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Functional Laundry Room Design | Tips

The laundry room makeover at our Toledo flip house is one of my favorite transformations. I thought it would be fun to share a few simple tips to create a functional laundry room like this one.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

Immediately after my first walkthrough of the property, I began designing this multi-functional space in my head. Laundry rooms are the workhorse of a home and can easily become an afterthought when designing a home. For this property, I planned to create a beautiful space that had three functions: laundry room, mudroom, and utility room.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

How to Maximize Function in a Laundry Room

This room needed a lot of love. The paint was chipping on the walls and ceiling, the back door and only access point to the backyard could not be opened, and the ugly water tank was out in the open.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

To save on budget, I decided that the layout would remain the same. The cost of this makeover would significantly increase if the design plans required electrical and plumbing to be moved.

1 | Add a Utility Sink

I was lucky that this laundry room already included a utility sink between the washer and dryer. Utility sinks are incredibly functional in a laundry room. They are great for hand washing clothes or dirtier tasks, like cleaning paintbrushes, that you don’t want to do in the kitchen sink.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

While the new flooring was installed, I removed the legs from the sink and spraypainted them black.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

2 | Create a Closet

One of the best ways to create a functional laundry room is by carving out a closet. You can tuck away laundry baskets, add a pole to hang clothes, and install a shelf to store additional items.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

Before renovations began on this property, I redesigned the kitchen and enlarge it to include the dining room. When the home was built in the 30s, the dining room was actually a bedroom and included a small closet. I closed the opening to the closet in the new kitchen and created an opening on the other side of the wall, which is the laundry room.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

I opted to keep the closet open because a door would block access to the exterior door.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird
Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

3 | Camouflage Mechanicals

In my opinion, whenever mechanicals are visible in a room, it feels unfinished and disorganized.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

Creating a utility closet to hide any mechanicals will make a room feel inviting and complete the design.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

We built a small closet around the hot water tank. Following safe building codes, we installed breathable bifold doors for ventilation.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

The laundry room looks much more “finished” with the hot water tank out of sight.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

With a brand new kitchen design at this property, we needed to update the electrical panel. The original panel is located in the garage and would cost additional money to run wiring all the way to the kitchen across the house. To save money, I had the electricians add a second electrical panel in the laundry room, which was closer and easier to access from the kitchen.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

When staging the house to sell, I hung canvas artwork over the panel to give the room a finished look.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

4 | Create “Mudroom” with Hooks & a Bench

The original design plans included a built-in locker system with a bench, but I couldn’t make it work with the budget.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

I created a budget-friendly version of the mudroom plans by adding hooks, a bench, and a basket to corral shoes.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

This affordable option helped potential buyers visualize how the space could function. New homeowners can always add in a custom built-in unit once they are moved in.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

5 | Add Storage with Open Shelving

I decided to install an open shelf over the washer and dryer for a few different reasons. First and foremost, I wanted more storage and organization options in this multi-functional laundry room space. This is a really affordable option that can be DIY’ed with common board, wood stain, and a few brackets.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

Second, it is a great alternative to upper cabinets since they would block the window.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

And third, I really wanted to add an element of surprise in this room, and installing fun wallpaper above the shelf was the perfect solution.

6 | Install New Energy-Efficient Exterior Door

One of the easiest ways to add more function to this laundry room was to replace the door to the backyard. The original door was in terrible shape and would not even open.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird
Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

The new door is easy to access and energy efficient, which is a great selling point when listing a flip house.

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

Aesthetic Improvements in the Laundry Room

New Floors

One way to make a small home feel larger is to have consistent flooring from room to room. I chose a beautiful LVP flooring option that was installed throughout the first floor of the home.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

Home Depot agreed to install the flooring if we first removed the linoleum floors that may have contained asbestos. We used a heat gun and floor scraper and got the job done pretty quickly.

Laundry room makeover | Building Bluebird

Wallpaper Accent Wall

I knew I wanted to add an element of surprise to this multi-functional laundry room and a wallpaper accent wall was the perfect solution. I chose a beautiful Hygge and West wallpaper with bluebirds soaring through the sky.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

It is kind of perfect since the name of my blog is Building Bluebird!

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

Fresh Paint

Painting the laundry room from top to bottom was a no-brainer. First I scraped the chipping paint and repaired any cracks using spackle. I chose a neutral white paint color for the walls that look fresh and clean in the updated laundry room space.

Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

The same wall color was used in multiple areas of the home to create harmony throughout each room and provide a blank slate for buyers.


Disorganized Laundry Room Before

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird

Functional Laundry Room After

Functional laundry room ideas | Building Bluebird
Functional laundry room ideas that are budget-friendly | Building Bluebird

While working within my budget, I am really pleased with the transformation of this laundry room. This laundry room has many more organizational and storage options and also looks gorgeous! I know this laundry room will function for whatever family owns it next.

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