Duo Ventures

Friday, August 17, 2012

Laundry Room Makeover

We'll have to blame this room re-do on the Container Store - we this photo in their catalog & it gave us just the inspiration we needed for a little revamp of our own.  We had been trying to reconfigure our storage/organization system in our laundry room, but just couldn't commit to a plan until we saw that photo.

Unfortunately, we do not have an 'original' before shot of our laundry room due to the fact that we were so excited to get started & forgot to snap a before photo for reference purposes.  However, we think you'll get the idea from the picture below.

Imagine this room with the addition of a fixed wire shelving unit across the back wall, a bronze flush mount light fixture (AKA: boob light), & ugly linoleum flooring (Mel's dad helped us install some peel & stick floor tiles last year):
So you get the idea.  Not cute or functional.  Our water heater is also conveniently located in our laundry room.  Also not so cute:

|paint & shelves|
First thing we did was paint the entire room using some leftover paint from our stairway & upstairs hallway - Smooth Stone by Glidden.  After the paint completely dried, we installed an adjustable rail system from Home Depot.

FYI- there is a top 'hang track' piece that helps with keeping it level as you install - we opted not to buy it, but we would recommend that you DO purchase it to make things easier:

We decided to go with solid white shelves (as opposed to the wire ventilated shelves- like in our inspiration photo) because we felt that storage containers would slide on & off more easily.  To maximize our storage space, we wrapped the shelving around the room in an 'L' shape:

We also needed an area that we could hang dry certain clothing items, so we added this bar which works awesome:

|new lighting|
There are no windows in our laundry room - which means we do not have ample natural light & the existing light just wasn't cutting it.  So, we swapped it out for a new square fixture that we got on clearance @ Lowe's (see the 'before' photo above). 

Unfortunately, it simply wasn't giving off enough light - so we moved it to our foyer & replaced it with the Alang ceiling fixture from IKEA.  For more details on that, you can check out our photo tutorial: how to install Ikea Alang Ceiling Lamp:

|buh-bye water heater|
Next, we had to figure out a way to hide that ugly water heater.  While we were @ IKEA, we saw the KVARTAL ceiling mounted curtain track system which we thought would be the perfect solution.

Luckily, it did work out perfectly!

Side Note: We've received a couple of comments in regards to this solution being a potential fire hazard or fire code violation.  We did not initially take this into consideration as the curtains never actually touch the water heater.  However, as one reader mentioned, there may be minimum clearance requirements within your insurance policies & fire codes.  We recommend that you research your local fire codes before implementing this system just in case.

It's nice that we can hide it away, but can still access it if needed.
(Click here to see how we installed the IKEA KVARTAL track)

|the details|
We picked up a bunch of storage bins, baskets, & jars from Garden Ridge.  All of our extra paper products (towels, TP, tissue) are stored in the white metal bins.  We also keep other miscellaneous items (heating pad, beach stuff, etc) tucked away in the baskets:

Mel also found this metal laundry hanger @ Hobby Lobby & thought it would work perfectly to store our mini ironing board:

The color wasn't quite we we were going for - but nothing a few coats of white spray paint couldn't fix:

Next, we used some over-the-door shoe organizers to store all of our cleaners on the back of the door.  These things are awesome - they allow you to utilize a frequently underused area of your home AND they free up space underneath the sink:

And finally, a couple of glass jars work great to hold our DIY laundry detergent, clothes pins, & loose change:

|future plans|
Eventually, we would like to upgrade to a front load washer/dryer set.  Our plan is to build a washer/dryer stand so that we can store the laundry baskets underneath, as our floor space is limited.

A little Before & After action:
What an improvement, right?  Now it's functional, organized, & pretty!  

Happy washing, drying, & folding!

Mel & Nader


  1. I love what you've done to your laundry room. The basket storage is such a wonderful way to store items.

  2. Beautiful! I love it, it came out great. Now you can actually enjoy doing laundry, well kind of?

    1. Thanks Samantha! lol - I actually do enjoy doing laundry more than before! I can't wait until we can upgrade our washer/dryer & build a stand so we can fit more laundry baskets underneath. :)

    2. Thanks for sharing! We need to overhaul our laundry room as well. Just a tip on those front load washers: they look pretty but have a lot of drawbacks. 1: back breaking to bend down (if you don't stack them especially) 2: mold tends to grown in the washer from where it puddles in the front and 3: the cycle lengths are way longer (as part of the water-saving feature). I saw a bunch of comments along this line on Houzz a while back and I couldn't agree more. Though I like the look, I think I was happier with my old set :) Good luck and thanks again for sharing! I'll be following your projects for more tips.

    3. Hey Melissa!

      Thanks for the advice! We have been reading reviews on front load washers & we were completely surprised at the drawbacks and negative reviews. We were originally going to go for the front load, but now we are having second thoughts... We really appreciate your feedback! And thank you for reading :)

  3. What kind of light bulbs did you find for your 18" Alang ceiling light? We just installed one in our baby's bedroom and it says to put in 3 20W max light bulbs. I can't find bulbs with that wattage anywhere that are compatible with this light.

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I don't have the original package, but I pulled the shade off to take a look at the bulbs. It looks like we have GE 20-Watt Spiral CFL Bulbs. I'm not sure if they're Energy Smart or Reveal though. They sort of look like this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Energy-Smart-68520-GE-Energy-Smart-CFL-20W-T2-Daylight-3pk/21695143#Specifications

      I hope that helps!

  4. Hola Duo! I love your laundry room makeover. The layout of your room is very similar to mine. When I saw your post, I almost did a cartwheel! Can you please tell me the depth of your shelves?

    1. Hi Nancy! Thank you so much! The shelves are 1 foot deep. They are Rubbermaid from Home Depot & they have several different lengths & depths available. Hope that helps! :)

  5. This is awesome!! I just bought a house and my laundry room is terrible. There is no storage and no room because I, too, have my hot water heater in there. Thank you for inspiration to redo my laundry room!!!

    1. Thanks Jessica & congrats on the house! Glad this post was helpful to you! Let me know if you have any questions & good luck with your laundry room!

      Mel :)

  6. Your laundry room looks great, especially now that you cannot see that water heater. I work with water heaters all day long, and even I know they are not great to look at. If you ever upgrade to a tankless, those are not so bad to see!

  7. How did you hang your rod, can't see it well no matter how much I squint.

    1. We used the ClosetMaid Adjustable Hang Rod Kit - the rod is attached with 2 adjustable single-slot brackets that are made to fit on the rails (just like the shelf brackets are attached). Here's the link:


      Hope that helps :)

  8. Love the makeover! We have that same rail system from Home Depot in our closets. I had no idea that you can use solid white shelves instead of the wire shelves. Did you also get the white shelves from Home Depot?

  9. Thanks Nikki! Yes, we got them from HD. They are easy to cut down to whatever length you need too!