Scott and I absolutely love taking on quick makeovers – we live for the satisfaction of flipping a space on its head! – and we’re all ears when our friends have problem areas in their homes that they’re looking to improve upon. Most recently, we completely transformed our neighbors’ laundry room, a room that functioned just fine but was lacking in a lot of ways, too. The homeowners, Catherine and Allen, have two young (super sweet!) boys, and like most families, they spend a lot of time in this utilitarian room that serves its purpose, but we knew we could do so much better!
It’s a Monday Rewind! Yellow Brick Home has over 13 years of archives, so every now and then we’ll be sharing our favorites from posts past. This room makeover was originally published in November 2018. Enjoy!
A Budget Friendly Design
Our goal was to create a budget friendly dream space for our friends, and we are so, so happy with how it turned out. We asked Catherine what was on her laundry room wish list, and although we all initially hoped to stack their machines and create space for a sink, the location of the plumbing, gas line and vents would have made it a renovation challenge (i.e., we would have been taking the ‘budget’ out of ‘budget friendly’). We had to quickly pivot, so we made it our goal to knock off every other nice-to-have: counter space, a place to hang wet clothes and hidden storage. We knew we could tackle all of that and more: better lighting, warmth underfoot and, of course, turn this into a room she’d actually enjoy!
For reference, the space is 6′ wide x 10′ deep, and the ceilings are just under 8′ tall. We had Catherine and Allen empty and paint the room, and then we took over! It took them half a day to empty and paint, and we spent the next day and a half transforming it from this:
Laundry Room | Before
Laundry Room | After
A Pivot to Save Money
A quick note on the inability to add plumbing for a sink: It could have been done, but we would have had to move the water and gas lines, which also meant opening walls and significant drywall work. In the end, the homeowners determined that they wouldn’t have used the sink enough to necessitate the added expense, especially because they have a bathroom three steps from the laundry room.
We did, however, hire our trusted contractor to lower the height of the water lines so that they wouldn’t intersect any countertop we choose once the front loading machines were in place. In the above before, you’ll also notice that the machines are plugged into the outlet in the middle of the wall. While the contractor moved the water lines, we also asked him to add an additional outlet behind the machines. Those two much smaller changes were completely worth it!
Pretty In Coral
With that prep work out of the way, Catherine and Allen painted the walls using the HGTV Home Sherwin-Williams Infinity line of paint in an eggshell finish. The color? Sherwin-Williams Faint Coral. We cannot get over this color! It is the prettiest shade of peachy pink. We asked them to trust us and not judge the paint until the room was complete (we were so nervous that they’d start to panic!), but they both agreed that it’s such a cheerful, soothing color. There’s enough gray in the color to prevent it from feeling too saturated. It’s a wonderful grown-up pink. Or peach!
Creating a Work Space
When Scott and I took over, our first task was shifting the machines into place, getting them tucked as close to the back wall as possible. We moved them to the right and then to the left, measuring the distances in every direction twice and then thrice, ensuring we were completely satisfied with their placement. Then it was time to tackle the countertop!
We used this 6′ Baltic Butcher Block Birch Countertop (so hunky and beautiful!) and trimmed it down to the proper width and depth with our circular saw. I quickly smoothed the rough edges with a quick sand using fine grit sandpaper. Tip: Measure the wall in 3 places, front to back and side to side. Take the smallest measurement from side to side and the longest measurement front to back for the best overall fit.
We used these steel countertop support brackets and secured them directly into the studs to support our butcher block. Below, you can see where we marked the studs with blue tape, and we installed them at a height that would leave 3/4″ of breathing room between the top of the machine and the top of the bracket.
After setting the countertop into place (which was honestly a workout in itself, yow!), Scott secured the brackets from the bottom of the butcher block using shallow wood screws. The brackets were slightly visible to the right of the machines, but I covered that right up with wall paint! At the end of day one, I applied two thin coats of Polycrylic in a satin finish to the top and front, and we allowed that to dry overnight.
