Well, my friends, this laundry room project isn’t anywhere near being finished. In fact, it’s hardly even begun! We made this DIY faux butcher block counter as a distraction when we were trying to figure out what to do about our heated floors in the new bathroom and it’s turned out to be one of my favorite projects ever! So even though the whole room isn’t really ready for its close up, I just had to tell you all about it!
Our laundry room is a little nook off of our kitchen so we like it to be pretty tidy and also to function really well, since it’s one of the first things you see when you come in through the kitchen mud room. It’s been kind of a resting place for lots of different things over the last few years, but nothing that really helped its function as a laundry room/pantry/extra kitchen space/whatever. Whenever I folded laundry, it would end up in piles on the kitchen table. The table is pretty big, so we could still find space to eat at it, but it was just really a big eyesore.
Chris had the idea to put a long counter in the laundry room for me to fold on and then he also thought we might as well add in a cork board and make it kind of a command center too! So here’s what we came up with!
I use it everyday for laundry, but also as an extra prep space for putting plates of food on once they’re prepared, or to lay things out when I’m packing us up for a weekend away. It really has made a big difference in the whole kitchen! I love that it can easily hold about three big loads of folded laundry, so if I don’t get time to put it away over the weekend, it still has a place to live and be tidy and out of the way.
I also love that it was super cheap to make! We used the most basic lumber supplies but ended up with something that looks really cute and custom!
For the top itself, we just used one long piece of pine shelving and trimmed it out with some 2×2 pine pieces to make it look chunkier. The shelving that we got (I think these are also sometimes called “project boards”) was about 16″ wide and we just measured it to run the length of the room. You can get these boards in all different shapes and sizes and they’re made up of long strips glued together so you get that authentic “butcher block” look! We attached the 2×2 trim pieces around the edges using clamps and wood glue and then sanded them down to be rounded on the edges once everything was dry. We’ve made this type of counter before and sometimes we’ll uses a few nails from the nail gun to hold everything thing in place too. A little bit of wood filler helped to smooth everything out and then we were ready to finish it!
We did just a little bit of distressing around the corners to make sure things still looked a bit rustic and farmhousy and then I finished it exactly the same way as our floors upstairs. I used the same stain and even the same floor finish for a top coat! I really like that this counter is nice and durable now and really stands up to constant daily use.
One of the things that I insisted on was that the brackets to hold the counter up be really big and chunky and act as a design element in the room. I didn’t want the whole thing to look flimsy and temporary and be yet another eyesore. I can take no credit for what Chris came up with, but I really love these brackets!
So simple, but so eye-catching all lined up like that, right? AND super inexpensive too! If we would have gone and bought big chunky corbels, we would have probably quintupled the overall cost of this project.
Finally, we added the cork board command center in at the top. I didn’t actually even think I needed something like that, but I thought I’d let Chris do it anyway cause he was excited about the idea. Honestly, I use this thing every single day! I almost wish it were bigger! Here are some of the kinds of things I find to stick on there:
I painted the cork board out to match the walls and I love the overall look. I can see what’s coming up and what needs to be taken care of in a glance in the mornings when I’m folding my laundry. It just works!
So even though this room isn’t quite done yet, you can see why I had to share this project! I thought that since this set up works so well for me, it just may be the idea that one of you needs for your home too and I just couldn’t keep it all to myself!
Do you have a clever set up in your laundry room that makes life a little easier too? I’d love to hear all about it! I definitely need some more ideas for when we finish this whole room!
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.