"Okay, it's time." "You can do this." "It's just for a day, then things can go back to normal." These were the encouraging words I kept telling myself when preparing for this room renovation reveal. Why? Because it's the Mud Room. The room we enter through after being outside and dirty all day. The room we lock the dogs in when we're too lazy to clean them. The room we use as overflow storage. The room that has a never ending pile of laundry next to the washer. So, as you can imagine, the thought of getting this room photo-worthy was daunting to say the least. It meant I had to clean up our 'real-life' clutter and present it as a tidy and organized space. Trust me, I tried to photograph it 'as-is' and those pictures were less than appealing. I learned long ago I'm no June Clever when it comes to being a domesticated house wife.
After a good deal of negotiations took place in my head, I mustered up the energy to do some laundry, organize the shelves, and give the dogs a bath. I'm telling you, enjoy these pictures now, because never again will the Mud Room be this clean...ever. I've shared bits and pieces of this renovation already. If you haven't seen them, make sure you check out the full details for the storage lockers and dog shower.
During our initial tour when we were considering buying this house, this room was a complete "Whoa! I wasn't expecting that!" It was huge and we thought of it as a blank slate. Although the overall feel of the room was pretty dated, we saw a lot of opportunity in making this room a multi-functional space.
Below are a couple Before pictures.
Here are the functions we needed this room to serve:
- laundry room
- dog shower
We decided to compartmentalize the room into different sections to fulfill each of these various functions. This would help give each area an identity. Below is the full scope of work:
- build entryway hallway/soffit
- replace interior doors
- replace exterior door
- new flooring
- repair drywall
- add beadboard to ceiling
- build storage lockers
- build dog shower
- build additional storage
- replace washer & dryer
- build wall around washer & dryer
- install sink
- replace trim
- replace light fixtures
The first change we decided to make was to create a more legitimate entry way into this room. We constructed a small hallway so we could fully close off this room (ideal for hiding the eternal pile of laundry on the floor), yet still be able to access the powder room and screened-in porch (which were originally entered through this room). This also provided us a space to build in a soffit for the dryer vent.
Once the wall was constructed, it was time to start the demolition work. The drywall on the walls and ceiling was in pretty rough shape. We opted to repair the walls, however wanted to take a more creative route for repairing the ceiling. Instead of the standard drywall, we installed a 2" beadboard to the ceiling.
The beadboard really gave it a 'lakehouse' feel and also coordinated well with the beadboard behind the storage lockers. The one issue we ran into was the sheets weren't long enough to cover the width of the room. To hide the seams, we used two pieces of trim to cover where the sheets met. It was totally meant as a workaround solution, but ended up adding a lot of interest and character to the ceiling.
Once the walls and ceiling were complete, it was time to turn our attention to the flooring. We went with the same tile we had used in the rest of the main level. The only difference was instead of laying it in a herringbone fashion like we did in the living room and kitchen, we opted for the traditional 1/3 offset style.
An added bonus, the tile stays cool on those hot Summer days, making it a perfect place for a mid-day nap.
Once the walls, ceiling and flooring were complete, we could start focusing on how we would break out this room. On the far end wall we built storage lockers. This area would serve for storing shoes, dog leashes, beach bags, and all other items we use frequently.
You can read all the details about the storage lockers here.
The center of the room has been solely dedicated for all things dog. Dog bed, dog food and of course dog shower.
I mean seriously, you'd think since we dedicated a whole section of the room to these two fur balls, the least they could do is look a bit more appreciative. Is it too much to ask to just smile and fake it for a quick photo?! You can get the full scoop of the dog shower here. I promise, they were much more excited back then. Apparently the lip stick has worn off.
From here, things get scary. Yep, I'm talking about the laundry section of the room. Laundry - synonymous for that hole that no matter how hard you try, you can never dig yourself out of. IT. NEVER. ENDS.
I'll be honest, the washer and dryer we chose are way too fancy for my subpar laundry skills. I am still trying to grasp the concepts of separating lights from darks, when to use hot water verse cold water, and do these laundry pods really work or do they just look pretty?!
However, the one thing I did know I wanted in this section of the room was a wash bin sink. This required us to go with a stackable washer and dryer set to leave room for a sink. It's pretty basic, but does the job.
Once the washer and dryer were installed, there was a huge gap between them and the wall for the electrical hook-ups. It was pretty unsightly and bothered me every time I looked at it. We came up with a faux wall solution. Our contractors used the same material and design style as the storage lockers to create a removable wood wall to enclose the washer and dryer.
It looks much cleaner and gives the space a custom feel.
Ok, onto storage section #2. Luckily this is the wall you see the least of, because it is the part of the room I struggle with most at keeping organized. We opted for open shelving mainly to help keep cost down.
We went really basic with the shelving and just purchased 1" boards from Home Depot. We cut them down to the proper size, hung them with metal brackets, and painted everything the same color as the wall.
Maybe in my next life I'll have custom shelving from California Closets, but for now, plywood and metal brackets are doing the trick!
Now that this room is compartmentalized, it makes it super functional. It's also easier to keep organized now that everything has a proper place.
Although this room is still a bit of a dumping ground, at least we can be slightly more organized with our throwing stuff down!