Adding Hidden Storage
The next day, we returned to finish everything up! We mounted this clean-lined 36″ wide stock cabinet above the machines, leaving 14″ of space between the counter and bottom of cabinet. To complete the look, we used a simple trim piece around the top to close the gap between the cabinet and ceiling. Tip: A general rule of thumb is to have 18-20″ of space between a kitchen counter and the bottom of your upper cabinets. Because our machines are taller than counter height, we needed less space between counter and cabinet for ease of reach.
On the opposite wall, we incorporated a wall-mount built-in ironing board! The slim design allows it to fit nicely between two studs inside the wall (in modern homes, studs are typically 16″ apart on center). After locating our studs, we used the provided template to cut out the drywall and create the niche for the ironing board. The board is incredibly sturdy, because it attaches from the inside, directly into the studs.
Dialing In the Details
Once that was complete, it was time to turn our attention towards the details! We swapped in these gold light fixtures and upgraded them to a dimmer. (Because every single room in your home should be on a dimmer!) Scott mounted a hanging rod between the cabinet and wall while I organized their cleaning supplies, laid out a rug and potted some plants. Finally, it was time for our very favorite part of the makeover; we excitedly invited our friends in to see their new room!
Laundry Room | Before
Laundry Room | After
About Those Appliances
Let’s talk about those appliances! We chose the LG TWINWash High Efficiency Front-Load washer and gas dryer, which Catherine has already been so pleased with. They’re an upgraded version of LG machines that we already own and love, so we had no hesitation when we chose LG. Although there are so many settings to choose from (our favorite is the steam cycle for a quick refresh!), it’s still intuitive to use. Plus, they make the sweetest sing-songy chimes at the end of a cycle (with the option to mute them completely if that’s not your thing!).
We chose a natural fiber rug for some cushion and warmth underfoot, and we traded in their old laundry basket for this one in a cream wool. It’s the little things, but for items that you touch and hold often, small upgrades like this can make all the difference for everyday experiences.
Everything In Its Place
Catherine showed me the cutest collection of all the trinkets she pulls out of pockets, and I couldn’t resist but to display them in a clear glass mason jar:
These solid brass knobs are the prettiest touch to the cabinetry, don’t you think?
While the cabinet holds most of the cleaning supplies, we had a spare 9″ on the side of the machines, and there was no way we would let it go to waste. So you can imagine how thrilled we were when we found this slim freestanding laundry organizer (similar)! It rolls out easily, and items can be accessed from the side.
And remember our built-in ironing board? It’s mounted on the wall opposite of the machines, and it couldn’t have been a better use of otherwise unused space:
When you open the door, the board folds down, and on the backside of the door, there’s a handy hook to hang any clothing items. There’s plenty of room inside for an iron, starch or other sprays. The ironing board swivels 180-degrees, which is such a thoughtful touch.
Next to the board, we mounted a retractable clothing line that folds flat to the wall when not in use, or it easily swings out when you need it. We mounted the hook into countertop across the room, which allows for 7′ of hanging space!
The day after we revealed the room to our friends, we received a text from Catherine that shared a photo of the room, with a laptop on the counter so that she could catch up on her favorite shows while folding laundry. We’re so happy that they’re already enjoying their pretty in peach laundry room, and now we’re itching to find a space that we can paint Faint Coral! (It’s just too good, you guys.) We hope you enjoyed our quick – yet high impact – makeover tour!
Psst, here’s one more before and after for good measure!
Laundry Room Source List:
Wall color: HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams eggshell Infinity paint in Faint Coral | LG TWINWash washer | LG TWINWash gas dryer | Baltic butcher block countertop | Diamond NOW 36″ wall cabinet | built-in ironing board | freestanding laundry organizer (similar) | Carisa vintage gold flush mounts | Safavieh natural fiber rug | hanging rod and brackets | hangers (10 pack) | cabinet hardware | cream basket | cleaning caddy (similar) | retractable clothing line (similar)