Kelly Marzka, Atlanta
It was the hardest-working room in the house, but Kelly Marzka's laundry room was a real drag. Previous owners had installed a popcorn ceiling, a wallpaper border picturing a hanging clothesline—"as if you needed to clarify what the room was for," says Kelly—and dingy vinyl floors that never really looked clean. A first-round spruce-up nixed the ceiling texture and the wall art, but the room still lacked both style and storage. Finally, Kelly decided it was time to bring the room's look and function up to snuff. She started by adding a flourish to the back wall using a stencil and a pretty pearlescent teal paint that she already had on hand. Her husband, Andy, installed a cabinet found at a garage sale and used leftover wood to create the shelves on either side for added storage. Knowing the vinyl floor had to go, but wanting to spend less than $1 per square foot, the couple ended up adding punchy stripes underfoot using durable porch paint. Above, they hung a homemade light fixture modeled after a designer piece. The finishing touch: a drying rack scored from a high-end store's clearance center at a quarter of the retail cost. Says Kelly: "It feels so fresh and organized—it's finally a place where I'm happy to do laundry."
Shown: A bold floor and a stenciled wall add a visual kick; the new cabinet makes room for supplies.