A Renter’s Laundry Room Makeover

Here’s the current progress on our laundry room.  We added the most functional item to date, the counter top.  This $50 Ikea counter spans from wall to wall so I don’t need to worry about a sock getting stuck in the crack between the washer and dryer.  And we always had a 10 inch gap between the dryer and the wall–now that’s surface area since it’s covered by the counter top.  We had to cut the shelves to fit this space but we got lucky with the counter, it was 60 inches wide and it was a perfect fit.  And as you can see I’m still trying to decide what to do with the chalk board wall.

Here’s the during photo without the counter.  This counter is the single best item we purchased for the space and we didn’t even attach it to the wall so it will go with us when we move.  I am now spoiled and will always want a laundry counter in every home.  All we had to do was adjust the feet on the washer and dryer so they were exactly the same height and then set the counter on top.   It does hang over a bit in the front so my husband will cut a few notches in the back to allow for the plug and stuff so it can scoot back flush against the wall a few more inches.  But I’m not pushing my luck and reminding him right now, I’m just happy it’s there.

I still stand by what I wrote in the last post about this room, even though we are renting, when the laundry room door is open (which is always) you can see straight into this room from the front door and I was tired of builder grade everything.  It was so worth it to spend a little of our own money on this room.

Here’s the final breakdown::

  • $15 Chalk paint
  • $60 Lack Wall shelves
  • $50 for the basket light–I’ll probably take it with us when we move unless I’m tired of it or too lazy to take it down
  • $50 for the counter

We can take the light and counter with us if we want so really, it’s as if we spent $75 on this makeover for our rental which was more than worth it.  It really finishes off the first floor of the house.  Sometimes the best, most impactful thing you can do is makeover a tiny space.

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  1. Lack shelves are so versatile. It looks fantastic!

  2. Love it! Now I need to go evaluate my scary basement laundry room and see if I can manage anything like this down there. Maybe then I’d actually do laundry before my husband begs me for clean undershirts. :)

  3. Very pretty, and I agree worth it. If I were you I would display all your fancy Meyers products, and then maybe have a few white pieces in there, to brighten it up. Like something like your plant bust. And then in the empty spots you could always draw frames and put your kids art work in them with some mounting putty! Good luck it looks fab!

    • yes, the drawn frames would be so fun!!! I’ve even thought of trying to do some graffiti style writing on that wall just for a change of pace~it’s just begging for something!

  4. Love it! Once more you deliver an inspiring makeover that all of us can do in our own homes. This is why I enjoy your blog so much!

  5. Love the counter top idea. It looks great!

  6. I love what you have done with your laundry room. The white counter top looks awesome and I am sure it is so functional. Love the chalk wall too. Awesome job!

    We did a huge laundry room makeover project at the end of last year but sadly I did not take any before pictures. Fail!

    • I’ve done that as well–not taken before photos–and like you, I always regret it, it used be feel so pointless taking a photo of a room I didn’t like–but now I’m happy about it because I know the uglier it looks in the before, the more powerful the after photo will be.

  7. Love the countertop idea, I NEED to do this so I can quite fishing tiny socks from in between the cracks, as you said.

  8. Love your new laundry room!

  9. I think it looks fantastic! You’re right…sometimes it’s the smaller projects that really make a difference. Job well done!

  10. Wow that white shelf makes SUCH a visual difference, and I’m sure it’s a nice functional difference too. I love the way your room looks! We rent as well, but that didn’t stop me from painting ours teal :) http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2011/07/laundry-room-re-do.html

  11. I adore this transformation! To be honest, I haven’t been sold on beautifying laundry rooms. I kinda thought it was a waste of money, but you’ve made a believer out of me. I really love it. The difference in the space is simply amazing.

  12. So glad to see you making the laundry room work for you! The best decorating day I have ever had was when I realized that I could take the bifold doors off my laundry closet, hang a “curtain” made of cute sheets, paint the inside of it with pretty “oops” paint and put in a lamp hanging from the ceiling for overhead light. I think I cost me $20 and three hours, but it *revolutionized* how I felt about doing laundry! Well…it didn’t make me want to *do* laundry but it did make me hate *where* I had to do it less! IDHTBPTBB!!

