Tweaking The Laundry Room: 4 Problems With The Original Makeover

Have you ever invested a lot of time and money into a room makeover and while the results looked fabulous, it was not functioning the way you had hoped?

Well, I have had one of those rooms but thankfully with the initial investment being under $500.00, we could justify the expense of doing a Laundry Room ReMakeover.

Basement Laundry Room ReMakeover|ReDesign

Tweaking The Basement Laundry Room Makeover

When you compare the room to how we lived with it for over a decade, it was a HUGE improvement.

Basement laundry room Before

Aside from the investment of new appliances, a lot of DIY elbow grease, items picked up for a song at our local Habitat ReStore, and leftover tile from a previous project, we were able to pull off a fabulous $500.00 Laundry Room Makeover.

Poor design basement laundry room

Unfortunately, it soon became obvious that we hadn't invested enough time thinking about how the room would function.

Like our recent Bedroom Window Seat REmakeover, we made the mistake of putting form before function.  Rarely a successful combination.

Problems with Laundry Room Design

Back in January, I told Mr. Frugalista that I had been patiently trying to make this space work since 2012 but that it was time to think about giving this room a Redesign.

Problems with the original design

Problem 1: 36-inch counter depth

After getting our new appliances, the obvious choice at the time was to build a countertop over the washer and dryer.  I was so happy to finally be getting a spot to fold laundry, I never gave any thought to how a 36-inch depth would make it near impossible to reach the electrical plug on the backsplash for plugging in the iron.

Problem 2: Inaccessible upper cabinets

Because of the deep counter, you needed a step ladder to reach anything in the back of the upper cabinets.

Problem 3: Sink tucked in the corner

If not for laundry, I use the sink daily to clean paintbrushes when doing furniture makeovers in the adjacent workshop. Aside from being squished in the corner, I had to walk the length of the room holding dripping brushes to access the sink.

Problem 4: The black elephant in the room

At 28-inches deep, our upright freezer stuck half way into the room. Also, the space between the sink and the freezer was very tight. On the other side (not shown in the picture above) is a pocket door leading to the hallway. Not the nicest sightline and I had to walk around it to access the sink and appliances.

Basement Laundry Room cabinets

While in the planning stages of reconfiguring the room, I received an email from Michele, the founder of The Redesign Habit telling me about an e-book she recently published called The Redesign Toolkit: A DIY Guide To Budget Friendly Interior Design. She couldn't have timed that email better.

She invited me to take a sneak peek at her beautifully designed book and had me chuckling before Chapter 1 with her great sense of humor. By Page 3 of Chapter 1, I had pen and paper in hand completing her Room Evaluation Worksheet.

In it she asks questions like:
What things do you like about the room?  laundry sink, upright freezer, red appliances, black countertop, white cabinets, a window, clothes drying rod. 

What things do you not like about the room?  I pretty much answered that above in problems 1-4.

What are the storage needs for this room?  closed upper cabinets for iron and laundry supplies. Tall lower cabinets for a garbage can, drying rack, large laundry product containers.  Open shelving for towels and trinkets.  Spot for ironing board when not in use and laundry basket.  Clothes drying rod. Paper towel holder.  Towel bar for hand towel by the sink.

How do you want your space to feel when it's finished?  Spacious, a good working triangle between appliances, easy access to everything, good lighting, black & white with a pop of red color scheme, a pleasant room to be in.

The worksheet has several other helpful questions and throughout the book, she includes what she calls Never Fear Tips.  For the sake of this REmakeover, the four questions above helped me determine how I wanted this room reconfigured.

Laundry Room REmakeover after reconfiguring appliances

The Solutions

Solution 1:  Stacking the washer and dryer

By purchasing the stacking kit for our washer and dryer, we were able to make room for the upright freezer beside them.  This change remarkably improved the flow.

Laundry Room more spacious after stacking washer and dryer

Solution 2: Adding new lower cabinets

Home Depot was clearing out lower cabinets that happened to have the same door profile as our old upper cabinets.  I love that they are raised with feet, which adds a spacious feel.

New lower cabinets to match salvaged upper cabinets in basement laundry room

Solution 3: Salvaging and modifying old upper cabinets

The upper cabinets and open shelving were salvaged to fit into this space by modifying the depth and width.

