Normally, when we picture laundry rooms, we see these dank spaces shoved to the side of basements. Laundry rooms are traditionally strictly utilitarian. They don’t have to be pretty, they just have to be a place to do the laundry. But if you’re tired of looking at that dank laundry room, there are some classy ways to update it.

Depending on how you decide to update your laundry room, it could require anything from some inexpensive reorganization to a whole remodel. For instance, if you want a real overhaul of the space with professionally installed wall paneling, it can cost in the low hundreds of dollars all the way to the low thousands of dollars. That price depends on materials, square feet covered and local labor costs. A full remodel of the room costs thousands of dollars, on average. And redoing a laundry room can take anywhere from an afternoon of organizing to a few days to weeks for a heavy remodel.

However, it might be worth it if your laundry room is severely old and gross, or somewhere people can see it. And a real creative update could turn the laundry area into a mixed-use space.

Small accents like textured wood can add a natural feel to a laundry room. Image: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

New Paneling and Flooring

If you want maximum impact with limited cost, simply try getting some new paneling in the laundry area. You can see how the textured wood on the walls of the space in the photo above adds some visual interest and a more natural look. The textured wood flooring gives the same feel. And the added accent of the creative floating shelving gives this space a more modern vibe.

After all, the problem with laundry rooms is that they tend to be shoved in the basement or off to the side as a utilitarian afterthought. That means cement floors and exposed concrete block walls. So new flooring and wall paneling could be an easy way to comprehensively update the space.

Some homes combine the kitchen with laundry functionality. Image: romakoma/Shutterstock

Combine Spaces

With people living in smaller spaces, a laundry room might not be a luxury for which you have space. Maybe you need to convert that laundry room into a bedroom or spare office.

That’s where an unconventional idea like the mixed-use space in the photo above comes in. Basically, this involves installing a washing machine where you’d normally have a dishwasher under the kitchen counter. While unusual in the U.S., this laundry/kitchen combo is common abroad.

You can also look into designs where the laundry room itself becomes a mixed-use space. For instance, it’s common to see a laundry space in the corner of a children’s play area, workout area, game room or by an all-purpose table space. These are common ideas for open-concept basements, in particular.

Rich wood pieces and minimalism make this laundry space look updated. Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

Keep the Laundry Room Minimalistic and Zen

You can also update your laundry room in the way you organize and decorate it. This is perhaps the easiest way to update your laundry room. The space above shows how simple accents in the laundry room can give a relaxed, zen vibe.

The greenery on the floating shelf gives the space a more natural feel. Rich wood accents like the clothing rack, small table and divider add warmth to the space. And they’re also useful items in the room. All these elements are placed far apart to give the space a sense of minimalism. By doing something similar, you can create an updated and relaxing laundry room.

And remember, laundry machines often have specific needs for parts like drain hoses. If you’re doing a major redesign, make sure to talk to a remodeler about how the washing machine will empty and any necessary components like nearby drains to handle potential machine leaks.