before and afterDIY

Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan’s Childhood Home

by Lauren Chorpening

When Dan Bertolini was given the opportunity to move back to his hometown of Youngstown, OH and coach baseball at the local Division 1 college, he and his wife Bre jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it an opportunity for Dan to take a dream job, it also allowed Bre, Dan and their daughter Eloise to move into Dan’s childhood home with his father, Emil. “While our home is still technically owned by my father-in-law, he opened his doors to us when he found out we were moving back here. He was all by himself and although it’s a challenge at times, it’s been a really great thing for all of us,” Bre says.

Bre Bertolini, stay-at-home mother, DIY blogger and freelance graphic designer has been able to help Emil with things around the house, including the laundry. The first room they decided to tackle together was the laundry room. Emil owns a tile laying business and Bre has a great eye for home design and creating efficiency within spaces. “With a baby and three adults, there’s a lot of laundry. My goal for the laundry room was to make it unique, modern and functional. We don’t have much of an entryway so adding the mud room side of the room was perfect. We keep most of our coats and shoes there and the room is right off the garage where we all enter the house, so the location is perfect,” Bre says. “There’s also lots of storage, so while the room is pretty, I still have everything I need to wash and clean clothes. Plus the tall cabinets act as some extra pantry space, too. I definitely wanted it to be child-friendly as well for our daughter, and hopefully more children. I feel like sometimes modern doesn’t always scream ‘child safety’ but I think I did a good job of creating a balance.”

The renovation took six weeks to complete. The Bertolinis did it themselves from the design through the execution and finishing touches. Bre designed and DIYed the wooden bench and wall treatment on the far side of the laundry room. “This was our first renovation project, and all three of us worked really hard on it. Things went surprisingly well and we didn’t really run into any issues along the way. Having a solid design plan ahead of time definitely helped,” Bre shares. The laundry room is beautiful and functional. Moving into Dan’s childhood home was already ideal for this family, but with the help and support of Emil, they are turning it into a dream home. –Lauren 

Photography by Bre Bertolini

Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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The laundry room before needed more storage and a system.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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Bre's design used spare tall cabinets that were the wrong size for one of Emil's jobs. The extra storage space along with a bench and hooks created a mudroom area along the wall that leads from the garage.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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"The geometric wood feature wall was made using plywood and 1x2s. I constructed this whole piece during one of my daughter's nap times," Bre shares.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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"Every laundry room needs somewhere to hang clothes and this simple DIY was created using a dowel and curtain rod hardware," Bre says.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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The types of amenities in the previous laundry room are all present in the renovated space but with much more storage and surface area.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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"I always joke that this sink is nicer than the one in our kitchen, and it's true! It's so nice having a large utility sink - we even thawed our turkey in here on Thanksgiving," Bre jokes.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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"The most challenging part of this makeover was making the decisions! It was the first room I completely designed from top to bottom and I kept second guessing everything I did. You don't realize how many details there are to think about and you have to make sure you think about the big picture and how everything will work together," Bre shares.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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A display shelf for the non essential but beautiful objects adds vertical interest to this side of the laundry room. It balances the height of the tall cabinets on the other wall. "The wood shelf is just a piece of wood bought from the hardware store and the brackets were spray painted to match the rest of the hardware," Bre says.
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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"The counter top is an old door slab that we picked up at a warehouse for $20 and refinished," Bre shares. "The concrete pendant light ties in great with the concrete tile floors. It's modern and simple and took all three of us to install because it's so heavy!"
Before & After: A Modern Laundry Room Makeover for an Ohioan's Childhood Home | Design*Sponge
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Bre designed labels for laundry spray and soap to fit them more seamlessly into the design.

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