Space of the Week: A Laundry Room Goes From Disaster Zone to Pinterest-Worthy on a Budget

The before-and-after does not disappoint.

Space of the Week, Laundry Room After
Photo: Rebecca Hay Designs

When designer Rebecca Hay jumped into the makeover of her basement laundry room just two weeks before Christmas and five months before her second child was due, she was in a race against the clock to get her home sorted (and styled) in time. The finished laundry room and storage space is full of timesavers, like IKEA cabinets, and money-savers, like a fridge sourced from the scratch-and-dent section, but judging by the end result, you'd never guess any corners were cut.

Space of the Week, Laundry Room Before
The laundry room before the makeover. Rebecca Hay Designs

To speed up the makeover, Hay went with stocked and immediately available cabinets, countertops, and a sink basin from IKEA. Especially over the past year, when the pandemic has caused many items to be delayed and backordered, only using in-stock pieces sped up the process by several months. Another timesaver: Hay's husband installed the subway tile backsplash himself rather than waiting to hire someone. The only time the couple took a pause on the project was while waiting for the plumber to hook up the faucet and appliances.

Space of Week, Laundry Room Makeover
Rebecca Hay Designs

For a stylish, high-contrast effect, Hay paired black lower cabinets with pristine white subway tiles above. "I wanted to take a risk in this space," Hay explains the decision to install black cabinets. "It's a basement laundry room so it's a great opportunity to have a little fun! Taking a risk in a small space is what I always encourage my clients to do." The butcher block countertop, brass hardware, and woven accents warm up the room and prevent it from feeling stark. A few bursts of color are brought in through accessories and the striped rug.

In addition to serving as the family's laundry room, this basement area is also a storage space and has a spare refrigerator for overflow food and drinks during the holidays. By searching the scratch-and-dent section, Hay was able to score a new refrigerator (with minor damage) at a big discount.

Get the Look:

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Butcher Block Counters

Butcher Block Counter from IKEA

One of the main goals of the makeover was to add counterspace for folding clothes—the wrap-around butcher block counter even covers the top of the washer and dryer, ensuring every inch of surface space is utilized.

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A Modern Faucet

Black Lowes Faucet

To match the black lower cabinets, Hay went with a sleek black faucet that works with either one- or three-hole sinks and countertops. Did we mention it costs less than $175?

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Decorative Laundry Baskets

Round Open Weave Basket

Save your bulky plastic basket for transporting loads of laundry from room to room—invest in trendy open weave baskets for holding freshly washed towels or detergents and dryer balls.

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A Colorful Rug

Rug Striped Cotton Area Rug
World Market

Not only will a vibrant striped rug punch up the color in a neutral room, but it also provides a soft spot to stand as you fold laundry. If you aren't splurging on a new floor for the space, covering over the existing tile is an affordable way to give the room a fresh look.

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Cityscape Artwork

Black and White Paris Photo

Black-and-white photography set in a wooden frame ties together the black cabinets, wooden countertops, and white subway tiles in the space. Choose photos of the city where you live, or opt for a city you'd love to visit, so you can pretend you're wandering the streets of Paris as you fold T-shirts.

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