Before and After: This $800 Laundry Room Redo Features a Hidden IKEA Hack

published Sep 9, 2023
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Often, the difference between a space that’s cluttered and a space that’s functional is not the amount of stuff stored in it — it’s how that stuff is stored. Case in point: This laundry room redo from Smitha Philip (@charise_creations). 

Smitha says that her 2017 builder-grade home came with a “huge laundry room with a lot of space that was wasted or unused, and so it caught all the junk.” The room was where she line-dried and ironed her family’s clothes, and it also acted as a charging area for vacuums and other cleaning supplies. In other words, it was a true “multi-purpose room,” Smitha says.

While she didn’t love the clutter, Smitha did love other parts of the room — namely, how big it was and how bright it was thanks to all that natural light. She knew it just needed some help to reach its full organizational potential.

Semi-custom DIY cabinets make the space lots more practical.

Smitha decided to install some cabinets and shelving to create the practical storage she craved. She wanted to be able to meet all of the needs of a typical laundry room, as well as include special features like a hideaway ironing board, a hideaway drying rack, and a charging port. She started by measuring the space, then bought a few different off-the-shelf cabinets that would fit (her husband, Sharon, helped hang them).

“Measuring out the space and planning out the design was the most important step, I would say,” Smitha says. She purchased all the cabinets individually — both from retailers and from secondhand sources like Facebook Marketplace — but piecing them together to look like one cohesive unit made them look ultra high-end.

Smitha also built her own countertop from a 4-foot-by-8-foot sheet of plywood, and created her own slatted accent wall by cutting plywood into small strips of wood with a table saw and then nailing them in place. Black paint behind the wood helps add some dimension.

Hidden features customize the built-ins to suit the family’s needs.

One smart IKEA hack that’s hidden in plain sight? Smitha bought a pant rack from IKEA — part of the PAX system — that she and her son, Jonathan, installed to function like a drawer. “I can pull it out to hang my clothes and push it back in, tucked under the countertop, so it won’t take up any unnecessary space,” Smitha says. She also installed an extension cord in one cabinet that helps keep all the charging cables in one spot.

The total cost for the project was about $800, thanks to Smitha’s savvy shopping and her willingness to DIY. “Every time I look at it I feel so happy and proud,” she says. “It makes me reaffirm what I believe: You can do and achieve anything you put your heart and mind into.”

And aside from that, she adds, the space actually works. “Functionality-wise, everything has a designated space and it’s no longer cluttered with unwanted stuff!” she says.