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It’s my Farmhouse Mudroom Remodel big reveal!
Can you believe 2021 is here?! I can honestly say I have never been so glad to usher one year out the door. The start of a new year always makes me reflect on what has been and hope for more in the coming year. I know we can all say 2020 was a challenging year!
The covid pandemic required my family to spend a lot more time together stuck in our house. For most of this year, my “day job” as a nurse shifted from being in the community to working from home. Even our boys were stuck inside more than ever before with school and college requiring them to do virtual classes at different intervals throughout the past year.
If judging on the grand scale, our home is not a large one. Our 2400 square feet (with semi-finished basement) is feeling more cramped than ever. With our boys growing up and feeling more “adult-sized” than “kid-sized,” I am always on the lookout for decorating and organizing ideas for small spaces. And with all this extra time confined at home, I have been on a rampage to better organize certain areas of our home so they function more efficiently and neatly.
My happy place is when I can make a space functional, organized, and beautiful. A benefit to all this time stuck at home is I realized exactly where I wanted to begin this organizational journey. I landed on our mudroom. You will soon see why…
Out With the Old
Like many family homes, our mudroom serves as one of our main entrances and gets A LOT of traffic. It is where we kick off our shoes, toss our keys, and deposit our coats, bags, and backpacks (and apparently many other items according to the picture below…so completely embarrassing to share this photo. This is one of the worst days our mudroom had ever seen)! As you can see, the original design needed some tweaking, and a definite facelift, and some major clean up.
With five people in our family, I really needed to figure out how to make this space more efficient, organized, and pretty!
The Best Laid Plans
One of our first updates to the mudroom after moving here was to add this enclosed bench with cupboard space to store our shoes. I initially thought this would be a good idea to keep the room neat and organized, obviously, I was mistaken! This was a nice concept in theory, but we soon found out it had some major usage flaws.
While it DID hide the shoes, it also meant we had to get down on our hands and knees to find shoes tossed somewhere under the bench. No matter how hard I tried (like adding a shoe rack in the cupboard) it never stayed organized under there. The boys (I can exclude myself as I never stored my own shoes in this space) would throw their shoes in the cupboard, close the doors (at least some of the time) and run, making this storage space a messy jungle of shoes. The small cupboard doors if left open annoyingly got in the way.
The reality was we spent way too much time on our hands and knees searching for a missing shoe mate, and the bench, as you can see, became a dumping ground for all sorts of items. UGGG! Too much stuff and not enough organization.
So I jumped in, all in… with both feet… and gutted the old mudroom. A complete DIY! I ripped out the old built-in, tore out tile, painted, hammered, and sawed. I did get a little help from my husband when I needed a little more muscle, like tearing out the old bench or prying a piece of tile from the floor that I couldn’t seem to budge. Dang tile!
Goodbye, bench, coat rack, and shelf. Adios, old tile. Hasta luego, blue walls. There is something very therapeutic about ripping out a space that frustrates you. Now I get why the contractors on all the home make-over show’s love demo day. HAHA.
In with the New
As I remodeled I made a few mistakes here and there but learned some new skills, like cutting angles for trim (this is where I made quite a few mistakes at first 😩). The best part of remodeling a space is choosing the new everything: flooring, wall color, finishing elements like baskets, rugs, etc.
I have to confess my hardest decision on this project was the flooring. My first choice was weathered brick but I couldn’t find the style (a slight whitewash), size (thin-tile-like), at a price I was happy with. After multiple internet searches and visits to local flooring stores, I eventually stumbled upon this awesome site with some beautiful tile options, Bedrosians Tile & Stone . (FYI, the shipping is a big added cost, so keep that in mind if you order from here.)
My Farmhouse Style Flooring Choice
Bedrosians has this lovely black and white patterned tile that I fell in love with.
This tile looks old-fashioned, like something you would find in an early 1900’s house. It was used by Joanna Gaines in a mudroom pictured in her book, “Homebody.” So if a professional picked it, I must be onto something, right? Seeing an example of this tile in “Homebody” helped me settle on a paint color for the built-in. Thanks, Joanna!
I laid and grouted the tile, painted the walls, and rebuilt a new bench and shelf. I settled on a few decorative elements for the final touches.
I chose light-colored baskets to match the bench seat and to store things like gloves and hats. My sister, April, gave me this awesome rustic wood board. I just added the home sign and hooks, and tada… a place to keep our keys.
A new light fixture replace the old one and gave the space a bit more of a Farmhouse feel.
I chose a dark-colored (washable) rug to soften the black and white tile and help catch the dirt and mud that is bound to get tracked in.
After a 4 day staycation to do the demo and lay the tile and another 4 weekends to paint the walls and ceiling, build the built-in and trim everything, oh, and do all the touchups… I finally finished the remodel.
I still can’t believe I did this mudroom remodel myself, and I am thrilled with the transformation! So much better! The little coat closet also got its own makeover, complete with a shoe rack to store our shoes. Goodbye, messy shoe cupboard! Hello, neat and clean mudroom! Now, if we can all keep it this clean! 🙏
What I learned from this remodel
- I learned YouTube can teach you a lot. HAHA
- It is ok to make mistakes; keep going; you will only get better.
- Ask people with more experience a lot of questions. It will save you from making even more mistakes.
- I am capable of more than I realized. 💪
- Buy Knee Pads if you plan to lay floor tile – after 1/2 a day without them, my knees were ridiculously sore and black and blue for days!
- Anticipate it will cost double what you estimate (My husband is still in shock 😱).
- I love the satisfaction of building something with my own two hands and creativity.
List of Products
(These are not affiliate links, I just wanted to make it easy if you are interested in any of the products I used.)
- I chose Benjamin Moore, White Dove for the mudroom walls.
- BEHR Marquee, Graphic Charcoal for the built-in wall and shelf.
- Minwax, semi-transparent, Cherry stain on the bench.
- Enchanted 8″ x 8″ Floor & Wall tile in Moderno at Bedrosians.com for the floor tile. (I used a gray grout)
- Farmhouse light fixture in black from Wayfair.com
- Coat Hooks from Amazon.com (the exact ones I used are no longer available but these are similar.)
- The shelf baskets were from Ten Thousand Villages which I purchased several years ago.
- The floor basket was a gift (from Target), thanks to my sister-in-law, Adrian.
- The rug was a Safavieh rug from Amazon.com
- Coat Closet Shoe Rack – purchased at Walmart
One More Element?
I would love your opinion…I was thinking about adding one more element to the built-in. There is a gap in the center, between the hooks, in the built-in. I did this on purpose. I could leave it as is, and I would be pleased, but I had a passing thought of adding a unique hook to the center. The three cast iron hooks below are my top picks. Leave your vote in the comments below… Leave it as is (no more hooks), rabbit, dragonfly, or deer? What do you think?
I am so excited about this year’s goal to get my house more organized. I hope to share at least one post each month on a space I overhauled or organized. So stayed tuned…
If you want to read more from Breaking Average Blog about getting organized? Here are some past posts: