We’ve been working on a LOT of projects on the house this summer (thanks to having a teacher husband, we have all summer long to catch up!) but this is one of few that is actually done enough to be considered an after. Yes, there are still a few things I need to add/finish but overall, I’m very pleased.
First, our mudroom before, basically a dirty blank slate. The garage was added about a decade after the house was built, and so is technically detached, but connected through a screened in porch area. It’s also the back door to the house, and especially now that we’ve converted the garage into a game room (more on that later) we use this porch (mudroom) a LOT. It’s our family’s primary entrance/exit point, not to mention the laundry room, shoe dropoff point, backpack storage, and general landing point/staging area for all projects. That made this room very important but also tricky.. it needed storage but also space, table surfaces but big walkways, and everything had to be super durable. At the same time, since so many people come into this room, it needed to look good and not just functional.
Enter pinterest, one project at a time.
First step was to rip off the paneling on the walls that was water-damaged and moldy and replace it with fresh beadboard. Then a full coat of paint, bright white for the ceiling and yellow for the walls. I’d intended to do the same grey as the rest of the house, but I had a lot of yellow leftover from the piano so it was easier and cheaper. The paint really helped brighten the room, which is suprisingly dark for all the windows, we just have so many trees surrounding the house that keep it shaded. Yay for electric bills, boo for light. We also replaced the light with a cool metal industrial light we found at ReStore for $5. The wide mouth really reflects the light all over and keeps it super cheery. We discussed painting the brick, but decided to wait until we decide what we’re doing with the outside brick so we don’t have to paint it twice.
One of my primary goals was to have hooks for backpacks, jackets etc, but the room made that difficult. The beadboard walls are not on studs of any kind, so we couldn’t put a hook into them that would bear any significant weight (the soccer bag alone breaks my back, let alone a backpack full of books) so that side was out, and we didn’t want to drill twenty holes into the brick wall.
The solution came by accident, looking for something completely different I stumbled upon these shutter doors that we’d picked up at ReStore (our most favorite store in the world) when we’d first begun the house but never had a place for them. I remembered a picture on Pinterest of a shutter hanging on the wall with clips to hang pictures and thought we could hang these. The size was perfect, and the slightly worn paint looked great too. We just hung those up and bought a few packs of silver hooks at WalMart to use for the actual bags. Less holes in the brick but super strong. And no, this was not staged, they are already getting a ton of use!
Next up the laundry corner. Luckily our machines fit EXACTLY into the space, so far the older house seems to have tiny EVERYTHING, so this was a shocker. We had built a countertop in the laundry closet at our old house, and took it with us when we left as the next owner didn’t have a front loading machine. This was easy to cut down to the right width and hang over the machines again, giving us some much needed counter space. I’d love to say it’s for folding laundry, but let’s be honest.. the laundry goes into a basket on the kitchen table for a few days until everyone has taken things out that they need one at a time, right?We do, however use it to stage other craft/home projects, to keep the mess from getting in the house, and just for random drops as we enter/exit.
This counter is usually cluttered, but I’m totally fine with that if it keeps the clutter out here and not in the rest of the house. The buckets on top hold soaps, lost socks, and hangers. I love the buckets because they are super durable and nice and big. I am still looking for something to go in that space above where I can hang things to dry.. I really like the idea of an old ladder but haven’t been able to find one the right size or rung style… still hunting.
We also needed some storage in the room, and a way to keep them handy but out of sight. Nothing big, but we’ve got small tools I like to keep close, bug spray and sunscreen, mittens and scarves (should it ever cool off again), grocery bags, etc. For that, I found this AMAZING steel cabinet on craigslist, the color was perfect (and perfectly distressed!) and it’s got adjustable shelves inside to fit everything and more. It was already on huge casters, so it’s easy to move around, and the additional counter space is great. We’ve even wheeled it into the house a few times to use for a project, then it can go right back out!
Around the top of the room is my favorite part.. anyone on Pinterest has seen the “House Rules” or “In This House” posters. I had planned on making something like that for a wall in the mudroom, but didn’t really have the wall space once we hung the shutters and a bulletin board to keep mail/school updates/etc. But while painting I realized the perfect space was all around me.. literally! I’d been wanting to try this tutorial for making vintage signs, but rather than on a plaque I did it directly to the wall. I should say, these walls were flat wood, not textured at all, which I think would be harder to do.
This, however, was RIDICULOUSLY simple. I followed her instructions exactly and it went really fast. The only hard part was coming up with enough sayings! I combined my favorites from all the examples I’d seen online with a few that are personal and/or inside jokes for us.. i.e. “Sparkle” from Toddlers and Tiaras, or “No Sassy Pants” which is a favorite quote of my oldest. As you may notice, we ended up one short. Classic perfectionist, I couldn’t decide on the last one.. it’s the last one! It needs to be perfect! So I’m open to suggestions there..
Finally, you may have noticed in these pictures that the floor is a little different. We started with a plain concrete floor. It was fine, just dirty. And with the heavy use this room gets (including wet and muddy feet) anything we put down had to be SUPER durable. I’d seen examples on Pinterest of covering the floor with pennies covered in Polyurethane, which I loved but wasn’t quite the right personality for our house. And I’d seen paper bags applied to walls with mod podge. Putting the two together, I came up with a floor that’s totally durable but SUPER fun.
I’ve been holding on to a partial set of 1960 encyclopedias from my husband’s grandmother for years now. For no reason other than they were going to the trash and I couldn’t bear to let that happen. The girls and I spent a few days going through and ripping them apart while we watched tv, looking especially for the few colored and/or interesting pages. In one afternoon, I applied the pages to the floor (just like schoolroom paper mache, I dipped each page in half emler’s glue and half water then laid it down) then once that was all set and dry, we poured a few coats of Polyurethane to seal it in. I absolutely LOVE how the floor turned out. It’s already taken a beating, but looks great. The muted midcentury colors go perfect with the brick and paint in the room, and it’s just such a conversation piece. Truly makes me smile each time I go into the room.. and isn’t that what your house should do?
Phew! Sorry that got so long.. let me know if y’all have questions I didn’t cover.. hope you enjoy it as much as we do!