One of the first steps in making a space feel like home is hanging photos and art. You could do this with frames from the dollar store and mix in a decorative mirror or other matching, wall-hanging items. I want to do this with black frames and black and white photos, Playbills, etc.
Multitasking may not always be advisable, but if you can work out, watch TV, and do the laundry all at the same time, you'll increase your sense of accomplishment. To make a basement laundry room comfortable enough that you'll want to spend time there, paint the walls a soothing color, install good lighting, and opt for attractive, easy-care laminate flooring or low-pile carpet.