Before and After: This Laundry Room Redo Takes it From Basic to Elevated

published Aug 18, 2022
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Before: laundry room with crowded shelves and white walls

When deciding which home renovations to tackle, a lot of people choose the rooms that show first, like the kitchen or the furniture in the living room. It makes sense: These are often the common areas that people spend the most time in.

But putting effort and funds into more private or utilitarian spaces in the home has its own unique rewards. An organized pantry, for example, while not immediately visible, makes everyday life run more smoothly. In the same way, the impact of a functional laundry room should not be underestimated. No matter how much time you spend on laundry, a well-laid-out space has the potential to turn a task that can often feel like drudgery into a nearly pleasant undertaking. 

One look at Stacey Hawkes’ (@thehawkes_victorianrenovation) laundry room redo illustrates this point. Stacey was inspired to transform her utility room when she built an extension on the side of her home. This allowed her to rethink the space, as the small window facing the front needed to be blocked up.

Before the makeover, the layout of the utility room wasted space, but Stacey had visions for what the room could be. “Being a family of five, I knew how important it was to have a dedicated space for the mountains of laundry that [we] create,” she says. “One of my must-haves was a shelf with a laundry basket for each of us. I also wanted to maximize the space so a must-have was a stacked washing machine/tumble dryer, and a cupboard to hide the boiler with extra shelving around it.”

Stacey knew that she would have to opt for a smaller sink and get rid of the draining board so there’d be room to fold clothes. She also wanted a dedicated space for a dog bed. “Overall, I wanted the space to feel stylish as well as practical and I think we achieved that,” she says.

With a budget of £2,000 (about $2,418) and a timeline of a few weeks, Stacey turned her unsightly utility room into a beautiful laundry space that meets the needs of her family.

Once the window and door were blocked out and the washer and dryer units were removed, cabinetry could be added. She was also able to disguise the pipework. “It’s housed in a large ‘larder’ unit which we’ve adapted to fit all the pipework, but by using some removable shelving we can use the space day to day but also access it by removing the shelving easily when needed,” she says. A tall unit was added as well to stash the vacuum cleaner, ironing board, and broom.

The pandemic was the biggest hurdle because work had to be halted for a period. Otherwise, “the work itself was fairly straightforward.” Stacey’s vision kept her anchored throughout the project. “The easiest part for me was the vision,” she says. “I always knew what I wanted for the space so I kept this in mind throughout the process.”

Apart from the shelves for each family member’s laundry baskets, Stacey’s favorite part of the room is the “wooden wall-mounted clothes dryer that I upcycled from an old cot!”

She encourages others who want to do a similar project to think about “how and who will use the space.” She also offers this advice: “Consider what you can do yourself to save money and where you need to get a professional to help you. Allocate a portion of your budget to pay for the professional fees and don’t be afraid to give the rest a go! There are plenty of tutorials online that will guide you.” 

In the end, Stacey’s desire to maximize space was achieved. “The room now uses every inch of space possible whilst storing away everything discreetly.”

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