  13. My question about he chalk board paint is can you paint over it later? As a renter myself , I wonder how you undo it later?

    and I love this room.
    really. really.great.

    • well, I’m not going to be undoing it later unless the owners absolutely insist–my goal is to make it look so great that they will be afraid to change anything–but yes, you can paint over it later you don’t have to like knock down the wall and replace it or anything

  14. It looks great! We really need a counter for on top of our machines, because I’m constantly losing stuff over the back side of the machines. Love the light fixture, too! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Lovely! The chores are always so much less chore-y when you get to do them in a cute room. :)

  16. Love. I need to find more garage laundry rooms…mine is ridiculous….

  17. In all its loveliness, my favorite part is the disco ball. :)

    • finally someone noticed! IT’s my favorite part too!

      • Hi Nester! The mirror ball is the first thing I noticed. I LOVE it! It’s unexpected, but somehow works soo well. The room looks amazing!

        I recently, finally, started following you – I’ve visited lots of time before. I love your style and I love the fact that you’re a renter too. My husband will make comments about us not owning our house, but I remind him that just because it’s not our name on the title doesn’t mean it’s not our HOME. I’m sure you know what I mean. I feel it’s the family and their things and love that make it a home. It doesn’t matter if you own the house or not. I’ve been in several people’s houses that they owned and they felt like a house, not a home.

        Anyway, have a great week! And keep the mirror ball in there. =)

        – Catie

  18. Love, Love , Love what you did with the space! I am so using some of your ideas on my dreary laundry space. You are so talented..Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. Thank you for sharing your pretty room. It makes all difference to have the laundry room look so nice. I wonder what my kids would say if I swiped our disco ball for that room. Maybe they’d help me fold if I put it on and shined the spot lights on it. :-)

  20. Girl, I have to get a laundry counter! What a fabulous idea my friend! I had no idea?! Mine is the same size as yours and it’s a real pain in the butt to try to move things around and not lose items between the washer/dryer. :)

    • I cannot believe I’ve gone almost 17 years of wife-ing and just NOW got one of these, I will never go back to topless washer and dryers!!! GET ONE TODAY!!

  21. LOVE that counter! If we all had counters spanning the washer and dryer, maybe we’d love doing laundry!

  22. looks great and I love the disco ball!

  23. It looks awesome, but I wouldn’t expect anything else!

  24. One of my favorite reasons to read your blog is the fact that you rent. I rent, too, and I need all the help I can get to get out of the “I can’t do anything to this home” mentality. This laundry room is AWESOME. You’ve done such a great job, and I love the idea of the counter that you can take with you. Thank you for continuing to inspire me!!


  25. Hi Nester,

    I love this makeover. I think what I like best is the simplicity of it. The black and white and natural texture in there. With a touch of disco glam. Great space and so affordable too :-)

  26. Impressive transformation! Look awesome! Makes a girl wanna do laundry..okay maybe that’s pushing it!!

  27. Sooo jealous! Love it :)

  28. Wow, that’s a great idea! It does look really good like that. Does the counter rattle when the machines are on or is it not noticeable? I’d love to try this.

    • I think my husband put this gripper stuff — like what you put under a rug, on top of the machines–just a few scraps of it to make it not rattle and so far so good

  29. I wondered what you’d do with the chalk paint since the shelves cover much of it.

    Love having a counter over the washer/dryer, our shelves above are higher, so the counter is great for folding.

  30. What a great use of space, and I love you have a plant in there! Something about having a plant in a work room just makes the room a little brighter!
    Great job as always!

  31. What a great use of a small space and I love that you have a plant in there!
    Something about having a plant in a work room just makes the room a little brighter!
    Great job as always!

  32. I sorta want to live in your laundry room;)

  33. Well done! I think it looks great and it surely is super-functional too!

  34. Love the disco ball! You have such a knack for turning something simple, and affordable, into something amazing. Yay for you!

