Getting Beyond Builder Grade–DIY Style

Laundry Room Transformation with RTA Cabinet Store

Tired of working around barely helpful builder-grade home design? We don’t blame you. Builder’s home designs are made for the masses but don’t always function well for your family’s individual needs. That’s where Angela Treat of @handtreatedhome on Instagram found herself every time she did a load of laundry.  

It was a standard laundry room with hookups and a simple shelf, and the Treat family had long since outgrown its usefulness. Angela was no stranger to a good DIY project, so she undertook to transform the laundry room into something that was functionally proficient and aesthetically superior. 

Angela Treat is a firm believer that DIY projects are a lot more doable than people think. With minimal experience, Treat tackled the DIY scene back in 2015 with little more than a desire. She’s built her skillset to the point that there isn’t a project she wouldn’t at least try.  

See how Treat transformed her builder-grade laundry room into a customized space she loves and perhaps you’ll pick up a few tips for your project along the way.  

No Regrets Design 

When you do-it-yourself, it can be easy to second guess everything, especially the design. You don’t want it to be too trendy or too personalized, so you don’t lose value if you ever decide to sell. Yet you don’t want it to be boring either.

Treat gets around this dilemma by spending a lot of time collecting ideas. “I start on Pinterest. I pin anything and everything that I like—anything I’m drawn to. I don’t put parameters on myself at this stage,” said Treat. Later she’ll go through her Pinterest board and look for emerging themes in her selections.

“Almost every pin I saved for the laundry room had the combination of countertop over the washer and dryer with upper cabinets and open shelves, then lower cabinets and a sink,” she said. “That’s how I knew that was the functionality and look I really wanted.”

Pinterest is full of professionally designed and decorated room scenes which can sometimes feel inaccessible but as Treat points out, “you might see something that you never considered before,” and that’s where you make the leap from builder-grade to custom.

Evolving Mood Board

After getting an idea of the elements she wanted, Treat turned next to creating a mood board. She had the mood board for the laundry room early in the process so it was important to remain flexible about it.

Shaker cabinets from RTA Cabinet Store were in the mood board from the start because that is the style of cabinet throughout the rest of the house, and she wanted a fully DIY project that RTA Cabinet Store could deliver. One thing that did change, though, was the color of the cabinets.

This laundry room was lucky enough to have a window, and because of that, Treat thought taupe was the color she wanted for the space. That all changed when she got cabinet samples.

“Having the samples right in the room is what made me change my mind,” said Treat. “Even with the window, the taupe was too dark and I switched to white. The white samples in the laundry room lighting were just what we needed to make a final decision on cabinet color.” Making custom choices like that are just not something you get with builder-grade design.

RTA Cabinet Store offers full door samples so you can get the full effect of the both the style and color of your cabinets. As Treat pointed out, seeing the color in your lighting is key to nailing down the right color.

Samples are fully refundable toward your purchase, so no risk if you change your mind. Shop for cabinet samples early in your process for best results.

Shop Weston White Shaker Cabinets

Visual Layout

As a very visual person, Treat found it invaluable to use RTA Cabinet Store’s free design services. She talked directly with one of our designers and they put together a 3D mockup. “I was able to see the laundry room to scale and this really helped me visualize how it would come together,” she said. 

You a get free 3D mockup when you choose to work with our designers (also free). Our professionals listen to what you want, help you make the best decisions, then show you what it will look like.  

Treat also laid out the design of the laundry room on the wall using painter’s tape. This not only helped her visualize the layout in the actual space, it also allowed her to experiment on a few things she was still unsure about.  

“I was still working out how high to place the cabinets and taping it up on the wall not only gave me a visual but it also let me feel out the functionality. I pretended I was doing a load of laundry to see how it would feel to have the cabinets at different heights,” said Treat. The new laundry room was completely customized to the day-to-day functionality the family needed. 

Keep It Simple—Assembly & Installation

“Assembling and installing RTA cabinets is just as easy, if not easier, than doing in IKEA build,” said Treat. This was all due to the BILT app, which you can install on any device. The BILT app has interactive step-by-step instructions and video that walk you through assembly. You can zoom and rotate images so you can see exactly what you need to do. 

“I could watch a step of the process on the app, then pause it and do it myself, then watch the next step, etc.,” Treat told us. “Even without the app, I feel like it was a straightforward build. Anyone of any skillset could tackle these cabinets,” she said. 

Treat shared a couple tricks for assembly and installation that can help move the process along. First, assemble close to where you’ll install the cabinets. Once they come together, “you won’t want to move these sturdy cabinets all the way across the house,” Treat told us. 

Secondly, use a ledger board for installation. A ledger board is a 2 x 4 you screw into the wall just below where your cabinets are installed. It’s a little ledge for your cabinets to sit on while you secure them to the wall studs. It also helps you get the cabinet installed level. 

DIY Motivation

Angela Treat’s laundry room transformation may look seem a distant dream to you, but she assures all budding DIYers, “people need to give themselves more credit. I’ve learned all my skills from watching then trying. There’s nothing like actually doing a project to learn.” 

Even Treat herself has experienced failures and setbacks. “I’ve learned to break down an overwhelming project into manageable parts. I pace myself and give myself room to learn,” she said.  

The laundry room project started with clearing out the room then removing the builder-grade shelf. After that, the upper cabinets went in, with the help of her husband. Then the countertop, sink, and lower cabinets. The entire project spanned over a month.  

You can stretch your DIY project as long as needed to make it more manageable for the budget and time you have available. 

Whatever project you have your eye on to take your home from standard to custom, be inspired by Angela Treat. DIY is achievable. Even with your budget, skillset, and schedule, you too can transform your home. 

Want to see more transformations?  

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