Before & After: Laundry Room to Functional Entryway (on a budget!)


It’s Room Reveal Day! Crazy to think that I haven’t had one of these in seven months… how time flies.

This is one of those areas that became something from nothing. Once an ignored, barely functional pass through space that just needed a bit of planning and a small budget. Today it has been transformed into a functional entryway with plenty of storage—a feature that’s impossible not to notice as you walk by.

Phase 1: That 70’s laundry room

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I don’t think it even qualified as a room, but rather an empty wall between two doors for laundry machines. It sucked.

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In fact, it was so cramped that we built a fancy new laundry room downstairs and this space became an oversight—a junk storage closet.

Something had to be done in there before putting the house on the market, so I thought about what the best use of space would be without spending a fortune. The back door leads to the garage which I enter the house from 99% of the time, so I figured a drop zone would be a nice addition, and extra cabinet storage never hurts. The future homeowners may not have a need for a full on studio/office the way I currently have it set up, so I also decided to build a desk nook as a secondary workspace option.

After removing the door to the hallway and retrimming the opening, the garage door was updated with DIY trim and painted with Valspar’s Dark Kettle Black.  The walls got a couple coats of Gray Silt, while an Ikea trip resulted in perfectly sized Sektion cabinets and a butcher block to serve as a desktop.

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

A DIY fabric wrapped cork board was installed for the backsplash while the floor was tiled in charcoal porcelain:

Easy DIY Fabric bulletin board IMG_0870

Last week I added a beadboard wall, new baseboard trim and coat hooks for extra storage…

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And the past few days have been spent on the finishing touches & staging—always the best part!

Without further delay… here’s the final result of the past four weeks:

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

Doesn’t even look like the same space, right?!

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

Nothing like a black door to add a touch of sophistication.

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

These glass paneled doors were my third choice (the first two styles were sold out) but it was one of those happy mistakes, because they definitely look more high end and make the room appear larger. And the shelves were fun to decorate!

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

I picked up these 8×10″ frames for 50 cents each at the flea market last week, spray painted them black and popped a couple of my botanical prints in.

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

Love this chair.

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

These are old Nyttja frames with instagram pics from Ikea (no longer available it seems, boo!) that I pulled from storage:

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

The hooks are my go-to $1.75 cheapies from Lowe’s.

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

At the last minute I decided a key hanger was necessary but I didn’t want to change out of my pajamas to drive to Lowe’s, so I dug around the garage and found a scrap of old wood, some metal numbers and hooks and made this in a few minutes:

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

I bought these brass numbers on Ebay last year for a project but ended up not using them, so after spray painting them black and screwing the board onto the wall, I used hot glue to adhere the numbers to the wood (which is a 6″ lumber yard find that I cut to 20″ tall and sanded). Then I twisted the hooks in by hand and voila… free & functional decor:

DIY Key Holder using scrap wood!

One room down… just a few more to go!

From old, cramped laundry closet to a functional entryway, work and storage space using DIY's on a budget! Check out all the after photos and links to sources...

Now for the budget breakdown and source list. Luckily I kept track of everything this time around.

Cabinets: IKEA Sektion Bodybn off-white, upper & lower

Cabinet knobs: Ebay

Butcher block: IKEA Karlby

Chair: IKEA Gamleby

Doormat: IKEA Sindal

Floor tile: Lowe’s

Wall hooks: Lowe’s

Wall Paint: Valspar Gray Silt

Door Paint: Valspar Dark Kettle Black

Picture frames: Ikea Nyttja, flea market

Pillow: H&M

Cabinet & Desk boxes/decor: Ikea, Hobby Lobby, Target

Budget breakdown:

IKEA: $1005

Beadboard, baseboard & trim: $90

Floor tile: $90

New switches/outlets: $30

Labor: $555

Fortunately I had the paint and decorations on hand already!

Total: $1770

So worth it, right? Especially considering I’ll easily see triple, if not quadruple my return when the house sells. It feels great to finally cross something off the list! Now my attention turns back to the master bathroom, along with figuring out a plan to stage the guest room and downstairs.

What do you think of the space? For those of you stuck on what to do with a small space, hopefully this provides some inspiration on ways to make the most out of it!

See you back here next week for the next vlog, and in the meantime feel free to reach out on instagram, snapchat (@ jennasuedesign), facebook & Youtube, or follow my ongoing inspiration on Pinterest. Hope your weekend is warm and relaxing!

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43 thoughts on “Before & After: Laundry Room to Functional Entryway (on a budget!)

