Fixing Laundry Room Problem Areas

Living in a house that floods often, we understandably ignored the basement for the first few years we lived here. What’s the point in crafting the perfect aesthetic when it’ll be washed away in a year or two? But there was something about the laundry room remaining unfinished that felt yucky.

I guess unfinished is an unfair statement. It was finished at some point. There was drywall and tile and even some trim. But the evidence of flooding was still there. The drywall was brittle and bubbling, and entire sections of the ceiling had been cut out. 

Overall, the room had seen better days. The light wasn’t properly secured to the ceiling and was dangling by its wires. Several pipes wrapped around the room and were big eye sores. Some of the things wrong with the room I knew were outside of the scope of the project — I wouldn’t be able to fix.

And honestly, most of the flooding damage could have been fixed with some deep cleaning, but since I’d have to paint anyway, I decided to go full-out. Plus, there were some functionality issues I wanted to address.

Laundry Room Problem Areas

  • Very little storage. Only a very small wall shelf, likely original to the house, was tucked in a corner. It barely held a modern bottle of detergent and bleach, and the top shelf was mostly useless because of a low-hanging vent. 
  • Chopped up floor plan. The laundry room holds most of the utilities for the house. Our furnace, water heater, and assorted moisture-controlling equipment share the space, turning the layout into a strange L-shape that wasn’t ideal.
  • Not cozy. How cozy a laundry room should be is debatable. But between a light fixture that dangled from the ceiling, cold floor tile, general disorganization, and claustrophobia, I hated being in there. Access to clean pants was becoming an issue.

Because I had such a defined set of laundry room problem areas, coming up with a plan to fix them was pretty easy.

I chose the color Clary Sage from Sherwin-Williams. There’s something about this green that I’m very into right now. It reminds me of the dingy color copper turns over time, which is apparently my new aesthetic. 

I loved the color but was very aware that the darker shade could make the small room feel tight. And the shelves weren’t doing enough to detract from the tubes running everywhere. To offset that, I decided to make a feature wall behind the washer and dryer using peel and stick subway tiles that I ordered off Amazon. (Links below!) 

I wasn’t originally going to have the tiles go all the way to the ceiling, but four boxes I ordered left me with plenty of tiles — and if we’re being honest, there are no tiles behind the washer and dryer. No one’s gonna see that. But adding those tiles really helped to draw the eye up, and the room felt so much bigger.

I knew I wanted to add more shelving, not just for functionality, but also because of what they could do for the room. I had tried it in the past (notice the phantom hanging brackets?), but clearly didn’t hang them correctly. In the end, it didn’t matter that the shelves fell down. I would have taken them down on my own eventually. They were too small and not quite my taste. 

We had some leftover wood from a kennel project, and we cut it down to size, and the brackets, I found on Amazon. (Links below!) The shelves run the entire length of the wall, drawing the eye up and across, adding to the illusion of size.

Of course, when you looked up, you noticed the ceiling. There wasn’t much I could do at the time to fix the holes, but that light was getting fixed. I drilled new holes for the mount, and added a stylish shade.

When it came to hiding all my ugly mechanicals, there wasn’t much I could do. The water heater needed air flow, so we couldn’t add a door, and the dehumidifier needed space to draw in air. Besides, there was no way a door could open in that small of a space, especially with the dryer right there.

I settled on hanging some curtains from a shower curtain rod. This turned out to be the smarter move. I was able to easily tuck a trash can and the dehumidifier behind the curtain, and I’m planning to hang a drying rack back there, too.

To make standing at the washing machine more tolerable, I added a small jute rug. In addition to keeping my feet warm against a hard, cold floor, the rug also helped to disguise the slightly outdated floor tile. 

All that was left was final touches! While the shelves were needed for function, I also wanted them to be stylish. I scrounged bits and pieces from around the house to accent the functional items, like by putting my dryer sheets and wet mop pads in baskets. I put my clothespins on display in a glass jar and am repurposing a porcelain soap dish as a change dish. The faux plant was added for a bit of life. The letterboard is just for sass.

I’ve linked all the products I could below! 


Shelf brackets

Shelf stain


Paint color


Jute rug

Soap dish

Letter board

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