room with light wood cabinets
Credit: Angie Ellington

A space as utilitarian as a dual laundry room/entryway can certainly show its age over time. This one, in Angie Ellington’s home, hadn’t been updated since her house was built in the 1990s. The cabinets, builder-grade oak, were fine, but boring and a little small—they didn’t reach the ceiling but Angie says putting anything on top immediately made them seem cluttered.

Credit: Angie Ellington

“Our laundry room is one of the most utilized rooms in our house and the space that welcomes us home,” Angie says. “But the old laundry room was rather depressing and definitely not a warm hug as you walked in after a long day.” Another issue: The laundry room’s sink was the perfect location to wash the family’s new puppy, but it was stained over the years and “the height of it made your back hurt after just a few minutes,” Angie says. She wanted to be able to install a clean new sink at a taller height to help alleviate back pain.

Credit: Angie Ellington

The project took two years, but Angie’s patience allowed her to save a lot of money. She purchased cabinets from IKEA (the SEKTION line) and installed them with her husband, and gave the walls a fresh coat of white paint—just those two things majorly brightened the space.

“What I love about this project is that it involved so many people either gifting us with a light fixture or a doggy hook or a new doorknob,” Angie says. “The tile was given to me from a friend who took over her father’s historic tile business when he passed away. They had some extra tile in the back and the box was all in French. Sadly we don’t know the story of the tile, but I was excited to have new flooring that was a part of his legacy. My brothers both drove four hours to install the tile for us to help me save on costs.”

Credit: Angie Ellington

Angie’s parents gifted her the new laundry room sink and new faucet and a friend came over to help install it—another kind gesture that helped save on costs. Behind the sink, Angie installed peel-and-stick wallpaper in a textured blue-and-white pattern. Above, a new shelf—a repurposed plate rack—holds dog shampoos; a basket underneath the sink is the perfect place to store towels, so everything’s in an easy-to-access place.

“This laundry room really was a labor of love and my favorite part of our story is that it involved so many friends and family,” Angie says. “We created a lot of great memories that welcome me home every day. One of my final touches was a new runner, some removable wallpaper, and a sign from the Hearth and Hand from Magnolia line that sums up all that I love about our new space: Feels Good To Be Home.”

And even though the project took two years, Angie says, “I was glad the project took a long time because it gave me time to really think about what I needed from the space and how I could get it on a budget.”

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