7 Ways to Update Your Laundry Room in Just One Weekend
If you dread doing laundry, it might not be the task itself—it may be more of an issue with where you’re doing it. Turns out, it’s the household chore people tend to enjoy the most (ranking ahead of doing the dishes and vacuuming), according to a 2019 survey by the American Cleaning Institute. But most of us tend to place our washer and dryer in the least-hospitable nooks of our homes. We’re so focused on the utility of the space—this is a room where you get stuff done—that we don’t put much thought into making it an area where we actually want to be.
This weekend, that changes. It’s time to reclaim that square footage, creating a laundry room that makes sorting, flipping and folding feel meditative—and (dare we say it?) downright enjoyable.
1. See the Bright Side of Your Space
One of the first things home stagers do before putting a house on the market is making sure each room is as bright and airy as possible, so it seems bigger and dreamier. The same can be done for your laundry room—no electrician needed. Stick a few battery-operated puck lights under your upper cabinets or open shelves, remove any heavy curtains and consider adding a floor lamp for more ambient light.
2. Create a Space-Saving Folding Station
If you’re short on square footage, consider installing a drop-down counter or wall-mounted folding table. That way, you’re not trying to fold everything atop your washer and dryer—or fighting to squeeze around a traditional table. And, if you’re feeling really creative, you can always frame a piece of art, paint or wallpaper the underside of the table, so when it’s folded up, it livens up your walls.
3. Upgrade Your Detergent
In 2020, you resolved to be gentle on yourself—how about taking that call to action literally? Like, very literally. Try swapping out your regular detergent for one that’s 100 percent free of perfumes and dyes, like All® Free Clear Clean & Care. It’s from the number one brand recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, with a keratin-enriched formula that smooths fibers to promote elasticity.
4. Go Green
Laundry rooms can feel sterile, so a little greenery can go a long way in making the space feel homey. Carve out a little space for a dragon tree, peperomia or crown of thorns if the room gets very little light—or opt for a pothos or ficus if you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t need to be watered often. (And if you go faux, we won’t judge.)
5. Bust Out the Stencils
Sure, you could retile your floors, but if you’re looking for a simpler (and more affordable) project, grab some porch and floor paint, painter’s tape, brushes and a stencil, and DIY your own design. Granted, this project will likely take an entire day, but this one change will make the room feel like a totally new (and totally Pinterest-worthy) space.
6. Streamline Your Storage
That bulky plastic hamper you’ve been hauling around since college? It’s time for an upgrade. Woven baskets add neutral color and a little texture, making the room feel cozier and more inviting.
7. Perk Up Your Cabinets
Every room in your house should tell your story, and the laundry room is no exception. Swap out your drawer pulls and knobs for something that’s a little more whimsical, if that’s your style, or give them a paintover in a soothing shade, like pale blue, ballet slipper pink or a green with yellow undertones. (On the flip side, this small space can also be a great way to try something dramatic, like a sunshine yellow you love but aren’t sure you could live with all day, every day.) The bottom line? Take a risk and go for whatever makes you smile—those little pops of personality can go a long way in creating a space you love.