Before and After: 4 DIY Projects Make a Blah Laundry Room Beautiful *and* Functional

published Nov 18, 2023
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

Those who live in small apartments know that it’s a luxury to have even a closet with a stacked washer and dryer, let alone a spacious laundry room. Homeowner Alicia Treasure’s ( laundry room was a bit of a treasure itself, at almost 60 square feet.

“The size of room was great, but not being utilized well,” Alicia says. Despite its space, it had no good spot for folding, no storage, and bad lighting. On top of all that, its looks were lackluster. Alicia says it was “simple” and “builder-grade,” and she wanted a space that was “beautiful and functional,” particularly with spots to sort and fold.  

Stacking the washer and dryer made room for a folding table. 

First, to save on floor space, Alicia stacked the washer and dryer. This made room for a folding table, which was a complete DIY job made from a wood slab, hairpin legs from Amazon, Rub n’ Buff to dull the color of the legs a bit, and antique white stain to give the wood tabletop an aged look.

Alicia used painter’s tape to help evenly space each leg from the edge and to guide how deep she drilled holes for the legs. The biggest challenge with the table was that the wood she purchased was warped a bit, but Alicia used heavy items to flatten it and make it work. 

Board-and-batten is beautiful, and added hooks are functional.

While no laundry room really needs chic wall paneling, it certainly helped for the beautiful-meets-functional look Alicia was after, and adding a few hooks to it created some extra coat storage.

“Board and batten goes up quicker with two people,” Alicia says — and she completed the job with the help of her husband, Quinn. The couple painted the new wall paneling in a pretty mossy green (Sherwin-Williams’ Dried Thyme).

Alicia has a takeaway regarding the hooks, too: “When I hung my gold hooks, I had the door closed and didn’t take into consideration how close the hooks would be to the door, leaving a tight space for hanging up clothes when the door is open — which it is the majority of the time,” she says. Her advice? Add hooks in a spot farther away from the door. “I also would have put a little more space in between all of the hooks for more space for hanging clothes,” she adds.

Wallpaper with a white background brightened the space. 

In addition to the table and board and batten, another DIY first for Alicia was adding peel-and-stick wallpaper. “Luckily, it was able to be removed and adjusted anytime I messed up,” Alicia says. 

To mimic the botanical look, you can find Alicia’s off-white peony-patterned pick from Wayfair. “I chose to do the custom board and batten and wallpaper only on the two most seen walls from the doorway to save on cost,” she says.

Smart accessories (including one last DIY project) finish the room.

Alicia’s DIYed laundry baskets on wheels were another budget-friendly choice — they were much cheaper than buying ready-made ones. Plus, they make for easy laundry sorting with zero heavy lifting required. “Being able to just wheel the basket over to the washer makes loading the laundry effortless,” Alicia explains. 

And even Alicia’s store-bought accessories were chosen with function in mind. She selected a comfy rug to cushion her feet while she’s standing to fold laundry and a new light fixture with exposed bulbs that keep the area bright. Alicia certainly accomplished her goal of function meets form in this laundry room.

“I love being able to fold and hang up laundry in the laundry room now with my DIY table,” Alicia says. “This room is so beautiful now. I actually don’t mind being in there and folding laundry, which is my most dreaded chore!”