Often regarded as purely utilitarian, laundry rooms tend to be the forgotten area of the house—boring and plain at best, dark and foreboding at worst. No longer do you need to dread your laundry room. Freshen up your laundry room and make it more efficient with these simple, low-cost updates. Most can be finished in less than a day or two and require only basic skills, tools, and materials.
01 of 07
Most painting projects are dedicated to living areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, which means that laundry rooms often escape the roller and paintbrush. Consider adding extra life to your wash day by painting the walls with bright, fun colors. Or you may want to roll out a soothing, warm color. Either way, painting the laundry room is one of the quickest and most satisfying laundry room updates you can make.
Calculate the amount of paint needed, estimating a minimum of two coats. Since laundry rooms can be dirty, especially around the dryer vent area, thoroughly clean the walls with trisodium phosphate, or TSP.
02 of 07
A utility sink in your laundry room will help the efficiency of your washer by allowing you to hand-clean muddy and overly dirty items before they go in the machine. Utility sinks also let you clean items such as paintbrushes that you wouldn't want in your nice kitchen and bathroom sinks.
With only a basic knowledge of plumbing, you can connect the existing water supply lines and drain to a utility sink. Standalone fiberglass sinks are inexpensive but they do require extra space in the laundry room. Or drop a sink in an existing countertop and base cabinet.
03 of 07
Draping nice clothing over the side of the clothes basket or dryer just won't do. You need a sturdy clothes hanger rod with hangers. This is an easy and inexpensive addition to your laundry room that should take no more than a half-hour to install.
Make sure that you purchase a rod intended for hanging clothing, not a shower rod. Extend the rod from wall to wall, each screw hitting a stud behind the drywall. If there is no stud available, use wall anchors to prevent the screws from tearing out of the drywall.
04 of 07
All of that available space above the washer and dryer is prime real estate for storage, and open shelving is the most space-economical way to go about this. Build shelves from scratch with plywood and mounting brackets. Or purchase a metal shelving unit that can be placed over or behind the washer and dryer. Plastic bins sized for that space are a perfect way to keep your storage items clean and tidy.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Items like detergent, dryer sheets, hangers, and fabric softener don't need to be out on full display all the time. Tuck those things away inside of wall cabinets. Purchase stock wall cabinets off-the-shelf at your favorite home center and stain or paint them. If you need custom sizes or a unique style, consider making your wall cabinets from low-cost building materials such as birch veneer plywood.
06 of 07
Instantly beautify your laundry room cabinets by replacing or adding new cabinet fixtures. Newly painted base cabinets and wall cabinets, along with fresh new fixtures, will look almost brand-new when you're done.
If you are replacing the fixtures—and your new fixtures exactly match up—it is a simple one-for-one replacement that takes mere minutes. From the back, turn out the old screws with a manual screwdriver or cordless drill, leaving them slightly protruding on the front. Remove the fixture, place the new fixture, then turn screws clockwise. If the previous screws do not work, the new fixture should include new screws, so use those.
If the cabinets have no existing fixtures, you will need to first drill holes with an appropriately-sized drill bit and a cordless drill. If your new fixture has a paper template, use that. If not, measure the width of the two holes precisely. Lay a strip of painter's tape across the face of the cabinet, mark the holes, and drill. Remove the tape and mount the fixture.
07 of 07
Indoor clothes drying is the newest, cutting edge eco-friendly concept that happens to be decades, even centuries, old. Green to the core, indoor drying racks allow you to keep your usage of energy-wasting electric or gas clothes dryers to a minimum. You have a great range of choices, from collapsible wood racks to accordion-style metal racks and clotheslines that retract after the clothes are dry.