Renter-Friendly Laundry Room Makeover with Easy DIYs
When setting up and decorating a home, having a cute laundry room is likely not at the top of your list. (Who really sees it anyway?) But I’m here to tell you that having an organized, cohesive, and even stylish laundry space can make a world of difference in how you feel about laundry and your home as a whole. Today, I’m giving a tour of our newly completed laundry room makeover…a simple space full of really easy and budget-friendly DIY projects. Let me show you around!
Our Laundry Room | Before & After
It’s a bit of a misnomer to call our current laundry room a “small space.” In fact, it’s a pretty sizable room with really tall ceilings.
But in reality, the “laundry” part of this room is just a single wall, as the other half of the room is mostly occupied by a utility sink and our HVAC equipment. Here’s the room the day we moved in:
And for most of the last year, it has looked like this: mismatched appliances and a dumping ground for random things that got placed here and then forgotten about.
As much as the clutter and mess of this room bothered me week after week, I knew pulling it into a cohesive, usable space wouldn’t require that much effort.
So once most of our downstairs projects were complete, I set aside a weekend to organize and decorate this room. And sure enough, with just a few really easy but super impactful projects, this laundry nook quickly became one of my favorite spots in our home!
In this short 3-minute video, you can watch the laundry room go from dysfunctional and cluttered to organized and stylish! (Video not loading for you? You can watch it HERE!)
The Laundry Room Wall
I’m a sucker for a great accent wall, and this extra-tall room was screaming out for a fun wallpaper treatment. I actually bought this wallpaper for our master bedroom; but when it was a bit too much pattern with our bed, I quickly pivoted to the laundry room. It’s such a fun and fresh pattern, and I could not love it more in here!
Why? The pattern itself is very imprecise: the lines are jagged and curvy and random. As such, it’s so incredibly easy to line up each panel with the previous one, and it leaves practically no paper waste.
Just a word of caution though: if you have to split a shelf (like I did), make sure you pay attention to which way the chevrons are pointing. Notice in the picture below, my top panels and bottom panels are pointing in opposite directions, making the pattern not at all seamless. Thankfully, I caught my mistake before I did the entire backsplash area, so I only had to replace two panels!
Covering the Washer Hookup
I loved the bright white paper on the wall; but unfortunately, it made the ugly washer hookup extra noticeable.
Thankfully, covering it up was a quick project that used some foam core board and leftover wallpaper. See the full tutorial here: How to Hide That Ugly Washer Hookup | Quick, Cheap, Easy!
The Laundry Artwork
Since the ceiling in this room is so incredibly high, I had to figure out a way to fill up the visual space above the washer/dryer and shelf. Adding more open shelves was my first thought, but we really didn’t need more storage in this room (plus, you’d have to use a ladder to reach them).
Once I realized some old 25×30″ frames filled this space perfectly, I immediately ordered these colorful laundry room prints. I’ve had my eye on them for forever, and I knew the navy background and colorful icons would be just enough to tie the entire space together while also adding a splash of fun.
Making Sense of the Mis-Matched Washer & Dryer
One of the most annoying things about moving in and out of military housing is having to buy/sell washer and dryer units (most on-base homes don’t have them, while many rental homes do). Our last two rentals already had a washer and dryer, so we long ago sold our original (matching) set.
Upon moving into this home, we were offered a set for free. While super excited to save the $700-1000 purchase, I was rather bummed to discover the two units didn’t match…at all. Different brands aside, they were also different colors and different heights. Further, the dryer had a drawer installed underneath, making the height difference even more dramatic.
One of my biggest priorities in this laundry room makeover was to help the mismatched washer and dryer appear as though they were a set. And while there wasn’t much I could do about the color, shape, and dials, I could fix the height disparity.
We didn’t need the added storage in the dryer drawer, so we removed that right away. And while much improved, the washer and dryer still looked awkward sitting right next to each other.
The skinny lower cabinet that you see below is originally from my craft room counter setup. It doesn’t fit in my current office arrangement, so it was in the garage, unused. By placing the cabinetry between the mismatched washer and dryer, the height difference and overall layout felt and looked much better. Plus, we got a little bit of more-useful storage space!
NOTE: The cabinet is not really “installed.” It’s simply sitting on the linoleum tile floor between the two units; and the countertop is screwed directly to the cabinet via small L-brackets (not the wall).
The DIY Countertop
Since this skinny cabinet typically sits under a long stretch of white countertop in my craft room, we didn’t have a great topper solution for the cabinet here.
After exploring lots of different options that were all far too-expensive for this 14″ spot, we ultimately cut down a raw shelf board and sealed it with a few coats of oil-based polyurethane. Typically, I don’t love the yellow nature of oil-based products; but in this case, the counter ties in perfectly with the hanging rod above it and the knobs below it!
While the washer/dryer situation isn’t quite ideal, I’m pretty excited that I was able to make the entire arrangement look and function a whole lot better for just the cost of the wood (~$25).
Laundry Supply Organization
I’m usually quick to add as much storage space to a room as possible; but honestly, we didn’t need much in here. Between the skinny cabinet, floating shelf, and a few organizers, we were able to find great homes for pretty much everything we needed to store.
The drawer holds some clothespins, washing machine cleaner, and some small mesh bags.
On top of the dryer sits a compartmentalized acrylic box that I scored at a thrift store ages ago.
We’ve used it to hold laundry supplies (e.g., laundry detergent pods, dryer balls, dryer sheets, color catchers) in several homes now. Lowering the dryer ultimately allowed us to keep this oh-so-handy solution in this home too!
On the open shelving above the washer and dryer sit three blue woven baskets (that we’ve also had for ages). When choosing what to store here, I let necessity be my guide. We didn’t have logical places elsewhere in the home for our vacuum attachments, lightbulbs, and moisture absorbers. Since these items aren’t needed all the time, this high (and kind of hard-to-reach) shelf turned out to be a great solution!
Behind the door is an over-the-door rack that perfectly holds our ironing board on the hooks. It’s out of the way but still accessible whenever we need it.
Finally, the two items I couldn’t easily find a home for within the existing baskets, cabinet, and shelf were lint and lost socks, so I scooped up these magnetized bins and added my own labels.
I love their generous size, super strong magnets, and customizability. But they felt a bit in-the-way on the front of the washing machine. I ultimately decided to hang them on the wall above the laundry baskets instead.
Curious why we keep lint? We use it to start our camp fires!
DIY Laundry Labels
No functional space is really complete without some labels. I really wanted to keep this space streamlined and clean, so I opted to use the black-and-white versions of my Cleaning and Laundry Labels.
For the hanging bins, I used matching fonts to make vinyl labels with my Cricut Joy, exactly as I show here: How to Make Vinyl Labels with a Cricut | A Comprehensive Guide
Coordinating the colors and fonts on all the various labels helps the entire space feel more cohensive and tidy!
Shop My Laundry Room
Admittedly, I used a lot of items I already had on hand for this laundry room makeover, only purchasing the wallpaper, art prints, wood countertop, and magnetic bins. But if you want to create a similar look in your home, below are my sources and some similar accessories!
When we move into a new home, my motivation eventually starts to wane; and I begin to think “Do I really need to decorate the laundry room?” After all, it’s pretty easy to just close the door and ignore it.
But even after all these years of makeovers, I was still surprised how much of a difference a few simple DIY decor projects make. This wasn’t a massive renovation, and the updates I did weren’t hard or expensive. But the transformation was no less dramatic; and now, walking in here to do laundry or grab a lightbulb or wash a paint brush makes me smile time and time and time again!