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Updated: Aug 3, 2022

Weeks 2 and 3 - Spring ORC 2022

Work is full steam ahead on the laundry room wrap up and I've been busy getting the finishing touches on the cabinetry. First I primed all the plywood surfaces white and that on its own made a huge difference to reduce the visual chaos of all the unfinished cabinets.

I wanted to redistribute the shelf spacing to be more practical for storing sports gear so I removed two shelves and their shelf supports and reinstalled them so I had 14" of space between each shelf. The bottom compartment is taller so I can place a laundry basket or hamper comfortably.

Now when I got to this phase at the end of week 2, I could barely contain myself. My inertia for a year was now broken and I was finally back at it.

I decided to keep going and started adding all the face trim on the tall tower. I debated building the face frame first and then attaching the entire frame to the cabinetry but I ditched the idea and chose to build in place. This cabinet build was my first and I'll be honest, I've learned a lot about building them. Given the imperfections, having a perfectly constructed face frame was likely to highlight more of my cabinet construction imperfections than hide them.

I used 1"x2" primed pine boards for the vertical pieces and across on each shelf but used 1"x3" for the top and bottom. I used wood glue where two trim pieces met and nailed the trim to the cabinet using 18ga nails. What a world of difference to cover up the raw plywood edges! However, once the face was nice and neat, the back of the cabinet stuck out as a huge eye sore.

I had a ton of shiplap scraps sitting in the garage from previous projects and had enough in the right sizes to shiplap the back of each section of the cabinet. I added a couple more support pieces to be able to nail the shiplap boards securely and made sure that the first and last piece of each row were similar in width. This required ripping down pieces on the table saw and for the bottom three sections, I had to cut notches into those end pieces to go around the shelf supports. I made sure to keep the vertical lines aligned so that the shiplap looks continuous from top to bottom making for a seamless look.

I could not be more pleased with how this turned out. Since these shelves are going to be left open, it was important to me that they looked finished even though everything will be painted the same color.

I then started trimming out the lower wider cabinet using the same process. and once that was complete I was able to add back the baseboards and quarter rounds. Once the baseboards were all continuous again, it made the laundry room seem larger. I can't explain why but it certainly took me by surprise. I guess the lesson here is never to underestimate the power of the finer details!

While I was strategizing my next move, I spent some time caulking all the things. Basically every imperfect cut is caulked and will be painted to look seamless! I then shifted my attention back to the sink cabinet and added a middle support using scrap plywood cut to size. I attached it to the cabinet with pocket holes and screws and then added a 1"x3" face trim piece to finish the edge. I used this wider trim to even out the spacing on the two sides of the added support so the doors I build can be the same widths.

Finally, the last addition for week 3 was the addition of some trim at the top of the tall cabinet to cover the gap to the uneven edge of the soffit. I still have a couple pieces of trim left to finish this up but they will likely have to be added after the countertop gets finished and the cabinets painted. For now, this laundry room is shaping up nicely but let's recap against the list I wrote up for this project wrap up:


1. Add additional vertical support for the sink - DONE

2. Redistribute the shelf spacing in the storage tower to be more convenient for storing sports gear. - DONE

3. Add face trim to all cabinets and install baseboards to make it look built in - DONE

4. Add cabinet doors to hide plumbing under sink

4a. Paint all the cabinets, doors and shelves - Oops forgot this major step!

5. Finish the counter top - thinking faux marble with epoxy

6. Add tile backsplash above the counter

7. Install drying rods/rack for drying clothes

8. Install hooks to hold the ironing table

9. Finalize décor and reveal!

Week 4 is going to be all about building those doors and I cant wait to learn how to do something new! I think I have the process in my head straight, but I always struggle keeping my cuts accurate and getting things square! Measure twice, cut once - right?! :)

Hope you enjoyed the update and are excited for next week! Be sure to check out the progress made by the other ORC participants here:

Thanks for being here!


