20 Tips for a Successful Laundry Room

Does your laundry room need a redo? We have laundry room ideas that will make your space more efficient and inviting.

Most people spend five to seven hours a week in their laundry rooms, yet these spaces are often drab, dull and uninviting. Make yours part of the home by taking tips from three successful setups. You may find yourself a little less hesitant to do the wash.

Here's how to make your laundry room more inviting!

Tip 1: Evaluate your laundry room and ask if a new floor plan is needed. One homeowner was dissatisfied with the efficiency of space in her galley laundry room and adjacent pocket bath, so she decided to combine the two rooms. Removing one wall created a more functional space. A knee wall offers privacy for the bath while also serving as a shelf for folded laundry.

Tip 2: When rethinking space, evaluate your current appliances. Consider the longevity of your washer and dryer. Today's models conserve energy and time, including dryers that eliminate the need to pretreat laundry and that adjust cycle lengths to compensate for dampness.

Tip 3: Choose between open or closed storage. Laundry rooms need storage because they often act as a household's drop-off point. Include adequate storage in your planning. Items can be concealed in floor- to-ceiling wall cabinets. Cleaning agents and other accessories are easily accessible in cabinets above the washer and dryer.

Tip 4: Continue your home's decorating scheme into the laundry. Once the wall cabinets were chosen, the homeowner used the rich, natural tones of wood and the warm hue of Laura Ashley Home, Brick 6 in satin. This combination transforms the laundry room into a seamless continuation of the home.

Tip 5: Add ample lighting. The homeowner replaced one fluorescent overhead unit with four recessed lights, bringing a remarkable amount of brightness to the room.

Tip 6: Ceramic tile stands up to high traffic. With damp and dirty clothes in the area, a tile floor was the perfect option for this homeowner. Not only do ceramic tiles offer resistance to damp clothing or towels on the floor, but they also help conceal dirt. Leftover tiles were even used to create the sink's countertop and backsplash, completing the vanity area.

Tip 7: Spruce up small areas with bold color. Wallpaper hides scuffed walls while adding pattern.

Tip 8: Bring outdoor lights in for an interesting twist on lighting. The pendant lights, durable enough for outside, were placed in the closet area for a modern look. Other accessories, echoing the chrome of the fixtures, contribute to the contemporary feel.

Tip 9: Add an open shelf. A quick shelf was crafted out of a panel board bordered with scalloped trim and painted purple. Three wooden brackets provide support.

Tip 10: Conceal the unsightly with corrugated aluminum. Try wrapping a sheet of aluminum around the front of an insulated water heater. Leave the back open to allow air circulation. The silvery aluminum makes a nice counterpoint to the chrome lights.

Tip 11: Give the laundry room a new floor. You can floor a laundry room in one afternoon with a single box of self-adhesive vinyl tile squares.

Tip 12: Step up the laundry hamper. A steel trash can corresponds nicely with the other silver accents and serves as a hamper for the first floor of the home.

Tip 13: Install a hideaway ironing board. When space is an issue, think about including a wall-mounted ironing board. You can even paint it to match the trim.

Tip 14: Hang small garage racks. Small racks on the wall keep clutter out of the way.

Tip 15: Paint the walls. Paint is the quickest way to change the look of any room, especially a basement or garage. To paint concrete, clean walls with soap and water, and rinse completely; let walls dry. Apply a waterproof sealer to the entire area, and let dry. Paint walls the desired color, and enjoy the quick results.

Tip 16: Conceal concrete walls with tile board. Basement laundry rooms often feel dark, damp, and scary. To make your room seem more inviting, attach pressure-treated 1 x 4s with 11/4-inch nails along the top and bottom edges of walls. Vertically place 1 x 4s every 16 inches. Cut tile board to length of wall with a jigsaw, and attach board to 1 x 4 stripping using galvanized 3-penny nails. Nail at 6-inch intervals along the top, bottom, and edges.

Tip 17: Hang wire shelving on concrete walls. Covering concrete walls with wire racks not only offers more storage but also disguises cinder blocks. To hang shelving, make a horizontal line at desired height using a level. Cut metal horizontal support to desired length. While holding the support in place, mark holes on the wall. Remove support, and drill holes with a 5/32-inch masonry bit. Attach support with 3/16- x 2-inch concrete screws. Follow manufacturer's instructions to install horizontal brackets.

Tip 18: Make a movable folding table with a vanity and casters. Turn  a vanity cabinet upside down and attach a 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 1-1/2 inch wood block in each corner with 2-inch drywall screws. Attach casters to the center of each block. Turn cabinet right side up, and attach a prefabricated countertop 1 inch wider than the cabinet top. Secure using 1-1/2 inch drywall screws from the back side. Seal the ends with a preglued end-cap kit. Follow manufacturer's directions. Rough cost estimate: $190

Tip 19: Refinish worn garage or basement windows. Clean up unsightly basement windows by painting frames and sills and installing new trim.

Tip 20: Add window treatments. Construct a window treatment out of indoor/outdoor fabric. Cut fabric to the window's length plus 6 inches and cut width to the exact measurement of the window. Fold the fabric over the top 6 inches, and install grommets 1 inch from the folded top to form a sleeve. Add grommets down each side, and run rope through the grommets. Cut a jagged pattern on the front side of the top folded edge with scissors. Slip a small tension rod through the top fold, and hang in window frame.