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Laundry Room Gets a Facelift

An unfinished basement is turned into a combination laundry room and crafts corner.

Ron and Crystal are starting a new life together, they moved into his house, but haven't been able to sell her house. They are tired of having to pay two mortgages, so they called in the Designed to Sell team to give them a hand. Built in 1956, the 1,000-square-foot home should appeal to buyers with its three bedrooms and an almost-finished basement.

Real estate expert Brandi Malay is accompanied by host Michael Johnson on a tour of the home. She tells Johnson the outside of the home is adorable and she likes the way the living room looks. Malay positive comments cease in the kitchen. The drop ceiling and bold colors are making the small space seem even smaller. Malay calls the basement a disaster. Johnson explains it is a work in progress -- the floors are concrete, there is no drywall and worst of all, there are no stairs. To get to the basement, buyers will have to use a ladder.

As long as the homeowners put in a staircase, designer Monica Pedersen will fix up the rest with her $2,000 design plan.

Step 1: In the kitchen, eliminate the tacky drop ceiling.

Step 2: Replace the black kitchen backsplash with a pretty mosaic.

Step 3: Create a combination laundry room and craft room in the basement.

Carpenters Robert North and Chad Lopez know the plan and are ready to get to work. Once the homeowners get it all finished, they'll practically double their square footage. It should be a fix that will pay off for them. This home is located in the upper Midwest. In this region of the country, more than half of all homebuyers are looking for a finished basement.

Ceramic-tile flooring and bead-board walls give the space practical style with a cottage feeling. A dresser is moved into the corner provide storage for craft supplies. Then an L-shaped countertop is installed over the dresser and the washer and dryer. Plumbing and electric are easy to get to yet cleverly hidden from sight. The access holes are covered in decorative hinged panels made from simple, store-bought bulletin boards. A metal table and a pair of stool that used to be in the kitchen are moved into the room to create work surface for crafting or gift wrapping.

Cost breakdown:
wall construction (laundry room) $534
floor tile $262
backsplash $205
furniture $520
paint $96
lighting $81
decorative accessories $234

total $1,932

Laundry room makeover
decorative paper for bulletin boards: T.J. Maxx - 122720 and 554331
sink and flooring: HOBO
clothes hampers: Ikea - 20663
cabinet: Ikea - as-is item
baskets and bulletin boards: Wal-Mart - 063407986676 and 007234800936
laundry basket: T.J. Maxx - 158411
wooden letters: Wal-Mart - 002899576357
lamp shade: Target - 074080311
paint: J.C. Licht Benjamin Moore - 1452 After The Rain
countertops, countertop leg and countertop bracket: Ikea - Antonius 30101229 and 30013020
shelf and shelf brackets: Ikea - 31/ 20057000 and 40056976

Kitchen makeover
photo frames: Wal-Mart - 00440215981
table base: The Ark Thrift Shop
backsplash: Tile Outlet - whitish-gray 3/4" M095hE
cabinet hardware: The Home Depot - satin nickel 781266142757 and 781266619532
light fixture: The Home Depot - track lighting kits 008938273725
bamboo blinds: Lowe's - Fruitwood 164100
wall and ceiling paint: J.C. Licht Benjamin Moore - HC-173 Edgecomb Gray and white semi-gloss
shelf, shelf bracket, chair seat, chair legs: Ikea - stainless Mossby shelf 31/ 20057000, BJ-Rnum bracket 40056976, baby-blue Jules seat shell 10059900, chrome Jules chair legs

Drop ceilings give the space a closed-in feel, a metal table and an industrial-style shelving unit crowd the dinette area (not shown). The classic oak cabinets and the countertops look great, but the bold backsplash and red walls are competing with them instead of complementing them. 

Removing the drop ceiling makes the space feel bigger and a new light fixture makes it brighter. The mosaic-tile backsplash looks gorgeous and helps show off the oak cabinets and great-looking countertop. A new dinette set, window treatments and accessories (not shown) turn the space into a cozy eat-in kitchen.

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