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Dreary, spiderweb-clad basements win the award for the worst type of place to wash your clothes, but Ursula Carmona’s formerly lemon yellow laundry room isn’t far behind. When the DIY blogger bought her home, the long and narrow space was inconveniently located behind the garage, so anytime she wanted to throw a load in the washer, she technically had to walk out of her house to do it. It didn’t help that the poorly insulated room was freezing in the winter and boiling hot in the summer. 

The first step in updating the laundry room was connecting it to the rest of the home. Carmona enlisted a contractor to build up the floor so it was level with the rest of the house and open up one of the walls so she could access the space from the adjacent dining room. The glass door was the icing on top of the six-week-long renovation. “I’m always thinking about that line of vision,” she says. “Being able to see in there from the next room helps me keep it tidy and cute.” Storage was also a top priority, but Carmona only spent $390 on the new appliance cabinet and wall unit (fresh hardware included). Here’s how the seasoned renovator pulled off the 65-square-foot transformation on a tight budget. 

Never Underestimate Plywood

Premade appliance cabinets (the kind you’d typically buy to section off a refrigerator or stacked laundry machines) can get expensive if you have them built by a carpenter to meet your space’s specifications. So Carmona created her own shell out of two sheets of plywood (around $40 each) and topped it off with a stock upper cabinet from Lowe’s. The high hiding spot stores occasional cleaning supplies and clothespins.

Trick the Eye by Taking It Up to the Ceiling

The built-ins on the left-hand side of the room aren’t exactly what they appear to be. The cupboards are actually two freestanding cabinets Carmona sourced from Walmart. “People will stick it up to a wall and call it a day, but I say no, add on to it!” says the DIYer. She mounted the cupboards and then added door-less storage boxes on top of them to give the structure some height. She painted the simple open frames gray to match the hue of the cabinets so it all looked like one solid piece. 

Keep Cleaning Top of Mind 

Wanting the beauty of hardwood flooring without all the upkeep, Carmona opted for glazed porcelain tiles that only look like solid walnut. The product doesn’t absorb water and is frostproof, making it a perfect choice for a space with a washer. “Something is always going to go wrong in the laundry room, and you’ll end up ruining your nice wood floors,” says Carmona of her decision to opt for the durable alternative. Now even mopping is a little more enjoyable.

Introducing Domino’s new podcast, Design Time, where we explore spaces with meaning. Each week, join editor-in-chief Jessica Romm Perez along with talented creatives and designers from our community to explore how to create a home that tells your story. Listen now and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.