Old upper cabinets salvaged and modified in basement laundry room

Solution 4: Salvaging countertop by decreasing the depth

Thankfully we were able to reuse the countertop by shortening the depth to 24-inches and the length to fit the new wall.  It was cut using a straight edge jig clamped onto the counter and cut with a skill saw.  Black Melamine Pre-glued Veneer Edging was applied on the exposed edge.

Old laminate countertop salvaged to fit Laundry Room REmakeover

Open shelving to store towels in basement laundry room REmakeover

Solution 5: Moving the sink adjacent to the hallway door

The sink is in a much better spot being adjacent to the doorway leading to the hall.

Laundry sink moved in Basement Laundry Room REdesign

Solution 6: Adding some fun elements

On the upper-end cabinet above the sink, we used chalkboard paint to create a spot for a shopping list or fun messages. I had a burlap pouch in my stash and wrote CHALK with a Sharpie marker and hung it with a small hook to store sticks of chalk.

Chalkboard paint on upper end cabinet of basement laundry room

Unfortunately we were unable to salvage the old backsplash tiles (which I loved) but we found these simple 4" x 16" white subway tiles for a good price.

Inexpensive subway tile backsplash in Basement Laundry Room REmakeover

I love our new laundry room so much that I think I've done a load of laundry every day since we finished the Redesign.

If you enjoyed our Laundry Room Tweak please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Three phases of a Basement Laundry Room

Press the link here to see how we made the Suspended Clothes Drying Rod pictured below.


I wish I would have had The Redesign Toolkit: A DIY Guide To Budget Friendly Interior Design book the first time we designed this space. Having the helpful worksheets at the end of each chapter really helped zone in on what items were most important in this space from layout, lighting, color, storage, and the list goes on.

The book also includes a Scaled Floor Plan and Furniture Cut-Outs so you can play with the furniture and appliances planned for the room and figure out the best placement before breaking your back with the real thing.

I told Michele that for several years I have been using an Interior ReDesign How-To Book as my Go-To resource for space planning and redecorating. That changed after reading her book.

* I've included affiliate links below where you can purchase the book and/or kit from Amazon. See my disclosure policy page.   


You'll find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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DIY Sunday Showcase Party {03-26-16}

Wishing you all a...

Easter greetings from The Interior Frugalista

Before we get to our fabulous features, did you catch how I Refreshed a Tinware Flower Pot for Frugal Decor Tuesday?

On Thursday, did you catch the SFarmhouse Edition of the monthly Themed Furniture Makeover Day?  I shared How I Transformed Two Dated Cane Back Chairs into Farmhouse Style Beauties using salvaged fabric.  Now that I've got you all caught up on the happenings this past week here at The Interior Frugalista, let's get down to the business of partying.

Welcome to DIY Sunday Showcase Party! Bloggers this is a great link up to showcase your work because not only will it appear on this blog but on the blogs of our five co-hosts. That's six opportunities to have your work featured!

Join us and share your favorite DIY Projects, Crafts, or Recipes.
DIY Sunday Showcase Party button
The party goes Live every Saturday at 5:00 pm CST and runs through the following Wednesday.


Jennifer at Pink When
Erin at My Crafty Spot
Wendi at H20 Bungalow
Alli at An Alli Event
Marie (moi) at The Interior Frugalista

♥♥♥ Our Features From The Last Party ♥♥♥

If you are not one of the six featured here today you may have been featured at our DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE TALENT BOARD on Pinterest so be sure to hop over there as well!

My Pick:
vintage red level turned into a hanging rack

Jen's Pick:
Fresh, delicious, and perfect for spring Asparagus Brunch Pizza | cookingwithcurls.com

Katie's Pick:
Moss and Burlap bunny

Erin's Pick:
DIY Magnetic Succulent Planter - this super simple DIY upcycle craft project transforms an old pepper shaker into a beautiful magnetic planter for a succulent or other plant of choice.

Wendi's Pick:
These 80's cabinets with oak trim are the worst! Give them an update with paint and new hardware, and bring them into a new century. These handy tips will help make the process easier. - The Handyman's Daughter

Alli's Pick:
Tips for getting peonies to bloom year after year!