    Earlier I was looking AGAIN at your meal planning post. I’m shocked more people didn’t comment on the awesomeness contained within. I forgot to plop the pork tenderloin into the crockpot this morning. So, I copied the recipe from your link AGAIN, and emailed it to my man. He is happy to rub the pig and toss it into the pot. Definitely one of the BEST POSTS EVER! Thank you so much.

  35. love it!!! I love the look of chalkboard walls/dark grey walls in small spaces. It has such a punch without making a larger room appear too dark. The reflective ball and plant are absolutely perfect! LOVE!

  36. I’m thinking the words “builder grade” are two of the most hated words in the English language! Your laundry room looks smashing!

  37. I love it! Now, how do you keep your washer from moving while its working? Mine scoots all over the place and I have front loaders similar to yours. Does anyone else have this problem or even a solution to this problem?

  38. I love the room. Looks like a nice place to do laundry. One question, is that light as large in scale as it seems? It looks like it would keep you from standing up straight in the room.
    I love the chalk board wall. The new counter top is great. Very nice job.

  39. I love it! And the disco ball…perfect!

  40. WOW!!! I loved it!!!
    And I started the tour of your home, LOVED the bedroom!!!
    I will get back to it at night after everybody is sleeping… and I have peace to browse!
    I have rented for many years before finally buying my house and I totally agree with spending some money and making yourself HAPPY!

  41. Wow…I love your laundry room!!! Simple idea and yet so fresh!!! I’ve missed visiting your space…. head over heels for my first Grandbaby and kinda distracted from the blog world.
    Have a great week!
    Rene’ @ bargainhoot

  42. You got a ton of bang for your buck, for sure! Looks wonderful!

  43. The countertop is something I’ve had on my to-do list forever. I’ll be moving it up now that I see how much you like it and how great it looks!

  44. Great laundry room. You really made great use of the space. I have a question though. As far as renting goes, do you have to get permission from your landlord before you do projects or did you discuss this before hand or do you just make the home you rent work for you and worry about any changes when you move? I’m curious because if my family moves we may have to rent for a while. Thanks.

    • I’ve about that from time to time but no, I didn’t ask. Partly because I’m afraid they’ll say no because of fear, not knowing how it will turn out, and partly because they know I’m a certified home stager (the kind of person they would hire to help sell their home) so I”m hoping they’ll trust me. So far they’ve been very kind and they know we’ve done extra things in the home like lay sod in the front and my husband usually tries to fix little things and of course we pay our rent on time and are easy to deal with.

      Ultimately, if you do something in your rental you have to be prepared to lose your deposit. But hopefully, if you think about your choices and truly improve the home in a way anyone can appreciate, hopefully, the owners will thank you when you leave!

  45. Very nice, we are also renters and I have been trying to come up with ideas to make our laundry look better.
    Thanks for the ideas

  46. What an incredible make-over. Looks like something out of a magazine. Brilliant!

  47. What a difference you made in your space. My laundry room is small too and it is hard to keep looking nice. Love the chalkboard paint with the white lack shelves and the shiny disco ball is the perfect touch of sparkle, we all need a bit of sparkle, especially while doing mundane chores like laundry.Great job,

  48. love the laundry area but i’m wondering about the bed you ordered, i can’t wait to see it in your master reason be is because i want to order the same one but i really wanted to know if you like it and if it is really sturdy.

    • haven’t put it up yet, I read some reviews AFTER I ordered it and I’m thinking my husband will need to tweak it a little for sturdyness (he usually does this to all of our beds though) but I LOVE the color and the fabric so far.

  49. That is one classy laundry room! I love it! It’s awesome how you personalized it without making any major changes, and the colours are timeless yet current. Great job! (And the counter? Genius!)

  50. I told my husband, the next time we move it’s gotta be to a town near an Ikea! I heart that place….:) Happy Laundering………and with 3, I mean 4 guys I’m guessing you spend a little bit of time in there. I know I sure do.

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