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Week 1: Recap and Updated Moodboard

My laundry room makeover was the target project for the Spring ORC last year. I knew back then that this room, although small, was going to be a personal challenge. It required having to outsource some of the labor, learning new skills and working with heavy materials and appliances which made completion of the project within the 8 week timeframe pretty impossible. Now, a year later, do I think I can wrap this room up in the upcoming 8 weeks? I certainly hope so but schedules have been challenging in 2022. That's life right? No two years are the same because of ever changing priorities and circumstances. So I'm just rolling with it!

Spring 2021 ORC Recap

This is the closest view of the "before". Ever since we moved to this house, we had the washer and dryer oriented facing the large board and batten wall. Once I decided to update the room and add more function and storage, I determined that having the machines facing the entry door was probably was my best bet of adding a counter, sink and a laundry basket storage tower.

The paint color in the laundry room was Gray Wisp by Benjamin Moore and really is a beautiful soft gray green. However, since my plans included doing some demo on the back board and batten section and removing the wire shelving, there were a lot of wall areas to patch and so I decided to change the color as I had to buy paint anyway.

I chose Café Olé by Benjamin Moore and it's a beautiful earthy pink. The laundry room has no natural light so I updated the light fixture to keep the room bright despite the saturated color on the walls.

A big portion of the room's update was adding a counter with sink and a storage tower for my husband's sports gear and laundry baskets. The progress shot on the right shows the first section of the cabinetry that I built. I won't get into the process of how I built them but the basic ingredients are plywood, pocket holes, wood screws and a whole bunch of bicep power to bring all that from the garage to the laundry room that's on our second floor! I did take off the baseboards in that corner and along the wall with the plumbing so the cabinets could sit flush against the wall.

As the weeks went along, I built more cabinetry to fill in the space between the tower and the back wall. Our washer and dryer sit on pedestals (I prefer the height that way) which doesn't really allow for a counter above the machines. Having the machines in their new spots required us to have the gas line extended so we had a plumber come out and do that.

Given all the space constraints, I maximized the depth of the counter to 20" but that only left enough room to have a small utility sink. We don't have a utility sink anywhere else in the house, so even though small, I appreciate the fact that I could incorporate one at all! Of course the faucet was my opportunity to bring in some pretty gold.

I had never considered a laundry room as a place to add a rug and other décor but if there's anything that I've learned in the past couple of years is that these little details matter. On their own they may not seem important but once all the different layers come together, that is what truly makes a room come alive. I still believe function over form is important but once function has been accounted for, I say it's worth your while to make it pretty! I used a 3' x 5' rug from Loloi Rugs and love how it ties all the colors together.

I added a couple of shelves above the machines but because of the height of the machines, these shelves aren't easily accessible. I don't intend to use them for detergent storage but they helped fill out some negative space in the room and gave me the opportunity to bring objects to balance out the colors in this largely pink room. Instead of going with floating shelves, I used L shaped gold brackets to tie in with the faucet color.

As you can see, the laundry room came quite a ways but there are quite a few finishing details left to wrap up this space. The picture at the start of the post is how the room looked at the final reveal last year.

Spring 2022 ORC Updated Moodboard

Last year I created a rough layout in my favorite program Floorplanner to map out the room but as with most things, you get better with practice. This year I revisited that mock up and updated it to reflect some of the choices I made last year and added the missing pieces that will be the target of this year's ORC.

Most of the work left is centered around finishing the cabinetry but let's break all the things left to do down below:

1. Add additional vertical support for the sink

2. Redistribute the shelf spacing in the storage tower to be more convenient for storing sports gear.

3. Add face trim to all cabinets and install baseboards to make it look built in

4. Add shelves/cabinet doors to hide plumbing under sink

5. Finish the counter top - thinking faux marble with epoxy

6. Add tile backsplash above the counter

7. Install drying rods/rack for drying clothes

8. Install hooks to hold the ironing table

9. Finalize décor and reveal!

I created a virtual tour of the laundry room and you can check it out at the link below:

(the colors in the rendering are a little washed out but it's fun to move around in the space and see different perspectives)

Well, there you have it folks! The run down of what I did last year and what I have ahead of me. I'm pumped to get started and make progress on this space so I can finally reveal a finished laundry room!

