Today we’re sharing 5 tips to transform any space into a special family friendly laundry room with tons of functionality for a busy family. See the full reveal and how we designed a family-friendly laundry room in our garage!
Even though it turned into a bigger and longer project than we had originally planned (aren’t they all that way?!), it was 100% worth it! It’s been two years of WANTING to tackle this laundry room makeover ever since we relocated the washer and dryer area to what was our garage. Yet, we’ve had to focus on other rooms and projects, and life in general while raising four kids. The imminent arrival of the twins kicked us into high gear knowing that we’d have THAT MUCH MORE LAUNDRY once they arrive (at the end of THIS MONTH… nothing like cutting it close, right?!).
We’ve come a long way, and proof makeover projects don’t just happen overnight (kind of how it feels when we watch our favorite design shows or scroll Instagram, right?) – here’s how far we’ve come in the past couple of years in this home, and the real-life picture of the messy garage space that was the beginning of our laundry room.
Table of Contents
Our Garage turned Family Friendly Laundry Room DIY Steps
Build a faux cabinet to cover the breaker boxes (click for tutorial)
Create a built-in cover to hide the ugly air handler – great for water heaters too (tutorial coming soon)
Stencil paint the cement floor (click for tutorial)
Build a DIY Peg Rack + Shelf (tutorial post coming soon)
For any laundry room makeover, first clear out, clean up and plan.
Just like in any room makeover, the first thing we needed to do was clear out the clutter. This included removing the old, broken cabinets from the wall above the washer and dryer and emptying the room so we could truly access the space and plan.
It was about a month of living in what felt like MORE clutter because we completely cleared out the room (besides the washer and dryer… because clean clothes are a necessity). This allowed me to sort through items, toss what we didn’t need and decide how and where to use the items that were left.
In a previous post in our laundry room series, I talked about 5 tips for planning the perfect laundry room, so let’s break it down to how we designed our family-friendly laundry room!
Keep the design simple.
We went with clean lines, like shiplap on a few of the walls, as well as the same paint color that is throughout our home to make this space feel like a continuation of our home and not just a second thought.
The biggest focus of our small-space laundry room was to create the feeling of a larger space, hide the ugly utilities and create storage solutions that made sense for our family (so everyone could use it!). This meant keeping the design simple and with every item or DIY we brought in asking ourselves, “Will this be useful?” I didn’t want to clutter up the space with too much, we already had clutter for so long! I wanted to pair down what we had, keep the items in the laundry room to what would be useful and make it an open, clean space in the hopes that doing laundry would be more enjoyable… and something that EVERYONE in the house can lend a hand in doing.
A family-friendly laundry room needs appliances that EVERYONE in your home can use.
So let’s talk about the appliances. I partnered with LG through Lowe’s and I couldn’t be happier with these bad boys for tackling all the messes our big family has to offer – and believe me, we have a lot of them. I love how they look, how they function and how much they hold. I’m officially a top loader fan… we actually have been a top-loader family for a while as our previous washer was a top loader from LG as well. Both washer and dryer are super easy to use but have a lot of options… besides being WiFi-enabled, so quiet and super fast.
The LG WT7300 5.0 cu. ft. Top-Load Washer with TurboWash3DTM is nothing like the top load washer you remember growing up. I know the name is a long one, but the TurboWash3DTM technology provides an amazing clean without an agitator filling up the middle, so it’s kinder to clothes. Plus LG 6Motion technology uses up to 6 different wash motions, ranging from a scrubbing PowerMotion that helps to dissolve stains to the gentle swinging motion that’s ideal for delicates. Basically, all ways to get clothes cleaner while helping them last longer. And the mega capacity handles more clothes in every load (like a king-size comforter AND sheet set in ONE load), for big-time savings, both in time and money.
My favorite part of the LG SmartThinkQ Dryer is the Easy Load Door that opens two ways to prevent drips and dropped items! When I’m moving wet laundry from the washer, I pull down on the hamper style door and nothing falls to the floor! When it’s time to empty the clothes into a basket, I just swing the door to the side to make room for a basket below.
Plus, smart features just like the washer, let you start the cycles from anywhere (from an app on our phone!). And with Sensor Dry, the dryer adjusts drying time to save energy with less wear and tear on clothes.
Along with the washer and dryer, we installed the LG Styler Steam Clothing Care System which is a stand-alone unit (just plug it in, no wiring or plumbing needed!!) that refreshes, sanitizes and gently dries… it even creases pants! With kids, I LOVE having a sanitizing station (and if you have kids, you’ll know the plethora of reasons you’ll need to sanitize everything from blankets to stuffed animals to sheets and clothing). The WiFi-enabled smart technology lets you use voice activation, Google assistant and more to reduce wrinkles, odors, and allergens and keep clothes smelling fresh.
