On my previous post, I have talked about why I decided to give our laundry room a makeover, what the design choices were, and what I was trying to accomplish for this room. One of reasons I started Delish&Decor is because I wanted to document how my husband and I transform this house to our home. It’s like an online journal for this house, a place where I can look back and remember all the details. Without further ado, let’s get to the process…
First up – the wallpaper. This was my first time using peel and stick wallpaper and it is so easy and simple to use. The process is more simpler compared to when I hung wallpapers in our master bedroom. I had to mix the paste and glue then apply it to the wall before installing the wallpaper. The paste can seep through in between the seams when applied too much. It was kind of a mess with crumpled paper towels laying around everywhere. With the peel and stick wallpaper I skipped those two steps and it was a quick install.
Even though this type of wallpaper helps make the process easier and less messy, there’s one thing you need to have – patience. Or at least I have to remind myself, because no matter what type of wallpaper I am installing, it is real tedious work. And do not work on it when you are hungry. As I mentioned, I installed a wallpaper before but that was just one wall. This room gave me another level of installing wallpaper experience. For example: I learned how to install wallpaper at the inner and outer wall corners. I have learned that walls corners are not vertically straight and you can’t tell just by looking at it but the level can. So every time right after installing wallpaper strips at the corners, use and put a level up against the edge of the wallpaper to see if it still vertically straight. Otherwise I could end up with tilted pattern.
This is going back to my previous important post about measurements. Not only will it help determine the cut sizes of wallpapers, in this situation it helped me save on cost. From the photo, some areas are left blank because that is where the cabinets and the laundry machines would be. Those wall area doesn’t need to have wallpaper because it will never see the light of day after the cabinets and the laundry machines are in placed. So instead of ordering 9 rolls of wallpaper, I only needed 7. It doesn’t seem like much but little things do add up.
Next, a tall cabinet. I wanted to create a cleaning tool hub. A place where I can keep all the cleaning items like mops, brooms, vacuum cleaners, and things we need for the house but I don’t need to see it out in the open. This tall kitchen cabinet from Ikea is perfect. The dimension of the cabinet is W24″ x D24″ x H90″ It is very very heavy and sturdy. Installing it was a challenge because we have to assemble them upright in this room due to a narrow entry way.
We also custom made a base for the this cabinet because we feel like the black plastic supporting legs from Ikea would break easily. We actually did research because as soon as my husband saw the plastic legs, he did not have a lot of confidence in it. It turns out that many customers did claim online that the plastic legs do break.
Just slide the base underneath the cabinet then align, mark, and secure them together with four long screws. We pre-drilled the four corners before attaching the screws.
One down, two more to go.
Moving to the other side of the room, we installed wall cabinet boxes. The first box dimension is W 30″ x H 30″ x D 15″. The second box dimension is W15″ x H 30″ x D 15″ We never installed a wall cabinet before and the steps for installing Ikea hanging cabinets is fairly straightforward. Just assemble the cabinet boxes, cut the suspension rail to length, attach it onto wall stud, then hang the cabinet boxes onto the suspension railing.
We chose Veddinge door style from Ikea Sektion system. It has clean lines and modern look. Additionally, without any grooves on the front door, the flat surface will be easy to clean. As I became a home owner, I have been excited with things that I never thought I would be excited about…. like cabinet handles. I picked black matte geometric handles to complement the white cabinets. I love the simplicity of it. They pair well with the cabinets. Furthermore, it creates an overall simple silhouette.
For the countertop, I was looking for a solid and sturdy piece of wood with a light tone. At this point, the entire room only have cool tones from the wallpaper and cabinets. The lighter wood tone will add warmth to the space. So I picked Birch plywood. It is 4ft x 8ft with 3/4 thickness. We got it from Home Depot and they can cut it to the size for you. We ended up purchasing two pieces. The first piece was big enough for a long countertop and the L shaped shelving. The other piece was cut for all the floating shelves we plan for another wall. With all of the cutting, we still have some wood scraps left for future projects.
To hide all the unfinished edges, I used wood veneer edge banding. It is a strip of real thin wood that have adhesive on the back.
The result is amazing. It changed the entire appearance of the plywood.
On the section where the wood chipped, I fixed and retouched it with wood filler.
Even though I love Birch natural wood tone. I wouldn’t mind to see the stain options since we have extra wood left. I tested the sample above with “Natural” color. The stain looked good when I see it outside on daylight but when I brought the test plywood inside the room, it was too yellow. So I opted back to the first choice with no stain and just sealed with Polyurethane.
