How I created beautiful functionality in our Mudroom
Last fall, I decided to take one of our extra bedrooms that housed the washer, dryer and hot water tank and turn it into a full on mudroom/laundry room. I mean, who really wants to spend a cozy night in a utility room? I had to really plan out this space before we began, since we were a) losing a bedroom, and b) our home is already small so I had to incorporate storage into this space.
We have struggled since we moved last year in finding places for the things that we have compiled over the years and in having homes that had additional space or a garage for storage, we lost that option when we took possession of our current home. No matter how many times I purge, there is only so much I can donate or get rid of... I mean we still need these things to live. So... I started drumming up ideas and I wanted to share my top 5 projects in the renovation that have been game changers when it comes to everyday functionality. The bonus is, the room still manages to stay spotless and uncluttered.
Built in Cabinets-
This little nook in the wall was where the bunk beds slid into. Once those were gone, I started drawing a mock up of what I pictured in this corner. I'm sure it gave many people a laugh when they saw my live time drawing of the cabinets, hardware and tile I was imagining. I never said I was Picasso!! The cabinets were made completely from scratch since it was a custom size space and I didn't think I could find anything that would fit perfectly without paying big bucks. Having lower cabinets and uppers is so great for storage and adding the countertop for a laundry folding area is something I would suggest to everyone!
Here is a look at the taped out vision for the cabinets, and what they look like now! The bottoms house a laundry basket for towels, blankets, etc, my Little Green carpet machine, hot tub supplies and extra towels for the lake/puppy baths that don't fit in our regular shelving. Above, I made room for all of the laundry supplies and cleaning products I use in the house. There is so much room in these cabinets and it is so nice having everything in one place when looking for a product.
DIY Barn Door
I mentioned earlier that this room was a utility room as well as a bedroom. We have our panel, hot water tank and washer/dryer in here, so it was never a magazine worthy space. I had to work around these challenges, since there was really nowhere else to move them to. The previous owners had the space housing the tank and appliances covered with red curtains. Although curtains were a good option at the time, the red definitely had to go, and I wanted something that looked more high end than just some old curtains. I found a plan for a DIY barn door inspired by Joanna Gaines and created again by Angela Rose. Could I have just bought a barn door pre made from the hardware store? YES. However, I found the vibes to be too farmhouse and I wanted a modern looking door. I had to come up with specific dimensions that would ensure I had enough room to open the doors to the washer and dryer when it was pulled to the other side, as well as enough width to cover the ugly hot water tank.
When the barn door is pulled to one side now, we can still see the washer and dryer, but I don't mind that! It is a laundry room after all. Behind the barn door hides our water tank, an ironing board and iron, large water bottle storage for our water cooler as well as a small garbage can for excess lint that comes out of the dryer trap. It is so much better than storing these items out in the open.
Hiding the Electrical Panel
It's amazing what a little bit of drywall compound and a sander can do! The old door that covered the electrical panel needed a little love, so I got creative with a trowel and made a boho themed art piece using the door as my canvas. I sanded the door frame down to natural wood and removed the hinges and latch from the outside of the door. It is now fastened in with cabinet latches to the inside. Adding a light above the frame creates an illusion that this is truly an art piece and not a door. If something 'has' to stay, it might as well look good right?
This is a simple project that anyone can do for a few bucks!
Outdoor Coat & Shoe Organization
Our home was not a full time residence before we moved in. Throughout the years it has been used as a seasonal cottage and an Air BnB. The main entry is off of the kitchen which isn't ideal since the dirty shoes and coats get in the way of our already small kitchen space. Adding a door to the laundry room at the back of the house will completely change our day to day life and keep our kitchen area tidy and shoe free. I want to make something that was eye catching but has many elements of functionality. We decided to add more upper cabinets, because there is literally never enough storage here. I also designed this built in to have a bench for putting on shoes as well as ample hooks for coats. We will have lots of space now to store seasonal items such as hats, mittens and scarves, and for the summer we can keep the bug spray and sunscreen handy for our outdoor adventures.
Accessorizing the space in a 'smart' way is very important when it comes to small space living. I still try to think of ways to maximize storage when incorporating décor items in our home. A few items I added in this room were the painted pots on the countertop. They hold our dryer balls and laundry pods for quick access. The excess pods are stored in the cabinets, but it's so fast to grab one out of the jar when you're in a rush.
I also purchased a large basket that sits under the console table. It would look pretty empty without anything there, but it is such a huge bonus when it comes to storage. It holds all of the winter clothes we grab on the run!
Lastly, I repurposed peg rail for keys and bags! I had a couple of long peg rails near the bathroom which had over 20 hooks, and lets be real, I don't use that many towels at once. I cut one to size and painted it the same colour as the built-ins and it will be used to hang our keys and pretty reusable grocery bags.
I'm notorious for leaving the house and forgetting the bags, so now with the big ones up in the cabinets and the small produce bags out in the open, I never have to go searching and I grab them on the run.
I hope these projects have inspired you to add functionality to your home if you're like me and struggling with space. Even if it is just thinking about the décor you bring into your home and whether it will provide value in your every day life. I know I take time now to think about my items.
If you have any questions about the projects, drop them in the comment box below!
Let me know which one was your favourite!