Home Projects

Before and After: A Functional (and Pretty!) Laundry Room Redo for $640

updated Nov 2, 2020
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Credit: @mauriathome

Storage is a hot commodity, so it’s unfortunate when some of the storage in your home isn’t really usable.

That was the case with the long but hard-to-get-to shelf in Mauri Weidenaar’s (@mauriathome‘s) laundry room. “We have two young children, so we do a lot of little laundry,” she explains. “The unreachable shelf and claustrophobic feeling of the space made all this laundry more difficult. We wanted to have folding space—or, more accurately, space to hold all the piles of laundry that may or may not ever be folded.”

Credit: @mauriathome

Mauri and her husband decided they would rectify the situation—and made the space way more enjoyable to look at while they were at it. She writes on her blog, Mauri at Home, that they first removed the pedestals from the washer and dryer. Then they installed a butcher block countertop to use for folding (or not folding). “One great thing that happened was we had enough butcher block left over after cutting it to width to make shelves that matched!” Mauri says. A new white cabinet now offers functional storage, as well.

Credit: @mauriathome

On the ceiling, the couple added crown molding and beadboard, most of which they had left over from another project, and swapped out the fluorescent overhead light for a fixture that’s much easier on the eyes (literally). They removed the room’s space-constraining swinging door and replaced it with a barn door.

And on the walls, they actually installed peel-and-stick floor tiles in a teal and beige pattern. It was definitely cheaper than real tiles, though they did have to put them up “in a semi-permanent way using adhesive and some strategically placed nails in order for them to stay,” Mauri explains.

Credit: @mauriathome

The whole process didn’t come without some setbacks. “We were surprised to find the walls in our relatively new home were bowed, which made the crown molding install frustrating,” Mauri says. “A couple of beads of caulk fixed the problem, though. Second, the plumbing and electric was a lot higher than we thought and hit right at the counter height—which is why we built the three-sided box below the cabinet to hide it but still make accessible.”

Credit: @mauriathome

The new space cost about $640 to redo, Mauri says, and the results are surprisingly beautiful for a room that’s made for work. “I love the counter space and that this room feels purposeful and inviting,” Mauri says. “On the off chance I do decide to actually fold my laundry, I will light a candle, play some music, and truly enjoy the task—all thanks to the welcoming changes we made.”