A New Mudroom

You may remember that one of the things our house never had was a true mudroom. There are several spaces that sort of act like a mudroom, but none of them were really achieving what we needed with two kids in school and multiple sports each. The lacrosse gear alone may kill me.

This space was the closest we had to a mudroom. Our side entry is directly off our driveway and our main family/friends entrance and exit. If you know us, you use the side door. Generally you walk in without knocking or a quick knock and a "HELLO?!". That's the way we are. This area was an obvious spot for a row of hook and a boot tray.

Thanks to my blog I know that this has been working for us for nearly 6 years. But the backpacks, shoes and coats are bigger and more plentiful so now we had to make a new choice.

We decided that our basement was the best choice. The stairs you see on the left in the picture above lead to our basement. It's only a half-flight down (about 8 stairs) so it's not a long trek, but it was enough that gave me pause to think about it. I also wasn't sure I wanted the mess in my basement especially since it's mostly carpeted (there's a small tire area at the bottom of the stairs). So, we went with this space which previously held a rarely used desk.

I started pinning ideas I liked and it was pretty clear that I liked white divided built-ins with a wood seat. I thought about doing a column of bins on the side for easy access but ultimately decided that wider cubbies would be a better option. I'm so glad we did that - swim backpacks are huge!

We went with a bead board back to match the built-ins across the room (only about 8' feet away!).

As you can see we pulled the carpet back so the built-ins would sit on the floor. We know that we will someday rip this carpet out so we are preparing for that day. I'm in love with the new wood-look linoleum! If you are worried about reattaching the carpet, it's not hard. You have to rent a "kicker" at a tool rental shop and knee it back in place. It took Jim about an hour to finish that up including the 2 minute drive to and from the rental place! 

We called in the painter to paint everything out. Jim stained the bench top before installing the top but the painter did a couple of coats of polyurethane for us. 

One hurdle was the intake vent on the lower left hand side. We solved that by removing the cover and cutting out the grooves of the wood. We have several intakes for the HVAC so it's not an issue if this one is getting slightly less air than previously. 

And here's the final! 

It took a little while but I found baskets that fit the upper space perfectly. The plastic bins at the tippy top hold extra hats, scarves and gloves that we don't use often or are for a special purpose like skiing! 

The area on the left has tile so we added a few hooks for especially wet things like snow pants and rain coats. Wet boots can stay in this area. We also added a not-so-beautiful plastic runner. It serves the purpose of keeping the carpet dry and relatively clean. We can pull it up and hose it off if we need to but it has nubs on the back that keep it from moving. More functional than pretty but it's working! 

And here's the distance from the old "mudroom" to the new one in case you were curious. Oh, and we finally painted the basement the same gray (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter) as the rest of the house. Although I love yellow in basements, the cohesiveness is so much better. 

Overall, this was a great project and worthwhile investment in our house. I think we're ready for winter! (not really)