What started as a weekend distraction while I was trying to stay out of Emmett’s way in our One Room Challenge space (aka- the formal living room), ended up as a full-blown budget friendly laundry room makeover. This laundry room is slightly larger than the one at our previous home, and I’m very happy to have a designated space for laundry and the dogs. However, we’re hoping to relocate the laundry room someday. Eventually I’d like to add a sink, a dog bath, lots of cabinetry, and really create the laundry room of my dreams in a larger room we aren’t using. A big renovation and the relocation of laundry units is very expensive and it could be awhile before we transition this space into a mudroom and end up moving the laundry. Not knowing when we’ll be able to tackle my dream laundry room (it could be years), I wanted to make our existing space better and beautiful in the meantime… more representative of my personal aesthetic. I gave myself $300 to spend to makeover this space. Click through to see how it turned out, the before images, the budget breakdown, tips for tackling your own mini makeover, and all of the resources!
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Per usual, let’s start with a before image. The cabinetry is laminate, as is the countertop. The overall space is pretty functional, but very bland. If you’re wondering about the niche to the left side of the room… it used to house a refrigerator for the previous homeowners. We already have a massive fridge in our newly renovated kitchen, and we have an apartment-sized fridge in our basement kitchen. It seemed kind of crazy and unnecessary to install a third(!) refrigerator in the laundry room. Ready to see the end result before I break it down?
It’s amazing what paint, contact paper, and sticky tile can do for a space with a relatively small amount of money in a short period of time… talk about quick, transformative power! First let’s chat about the paint…
Many of you were concerned when I cracked open a can of Emerald Interior paint with the swatch name Cargo Pants SW 7738 on IG stories. I knew from the beginning I wanted to paint the laminate cabinetry a warm, putty color. My plan was to keep this space bright and neutral, with high contrast graphic moments. If you’re wondering how I applied the paint, I used the same exact process from this post. Check it out for the complete tutorial!
To go with my cabinetry color, I opted for bright white on the walls- Extra White SW 7006… and BLACK (yes you read that correctly… black!) on the ceiling- Tricorn Black SW 6258. Why did I paint the ceiling black? You’ve seen me use this trick before. Remember our previous bathroom? Painting the ceiling black can solve a multitude of problems. In our bathroom, it elongated and made the ceiling height look taller. On our carport, it covered old wood that wasn’t in the best shape, masking imperfections. In this space, it’s helping hide the textured ceiling. I prefer a smooth ceiling and given this was a budget makeover, I knew the best way to camouflage the texture on ceiling was to paint it a flat dark color. It almost made it disappear! I swear black paint is magic if you use it in the right place.
Want to see another before and after comparison before we get into the nitty gritty details? I vote yes…
Annnnd- the after. It’s a lot better, right? What exactly did I do to get from Point A to Point B? I painted the cabinetry, walls, and ceiling. I swapped the overhead light fixture, added a plug-in wall sconce, “tiled” the wall & floor, swapped the cabinetry hardware, installed a shelf, covered the countertop & backsplash in contact paper, and styled the space. It sounds like a lot, but it was really easy and pretty quick. Once things were painted, I felt pretty motivated.
Without having to bust out heavy tools or construction materials, like we typically do, this room looks totally transformed without the stress, mess, and chaos of a full-blown renovation. It feels so much more like us. I’m honestly pretty impressed! Using these types of materials is new for me and I have to say- the end result is better than I expected. I’ll let you know how everything holds up, but for now- it’s doing great.
I decided to add a shelf with hanging space where the refrigerator niche is located to make better use of the negative space. Emmett wanted me to add another base cabinet, but this is a BUDGET renovation, my friends…. plus Crosby likes to sleep down there.
I bought this pet bed months ago just because it fit this particular niche. Cash has a matching one in a smaller size. Both dogs like to cuddle up in here and in addition to laundry, this is kind of “their room.” They’ve been ruling the roost these days and free roaming more than they used to, but we still keep them in the laundry room when we’re out and about. We usually have a construction zone somewhere in the house and it wouldn’t be safe to leave the dogs unsupervised.
All of that to say- that’s the reason why my laundry room design plans always have some dog-related elements thrown into them! Anything for the pups.
As for the herringbone peel-and-stick wall tile, it went up easier than I expected. Is it as great as the real deal? Obviously not, but it’s an incredible budget-friendly, fast solution that looks pretty convincing. I will say- I tried to caulk the edge and it didn’t work out very well. I ended up wiping it off because it made it look worse. I’d recommend clean cuts rather than correcting with caulk for this stuff… just a tip if you ever use it. It can be a difficult material to cut, but I found that kitchen shears work like a dream! Skip the blade or regular scissors.
