House project: laundry room (and table!)

The house we bought back in June was an estate sale, meaning it was as-is (in good condition) and came with everything-I-mean-everything (fodder for another overdue post). The laundry room was a bit worse than some other rooms – older machines when we already owned nice ones, rotted out subfloor due to a window leak, disintegrating vinyl tiles, a random floating base cabinet, yellowed paint, boxes of cereal from who-knows-when – not the greatest. As usual, we didn’t get great before pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Nothing tragic – just not a very happy place to do laundry.

My dad took the existing machines to install in a rental unit of his and the contractor who did our basement floor+ceiling fixed up the floor and window leak and tossed the base cabinet for us. Since then, we’ve:

  • Made a room divider to hide the area with the furnace and hot water heater.
  • Painted the wall cabinet frames and doors to go with the room divider and give the area some nice bright color.
  • Painted the walls actual white (ceiling to be done another day when we tackle some other ceilings all together).
  • Kept the working vintage Hotpoint fridge and brought in our chest freezer and fancy washer and dryer.
  • Scrubbed the porcelain utility sink clean, only to ruin it again with paint, so it needs another round.
  • Sawed down part of the storage shelving so the area behind the bar could be neatly hidden behind a curtain.
  • Bought an adjustable and portable height clothes rack for items that need to be hung up directly after washing/drying and so it can pulled out to the main area for ironing-while-watching-TV.
  • Built a table of sorts to serve as an over-machine counter for folding clothes and preventing tiny baby socks and other small objects from falling between/behind them.

I’m particularly proud of the table, not least because it cost me about $35 thanks to the glory that is IKEA desk tops, specifically the LINNMON series. Thought others might like the idea.

I had originally measured the washer and dryer for other reasons, and while walking around IKEA one day noticed that there was a gray desk top (to match the machines) that was just the right depth and length, and another smaller desk top in white that was exactly the same length as the height of the machines, to an eighth of an inch. I figured with some feet to raise the height just a bit so it could clear the water valve on the wall and a couple L-brackets, I’d be in business. But every time we went for the next several months, something else took precedence, until they went on sale through the IKEA FAMILY thing for a total of $29 instead of the usual $38. So we hurried up and painted the room, and then went and picked up the lovely desk tops up.

A lot of IKEA furniture is super lightweight because it uses corrugated cardboard between the exterior pieces, so I was a little worried about whether or not it would take drilling and screwing things in. However, upon inspection I realized that the corners are reinforced where you would screw legs in, and my plans for the legs and brackets would mostly be in those areas. I set up the pieces in their rough formation and determined that it was, well, perfect. I used the existing holes meant for legs as visual guides to get the brackets lined up evenly on both sides. The white side pieces are not as deep as the top, but it turned out to be exactly what we needed due to pipes running along the lower part of the wall and the dryer vent hose. I didn’t measure that part beforehand – I just got lucky. Recommend measuring first. 🙂

We went to Home Depot and got L-brackets, along with those leveling feet (apparently called furniture glides) for a few bucks. I have to admit, I was pretty excited to find those feet. Some marking, drilling holes, and wretched awkward tightening of screws later, we have a table/counter over our washer and dryer! It matches (yay) and it’s convenient (double yay) and, best of all like the bathrooms: clean.

16 responses to “House project: laundry room (and table!)”

  1. All the rest of this story is nice and all, but what I’m really excited about are your LG washer and dryer. We have an LG washer and it has been so much better than any washer I have ever used. I’m happy these machines have a pleasant place to live in your house now 🙂

    • I love that your comment reads like spam. Truth, though. We had to use our in-unit ones for a year and then somebody else’s Whirlpool ones over the summer – it was a sad year of laundry. I actually enjoy doing laundry with these.

  2. We had very similar units before we moved to Japan… we LOVED them. What’s also funny is although we stacked ours, on the other side of the laundry room I made a counter using the exact same top from IKEA, and a drawer unit for one side – the other side attached to the wall. The open space was taken by a bar fridge. Those are super nice laundry units – go LG!

    Oh, and I noticed the errors at the top of the post. I just made a post on my blog and got the same thing. I’m curious when that showed up for you.

    • Aha, I haven’t figured out the specifics yet, but after a lot of work I figured out the problem has to do with the captions on the images. If you take out the caption on that image you posted, the errors will go away.

    • Hm, I don’t know. I’m running nightlies so weird things might happen from time to time. I’ll investigate and patch WordPress sometime soon if nobody else gets there first.

      • Oh! Me too, that would explain why it works fine now (for new posts). Maybe try removing the gallery, save it, then re-add it. Or, like I said, taking out the photo caption removes the errors as well.

        BTW, I checked out some of your other posts… we had done so many remodeling and upgrade things we did on our house in Los Angeles… I can certainly relate to the things you [guys] are doing. It’s great fun, isn’t it? Now we’re building a new home, which is also fun, but in a way, I miss the hands on, and I know there won’t be much to do (other than maybe with landscaping) once we move in. :-\ Is that weird? LOL

  3. Almost two years to the day you posted this I completed mine. Same colour scheme and everything. Really brings the room together and was just as easy as you described and my wife loved it! Thanks for posting this.

  4. I’m curious as to what the dimensions are as well I’m trying to build the same and can’t find the right side panels..

  5. Have you seen the middle of the top sag any since you’ve installed it? I’m planning to do something like this with the Linnmon table table, but wondered if I needed to brace the middle as well.

  6. Helen,
    Thanks for the great post! It’s years later and this project is still of great use to many. I bought the pieces and assembled as described. I found the table to be wobbly and swapped out the corner braces for pocket screws. I could not be more pleased. Thanks for the great ide to use the linnnon pieces.

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