from builder-basic to bright + efficient: a laundry room diy makeover

i have a confession to make: i’m kind of a procrastinator. when we bought our house almost eight years ago, everything was builder-beige. it was nice, but it was beige. all of it. every inch of the house was blah-beige. so, of course i started painting, and adding some color. but there has been one place, one single place in our house that has scared the living you-know-what out of me to tackle: the master bathroom. and because of that, i look for other spaces in the house to tackle first. 

like the laundry room. here’s what it looked like (please ignore that horrific looking ironing board!): 

and, here’s kind of how i felt walking into it + trying to do laundry for our family:

so, i decided to take labor day weekend + improve my mood laundry room….enter two trips to ikea + two trips to lowes, and i was on my way to a cleaner, happier, more organized laundry room. which i should also mention, makes much, much, much more efficient use of the space! 

the first step: i took out all of the rubbermaid, builder-installed wire shelving (which there was only one of these, which was problem #1). i had to patch up all of the gaping holes in the walls from the shelf, and then i was ready to paint.

the laundry room was also builder beige. i went for a clean, bright white. because it’s not a huge space, and white always makes a room feel bigger and cleaner and brighter. no joke, this was one of the hardest paint jobs ever. i painted around the large utility tub and the washer/dryer, and not to mention, there is no air flow in that tiny little room. but i survived. 

next up was prepping + hanging all of our ikea finds. like i mentioned earlier, the storage in the laundry room was totally inefficient. there was probably three feet of unused space between the ceiling and the rubbermaid shelf, and i knew it could be done better! enter lots of ikea shelving….

the kallax in white, in the four-by-one cube. i wanted this mounted to the wall, flush with the ceiling, to bring storage up higher in the room, but also to create the illusion that the room is taller than what it is. and, by mounting this up at the ceiling height, it also gave me another big (huge) benefit: more hanging space above the washer/dryer for clothes to hang dry. (oh! and don’t forget the new light fixture from ikea as well! isn’t it cool?!?!) 

then, we also added a couple of the ikea ekby shelves to help store laundry baskets + laundry detergents. we went with the stainless steel finish so it all blended together for the room. 

and, of course because this is me doing this, i couldn’t let the laundry room go by without a few decor touches. 🙂 

a new ironing board cover + a quick, easy cover for the ugly laundry tub helped give some more color + pattern to the space (ironing board cover is threshold from target; grey + white arrow fabric from hobby lobby) the fabric cover was super simple to make; i just hemmed off the edges, and attached it to the tub with some heavy-duty, adhesive velcro. and honestly, i love how it turned out….and it was much, much less expensive to do this than to try and put in a new, better looking tub!

i also managed to hang on to my three laundry hampers (from crate + barrel outlet!) + just added a little bit of something to them. i’m loving stencil fonts these days, and used my three kraft board tags from paper source to label each hamper. with a simple “1-2-3”, our family knows that 1 = clothes, 2 = towels, and 3 = dry cleaning. and, i tied them on with a little white tulle, because it added a little extra softness! and, the cork board was re-purposed from the former laundry room…it was fabric covered + held spare buttons. i pulled the fabric off + stenciled a cute “laundry” label on it! it’s hanging on the wall now, with a little white tulle too!

and, probably my very fave part: i’m obsessed with heidi swapp’s marquee love letters from michaels, and i had the perfect space to add these to the laundry room! little mr. re-nest #1 + i put these together with alternating paper designs with grey, white + light turquoise! 

i’ll admit, it looks pretty girly (as mr. re-nest says), but i love it. i love it, i love it, i love it. it’s made doing laundry a totally different experience for me. it’s organized, it’s efficient, + stuff is put in its place! 


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