Before and After: This Stylish $1,500 Laundry Room Redo is Filled with Smart DIYs

updated May 6, 2021
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About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Closets & Storage
Laundry Room
Style
Farmhouse
Minimal
Scandinavian
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
No
Before: Laundry room with cluttered shelves and blue beadboard walls
Credit: Stephanie Yi

In-home laundry can be a gift and a curse: On one hand, you don’t have to lug your clothes to a shared basement or the laundromat every week or so; but on the other hand, you do have to deal with the challenge of making a totally utilitarian space blend with the rest of your home, especially if it’s a prime spot in your home that you have to walk by frequently.

In Stephanie Yi (The Heart of A Hippie)’s home, the laundry room is right off the kitchen. Its bulky hot water heater, exposed pipes, and blue beadboard walls just didn’t match the rest of the Yi family’s cozy, airy space — plus the storage space was sparse.

Credit: Stephanie Yi

“It’s one of the first things you see when you walk in our back door, so I wanted it to have a fun pop of character and more functionality,” Stephanie says. “Also our house was missing a pantry, so the laundry room seemed like the perfect place to add one.”

Credit: Stephanie Yi

With goals of style and storage in mind (and a budget of around $1,500, appliances excluded), Stephanie and her husband, Jeesoung, got to work. They took out the hot water heater on the left and installed a tankless hot water heater outside to make room for something that makes more sense next to the kitchen: a pantry.

Credit: Stephanie Yi

The couple bought a prefabricated shaker style pantry cabinet in white, a much cheaper option than a custom cabinet. The best part? It came fully assembled. “The cabinet doubles as food storage and also a way to hide exposed pipes that lead to our second floor,” Stephanie said on her blog.

Credit: Stephanie Yi

Another major budget-saver was the faux butcher block countertop, which was a smart $100 DIY project by Stephanie. She glued together four 1×6 pine boards to create the countertop and nailed it onto a wall brace also made of pine boards. Then she secured a 1×3 pine board to the front of the countertop using glue and finishing nails for its thick, butcher block look. She smoothed the seams with a sander, then added a coat of matte water-based polyurethane — and now she has a beautiful, custom-looking spot to fold clothes.

The upper shelf is also a DIY; it’s the shelf from the old laundry room, with new brackets, a fresh sanding, and a new coat of polyurethane.

“We did all the work ourselves, so everything had to be done late at night or on the weekends,” Stephanie says. “The bulk of the work took only a few weeks, though. We didn’t have any setbacks thankfully. I believe the project could have been completed within a few weekends had we carved out the time and had babysitters.”

For the final touches, Jeesoung painted the trim white (Sherwin Williams Snowbound in satin finish) to match the rest of the home, and Stephanie selected a delicate floral wallpaper from Etsy.

Credit: Stephanie Yi

“The entire wallpaper process was so simple, and it made such a statement in the room,” Stephanie says. “I love how it turned out.”

Credit: Stephanie Yi

And the black and white botanical beauty isn’t the only wallpaper in the room! Stephanie found a floral wallpaper she loved behind the blue beadboard and was able to salvage a few pieces and frame them in floating glass frames, a thoughtful finishing touch to an already thoughtful, clever, DIY-filled reno.