Bring in a statement piece for added laundry room style.
From a bold flooring option to a colorful wallpaper (I’ve seen some GORGEOUS options lately), or even fun art, a statement piece can truly make the room. For ours, we went with a stenciled floor.
Since this was part of our garage, the floor was already cement, so painting was a fairly easy task, and definitely more cost-effective and timely that installing a tile floor! Plus with the little step we were dealing with, painting helped up to avoid extra cuts and crazy tile installation issues.
We decided to go with a porch and patio paint for the durability, especially in a room that could possibly have water and/or spills at times. Originally I hadn’t planned on painting a base coat, as I didn’t mind a bit of a rustic, worn look… but in the end, seeing how dirty the original garage floor looked (and stayed, even after cleaning), we decided to go for the base coat.
For this laundry room, we used Valspar Porch and Patio Latex paint in Cement Gray for the base and then used the white (untinted) Anti-Skid Porch and Floor Paint for the stencil.
I’ll be breaking down the full DIY tutorial soon in another post for this series, so stay tuned!
Consider what you can remove and what you might want to cover-up.
Take into account your own space and see if there are unsightly things or items you can change out or remove… and what truly needs to stay. Of course, for this laundry room, breaker boxes and an air handler definitely had to stay. Adding DIY built-ins can create extra storage options and a clean, cohesive look.
Once we had the room cleared out, we could begin the process of building in some custom “cabinet” style covers for the utilities, like the breaker boxes and air handler.
If we were keeping the large water heater, we would have created the built-in around that as well, but as it goes, this was the perfect time to replace it for a tankless water heater. With that one replacement, we were able to save on space (huge in my opinion for this small laundry room area), as well as our utility bills!
The below DIY air handler and water heater cover turned out SO great, and I’m loving how the shiplap just continues from the wall, making it all look like it was meant to be.
We’ll have a full DIY tutorial for the large built-in wall around the air handler soon as well… and if you can’t change out the water heater, a system like this is a great solution.
Find creative ways to add more storage for a family-friendly laundry room.
Find options that are cute and can hold all of your laundry room essentials, not only for convenience but a boost of style!
If you have space, install open shelving, but bring in containers like pretty baskets to corral everything and even hide some of the items you don’t want to leave out in the open. Then, add in clear containers for storage in plain sight while bringing down the visual clutter (ie, powdered detergent containers, etc.).
On our shelves, we also added a small glass jar and dish as catch-alls for all the random things found in pockets – coins, screws (the sign of a DIYer), chapstick, etc. Plus, the room has a small garbage for dryer lint and trash that I am constantly finding in my kids’ pockets, like gum and candy wrappers (WHY ARE THERE ALWAYS CANDY WRAPPERS IN KID’S JEANS??? LITTLE PEOPLE ARE LIKE MAGNETS FOR FINDING SUGAR).
The DIY Peg Rack and Shelf that Chris quickly put together for me (a tutorial on that coming soon as well!), holds a feather duster that doesn’t fit with the rest of our cleaning supplies, a bag that can be used on-the-go anytime and a great space to hang things like hats and random items as they dry. Plus, the little shelf adds a bit of decor and a place for clothespins.
I am LOVING these rolling baskets that can easily be assigned to different systems based on every family’s need. Each child could have their own, one could be for clean (that needs to be folded) and one for dirty. Currently, our rolling baskets are used to sort based on color.
And finally, some kind of hanging system or rod for clothing items that are too precious for a dryer is also a great family-friendly laundry room solution. You know, to avoid draping shirts and pants along the backs of chairs and just about every surface you can find throughout the house. I think it’s pretty safe to say, we’ve all been there. At least if you’ve been following me on Instagram stories, you know that I have been! I’m STILL working on a hanging rod system for our laundry room that will take advantage of the vertical space, but in the meantime, a simple foldable drying rack works wonders. The drying rack and a foldable step stool also fit perfectly between our appliances and the wall for easy storage when not in use, and making them easily within reach for whoever needs it.
The Final Reveal of our Garage Laundry Room
After a few weeks of installing appliances, building cabinets, adding shelves, and painting, painting and painting some more – we put the finishing touches on our NEW LAUNDRY ROOM and we’re SO for this big reveal!
There you have it! Five tips that really took this old garage area and transformed it into a special laundry room with tons of functionality for a busy family. Our family-friendly laundry room is now equipped to handle all of life’s messes while being a place that I don’t mind handling those messes! With soon-to-be SIX young children, these appliances will sure get the love – and use – they deserve. A big thanks to Lowe’s for partnering with us on the laundry room of our dreams! Let us know what you think and of course, leave any questions you have in the comments below.
What do you love most about your laundry room? Share in a comment below!