Laundry Room Makeover for Under $200

Laundry Room Makeover for Under $200

 
 This after shot makes me SO happy...

This after shot makes me SO happy...

 
 ...and here's the dumpster fire that was the "before".

...and here's the dumpster fire that was the "before".

 

If you saw my "DIY Loft bed with Desk" blog post, you know that I'm in heavy nesting mode.  I'd hoped to get to the laundry room before baby arrives in April, and nothing kicks your butt into gear like being unable to fit between the open machine doors and the clothes drying rack behind you.  

After a particularly frustrating laundry day of multiple loads of laundry, waddling between machines, knocking clothes off the rack behind me, and dropping tiny socks between the heavy machines that I could no longer move by myself, I calmly and rationally asked my husband upon his arrival home from work if he would kindly help me redo the laundry room that weekend.  At least that's how I'm choosing how to remember how that conversation went.

My original plan was to build a waterfall countertop over the machines to prevent items from falling behind and between the machines, mounting storage hooks to hang up brooms, mops, and the ironing board, and also to build these AMAZING floating shelves that pull out into drying racks by Ana White.  After much debate, we agreed to pare down the "to do" list to be a bit more manageable while I'm 8 months pregnant.  If my husband insists on being completely logical about our current situation I can't argue with him.

We nixed the floating shelves (but I highly recommend you checking out her tutorial), and I opted instead to buy a $10 bottle of chalk paint and add new hardware to update the ugly brown cabinets that are straight out of the 70s.  

 

First Up: Waterfall Countertop 

 
 Nothing getting trapped between the machines now!!

Nothing getting trapped between the machines now!!

 

Isn't she beautiful??  I can't tell you how excited I am to have a functional space to fold laundry, set laundry baskets, or when I'm entertaining, an extra surface to store food trays or drinks waiting to be brought out to the party.  I may have considered extending the countertop to span the entire length of the laundry room, except we have water hookups located to the right of the machines and I'm hoping someday soon to install a stand-alone utility sink.

To make the waterfall counter, you will need a table saw to cut the plywood at a 45 degree angle. If you don't have one you could always forego the "waterfall" effect and have your local hardware store cut it straight for you.  

I used Vintage Revival's tutorial for her "$90 DIY Plywood Waterfall Countertop".  It's a straightforward tutorial and you can customize your countertop with stain, paint, etc.  Our machines must be a little wider than hers, because I had to add "feet" to the bottom of our waterfall to make it reach all the way to the ground.  Attaching a couple pieces of 2x6 and painting them to match the edge was easy peasy.

 I added two 2x6 "feet" to extend the side to the floor.

I added two 2x6 "feet" to extend the side to the floor.

 

Next Up: Space-Saving Drying Rack Solutions 

 
 Pull-out drying rack for my delicates.

Pull-out drying rack for my delicates.

 

The idea of retractable/fold up drying racks appeals to me greatly, so that when they aren't in use they can be folded up and out of the way.  You know, because I'm sure it's likely that there will come a day when I won't have laundry to do with my family of (almost) five.  I was planning on building some things myself (there are lots of great DIY drying rack tutorials), but after a quick search on Amazon I found the following items: 

 

(CLOSED VS. EXTENDED)

This $25 drying rack I found on Amazon comes in two different lengths (I bought the smaller one).  I used my own heavy duty anchors with their screws that came with the rack.  The anchors that came with it looked a little flimsy to me and I plan on really weighing this sucker down.

 

(FOLDED FLAT VS. EXTENDED)

These $26 hanger racks came in a two-pack, so I mounted them side-by-side to hang clothes as pictured, or I also have the option to put a bar between them if I need more hanger room.  The bar isn't included in the package, but I imagine a wooden dowel would work just fine.

 

Finally: Storage Hooks

 
 Hooks for my cleaning accessories. (LEFT)

Hooks for my cleaning accessories. (LEFT)

 

Previously, my brooms, mops, duster, and ironing board were stacked against the wall on the floor, which just created obstacles for me to move around the laundry room.  My solution was to mount a 2x4 to the wall, attach it to the studs, then buy a pack of double hooks and mount them at the appropriate distances.  Quick and simple!  All you need is a drill and stud finder.

Thanks for checking out my laundry room makeover!  Hopefully I've given you some ideas for easy and inexpensive changes to make in your own laundry room to make your life easier.

I'd love to hear what you think or see pictures of your own makeovers!   Leave your comments below!

 

Take care,

Ashley