Our project manager, Cory, has been working endlessly on reworking a home on the south shore with his fiancé. He recently build a mudroom out of thin air, and we wanted to find out how.
Full disclosure- I bought the ugliest house on my street.
To this day, I’m told by most this tactic is a good one. But in this story, I am not the tactician, I am the muscle. My current home was built in 1888, and one could say it needed some work. It was bought as a full renovation home by my fiancé and I, and as we are rounding out year two of occupancy this month I’m offering up a retrospective on why I decided to hack up my whole first floor for a mudroom. This will definitely require some diagrams, so buckle up.
To give you an idea of what I was working with, here’s the kitchen the day we got the keys:
Wallpaper borders, smoke stains and wood grain, oh my.
After my fiancé ripped the shutters off of the kitchen window in pride and we popped champagne, we were off on a very long road to a livable home. We’re both in design, and have a very different taste than what was presented, so in an attempt to start with a blank slate we got a dumpster and threw out all of the elements that went toe to toe with the wallpaper borders (aka most of it).
Starting with bare floors and walls (for the most part), here was our floor plan:
We decided that the entry could use a mudroom after about 5 months.
When I say we, I say my fiancé pitched it to me, and I agreed. We both felt would give the primary entrance of the house some presence, as well as storage. I highly recommend to anyone in a similar renovation or living situation, you should live in your space for a while before you modify it. It really helped us wrap our heads around what would work best for our house.
The mudroom would require the following:
- Relocation of the washer & dryer from the kitchen to the first floor bathroom
- A wall dividing the kitchen to the new mudroom
- New entryway into the dining room
- New entryway from the dining room to the living room (because of flow)
- New entryway to the first floor bedroom (because why not?)
- Pocket door for the first floor bathroom so you can use the washer & dryer
- Serious cabinetry work
- A bitchin’ seat for my built in storage bench
So we drew it up and we got the floor plan below.
It should be noted that moving the doorways to the living room and the first floor bedroom didn’t need new entryways, but we did both in an effort to make the living room a better suitor for furniture and a TV.
Cue the construction montage!
So now, we’ve got a blank slate for the mudroom. From the picture, the room does look small, but it actually is bigger than we anticipated – roughly 15 feet long and 6 feet wide. Given direction by my fiancé and visuals per pinterest, we set out designing. Samantha (fiancé) drew the original, but my terrible rendition is below:
We sourced the bigger cabinet shells, and set out designing the bench and dividers. The actual dimensionality of the bench was important, as you’d want to comfortably sit to put on shoes but you’d hang coats, etc. At this stage, I developed the final plan for building the bench in cad.
Now, some quality time with power tools was in order after mounting the pre fabricated cabinet shells. We found these online at Cabinotch– fully customizable cabinets that come flat packed and are fairly easy to assemble and glue up. We test fit everything dry, and then used four toggle bolts per unit to make sure they were secured to the wall. I mounted my dividers after the cabinets were installed.
Then put in my spacers/shelve supports, shelving, and bench base.
I skipped discussing the tile work and paneled wall, but I like to bury the painful memories. Those weren’t fun, but doing the trim work on my cabinetry was, and the bench top was definitely a labor of love.
Fast forward a week or two, and we’ve stained the benchtop, painted the cabinets and wired some under cabinet lighting for the built ins. Also pictured, hooks! At the top of the picture, you can also see a peek of my ceiling, which is a trimmed out bead board that helps add to the whole finished effect. One more coat of paint for the walls, some more trim work to cover up the lighting guts, and mounting the cabinet doors are all we’ve got left for this room. One down, nine to go.
If you found this interesting and want to see more things Sam has come up with and I’ve attempted to execute, my house has an instagram! It’s more exciting than me.