Small Victories In the Laundry Room!

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Things seem to be busier than ever around here, and yet I’m having a hard time sitting down to write about all the updates – mostly because I don’t even know where to start. Summer is in full swing, and so in-between barbecues and late night gatherings and weddings and nights away and and out-of-towners in, we’re watching the back of our house take shape (siding is up and 95% complete!), we’re sketching plans for a new staircase (who knew we were so picky? Oh. Wait.), and we’re hacking away at the final to-dos of our laundry room.

Which brings us to today!

You’ll remember that we had the best luck with style, sizing and options for our laundry room cabinets from TheRTAStore.com, landing on the Aspen White Shaker for their classic look and clean finish. Two of the upper cabinets fell into backorder right after ordering, but as of Friday, all the boxes found their way to our front door, and so we got to work!

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The plans for our space can be found right here, but basically, the tiny room calls for one wide sink cabinet and three uppers that will go all the way to the ceiling. We chose to use all 24″ deep upper cabinets, knowing that we’d pull the base cabinet about 32″ away from the wall to line up with our (stacked) washer and dryer. The boxes were packed similarly to our favorite Swedish megastore, but we were surprised to find that a large part of each cabinet was put together straight from the box, as in, the doors were already on the hinges and attached to the front face!

Instructions were limited, but as we quickly found out, there was a reason for that – it was as simple as 1, 2, 3. No, really –  not only are the doors already on, but with the exception of a handful of set screws pet cabinet, the majority of the screws were already in place, too. With the cabinet front facing downwards on a table, we clipped in the sides, bottom and back. All the existing screws were tightened, and we finished them off by adding one set screw per clip – more on that in a minute.

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Although the instructions inside the shipping box were sparse, TheRTAStore.com sent us links to videos that helped a lot. Each video was between 5-10 minutes, which is the same amount of time it takes to complete a cabinet!

That said, we couldn’t finish the cabinet building without at least a small glitch; it’s a DIYers rite of passage, after all. One thing we couldn’t find information on were the support braces for the sink base cabinet, so at one point we had to remove the back, install the supports, and slip the support back into place. It only set us back all of two minutes, but along the way, any confusion was resolved with a quick re-watch of a video and, of course, common sense.

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As previously mentioned, every cabinet build begins by placing the front face down, and the sides, back and bottom are all slipped into place and secured with ‘clips’. Below, you can see how they snug together and lock into place. Just one additional screw is needed to ‘clip’ them together, and the rest of the screws just need a quick tightening:

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Soft close hinges came standard with the Aspen White Shaker cabinets, and once they’re hung on the wall, we’ll still have the ability to align them – although they looked pretty good right from the box!

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We couldn’t wait to put them in the room, even though we haven’t had a chance to hang them yet! The two uppers that are currently sitting on the base cabinet will be mounted to the same level as the cabinet above the dryer, all of which will be hung 3-4″ from the ceiling allowing for 18-20″ of space between the countertop and uppers (depending on the thickness of countertop we choose). Eventually, we’ll fill the cabinets with detergent, towels and bed linens, and lesser used seasonal items (kitty litter, too!) will be stored in the highest cabinets. If you squint, you can kind of see how they’ll look once they’re actually on the wall; do you see it?

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We also added trim to the laundry room window, opting to use chunky (but less wide) brick molding since it’s a tight squeeze in the corner. The nail holes have been spackled and all the seams are caulked, but it still needs a quick sanding and one more coat of paint. Even still, what an improvement!

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Besides the obvious need to hang the cabinets, we’ll need to trim them with crown and filler pieces (for a more custom look), install baseboards and door trim, mount a new ceiling fixture (we chose this one after spotting the same in a historic building downtown), choose a countertop, plumb the sink and lay down a tiny rug. Hmm, before I typed that out, I could have sworn we were thisclose to being done – but! Hooray for every small victory!

TheRTAStore.com provided us with cabinets for the laundry room, and all opinions belong to these two. We hope this gives you options for all the flat-packed cabinetry out there!

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  • Carol - June 21, 2016 - 7:28 AM

    My running app told me last week ‘Slow progress is still progress!’ I think it was making fun of me, but it’s a good reminder to embrace every small step in the right direction. Can’t wait to hear about the next steps! Thanks :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 21, 2016 - 9:10 AM

      Haha, I like your running app!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany R - June 21, 2016 - 8:30 AM

    my layout is similar to yours… question: when / if you need to move the washer/dryer, do you have enough clearance? it looks like you would need to remove the window trim?

    Thanks for your guidance!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 21, 2016 - 9:11 AM

      Ooh, good question. The angle is a little funny, but the sill sticks out about 2″, and there’s about 2.5″ to the right of the washer/dryer. Nothing is really set exactly in place yet, so there is wiggle room for placement still!ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent - June 21, 2016 - 11:53 AM

    IKEA should learn a thing or two from these guys and include videos with their products, shew.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 21, 2016 - 5:09 PM

      The videos made it SO easy to understand! Not that there was much to it to begin with…ReplyCancel

  • Tori - June 22, 2016 - 10:21 AM

    Looks great you guys! That’s good to know about an alternative company for flat pack cabinets. My sister needs to put in a skinny pantry, I’ll tell her to check this out!ReplyCancel

  • Tara | ModLifter - June 23, 2016 - 5:30 AM

    I so need to do such redesign for our laundry room. The lack of storage space is strong in our apartment ;dReplyCancel

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