One Room Challenge

Before and After: This $1,500 Redo Proves Laundry Rooms Can Be Luxurious, Too

published Jun 7, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
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Rental Friendly
Before: white cabinets above a washer and dryer
Credit: Jennifer Harrup

Small spaces are great for experimenting with bold wallpapers. Because there’s less square footage, a big pattern won’t be too overwhelming — plus, it won’t cost as much as it would to wallpaper a full-sized room. Not to mention, those spaces that you see only occasionally (as opposed to the ones you hang out in every day, like kitchens or living rooms) present a great opportunity to take a risk and go for something you might not ordinarily try.

Powder rooms are a great canvas for bold wallpaper, but so is another space that you might not have considered: the laundry room. (See: this palm-leaf wallpapered laundry room or this adorable floral one for inspiration.)

Here’s another stylish laundry room revamp to inspire you. When Jennifer Harrup (@jenniferlauraliving) found a 20th-century France-inspired floral wallpaper, she knew she wanted to use it somewhere, but wasn’t sure where. She bought it and held onto it for a while before it hit her: “The laundry room felt like a safe choice,” she says. “It would be tucked away but such a fun surprise for a room we aren’t in all day, so we wouldn’t get tired of it.”

The beautiful but “wild pattern” would definitely be a step up, design-wise, from the laundry room before, which Jennifer describes as “a depressing space” with dark brown floor tiles, a brown countertop, and a light green paint shade that she didn’t like.

“The only thing the space had going for it was that we had bought a new washer and dryer set when we moved in,” she says. In the eight-week One Room Challenge lasting from April to June, she and her husband, Kris, decorated the rest of the space to her liking.

First, Jennifer and Kris painted the cabinets and built-ins, which Jennifer says was the most time-consuming part of revamping the room. They chose Sherwin-Williams’s Faded Blue Linen, a soft blue shade, for the paint color, and they swapped the black knobs for more on-trend brass ones from Rejuvenation.

Next, Jennifer and her mom picked out a small quartz remnant from a slab yard, and Jennifer hired professionals to replace the countertop. After that, it was time to tackle the wallpaper — a four-day project due to some odd angles and corners to work around — and the herringbone marble backsplash.

“My favorite part about the after has to be the tile backsplash,” Jennifer says. “I am most proud of tackling the tile ourselves; this was me and my husband’s first time tiling!”

After the backsplash was installed, Kris built a small ledge to go around the washer and dryer for more storage and a bit of folding space for extra functionality. Underfoot, Jennifer painted the old floors for a budget-friendly update. Jennifer says she wishes that they would have re-tiled the floors, too, but the painted floors have held up fairly well over time, and it was an affordable solution.

Lastly, the couple installed the finishing touches, like faux plants, cute canisters, a new Roman shade on the window, a brass rod for hanging clothes, cool triple hooks for inside the cubbies, and wicker baskets from IKEA. The latter stylish finds upped both practicality and style in the space.

“Cute laundry rooms are for fancy people and something I always dreamed about but never thought I would actually have,” Jennifer wrote on her blog recapping the project. By tackling this space in small chunks, which she recommends to anyone tackling a home upgrade, she made her beautiful laundry room dream a reality. As she wrote on her blog: “I keep looking around… I can’t believe my laundry room looks like this.”

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.