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A white themed laundry sink with pale wooden finished countertop
Savvy interior stylist Katy Thomas embraced the challenge to transform her laundry into a stylish, functional space on a tight budget.

Laundry upgrade cost: Approx $1300

Interior stylist Katy Thomas’s laundry was in dire need of a makeover. “It had no bench space, no practical storage and the open wire shelves were a mess. I’d just shut the door and didn’t want to go in there,” she recalls.

Katy tracked down a budget-friendly combination of materials to create the look she was after. Key features included a timber benchtop and open shelves, flatpack cabinetry, a panel splashback and black hardware, against a serene backdrop of white and grey. Apart from enlisting a plumber and electrician, Katy and husband Hugh completed the makeover themselves in a week and a half, diligently painting and putting together cabinetry.

Textural timber

Rather than pick a custom-made benchtop to go above the washer and dryer, Katy selected a Tasmanian oak panel. “It was a bargain at $79,” says Katy, who enlisted Hugh to cut a hole in one end to fit a Mondella sink. To ensure it stood up to the rigours of a wet area, the bench was sealed with a clear matt varnish (try Feast Watson ‘Satin Clear’ weatherproof varnish). In keeping with the natural and textural look, Tasmanian oak DAR timber forms open shelving.

Timber shelves with various decorative items placed on them.

Bespoke flatpack

Bedford flatpack cabinets were a quick, affordable storage solution that hid all the clutter from the open shelves behind closed doors. Each of the cabinet doors came with two pre-drilled holes and chrome handles, but Katy personalised the doors with statement 76mm black timber knobs, teamed with smaller 45mm versions for a striking feature, which complements the Mondella lever tap set, also in black.

Laundry with timber shelves and washing machine, dryer.

Serene palette

“The first step was painting the walls in Dulux Vivid White,” Katy says. For contrast, the panels on the splashback were painted in Dulux Aquanamel in Highgate. “It is subtle, but breaks up the wall beautifully and looks great against the timber.” Interior wall linings can work well in a laundry, but make sure you choose waterproof linings for heavy-duty wet areas.

Katy is thrilled with the result and says she has never enjoyed doing laundry more. “It’s a calm space and incredibly functional,” she reflects. “Because we did it ourselves, it was extremely satisfying.”

More laundry makeover inspiration

Check out our step-by-step guide to a modern laundry.

Photo credit: Katy Thomas


Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.