There are two types of polyurethane; water-based and oil-based. Choosing between the two will depend on where the finish is going to be applied to and what look you want to create. Other factors to consider are drying time, cost, odor, and durability. For my laundry room countertop, I chose water-based polyurethane. It stays clear after drying. It will not change the natural color of the wood. And it adds just the right amount of sheen but not an overwhelming shine. The oil-based type will slightly darken the wood by leaving a tint of yellowish amber tone. They’re both durable and scratch resistance but generally speaking, the oil-based type will last longer in this area. If I have to refinish my hardwood floor, I would consider using the oil-based type because of heavy traffic and wear.
After four coats of polyurethane (two hours of drying time in between) and sanding in between, my countertop is so smooth and ready to go.
INSTALLING THE FOLDING STATION
The idea here is to create a countertop that functions as a folding station and also hides all the electrical wires, outlets, water pipes, and hose. Additionally, it is important to have an easy access to that area of the wall when we need to.
So the plan was that the countertop will come in two units; one is the long flat countertop, and the second part is the L shape shelve. The countertop will not flush against the wall that have all the electrical wires and pipes. But the length of it will be long enough for the L shape shelve to sit on while hiding all the visually unappealing cords. With that said, we decided to use wall brackets as supports for the countertop. They are slim, pretty solid, and long. Make sure to check weight capacity when purchasing shelving brackets.
There was a gap between the facing wall and the countertop. The wall bracket arm length was long enough to reach out from the front facing wall.
The space between the countertop and the wall will allow us to get to this part of the wall if we need to access the outlet or turning the water on or off for maintenance, etc…
HIDE ALL THE MESSY CORDAGE WITH AN “L” SHAPE SHELVE
The first part of the countertop is done. The second part, L shaped shelve, is where we are going to completely hide all the electrical wires, outlets, water pipes, and hose. The simplest solution is to build an L shaped shelve. By cutting two pieces of wood that have the same length as the countertop (heights are off course different). One cut was 8 inches to lay flat and cover the gap between the wall and countertop. The vertical standing piece is 10 inches tall to cover that electrical part of the wall. Both pieces had the same treatment as the countertop (wood veneer strip edging, filled in imperfections, and sealed with polyurethane).
Secure the two pieces by screwing them together. My husband did all the technical drilling using five equally placed long screws instead of nails – he also pre-drilled the the L shaped shelving. Finally, flip them against the wall. Having both myself and my husband makes placing and flipping this shelve much easier.
Now all that unappealing cords and outlets are hidden. And it’s always easy to move it out of the way if access to the outlet is necessary. It also functions as another practical platform for smaller products or decorative objects if needed.
MORE SHELVES AND STORAGE
Adding open shelves is a great way to add more storage without crowding the space with big bulky cabinets. We began the process by measuring the space between shelves then marked it with blue tape. I wanted to get a floating shelf look without complicated installation. The simple route was using white wall brackets. I know that from the photo, the placement and spacing of the two wall brackets look weird. But the black dotted line boxes are showing where the wall studs are located. And that is where the first row of wall brackets will be installed. Then the second row of wall brackets get installed by having them equally spaced left and right.
I am not worried about the look of the placement on the wall because once the storage bins are placed in the shelves, the brackets will hardly be seen. All I care about was that the shelves have to be strong enough to hold heavy items like family sized laundry detergents.
The length of the wooden shelf is much longer than the wall bracket. Again, I wanted to make sure that the shelves are strong enough to hold heavy items. We added what is called “angled brackets” (circled) on to the side of the wall and the right side panel of the tall cabinet to help support that shelf length.
Slide each shelves in, then screw together with the white bracket underneath to secure.
All four shelves are in!
The last thing to do before we can put back all the tools is to install a hanging rod. I was so happy to find this simple hanging rod from Target and my thought was “this is gonna be easy. Just take this out of the box and screw a couple screws and we are done” Well, not everything goes as planned. First thing is the rod has a lighter grey shade than the cabinet handles. It did not look right when I was holding it up against the cabinet handle (left photo). To fix it we sprayed it with a darker shade of black (right photo). The second issue was that the rod was too long that we had to cut it with a hacksaw to fit length into position.
Everything has been installed. The next and last phase will be putting finishing touches and enjoy doing laundry… hopefully 😉