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before and after

Before & After: Jenna’s Laundry Room Makeover

by Grace Bonney

Making over our little laundry closet is a frequent daydream of mine. I imagine sliding a pocket door open to a bright white space with ticking stripe curtains and copper shades (basically this picture) and plenty of room to iron and fold things. Right now, I’m just so thankful to have a washer and dryer in the house that I’m happy to let the makeover be a dream and live vicariously through other people’s makeovers, like this incredible before & after from Jenna Diermann.

Jenna and her husband worked together (and with some professionals) to get the job done and the final result is basically laundry nirvana. More than enough space to clean laundry, sort, fold and just about anything else you could need to do to get your home in order. What I love most about this project is seeing the in-between stages: those moments when you’re just making due with what you have and doing little things (like curtains and a coat of white paint) to make it work until you can save up enough to do the full makeover. Thanks so much to Jenna for sharing the full process from start to finish here and congrats on such a beautiful makeover. Click through to see the final result and all the steps in between! xo, grace

“After” photographs by Gary Johnson

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The laundry room, before and after. Jenna and her husband had an awkward space to work with before, so their grand plan was to expand this room and blow out the walls a bit to make room for plumbing and a full wall of sink/storage space, as well as new machines set into the back walls.
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The room, before. The laundry machines were originally upstairs, but this small room downstairs seemed like a better fit for storing large machines.
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The room, in between. In the time between the full makeover and the full before, Jenna hung curtains and painted the back space to make it feel more liveable. The laundry was originally upstairs in a small passway so this seemed like an easier space to bring the machines downstairs and make room for cleaning.
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To get started, almost everything was removed. Jenna says, "Everything came out — the floors, ceiling, walls, HVAC, even dirt and rock that had to be excavated to extend the room and allow for a washer/dryer enclosure under the house."
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The other side of the laundry room, facing the entrance.
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A hole was cut in the wall for the machines and the start of the pocket door began here.
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The DIY projects began once the drywall and floors were done. Here, Jenna is working on laying down floor tiles.
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They even made a DIY barn door!
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Then cabinets went into place and plumbing started for the sink and washers.
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And voila! The finished space! Jenna says, "This space was inspired by my vision of what laundry must be like in heaven. Picture a lavender field in the French countryside, a clothesline with the finest linens swaying in the breeze, birds chirping and children skipping around in white sundresses with fluffy kittens following behind. Okay, so I'll never be the woman in my perfect laundry detergent commercial dream... but at least I can pretend I'm there by making the best of a small, half-underground windowless room."
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Jenna decided to open up the ceilings to make the low space feel bigger. "Removing the ceiling drywall and leaving the joists exposed was a design risk that I wasn't 100% confident about in the beginning, but it's absolutely one of my favorite things we did. It not only makes the room look and feel SO much taller — it brings such personality and interest to the space. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
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The machines are now raised to make the space more streamlined and there's now extra storage space below!
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I'm completely in love with the entry door.
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The finished room, from front to back.
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To read more about Jenna's makeover, click here to follow her post on the process.
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