Last July we embarked on an impromptu and very budget-friendly laundry room makeover, and thanks to covid, it took forever to complete! It's been done for a few months now, and today I thought I would share the details with you.
The reason the makeover was “impromptu” was because even though the space was not functioning very well for us at the time, we had no concrete plans to renovate it, and taking on a project like that during a pandemic was not on my radar. But when our dryer unexpectedly broke down and we needed to buy new machines...I heard opportunity knocking! I welcomed the chance to make some significant changes to this high traffic zone of our house.
Our laundry room is also our mudroom, and this tiny space works very hard for our family of 5. It seems really crazy to type this, but the biggest reason the laundry/mudroom was not functioning very well for us was because of our crazy puppy Ginger. Let's just say it's a good thing she is so cute and has a sweet (albeit mischievous) personality.
Without getting into all the details, because honestly I feel like I could write a book on Ginger at this point, we are very dependent on using her huge dog crate and the only place for this essential piece of equipment, is in the laundry room.
The way our laundry/mudroom used to be configured, there was very limited floor space, and having a giant and ugly dog crate in the middle of the room was very inconvenient.
When we purchased the home 8 years ago and gutted it from top to bottom, I designed a cubby/bench situation in the mudroom. Here is an older picture taken by my friend and photographer Felicia so you can see how it used to look.
We did a custom piece with 4 cubbies, one for each of the 3 kids and then the fourth one for Steve and I. There was storage below for shoes and storage above for outerwear and gear.
This cubby system was fine, although we weren’t using it like I thought we would- the only feature that was used daily was the hooks for hanging jackets. Ginger's crate had to go in front of the bench and it was super cramped in the space. I also didn't love having the stacked washer/dryer situation.
I made the decision to buy new side by side machines and do away with the custom cubby system. To be honest, it had seen better days anyway. I knew that once I took away the cubbies, I would have more than enough space for side by side laundry machines, and then room for Ginger's crate beside that. I am looking forward to the day when we can just have her sleep on a cute doggie bed ...her crate is one of those plastic airline approved crates and it's ugly as hell!
To maximize the wall space above the machines, I got two upper cabinets from IKEA and then moved our drying rack above Ginger's little sleeping area.
The wall opposite to the laundry machines saw a few changes as well. We also had a custom piece on this side that was actually super functional...it was a shoe cubby with a small counter space on top, here is an older photo:
We have shoe storage in the garage which is attached to the mudroom, so I decided to scrap that piece as well. I was actually able to donate it to a school that was opening up in our neighborhood which made me feel so good. I did opt to keep the storage cubbies that were above the shoe unit, it is well used!
With the built in shoe cubby unit gone, we hung some hooks for our jackets and then there was a little bit of space underneath for shoes.
This new set-up is working so much better for us, and hopefully the new homeowners will enjoy it as well.
It took a really long time to get this space completed. First of all, it was near impossible to buy new laundry machines last summer thanks to covid. I lucked out at our local home depot and got a great set of Samsung machines.
Then trying to get all the components for the upper cabinets from IKEA was honestly ridiculous! It took months for all the pieces to be available. The hinges for the cabinet doors took the longest.
I had planned to do some sort of counter across the top of the machines, but never got around to it before we decided to sell. I also kept meaning to buy some shoes benches for under the hooks, but again...it never happened. That will be for the new owners to tackle, if they choose!
Even though these changes were rather small and they took a long time, they made a huge impact in this multi-purpose room. This time last year I hated going into our laundry room - trying to actually do laundry in the space was a nightmare, and you could barely move around. Because this is the way we enter our house, coming home to this cramped and awkward room was a real drag. Things rarely look as neat and tidy as they are in the photos, but it is a 100 % better than it used to be. If you found this post helpful or inspiring, please pin it for future reference!
Thanks for reading!