Thank you, as always, for reading and thank you for cheering me on through this year's challenge! To check out some of the amazing projects from the other participants click the link below:

Let's do this!


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How to create the perfect mood for any festival or holiday

Magical Diwali Decor

Diwali is my festival! What I mean by that is that it's the one Indian festival that I try to do big. Over the years I've figured out that if I want to create memorable moments, I've got to put the effort to making them so and so I've committed to Diwali, the festival of lights, one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India and also in my own home.

In 2020, thanks to the pandemic, we barely celebrated at all. My boys and I dressed up, lit a few candles and got out of our festive garb in a hurry. It felt like Diwali came and went and there were no memories made. This year though, with everyone feeling a little more comfortable socializing in smaller settings, I invited three families over for an Indian meal over 3 days extending our own celebration.

I started prepping a few days in advance, working on the table scape first. Having just one family over at a time allowed for all of us to be seated while eating. Our main table seats 8 so I even set up a separate kids table. I had the main table in our open dining area and the kids table set up in the sun room giving the kids their own private dining room!

Table Scape

Whenever I've hosted dinner parties before, I've always had the food laid out buffet style and my guests grabbled their plates, served their own food and then sat wherever a seat was open to eat. This time, with a smaller crowd, I really wanted to make the table feel special. I had to purchase most of the things to create this table scape since really this was my first time doing it.

I started with a clean white table cloth to create my blank canvas. My dining table is a deep red wood so the white felt light and bright making the rest of the décor pop. I then layered on a table runner that coordinated with the rest of my living space - in my case something with a navy blue base. Down the table runner I sprinkled in the most beautiful lotus tealight holders from World Market and placed a large gold bowl in the center as an anchoring piece. This was all just the initial setup a few days in advance. Check out the pictures at the end of this post to see how I completed the look just before my guests arrived. For the place settings, I just placed decorative plates with a napkin, fork and spoon and a wine glass with a water tumbler.

DIY Craft Decor

Holidays and festivals are all about traditions and creating memories with my kids. This year I did a craft with them so they felt like they had a hand in decorating for the festival. I bought mini wooden crates from Michaels, cut some scrap wood to create the solid back for the mini crate and had the kids paint them in 3 different colors. I then stenciled a gold pattern on top to create that festive look. I used 3M picture strips to mount them to the wall for damage free hanging and placed battery operated tea lights in each one to create the perfect lighted display.

Fresh Flowers and Candles:

While over the last year or so I have added a considerable amount of faux plants and stems to my home décor, for Diwali I went the extra mile to include fresh flowers. It not only provided that perfect pop of color but added such freshness and of course brought back memories of celebrations in Dubai and India. I bought small roses in orange and pink, sold at our local Vivek Flowers store in Ziploc bags and picked apart the petals on some and left others whole. I then filled up the gold centerpiece bowl with water, added a combination of flowers and petals and used floating candles to create that perfect glow.

Fresh Flowers with Floating Candles

Since Diwali is all about creating beautifully lit spaces, the final touch was to use cylindrical glass vases on the table with twinkle lights in them. You can see how everything came together when our guests came over. The décor sure helped set the mood for the festival but no festival is complete without friends and family to spend it with. While these past couple of years have certainly changed our social landscape, we were all determined to make the most of Diwali 2021 and had a fabulous time celebrating with our near and dear ones.

I hope you find this post inspiring to create your own special memories with your loved ones during the holiday season!

As always, thank you for reading. Until next time!

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Hi There...

Hi! I'm Neeta and I have been designing and updating spaces in my homes since 2008 from simple DIYs to entire basement builds. I am now updating spaces in our current home elevating both design and function and I hope you will join me as I hone in on my DIY skills and share my journey!


NeetlyDone is here to provide you design and DIY inspiration through pictures and tutorials. Through these, I hope to empower and inspire you to confidently personalize your space because there is nothing more satisfying than looking at a finished project knowing you had a hand in creating something beautiful.


DIY can be made simpler with a few skills that can enable you to take charge and create the space you have always dreamed of. I am so happy you are here to follow along as I expand my DIY skills and continue to update spaces in my own home.

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