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Makeover

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When we first saw our flat, we were impressed that it had a utility room. It’s rare for a studio flat to have a second separate room, let alone one dedicated to laundry.

The utility room when we moved in. Did they think the washing machine would work there?!

Once we moved in, we immediately mounted storage for the must-haves like our ironing board, hoover and mop. We also put shelves up to store excess toilet roll and some other bits and bobs, and for the most part, it worked.

However, during lockdown I focused on renovating the entire room. Partly because I thought the room could work harder, partly because I’ve consumed more DIY videos than I care to admit.

My main concern was that I hated the way it looked and no matter how hard I tried, it’d become cluttered in a matter of days. Things were constantly balanced on the water tank and even the drawers I’d bought weren’t really working properly.

This was the room before I became obsessed with how to renovate it.

So, I went on Pinterest and started looking at some inspo pictures, obviously. I quickly realised that I’d have to be creative as most laundry rooms didn’t have a huge water tank in them. 

This meant I had to understand my priorities and focus on solving the main issues, rather than making the room aesthetically pleasing.

What we wanted to achieve

1. A place to hang our washing

Our washing lived in the bedroom on an oversized drying airer, which did the job. But, because washing is an endless task, meaning the dryer was up 24/7/365, I was fed up of staring at our clothes every night.

I wanted a mounted drying rack so we could leave the washing out of sight and keep the bedroom a place for sleep, not laundry.

2. Worktop to store bits and bobs

The utility room is the perfect location for storing things while they’re not in use. However, the only surfaces were the (already filled) shelves, the top of the washing machine and the water tank.

This meant that the room always looked cluttered because there’s always something that needs temporary storage. That’s why I wanted a worktop to go along the back wall to double the surface space.

3. Hide the water tank and storage unit

The utility room wasn’t cohesive or finished, so I wanted to hide the water tank and drawers behind a curtain. 

This wasn’t a necessity, but it’d mean I could store large items like our spare airer or an umbrella out of sight. It’d also create depth to the room and would make it look larger. Plus, we were already installing a worktop, so it made sense.

How I did it

After curating my Pinterest board, I created a template of my plans on Photoshop to make sure everything I wanted would fit. Then, it was time to find the items I’d need.

Fortunately, this makeover only needed a few things, a worktop, mounted drying rack and a curtain.

For the worktop, we had a major issue — so many pipes! If this wasn’t the case, we could have had a bit of plywood cut to size at any DIY store, however, we needed custom cuts to accommodate the pipes.

Fortunately, my best friend’s partner is a carpenter and offered to build our custom worktop. I gave him the measurements and he did a wonderful job! It was a pain to install because I had to get it over the pipes and under the fuse box, but after a few bashes to the wall, I did it. 

My dad then installed a bit of timber below to secure it on one side. The water tank supported the other side.

Next, I made a custom curtain out of fabric I bought at Dunelm using my sewing machine to hem the fabric. I also created a loop on one side so I could slide a tension rod into to act as the curtain pole.

Lastly, I found this IKEA wall mounted drying rack for £29. It was the perfect size for the space I had, plus I had an IKEA voucher, meaning it was entirely free. We installed this into the wall and the project was complete!

Overall, the project cost under £10 as I got the worktop and drying rack for free. But if I hadn’t it would have still cost under £50 and has made a huge impact. 

Not only do we have more space to store things, but having the laundry in a different room has made our bedroom feel cosier. Plus, getting rid of the airer means we can renovate our bedroom to build a custom wardrobe and dressing table — watch this space!

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