Designer Noelle Harvey of Sunday House wanted a light, bright, and airy laundry room for her 1920s-era bungalow. Before the remodel, the space, located in an unfinished part of the basement, was anything but relaxing. “Think scary murder basement,” Harvey says. Alongside her business partner Amy Carnahan, she set out to create a functional and beautiful space “with a custom look and a not-so-custom budget,” she says. 

Aside from running Sunday House and renovating homes in Portland and beyond, Harvey and Carnahan are mothers who understand the importance of having a laundry area that can be both highly functional and calming. “Your surroundings greatly impact your mood so I needed a happy laundry room to exude [joy] when folding never-ending laundry,” says the designer. 

Use Stone Remnants in Smaller Spaces

When deciding where to place the washer and dryer, she looked to the light-filled part of the basement, an area finished-out by previous owners. “They left a complete blank slate,” she says. Moving the washer and dryer was easy; however, she needed to address the room’s biggest need: counter space

The team searched through piles of leftover slabs at countertop warehouses until Harvey discovered the one that was right for her, a remarkable granite. “The granite countertop is a bright white with subtle grey veins and a little movement. We wanted to keep this area bright since it’s a little, dark pocket in the basement,” Harvey says. One of the studio’s best tips is to shop the remnant section at local slab yards, especially when searching for solutions for smaller spaces like a bathroom, laundry room, or office. “It’s a great way to save money,” she adds. 

Save on Timeless Styles

Another huge cost-saver for the laundry room renovation was Semihandmade’s DIY Shaker fronts. “All in, our cabinets were literally a fraction of the bid we received for custom cabinets,” Harvey says. “The custom quote was about $5,000 so we ended up saving around $4,000. We now suggest this route to all our clients who are in between.” 

A minimalist white tiled backsplash is the ideal backdrop in a room where cleaning is the main function. Incredibly, the backsplash was created by grouping $1.39 tile from their local Lowe’s, bringing the total for the backsplash to only $500. 

Splurge on Select Details

“By saving money in these other areas, it allowed us to splurge on hardware, light fixtures, and decor,” she says. The DIY Shaker fronts are painted in Farrow and Ball’s Pigeon, a highly popular gray-green that complements the tiled walls, while Schoolhouse Electric brass knobs, and Princeton Wall Sconce, also from Schoolhouse Electric, create harmony. 

Other details include a modern farmhouse-style McGee & Co first aid box, a stylish solution to a household necessity, plus a textured McGee & Co paper mache bowl, and glass jars from IKEA for further storage. 

Bring Back the Joy

A cozy section of the room features Linen + Cloth throw pillows and luxury vinyl plank flooring, left from the previous homeowner. The room proves that even spaces meant for sometimes stressful household chores can be made cheerful through intentional design. “As interior designers, we cannot stress enough how important it is to make every little corner of your home joyful,” Harvey says. 

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