Before and After: Smart Yet Simple Swaps Make a “Dark and Drab” Laundry Room Feel Bigger and Brighter

published Jan 24, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Laundry room with tan walls and drying racks holding clothes

Creativity and home design, of course, go hand-in-hand, but the first room in a house that comes to mind when someone says “inspiring” isn’t often the laundry room. But why shouldn’t it be? After all, it’s a space where you spend lots of time, and there are plenty of beautiful linen closets and laundry rooms out there that surely make loading, unloading, folding, scrubbing, steaming, and ironing more fun.

Here’s a redo to get you thinking about your own laundry room, or other utility space through a fresh lens. Homeowner and pro organizer Rachel Rosenthal (@rachelorganizes)’s laundry room just didn’t have the spark she wanted it to, so she decided to make a change.

“I felt completely uninspired and unmotivated when I walked in the room,” Rachel says. “It was just a blank room with no personality.”

Rachel wanted to feel better about the time she spent in this space. “I do laundry constantly and every time I went into the laundry room, I just didn’t feel great,” she says. “I realized that it was time to do something about it to make the room feel more put together, more enticing and much more motivating.”

A couple smart swaps helped take her laundry room from something beige and boring to something that feels bright and looks larger despite no added square footage.

First, she added wallpaper with a bright white background rather than a beige one, which made the room instantly brighter — not to mention more fun and playful with its brushstroke pattern. She hired a professional to help install the wall covering, so the makeover took a little longer than she wanted it to, but she says it was well worth it.

“I like that the room feels so much bigger with the wallpaper and much lighter with the new light fixture,” Rachel says. The circular light fixture, also installed by a pro, is more minimal than the clunky rectangle utility light from before and definitely has a more contemporary feel.

“It didn’t take a lot of effort to create such a noticeable change,” Rachel says. Although she hired a handyman to do the wallpaper and lighting installs, she designed the space herself and selected the new rug and storage containers for the cabinets (both inside and outside). The new additions help make the most of the room’s features that were already great, like the pretty blue cabinets and stainless steel countertops.

Soap dispenser: Amazon
Glass jars: The Container Store
Dryer balls: Food52

Rachel’s proud that her design vision completely re-energized the space. “I love how clean and put-together the entire room feels. It feels so calming and inspiring to walk into the room after the update,” she says.

Calming and inspiring are the perfect combo for tackling multiple mountains of laundry. Happy sorting and folding, Rachel!