The floor tile is a mix of peel-and-stick floor tile squares and faux marble contact paper, cut to size. Remember when I shared my designer retreat trip to San Francisco? I stayed at the Proper Hotel and was super inspired by the shower floor tile. I wanted to replicate it (at a different scale) in this room. The floor honestly took longer than any other task in this space. Cutting each square was tedious, but I love the graphic end result.
On the backsplash wall, I used faux marble contact paper for a solid slab look. My biggest tip for installing contact paper in a convincing way is to grain match the marble pattern. If you look closely, you can see the seam, but matching the veining really helps to disguise it. Emmett actually couldn’t find the seam when I asked him to point it out, haha!
I’d also recommend heat setting all of the “sticky” products once they’re installed. In high school and college, I worked for a design company that specialized in large scale graphics (fun fact, right?). I installed giant decals like this for a decade of my life and I’m still pretty good at it. Toss the squeegee the tile comes with and use a soft one (with a felt edge) for application instead, followed by the heat gun to really activate the adhesive and suck out any air. I’m hoping this will help things last longer and increase durability.
The same process goes for the contact paper. I thought a countertop with texture would help offset the curved laminate shape and backsplash- making it look… well, less like laminate. I found this rich black paper with a woodgrain pattern that was perfect for the space.
Below, you guys already know this is my favorite detergent and laundry line (the Laundress). You’ve seen it in all of my homes and laundry spaces. I like that I can leave it out because the packaging is minimal and pretty. I also love that it’s not heavy or bulky, because you only add a cap full of liquid to the wash. Bonus points if it looks great next to the cabinet paint color. Ha!
The name of the game for this makeover was saving money and making a BIG impact with a small budget. I’m not sure how many of you have been around since we moved into this house, but one of my biggest tips is finding appliances at the dent & scratch warehouse. I snagged my washer & dryer set immediately after moving in, for a fraction of the price. The dents are on the side and back- which isn’t visible, given their position in the room.
I tried to use things I already owned to stay within my budget, which I’ll break down at the end of the post, but if you’re interested in alllll the sources- I’m linking those below!
Click directly on the items below to shop or use the numbered links at the bottom…
01: semi flush mount // 02: laundry brush // 03: peel and stick tile // 04: black tile sticker // 05: ceramic dog treat jar // 06: denim wash // 07: wood shelf // 08: dark marble contact paper // 09: fabric conditioner // 10: Cargo Pants SW 7738 // 11: carrara marble contact paper // 12: black wood grain contact paper // 13: woven basket // 14: vase // 15: mirrored tray // 16: table lamp // 17: wall sconce // 18: cabinet pull // 19: terrier art print // 20: home spray // 21: detergent // 22: laundry bag // 23: Tricorn Black SW 6258 // 24: tall hamper // 25: woven lidded basket // 26: Extra White SW 7006 // *not pictured : dog bed
Lots of you have asked about the hardware. I needed to find cabinet pulls with 3″ hole spacing that felt taller than they actually were. That’s a good design trick to remember! If your cabinets have pre-drilled 3″ holes (typically the smallest pull size), opt for hardware that protrudes past the screws so it looks more grand. I added a tassel, just for fun.
Ready for the budget breakdown? Spoiler alert… I went over my $300 allowance, but I’m still calling this a win! I didn’t anticipate covering so much surface area with peel-and-stick material… therefore, I ended up ordering more.
- herringbone wall tile // $200 (I ended up needing more than I thought – 4 boxes)
- light marble contact paper // $116 (I also had to order more – 2 rolls)
- dark marble contact paper // $46 (2 rolls)
- black sticky floor tiles // $10 (1 pack)
- black contact paper // $18 (2 rolls)
- cabinetry hardware // $30 (for a set of 24- I had a bunch leftover)
- wall shelf // $53 (1 shelf)
- wall sconce // $56 (1 sconce)
- TOTAL = $529
Everything else I already owned, and Sherwin-Williams generously provided the paint. I’d say for $529 this room was worth it. What do you think? Does it look more expensive than you guessed?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! Did you like this quick and budget-friendly makeover? I’m used to totally gutting a space and completely renovating, so this was new for me. I love that we have a beautiful room that better fits our aesthetic until we can move the laundry room someday. For $500, I think it was worth having a room we like and can enjoy in the meantime. I’ll keep you guys posted as to how everything holds up. I’ll be interested to see how the materials wear and how they withstand our dogs. This space definitely sees a lot of foot traffic! If you liked this one, let me know… the door in the laundry room leads to the powder room and I’m considering giving it a little refresh as well. Would you want to see that?