5 Design Ideas to Steal From a Gorgeous Garage-Turned-Laundry Room

You won't even believe the "before" photo.

For the past 10 years, interior designer and lifestyle blogger Anita Yokota has struggled with one major household inconvenience: a too-small laundry room in the garage. And we use the term "laundry room" loosely—if you scroll down to the before image below, you'll see that the space consisted of a washer and dryer hanging out in the corner of a cluttered garage.

As a designer, Anita Yokota collects quite a bit of furniture and styling props that need storing, so the garage fills up before her annual summer garage sale. Finally, the designer decided to take the yearly clean-out one step further by not just decluttering but also organizing and decorating her would-be laundry room.

The result is a beautiful, über-organized space full of laundry room garage ideas to steal for your own home. After examining the remarkable before and after, find a few of our favorite styling tips below. Then, to get even more of Yokota's expert design advice, check out the living room she designed for the 2019 Real Simple Home.

Laundry Room Makeover


cluttered garage laundry room
Anita Yokota

Before the makeover, there wasn't much of a laundry room to speak of. In fact, Yokota's car was typically parked right in front of the washer and dryer, making the cramped space even tighter. With three kids, laundry was a part of the family's daily routine, but the garage made this chore even more difficult.


Laundry room in garage reveal
Anita Yokota

After an epoxy floor makeover, wallpapering the walls, adding a countertop, and finishing it all with decorative accents, it's hard to believe this is the same space. What was once a cold garage now looks like a cozy spot where you wouldn't mind doing a couple of loads of laundry.

To recreate this laundry room in your garage or small space, consider the following styling tips:

01 of 05

Maximize Countertop Space

One of the most functional additions to the room was the decision to install a porcelain countertop over both the washer and dryer. This provides a clean surface to stash detergent and supplies and a spot to fold laundry while it's fresh from the dryer. If you have front-loading machines in your laundry room, consider installing a countertop above them.

02 of 05

Install Open Shelving

Laundry room makeover with open shelving
Anita Yokota

A once-blank wall now serves a dual purpose: Pretty patterned wallpaper and artwork make the laundry room a more pleasant place to hang out, while open shelving sneaks more storage into the laundry room. To keep the open shelving organized, Yokota stashed linens and laundry supplies in various woven baskets and bowls.

To maintain the tidy look, Tokota has a recommendation: Edit often! "If you find things collecting dust, then perhaps it doesn't belong on a shelf. Things that go on a shelf are items that you use at least weekly, bi-weekly at most," she says.

03 of 05

Make a Soft Landing Spot

If you know you will be standing in your laundry room for potentially long lengths of time, follow Yokota's lead and place a cozy rug underfoot. A long runner is an ideal floor covering if you have a washer, dryer, and sink all arranged side-by-side.

04 of 05

Upgrade Your Cabinets

Beautiful laundry room with IKEA hack cabinet
Anita Yokota

To hide essentials under the sink and out of sight, Yokota decided to hack an IKEA SEKTION cabinet using an on-trend cane (sourced from a local supplier) and stylish brass door knobs. Consider switching out the hardware on the cabinets below the sink in your laundry room—this 5-minute makeover can quickly update the space.

05 of 05

Add Wow-Worthy Wallpaper

Why wallpaper? "It's the most effective way to transform a space besides paint!" Yokota says. On the hunt for a playful yet muted wallpaper, the designer found the perfect match in Rebecca Atwood's Dotted Leaves in Gray-Lilac. The effect is a stunning focal wall that collects compliments that the designer won't tire of soon.

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