Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Magic of a Mudroom!

Before Photo--photo taken during our home inspection :-)

I say magic, because yes, it really is that (in my mind anyway). Our last home had no place for coats and shoes and bags. Everything ended up in a heap at the backdoor that we then tried to contain by dumping in a huge basket. It was a constant battle--and tripping hazard. The new house didn't have a mud room either. Right inside the garage door was a very small cramped laundry room--or laundry hall. Not really even a room in my mind. When we bought the house we wanted to figure out how to incorporate a mud room into the laundry hall. We wrestled with many ideas and designs but nothing felt quite right. Finally my brilliant mom hit upon the idea of moving the laundry room upstairs. We had space with a wide hall, linen closet and large walk-in closet on the other side. It sounded expensive and messy at first, but over time the idea really just made sense. With the laundry room conveniently re-located upstairs (where the laundry is anyway--so much more convenient!), we had a fantastic space for a nice mudroom.

This room really is magic because it keeps all the clutter magically contained in one space. Each kid has their own dumping station. And it's easy to ask them each to clean up their own locker space when it's chore time. Yes, shoes and coats still overflow at times, but it's contained and that makes me very happy.

We started by drawing out our own plans with helpful advice from That's My Letter and Ana White. Ours looked like this.

We purchased sheets of plywood from the hardware store and had them cut them down into strips at the store. We used one sheet of oak for the bench top and a second sheet of birch for the painted pieces (we painted the remaining oak and used it too in less conspicuous areas). The two top sections are built like any cube type shelf and stacked on top of one another. The lower two sections are the same thing without bottoms. The back wall was covered in bead board before we started building the cubbies, the cubbies are backless and the beadboard shows through. It took a weekend to put it all together. A lot of bang for a weekend project!

The baskets are Smith and Hawkin from Target ($25 each). I made the mistake of taking Brent with me to purchase the baskets. After building the cubbies for about $200 he couldn't believe we were going to spend $200 on baskets. When I suggested we could build and paint wooden bins instead (like That's My Letter used), he quickly agreed that $200 in finished and ready to use baskets sounded great.

We knew we wanted some type of wash station in the mud room. But, were concerned that a typical laundry washtub would block off our small closet used to store mops and brooms and extra toilet paper. After much deliberation we decided to make the closet into a little shower station. It's been fantastic! We don't have a dog, but we do have little boys who often find themselves with muddy feet. They walk  (acutally, I usually make them crawl so they don't leave footprints :-) straight to the shower and rinse off. It was also wonderful during the winter to hang all the wet snowpants to drip dry--and the boots conveniently drained off on the floor. The shower seemed a little unconventional, but we love it. We don't have a dog, but I imagine we'd love it even more if we did. (I didn't take a photo, but the closet goes back about 2 feet to the right--where brooms and mops still hang on the wall and high shelves still hold storage items)

I settled on slate for the floor. I was never a big fan of slate, but I once heard Candice Olsen on HGTV say that slate was the perfect mud room floor. I hemmed and hawed and looked for other options because I didn't think I'd like it. Finally I decided to go with Candice's recommendation (because let's be honest when does Candice ever fail to deliver?). I'm so glad I did. The slate is great. It hides everything and never looks dirty. We chose a very (I mean VERY) inexpensive variety from Lowes. It was a bit of a pain to instal (crumbled easily when cutting), but once installed, grouted, and sealed it's been great. I'd use slate again in a heartbeat. I read some reviews about slate flaking and being a pain to maintain, I'm happy to say I haven't had that problem (it's been almost a year). But, I did grout and seal it very thoroughly, so I think that has helped. 

The chevron stripe indoor/outdoor rug runner is from Ballard Designs, $49. The door paint is Martha Stewart, Gray Squirrel (mixed in Sherwin Williams ProClassic). The wall paint I can't remember--I think it was the lighter grey on the Martha Stewart Gray Squirrel paint chip from Home Depot, it is very similar to HGTV Collonade Gray from Sherwin Williams. The trim is Swiss Coffee in Sherwin Williams ProClassic.


Day said...

The house looks beautiful!! And the pictures probably don't do it justice. Great work, you guys make an awesome team! Ü

Sheree said...

LOVE! These posts are so fun! You need a pinterest button now. I am super impressed! That pantry door is awesome, and I need some of those can roller thingys!