A laundry room needs to be functional (like these hard-working laundry rooms), but it’s not usually the first room on the list for a face-lift or makeover. Then why do we all dream of a beautiful, cheery laundry room — without doing anything about it? I can’t really answer that (because I’m guilty of complaining without taking action!), but I love what our guest today did in just two days (between when her old washer and dryer died and the new ones were delivered!) to make her small laundry room a happier, more functional space:
What makes the difference between a boring laundry room and a laundry room that makes you smile? Most often, it’s the small details like
a fresh coat of paint in a color you love
new curtains (or a painted floor!)
personalized laundry bags
a splurge on something you love, like subway tile
a great bit of storage
or a fun new light fixture.
For our guest, the difference between boring-before and beautiful-after was two days, some paint, and — wait for it — a new, whiter lightbulb! Here’s Melinda to share her simple but wonderful small laundry room makeover:
Small Laundry Room Makeover
by Melinda of Love Melinda
I’m so excited to be here on Remodelaholic sharing my laundry room makeover! I’m Melinda. My family and I moved into a 100-year-old church a couple of years ago and my blog, Love Melinda, features DIY stories from my mission to turn this beautiful old church into the home of my dreams.
I started this DIY journey many years ago with few skills. I have remodeled several homes along the way and have learned so much. My favorite things about DIY are the challenge, the skills I learn, and of course the beautiful results when the project is done!
Our laundry room featured a clunky old washing machine that the 100-year-old church may have been built around. Ok, it wasn’t that old but it certainly looked like it. The rest of the laundry room wasn’t much better. In fact, this space would be best described as a laundry closet because we barely had room for a bottle of detergent. It was on our list of spaces to improve but it was way down the list. Then one day, with a final flurry of sputters and wheezes, the ancient washing machine died. We couldn’t ignore it anymore. I thought since we would be replacing the machines that we might as well rearrange and spruce things up. I ordered the new machines and had a whole two days before delivery to makeover the space.
Plans for the space included a stacked washer and dryer, more accessible shelves, and a functional space for hanging laundry. My first step was to remove the shelf above the washer so I could fit the stackable machines. It took a crow bar and a little elbow grease but popped off pretty easily.
I taped everything off, filled in the nail holes and gave the walls a coat of Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore. It’s a color I’ve used in a bathroom before and loved it. The ceiling got a coat of Simply White by Benjamin Moore.
I decided to do a little accent painting by taping off a border around the room about halfway up the wall.
I used a plastic cup, dipped it in white paint and painted random circles in the taped off section.
After the circles were dry I pulled off the painter’s tape and was pleased with the results!
Then it was time to move on to the shelves. I saved the shelf and the support boards that I removed from above the old washing machine and cut it into small shelves that would fit to the right of the pillar in the center of the closet. I needed two support boards for each shelf. I cut my short support boards at 5.5 inches and the long boards at 10 inches. I cut the three shelves at 6 x 10 inches so that the front of the shelf would hang over the support board just a little but still be even with the wall.
All of the shelf pieces got a coat of white paint and they were ready to go up on the wall. For installation I nailed up the two support boards (one short and one long) for each shelf. The long support was flush with the wall on the left and the short support rests against the long board. I decided on 18 inches as the magic number between my shelves. That gave me enough room for tall detergent bottles! After the support boards were in I nailed in the shelf into the supports. These small shelves were the same design as the existing shelves so they matched and were very easy to install.
I left the existing shelf that was above the original dryer. I taped off the newly painted walls and painted that white to match my new small shelves (the wall color is so different in this picture because it was before I installed the new LED bulb).
Thankfully the paint was all dry when the new washer and dryer were delivered! They stacked the machines for me and had them up and running in no time. Being without a washer and dryer for even a few days is too long, oh how the laundry piles up! We did not move any outlets with this project so we did need to purchase a 10 foot long dryer cord so it would reach the outlet where the old dryer was located. The dryer venting duct was long enough to reach the new dryer but was a bit of an eye sore. Instead of covering them up with anything permanent I just placed our hamper in front of them.
There is very little natural light around the laundry closet so I installed a bright LED light in the recessed light. The baskets were something I already had in the house and I added a little jar for loose change that always comes my way. Here’s the before and after pictures again (because everyone loves befores and afters!)
The hanging bar is much more functional now. You can actually walk into this laundry closet!
- Painting- 4 hours (why do small spaces take so much time to paint?!)
- Shelves- 1.5 hours
- Wall paint $37
- Ceiling paint-free (leftover)
- Shelves- free (salvaged from existing shelf)
- Baskets- already owned
- Washer and dryer $1500
- 10 ft dryer cord $30
- Total: $1567 ($67 without a new washer and dryer!)
- Wall paint-Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments
- Ceiling/shelf/circles paint- Benjamin Moore Simply White
- Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer from Lowe’s
- 10 ft dryer cord from Amazon (no local stores carried them)
- I researched stackable washers and dryers before we hit go on this project. I learned that some are quieter than others and that you should always use a stacking kit for safety.
- Although these were very simple shelves I had not tackled shelves before. A good quick and easy shelf project to start with!
- I realized that even with small spaces an easy makeover can make a big impact. My quality of life when it comes to laundry went way up!
Thank you for allowing me to share my project here on Remodelaholic and I hope you find some of my ideas helpful in your future projects! Love, Melinda
Great work, Melinda! Who knew that a new lightbulb and some paint could make such a difference?
And PS: Does Melinda’s circle painted wall remind any of you looong-time readers of anything? Like, say, a certain 1-hour wall stencil I did way back in the day? 🙂
Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.