10 Budget-Friendly Laundry Room Updates You Can Do in One Day or Less
Small changes can make a big impact.
While it would be amazing to have the time and budget for a full-scale laundry room renovation, most of us don’t have either. But that doesn’t mean that we’re totally stuck.
There are a slew of easy, inexpensive changes you can make in your laundry room that can change the look of your space without much time or effort.
Here are our favorite ideas for easy, low-budget laundry room "renovation" projects that are super light on the "renovation" but heavy on the design impact.
1: Switch Out Lighting
An easy fix in almost any room is to switch out the lighting and upgrade it with something a bit more stylish. We often don’t think of the laundry room when choosing light fixtures. But with new fixtures, or even a chic lamp, you can change the mood, look and vibe of your laundry room in no time at all.
2: Replace Cabinet Pulls
This fix might seem silly since it won’t really change up the look of your space that much, but it can really make a big difference in your overall look. If you have cabinets in your laundry room, consider switching out all the hardware to something on-trend. These leather pulls are a great option, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to hardware.
3: Add a New Sink
If you have a sink in your laundry room, switching it out is a great option if you want to dip your toe in the renovation pool. Your options are limited by your budget; however, there are some lovely sinks that you can find in home improvement stores that will elevate your space. Pair your new sink with a new faucet for an extra design punch.
4: Retrofit Cabinets
Sorting Bins in Blue and White Laundry Room
Sorting bins for lights, darks and towels don't have to be front and center. When Erin Rollins of the blog Sunny Side Up was redoing her laundry room, she created drawers that disguise her plastic baskets. "Laundry can be such a chore," she says, "so I wanted a room that made the process as streamlined as possible."
Sunny Side Up
Retrofit the inside of your cabinets with additional storage options. In this example, wire laundry bins were installed to help manage the chaos of all the dirty laundry that a family might produce. You can add other upgrades, such as extra drawers, shelves or even extra storage for all of your pet items.
5: Add Storage
Even if you don’t have cabinets in your laundry room, you still have options for extra storage. This system is installed on the back of the door and provides extra space for laundry essentials. You can also add floating shelves to your wall or bring in some furniture to store all of your laundry supplies.
6: Add an Additional Washer + Dryer
Transitional Laundry Room Showcases Shades of Gray
Stainless steel countertops ensure this laundry room is fit to endure some serious laundry catastrophes. Gray appliances and cabinets work well with the countertops, creating a tone-on-tone palette that feels calm and tidy.
Another great idea for those who have the space is to add an additional washer or dryer. For anyone with a large family who spends a lot of time doing laundry, an additional washer or dryer could end up being a relatively small investment. Instead of one load, two washers and/or two dryers allow you to always be doing two loads, and that could end up making a big difference in your day.
7: Install Curtains
Bold Orange Laundry Room
Because they're already plumbed, bathrooms can be a great place to tuck in a washer and dryer. Natalie Sheedy of Natalie Sheedy Interiors took advantage of this long, narrow space, installing appliances at one end and screening them off with a pretty curtain. Extending the deep orange paint color into the laundry area makes it feel of a piece with the rest of the room.
Natalie Sheedy; Natalie Sheedy Interiors
Curtains are a great way to bring more order to your laundry room. You can easily use curtains instead of a door. Or you can add curtains to any windows you might have to bring in some color and pull the space together.
8: Hang Artwork
Turquoise Blue Transitional Laundry Room
This 6' x 8' laundry room is the happiest spot in the house thanks to turquoise paint, a technicolor area rug and a hand-woven bath mat used as art. When decorating task-related spaces, it’s smart to get creative with decorating ideas that require little cost, but add big impact.
Adding artwork to your laundry room immediately elevates your space and makes it feel less like a utility room and more like a true living space. You can pick up on any design themes you already have going on in your home with your artwork. Or, go in a completely different direction, and do something fun and bold in your laundry room.
9: Paint or Add Wallpaper
Butterfly Print Wallpaper Brings Laundry Room to Life
Subtle shadows on the Christian Lacroix wallpaper make the butterflies appear to float above the walls in the laundry room at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2015. The room is as functional as it is beautiful, with ample storage throughout, a sink in the corner and drying racks tucked above the washer and dryer.
Christopher Stark; Design by Evars + Anderson Interior Design
If you really want to quickly change the look of your laundry room, paint or wallpaper is the way to go. Since laundry rooms are typically small, it could be a fun spot to experiment with a bold wallpaper pattern. If you don’t want to make the commitment to wallpaper, painting your space a fresh hue might be just the change you need.
10: Add a Folding Table
If you have the available wall space, add a folding table. This will provide a convenient spot to fold laundry, but it won’t take up much space in the room.
We love a stylish and smart laundry room as much as anyone, so it’s no wonder this clean design is tops on our list. Plus, we’re always on the hunt for functional elements that look as good as they work. The gorgeous copper and leather DIY clothes rod by Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals certainly makes the cut. The choice of materials is what makes this solution a standout — it adds a touch of personality while blending brilliantly with the other design details in the room.
Make an Entrance
"I did as much DIY as possible in this space to save on costs," says Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co. about her incredible new laundry room. One of the projects she took on herself was the gorgeous frosted-glass door, complete with custom decal work. "I found a door in rough condition at our local Re-Store, cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of paint," Jenna Sue says. Once the old door was refreshed, she found inspiration on Pinterest to finish her ideal entryway. "I used a glass-frosting sheet purchased online and had the custom 'Laundry' decal made by someone on Etsy," she shares.
