Written by Your Modern Dad
With four kids and two adults in our family, so to say that we do a lot of laundry is an understatement.
We do a TON of laundry… a load a day keeps chaos at bay? That about covers it. I do a load every single day, at least. And when you spend that much time in the laundry room, let’s face it, it needs to be not only something nice to look at but also highly functional.
Well, our laundry room was not somewhere that I wanted to be every single day… it wasn’t somewhere that I wanted to be every week. …We wanted a change.
If you are spending a lot of time in the space where you clean your clothes, and you dread it, then it is time for a laundry room makeover! There are lots of ways to freshen the look of your laundry room, as well as create a system of organization and functionality.
For us, we needed a complete overhaul. As you can see in our before images below – this was just not a space where I wanted to spend my time, ever. For some, a laundry makeover might be as simple as a coat of paint and some new laundry baskets. This is easily done for those who have a limited budget. You can brighten up your space with a light color wall and dress up cabinets and shelves with some color or fabric.
Check out the before picture of our dreary laundry room:
It was a folding table that was awkward to use and really had no appeal. As you are looking to revamp your laundry room, ask yourself if you are making the best use of the space you have. Assess your cabinets, tables, shelves and see what might fit better or what you can still use. If you really want to take it a step further, and construction is an option, you might even consider removing or moving a wall to make a more functional space.
We had a cabinet above the awkward folding table that looked like someone just decided “I think I’ll put a cabinet here.” It didn’t really ‘fit’ the space. Even the walls, although a light-ish blue, were quite dreary and believe it or not, it really made the room much darker than it could have been with white walls.
So, we made a plan to change it.
We made a list of what the space needed:
- Cabinets that would fit a laundry basket.
- Storage space to hold our Molly’s Suds detergent.
- Shelving that looked great and had a function.
- Something other than blue walls (we went with shiplap and white paint!)
- Glass jars for our Molly’s Suds Powder and Wool Dryer Balls.
- Other accessories and decor to make the new room pop.
First things first: demo day!
Take out the old before you can bring in the new. Before you can really do anything else, if you are going for a big overhaul or even if you are just sprucing the room up with a new paint job, you need to move out anything and everything that can be moved out.
Once you get everything removed, clean, clean, clean! This is the perfect time to really scrub those floors (unless you are ripping those out too), wash cabinets, walls, anything that might be staying in the laundry room after the makeover is complete.
On to Number Two!
Once everything was removed, I went ahead and added shiplap. I had the hardware store cut the wood into 6 inch strips, to save time. I used ⅜ tile spacers in between the shiplap to be sure that it maintained a consistent space in between the wood pieces.
Now for the Paint!
You can go for something all white when it comes to paint, and then dress it up with color in other ways. Such as colored laundry and organizational baskets, plants, tubs, etc… Or even colorful but functional items like Molly’s Suds Tidy Snaps, Clothes Pins, and this gorgeous Glass Spray Bottle.
Or you can do something like cream walls and paint the cabinets a bright color or even something more traditional like light colored walls and solid wood cabinets. The sky is really the limit! Think about what will make you happy as you walk into your laundry room.
For our new shiplap, we went with white: Sherwin Williams Extra White. You will see that the blue walls behind it still peek through, but it’s hardly noticeable unless you are very close. That was our goal… a hint of color.
Add In Cabinets and Other Elements
Once I painted the shiplap, I was ready to add in the new cabinets that I purchased. I bought three 18-inch wide cabinets from our local home improvement store. Two were door-style and one was with drawers. I put the cabinets together and then added hardware to tie it into the accessories that we bought.
For top of the cabinets, I used three 2×10 boards that were 6 feet long each, with a one-inch overhang on the sides and front. To finish them off, I used a router to route the edges. The stain color was Minwax BeachWood. We liked the gray tone to it, so it was going to look great with the white shiplap. I used three coats of the stain, applied with one of the many stand-alone socks that have made their way into our drawers, without a match.
The shelves were made with 1X10 clear pine. I used the same stain on the shelves, three times as well, and then sanded the edges of the shelves. Once dry, I applied of four coats of polycrylic enamel using a Wizz Foam Cabinet Roller, letting it dry in between each application. To finish them off, I used a 220 grit general sandpaper and lightly sanded any rough spots.
Ready to Organize!
Once everything was ready, it was time to bring in the detergent and make it a functional laundry room again, but this time, with some appeal. I stocked our drawers with backups of everything that we love to use on a regular basis.
I also filled the jars on top of the table. I like practicality, and I like having detergent that is easy to reach, but I also like things to look nice, so the glass jars were perfect.
I did the same with more dryer balls.
It gave it a nice look and I knew that it was easy to get to when I was ready to do the laundry…
Bring on the grass stains, spilled dinners and finger paint messes… I’m ready.
For more before & after home projects, visit my blog, Your Modern Dad.