A Stylish Laundry Room for $87
White cabinets, pale aqua walls, and horizontal batten detailing give a cave-like space a bright new look
After: White wainscoting brightens the room while open shelves help give the space breathing room.
Hardworking laundry rooms often get the short end of the stick style-wise. That was the case at Jennifer and Michael Mead's house, in Kennewick, Washington, where the tiny utility space felt dim and claustrophobic.
To lighten its look, Jennifer first removed the room's swinging door to open it up, then removed the middle door to the bank of cabinets above the machines. Next, she created wainscoting by tacking 3½-inch-wide medium-density fiberboard (MDF) strips to the bottom portion of the wall, orienting it horizontally.
She painted the boards, the lower wall, and the cabinets a creamy white. Distressing the cabinet details and edges with sandpaper and darkening the exposed wood with an ink pad gave them an aged patina.
Above the wainscoting, the walls and ceiling got a coat of soft blue-green. A DIY rack stores the ironing board in a convenient, out-of-the-way spot, and the redo gives everyone more breathing room."It all makes the space feel so much larger," Jennifer says. "Now it actually feels good to be doing laundry."
Before: The cramped closet-size space was overpowered by orangey oak cabinets.
The Project Tally
Removed a cabinet door for a more open look $0
Created wainscoting using 3½-inch-wide MDF strips nailed up horizontally $30
Painted the cabinets and bottom portion of the walls with leftover white paint $0
Distressed the cabinets using sandpaper and scrapbooking ink she had on hand, to create a vintage effect $0
Added a pop of color on the upper walls and ceiling with blue-green paint $35
Made a holder using scrap wood and coat hooks to store the family's ironing board $12
Hung a sign above the cabinets made with wood and a stick-on decal $10