If you've been featured here today copy our Feature Button!
DIY Sunday Showcase Party feature button


  1. Follow your party hosts.
  2. Post a maximum of 3 of your newest DIY's.
  3. Linking to the party allows the hosts to possibly PIN your project to our DIY Showcase Pinterest Board, use your project in a round-up post (with direct links to your post), as well as Feature your project in the next DIY Sunday Showcase!
  4. Please Do Not Pin from the party, instead go to the original blog post.
  5. In order to be featured you need to grab the button or link and copy it onto your post or on your link party page!
NEWDIYBUTTON So let's get this DIY Sunday Showcase Party started!

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Farmhouse Cane Back Chairs

It's time for another edition of Themed Furniture Makeover Day.  I always look forward to this day but I have to admit, this month's theme was a stretch for me because it is Farmhouse.

Don't get me wrong, I love the farmhouse look with all that vintage chippy goodness but my home is a mixed bag of Traditional, French Provincial, and Shabby Chic.

I found a couple of chairs in my stash that I thought would fit the bill after some chalk paint magic and grain sack stripes.

Farmhouse Cane Back Chairs

Farmhouse Cane Back Chair Makeover

This is what they used to look like...

Cane back chairs Before

Oh my goodness, the stinky dirty upholstery had seen their better days.

Original fabric on cane back chairs

I painted them with three coats of the color Vanilla Frosting chalk paint by Country Chic Paint. Once dry I hit the edges with a 220 grit sanding block for a light distressed look. I thought about going all chippy with it but my traditional side kicked in.

Vanilla Frosting chalk painted Farmhouse Cane Back Chairs

I used a brush to paint the cane, although spraying it would have been easier. I couldn't risk the chance of overspray because I have three projects on the go at the moment, some of which are for clients.

Chalk painted cane on Farmhouse Chairs

Recently I shared our Master Bedroom Window Seat ReMakeover. When I reupholstered the new seat cushion I kept the fabric from the original Window Seat Design. I'm so glad I did because it was perfect to reuse on these chairs.

Farmhouse Cane Back Chairs with salvaged drop cloth upholstery

I made the cushion cover with a drop cloth and painted grain stripes.

Salvaged drop cloth to upholster Farmhouse cane back chairs

Because of the way I had randomly painted the stripes on the bench cushion, I wasn't able to cut the fabric so the stripes matched perfectly on each chair.

Farmhouse Cane Back Chair on the left

  ...but I came close.

Farmhouse Cane Back Chair on the right

In May I am selling at my first outdoor market and these will definitely be coming along.

Farmhouse Cane Back Chairs Makeover

If you like my Farmhouse Cane Back Chair Makeover please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Furniture Girls Themed Furniture Makeover Day
Do you think they fit the Farmhouse bill?

Let's head over and see what the other DIY Furniture Girls created for their Farmhouse piece.

Furniture Girls Themed Furniture Makeover Day

Please pin directly from their blog post rather than the links below.

You'll find this project linked up to these fabulous PARTIES

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A Quick And Easy Fluted Tin Flower Pot Refresh

I've got such an easy peasy project to share with you this week on Frugal Decor Tuesday.  It was so easy I'm almost embarrassed to share it with you but it's too pretty not to.

Tin flower pot refresh with chalk paint

A quick and easy Fluted Tin Flower Pot Refresh

This pretty but dated tin vase has been collecting dust in the corner of the workshop for almost a year. The original retailer's price tag read $24.99 and I think we paid $2.00. I loved the pretty feet and fluted top but wasn't a fan of the patina.

Tin flower pot before

It never ceases to amaze me how a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a piece and this was no exception. All I did was brush a couple of coats of Simplicity White chalk paint on it. Easy peasy, right. After the paint dried I hit the embossed details with 220 grit sandpaper for a distressed look. 

Distressed white painted tin flower pot

The exterior was protected with clear wax and the inside with two coats of  Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Matte Clear spray.

Chalk painted flower pot inside view

I slipped a dollar store glass cylinder inside and filled it with Spring flowers that were on clearance at our local grocery store.

Painted tin flower pot and Spring flowers

It was the perfect addition to my simple dining room Spring vignette.

Tin flower pot refreshed

Would you consider it a vase or a flower pot?

Whatever it is, next time you see these tin pots on the thrift store shelves, think twice about walking right by it.

You'll find this project linked up at these fabulous linky PARTIES.

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