Colorful Laundry Room | One Room Challenge | Week 3

In Week 3 of the one Room Challenge, I completed several mundane but necessary tasks to prepare the room for more fun and attractive elements. 

In the spring One Room Challenge, I’m focusing on our sad, beige laundry room with the goal of transforming it into a fun, colorful space inspired by two famous TV kitchens.

The One Room Challenge is a 6-week long project hosted by Calling it Home during which participants focus on updating one room in their house with the goal of creating a beautiful ‘after’ to enjoy, sharing their progress along the way.

This means that if I can stay on track, I’ll have a fun, colorful laundry room by mid-May!

If you’re new here – thanks for stopping by!  I’m Laura and I’m rolling up my sleeves to make our beige builder-grade laundry room a little more fun and colorful – on a $100 budget.  You can read more about the plan for the colorful laundry room here, but if you’re short on time, here’s the basic idea:  Add some color and personality, pulling inspiration from Monica’s kitchen in Friends and the tent kitchen on the Great British Bake-Off (see link above for inspiration photos!).

the before

If you’re caught up on Week 1 and Week 2, skip on ahead to the Week 3 update below.  If you’re new around these parts, here’s a quick recap:

When we moved in, our laundry room was functional but lacked storage or personality.


The laundry room…Before!

We got a jump-start on the room in December by adding stock cabinets from Lowe’s, which improved our storage situation but made the room even more beige. The wire shelf got a second life in a much more appropriate location; it now lives in the garage, where it stores some Christmas decorations.


In progress

Even though my time is stretched as a stay-at-home, work-part-time-at-home mom to a 7-month old little girl, I decided to participate in the spring One Room Challenge to motivate myself to finish this project within 6 months of starting it.

I’m limiting myself to spending $100 or less during the space of the One Room Challenge.  So far, I’ve dropped $29.67 on a dowel, hardware, and wood for the shelves. (I bought the new cabinets with birthday money while they were on sale last year. They set us back about $150.)  We already had all the other supplies and materials on hand.

Here’s what the room looked like at the end of Week 2.

Colorful Laundry Room: week 3 update

How is it already Week 3?  Time’s going too quickly!  There were only two items on the to-do list for Week 3, and I did about 1-1/4 of them.  Turns out, ‘paint cabinets’ is actually about four steps, which you’ll see reflected in the to-do list below.  Yes, it’s gotten to the point that I’m adding items to the to-do list so I can feel more productive when I cross them off…

install the top shelf

It’s almost level, but if you look really closely you can see that the shelves are a little off.  My theory is that when everything is painted and the shelves have stuff on them, the shelves themselves will fade into the background a little.

laundry room shelves

It’s amazing how different the room feels after the addition of the top shelf

The shelf is intentionally not perfectly level. It has to bridge the gap between the two sets of cabinets which are also not level without looking like it slants too much in either direction. So I found a happy medium and went with it.

We won’t be rolling marbles on it, so hopefully no one will notice

determine paint color + paint cabinets

I planned to mix and test some paint colors this week and thought I might even get around to painting the cabinets.

All that was very optimistic.

Before I could start painting, I needed to fill these gaps that resulted from our crooked installation.  We should have waited until we had a third set of hands to do the job; the extra set of hands we had at the time was tiny and attached to a 3-month old baby so wasn’t much help.

crooked cabinets

Oh boy.

The cabinets are…very securely hung with lots of screws and nails (we were sleep deprived in addition to lacking some extra muscle)… so my only option was to fill the gaps to hide how crooked they are.  There’s no chance of removing them and re-installing the cabinets without removing them.

I used shims, wood glue, drywall spackle, and caulk to fill in the gaps, and I’m confident that when it’s all covered with paint it won’t be noticeable unless you’re looking for it.  You can watch the process on my Instagram stories and even catch the very first video I’ve ever shared on social media.  It’s riveting.

Supplies gathered

Wood glue to hold it the shims in place

I left the shims to dry overnight

Then I filled in the rest of the gap with spackle. I caught the remaining gaps later with caulk.

While I didn’t actually get any paint on the cabinets, I did gather up a painting supplies and a bunch of paint samples, which I lugged up to the laundry room, so everything I need is waiting for me.

Colorful Laundry Room: week 4 plans

I’m traveling some this week, so I’ll do as much as I can in the limited time I’m home and will make some design decisions while I’m gone.

hang iron/ironing board rack

This should be a pretty quick job.  The rack is currently hanging on the back of a door but I think I prefer for it to be on the wall.

determine cabinet paint color

I’ll start by painting a few different colors on the cabinets, and if I don’t like any of the ones I have I’ll mix some together before resorting to using any more of my $100 budget on a new color.

Determine backsplash/accent wall design

I’ve been mulling several options over in my head and need to make a decision this week.

remaining to-do items

  1. Install rod between cabinets for hanging clothes to dry
  2. Install shelves above rod to connect cabinets and display things
    2a.  Install top shelf!
  3. Paint cabinets
    3a.  Fill in gaps between wall and cabinets 
    3b.  Caulk around cabinets
    3c.  Move paint and supplies upstairs
    3c. Determine paint color
    3d. Paint cabinets
  4. Paint/stain shelves and rod
  5. Add cabinet knobs – perhaps this is where the copper comes in!
  6. Add a decorative backsplash of some kind, perhaps a faux white brick wallpaper, which I’ve seen at Target
  7. Sand down/straighten poorly hung doors so that pretty rug fits under them
  8. Hang iron/ironing board holder on wall behind door
  9. Shop the still-boxed collection of frames, photos, and art from our recent move for something to hang on the large bare wall opposite the washer/dryer/cabinets
  10. Shift washer, dryer, and mini fridge locations to maximize the space
  11. Construct a shelf across the length of the wall above the washer, dryer, and fridge

If I’m able to accomplish all that and have time left over (doubtful!), my dream list would also include:

  1. Paint the walls; however, much of our paint collection is unaccounted for after our recent move, and this will depend on locating said paint!
  2. Construct some sort of counter surface above mini fridge for storing laundry basket/folding clothes
  3. Build a laundry drying rack similar to the one I made the last time I updated a laundry room for the One Room Challenge that we left behind in our old house.

Come back next Thursday (ish…) to see what happens in Week 4.  In the meantime, take a look at the projects everyone else is working on and check my stories on Instagram to see what’s happening!

Thanks for stopping by.

Homespun by Laura | Signature | DIY solutions to decorating dilemmas!

Take a look at my previous One Room Challenge projects here:

The Vintage Toy Nursery (still in progress…)

Vintage Toy Neutral nursery - the reveal - Fall 2018 One Room Challenge - using old toys and books from parents' childhoods to decorate baby bedroom

The $75 Powder Room

$75 DIY Powder Room (and Pantry!) Update: One Room Challenge Reveal | Homespun by Laura | Simple bathroom vanity decor

The Office / Sewing & Craft Room (the time I started it)


The Office / Sewing & Craft Room (the time I finished it!)

One Room Challenge Office + Sewing Room Reveal | Homespun by Laura

The Laundry Room (old house)

One Room Challenge Week 6: The Laundry Room Reveal | Homespun by Laura

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *