The Basement Transformation, Revisited

One of our most popular posts of 2013 was the transformation of the laundry area in my bungalow’s basement.  Mom came to visit for a week, and we spent a good amount of time on projects for the space.  It was totally worth it, though.  Many, many of our readers have similar cold and colorless areas where they have to do the laundry.  We painted walls and appliances, hung a curtain wall, made curtains, created a rug, and other projects to make the room more cheerful and welcoming.  And even though I am still not a fan of doing laundry, at least now I have a better area to work in.


It all started with this.  We shared the dismal pictures of my basement laundry area last week, and I am happy to show you the finished product today.


laundry before

It’s one of the joys of living in an old house.  While you get the great character, you get the dingy basement laundry.  I hated going down to do laundry, and I wanted to create a laundry room that was fun and girly.  Then I would have my own space just as Mr. Spring has his wood working area.  This is what I started with, a hodge podge of mess.

Laundry before

It was not a pretty sight.  First off, I had cords in every direction.  Insulation was showing around the window, which does help bring in some good light.  The first step was we (meaning my mom and yours truly) painted the walls that were exposed.  I didn’t want to spend much money on this room so I chose the color I used for the dresser I painted a couple months ago. I also painted some of the wood a nice bright white.

Laundry after

What do you think?  I am thrilled with the difference and how it turned out.

Laundry after

On the left you can see how I created “walls” with a curtain.

Laundry after

We bought rods from Ikea and attached them to the ceiling.  Be warned  – the hooks and rods to attach the curtains from Ikea were horrible.  I resorted to zip ties.  It is a good way to create walls in our basement and make this space feel more like a true laundry room.  My space is separated from the workshop and storage area.

Laundry After

My “old but still works” great washer and dryer got a little makeover.  Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a tutorial on how to update the look of your machines.  They look clean and crisp to me.  I use the top of the dryer as my folding table so it works perfectly.

Laundry after

I had the horrible electrical box staring me down every time I went to do some laundry, and then I realized I had the perfect solution on hand to use as a cover. This old window was an original window from our house, and last year I converted it into a chalkboard.  If Mr.Spring ever feels he wants to do laundry, I have a cheat sheet on the old window for him to follow.

Laundry after

Since I didn’t want to spend much on this space, I tried to use what I could that was around the house.  Before I just had a light bulb hanging, and I thought it needed to be spiffed up a little bit.  I decided to use the shade from the lamp I made from last year’s neighborhood beer crawl.  I then took some ribbon, which I had on hand, and my mom glued it to the shade.  I thought it was a good way to add a feminine touch to this once masculine shade.

Laundry after

I am lucky to have both of my grandmothers still living.  One of them who is 88 would go down very narrow stairs to an old house basement and do laundry up until last year.  I said I would never complain about doing laundry because she was still doing laundry in her basement.  Now, both of my grandmothers have washers and dryers on the main floors of their houses, and they love it.  I said I won’t complain till I am 88.  So, I decided I needed to have my grandmothers as part of my laundry room.  Here they are in their younger days on their bikes.  I just love this photo of both of these amazing and strong women.  It’s amazing to me that they lived in different parts of the country but had similar photos of themselves on bikes.


Laundry After

There isn’t a darn thing I can do about this huge pipe.  I found this cute sign at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, so I thought I would make the most of the pipe and hang this sign on it.  After all, this whole deal is about changing a negative into a positive. The basket is for clothes pins.  A cheery plant, my homemade detergent, and a jar for all the found  change help make this room functional.

Laundry after


 Since there were no doors on the storage cabinets, we selected some frilly fabric, and my mom made curtains to use as doors.  They are a nice bright spot in my newly redone laundry area.

Before /after


  1. Kathy says

    Great transformation! My most favorite thing is that you have photos of your grandmothers on bicycles. And, such similar photos! I so wish I had photos like those! You can copy decorating ideas but that is something that had to be saved and passed down to you.