The Mudroom…

I want to show off our Mudroom today because it is probably one of my favorite areas of our house.  Also, it gets a lot of use in the winter – so it seems appropriate to discuss it in preparation for winter.

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First of all, it really isn’t a room – it’s more of a wide hallway – about 5 feet wide.  Tad calls it a breezeway – it is the connection between the garage and the rest of the house – but it is an interior space rather than an outdoor space – so, breezeway doesn’t seem quite right to me.  Nonetheless, it is where we hang our coats and take off our shoes.

I love having somewhere to hang my coat right as I walk in the door – below is the view as we come into the house from the garage.  We didn’t have this luxury until a short time ago – this area is part of our recent addition.  I also love having somewhere to take off my shoes.  I find that this keeps the house a little cleaner.  I am not necessarily a clean freak – it is just an observation and it makes my life a little easier.  It’s the small things that make me happy…

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I have to give Tad full credit for this space.  He insisted that we have an attached garage when we were in the planning stages of our addition/garage project – resulting in the hallway/mudroom.  I didn’t think we needed it.  I didn’t know how much I would appreciate it until I actually had it!  As mentioned above, it is one of my favorite areas in the house now.

As with everything around the house, we discussed and debated how to finish off this space.  I realize it seems pretty basic in retrospect, but at the time we thought we were going to do a built in wall – cubbies, lockers, some sort of something.  After a very thorough review of our options, we finally agreed that the space would not accommodate a built in – just not enough square footage.

What we already had:

Good lighting – natural and overhead.

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Good ventilation – multiple windows and french doors out to the courtyard.

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Easy to clean tile with gray, sealed grout.  We had hoped for polished concrete but couldn’t find anyone willing to give it a try.

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Area rug – FLOR carpet tiles – left over from an art show booth that I used only once.  The cow print pattern is – funny – to me.  It is also hard working – easy to keep clean or replace as needed.

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Bright paint color – orange walls, sunny ceiling.  Before color and after color below.  It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?

Breezeway Before    Breezeway Color after

Artwork – an O’Keefe cow ( a rare depiction of a live animal by O’Keefe – and it works with the cow print carpet tiles)…

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an action shot of Tad playing baseball…

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and some owls and a fox – we got these in Vermont…

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What we needed:

Bench – we found a lovely teak bench from Crate & Barrel that has worked out perfectly.

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Coat hooks – I wanted heavy duty but attractive.  It took some pretty extensive searching but I got it done – eventually.

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What we didn’t know we needed – but added later:

Pedestal/Table – for Tad to drop his stuff.  I like my flat surfaces (kitchen countertops, media cabinet, open shelving, etc) to be clutter free.  Surprisingly, I found this pedestal at a second hand shop.  It is a surprise because I never, ever find anything in second hand shops – but here we are –  a cool looking table for Tad’s stuff.

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Finishing the french doors:  Our mudroom also provides access to our courtyard patio via french doors.  The doors were unfinished wood – pine I think.  I wanted to match the white windows we have around the rest of the house – including in the mudroom.  I didn’t want just painted doors though.  I thought a whitewashed look with the grain showing through would be cool.  I was right – the whitewashed look is perfect.  It was easy to accomplish as well.  The painter that was hired for our project didn’t want to tackle finishing the doors to my specifications – he just wanted to paint them white.  So, I did it myself – and charged the contractor back for my time. It was one of the easiest things I ever took on and it turned out just as I had hoped.

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What we still need/want:

Window treatments – seems easy enough but window treatments are pretty expensive – and I haven’t really found a good solution for the french doors.

Ceiling treatment – we have a mini cathedral ceiling in the area and would like to highlight that architectural detail – whitewashed beadboard maybe?

How do we keep it neat:

Baskets under the bench contain our hats, gloves, and snow pants.

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Only summer shoes during the summer and winter shoes during the winter.  We are able to keep 3-4 pairs of shoes each under the bench.

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I have a 2 coat/jacket per hook rule.  This one is hard for Tad because he has a bazillion coats and jackets but so far, mostly good.

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Some hooks, a bench, and a few baskets in a hallway and we’ve got a mudroom – yay!