A (Little) Loud and Proud
How about giving the laundry room some extra decorative love? That’s exactly what Kim Vargo of Yellow Brick Home did when she added this adorably quirky wallpaper to her work-in-progress space. "I’d filed it away in my memory bank for the right moment," Kim says of the ostrich-dotted print she and her husband fell for years earlier. "As soon as we began our laundry room overhaul, we agreed this was our chance. There’s no significance to the paper — other than pure joy," she says. Pure joy in the laundry room? We think that is pretty significant indeed!
It All Adds Up
"Sometimes being the one that does the laundry pays off — quite literally," says Maria Gonzalez of Graceful Order. Along with a pair of small shelves to hold both necessities and decor, we love the little tin pails Maria added to her laundry room wall. "My husband often leaves change in his pockets, and I needed an area to place the spare change. These buckets from the dollar store are perfect for the task," she says. Clothespins, buttons, collar stays — there are so many great uses for these little machine-side buckets.
Skirt the Issue
With the washer and dryer elevated in her new laundry room, Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co. found herself with some welcome extra storage space. She opted to use fabric in place of drawers to add a less expensive, custom touch. "The curtain is great for hiding detergents and laundry supplies," she says. "It's such a simple solution and softens the hard lines while emphasizing farmhouse style." Even if you don't have under-machine storage, we love this idea for other spaces, too. Stapled or Velcro-ed beneath a shelf or cabinet or in a nook with a tension rod, skirted storage is a simple, pretty storage solution.
Because laundry rooms often are used for more than laundry, we're swooning over this clever idea for a space-saving dog feeding station by Leslie Davis of Paper Daisy Design. The motivating factor in the laundry room makeover was lack of storage. The old dog feeder was bulky and unattractive. Designing and building one that could better utilize the angled wall just made sense for this small space, Leslie says. The raised design is particularly smart, both to feed a larger dog and to keep the space beneath the dishes easy-to-reach for cleaning.
At Your Service
"When we were house hunting," recalls Angela Neese Rathbun of Blue i Style, "one of the top requirements was that the house have a laundry room and not just a laundry closet. Of course, the house we fell in love with had a laundry closet, so I decided to make the best of it by making it look and function more like a room, despite its small size." There are so many fun and functional elements in Angela’s design — we’re loving the pop of the Kelly green cabinets and the door-mounted drying rack and trio of storage shelves — but she’s particularly proud of the DIY vinyl-covered countertop with the look of a pricey wood-grain laminate. "Having a pretty and well organized space makes a necessary chore a bit more bearable," Angela says.
A Load of Style
Here’s an up-close look at some more of the details that make Angela’s laundry space so enviable. The countertop containers are smart and pretty — the woven one acts as a trash-stash for dryer lint, wrappers and more. The faux-brick, temporary wallpaper brings a cool, industrial touch that adds the look of texture and, of course, the bright paint job on the cabinets also keeps things looking lively. "And by adding art," says Angela, "I was able to make the laundry closet feel much more like a room." But in order to hang the artwork, Angela needed to hide the laundry faucets and hoses while still keeping them accessible.
Press the Issue
"Our laundry room and kitchen pantry is a small multi-purpose space, so we needed to maximize the storage options," says Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore. Laura wanted to create a solution for storing both the ironing board and iron. A standard shelf with hooks from a craft store fit the bill — with a few smart alterations. "In order to transform the shelf so that the ironing board could be hung, the original center metal hook had to be removed," she says. Next, a few coats of thinly applied spray paint and the ironing rack was ready to hang. A silicone iron rest atop the shelf protects the shelf surface if a still-warm iron is put away.
Rungs Made Right
An unconventional use for an old ladder is quite a savvy alternative to a clothing rack; repurposing the outdated piece not only looks cool, but makes use of the laundry room ceiling. How’s that for a super-smart use of space? Better yet, the simple, painted ladder is a perfect complement to the rustic design of the space, in keeping with the distressed style while adding tons of space for hanging clothes. Check out vintage, charity and craft shops to find a similar style.
A Very Neat Nook
Julie Fiato of Redhead Can Decorate knew there was a better way to make use of a cramped closet with clunky bi-fold doors in her laundry room. And with a little creativity and planning, her awesome folding nook was created. Now, this space provides a surface for folding, storage galore and room for both the dirty-laundry hamper and a trio of baskets for freshly folded clothes. Little extras personalize the space. "The chalkboard was cute and easy," Julie says, "but a cork board for school papers would be great here, too!"
Clean or dirty? Darks, whites or colors? Wait, whose basket is this, anyway? All of these familiar questions get answered in a snap with the addition of a tiny blackboard simply laced onto a woven basket. Now, clothes will find their way to the right spot every time with little effort. Just remember to keep chalk in a handy spot in the laundry room — and out of pockets and little hands!
Keep It Simple
This no-fuss project solved a few conundrums for Jann Newton of Newton Custom Interiors. "I wanted to find a way to cover the ugly outlets and provide more storage in our small laundry room," she says. After discovering an inexpensive decorative shelf at a charity shop, Jann installed it above the washer and dryer with a combination of L-brackets and adhesive hook-and-loop tape to keep the area easily accessible. Functional, attractive and budget-friendly, this little shelf also allows for a bit of personality in the space.