  1. You did it again!!! Took a not so perfect space and turned it into a beautiful “gee, I wanna spend time in there” kind of space!! Time well spent Jenna!!!

  2. Beautifully done! I was wondering if there was an outlet near the desk. I could see someone placing a charging station there near the keys.

  3. Looks great and so functional!! Curious if you have tried spacing the shelves so they lined up with the window mullions on the doors. It could give it a cleaner look.

  4. How! Love it. We have a book in our home we our building for an office space, and I wanted to do the butcher block as the desk for it. Are you able to cut the butcher block to the exact length, or did it just work for yours that it fit perfect? Thanks!

  5. Your talent never fails to impress. You have created a wonderful and functional space that will undoubtedly see much use.

  6. Looks great, but I’m not surprised!! You have great taste! Love it all, but especially the place for keys!! 🙂

  7. Just beautiful! You have such an eye for design. Wish I had that. I’m building a house and using that very tile for the laundry room. Do you happen to remember what color grout you used? It seems like the perfect contrasting color.

  8. I actually like the shelves as they are. It looks intentional and like the doors have a double mullion. Kind of craftsman. Anyway, love the room as always. Can I ask how you can estimate how much to spend on a room for ROI. Is there some kind of formula for figuring this out? Thanks for so much inspiration.

    1. Yeah I’m leaving them as is because the shelves are more functional spaced evenly 🙂 I didn’t set a budget for this and never use any formulas, just a design plan using inexpensive solutions and materials knowing that I would more than recoup my costs that way. Hope this helps!

  9. So excited to see this room, it is gorgeous like WOW! And so functional. The cabinet cost seems high, do find that you save considerable by selecting IKEA?

    1. Thanks Denise! The glass doors were a bit higher than the ones I originally wanted, but yes they are still a cheaper than somewhere like Lowe’s. Sometimes Lowe’s will run a sale but you have to buy a larger volume to take advantage of that (like we did with our kitchen cabinets). More importantly, you can buy the cabinets on the spot vs waiting weeks from Lowe’s.

  10. This laundry room is the exact set-up of mine – basically a cramped pass-through as you enter from the garage…I think I need to add some trim to my door (and maybe paint it black) as well!! Thanks for the inspiration + motivation!!!
    Happy weekend!: ) P.S. Can’t wait to see the bathroom…

  11. It’s incredible that you can make such a small space so beautiful and functional! I have been looking for some neutral floral fabric boxes for my office just like the ones you used in the cabinets, do you remember where you got those?

      1. Darn, there is no Ikea by me and they are not online. Guess I”ll continue to be on the lookout. Thanks for the inspiration anyways!

  12. I love the look of this little room! I’m curious to hear your process when decidiyhow to use a space. Why crate a tiny drop zone/office rather than a more traditional mudroom (bench and hooks or locker style cabinets) in the space?

    1. Hi Veronica, I thought a desk/work space would be more useful and practicdal for potential future homeowners than a mudroom. There’s already a coat closet in the main front entrance I live in a mild/dry climate without a lot of need for a traditional mudroom. With the coat hook wall, you get the best of both worlds 🙂

  13. You are so talented!!! Omg. I’m following along and using the same tile- but need help on the grout- did you use straight up white? Or is that grey? Help! Thank you 😉

  14. oops- I think I left a comment in the wrong spot earlier! Jenna wondering if you could tell me the grout you used? I got your tile…Also I bought the Lowes barn light fixture you used in your laundry room…but I want it black…would you suggest spray painting it? I drool over your home…thanks for your help!

    1. Thanks Karen! My tile guy bought the grout so not entirely sure, but it’s dark gray and I had him match as closely to the tile as possible. And yes, spray the fixture!

  15. I meant grout color (not brand or anything – ha- you were probably like what?!) but no way, it’s dark grey! I thought it was white or silver…Mine is going in a powder room – would you say dark grey as well? Thank you!!!

  16. I love this and am considering doing this to my own 70s laundry room. I’ve never hung beadboard before. Any tips for newbies? Also what size trim did you put the n the top of the beadboard (where your hooks are) and does it sit just right on top of the beadboard with caulking to fill in the space of did you nail it over top of the top edge of the beadboard? Thank you!

    1. It’s pretty straightforward but I’d use a helper for your first time! The trim is just a 1×4″ board but you can use anything. It sits right on top and the seam is caulked.

      1. Thank you! Also the black door. Is it an exterior door leading to your garage? If so, does that black paint work for exterior doors and did you paint one side or both? Thanks again!

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