Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mudroom Makeover: I think I'm in love

Yes, I love my husband. And of course I absolutely adore my children. But this past week I had to make a little more room in this heart of mine because I love, love, love my new mudroom.

When we purchased this little piece of property we realized we were going to have to purge a few items and try to do more with less (see how that process went by clicking here). Yeah, we failed miserably on that front, so that left our family of five living in utter chaos.

For the past four weeks our master bedroom has been command central. Need toilet bowl cleaner? Check the dresser. Looking for the screw driver? It might be on one of the shelves in the closet (probably next to the wireless mouse I still need to get synched with our new laptop). Need to find the receipt for the rug that didn't quite work out. Good luck.

I'd be lying if I said the thought of sneaking off in the middle of the night to find a new home where extra toothpaste wasn't being stored alongside the door stoppers we have yet to install didn't cross my mind. It did. More than once.

Then my father-in-law showed up (to install a water line for our ice maker). Since I was having second thoughts about the fridge we had just purchased, I was able to hold off on that project for just a little bit and casually mention a new one. The mudroom.

Here's a look at the mudroom before:

Utter disorganization.
As I shared my dream of cubbies for the kids and cabinetry that could contain our clutter, my father-in-law snapped into action measuring the space and throwing out ideas. Then we talked budget. Apparently we weren't crazy thinking $600 could do it. I have to admit we were beginning to wonder after the guys at Lowe's told us it would take about $2,400 to construct a bench and a couple of cabinets. Ouch.

The next day my husband and father-in-law headed for Home Depot to gather all of the supplies. This included: 2 30" stock cabinets, 3 36" cabinets, loads of lumber (but some of this was used to build the pedestals for our washer and dryer), paint, primer, and two new paintbrushes.

Then it was my turn to snap into action. Since our basement isn't finished I was able to set up shop down there rather than sweat it out in the 90-degree heat. I removed the cabinet doors and grabbed the bucket of primer. Luckily the primer dried in about an hour (thanks, Kilz), so I was able to slap the first coat of paint on right away. The 8-year-old daughter showed up eager to help. Two days and four coats later we were finished.

Here's a look at a couple of steps in the process:

Removing the cabinet doors.

Painting the cabinets.

Time for my father-in-law (with some assistance from my husband) to take over and for the kids and I to take off for a mini-vacation. Woo-hoo. When we returned I was absolutely ecstatic to see that three of the cabinets had been hung. Over the next two evenings my father-in-law hung the remaining cabinets, cut the lumber to size, and finished the install.

Getting closer.

Measuring for the cubbies.

That's when my second shift kicked in. Armed with wood filler, sand paper, and paint, I worked to put the finishing touches on the cabinet and cubby frames. Then I grabbed my new favorite tool, the cordless drill and screwdriver, and put the doors on the cabinets, touched up the paint a bit more, added a couple of baskets, and marveled at my mudroom. Seriously, I marveled at it. I just stood in there and stared, so muich that my husband offered to move a mattress in there so I could look at the handiwork all night.

Here's the fabulous after shots:

Baskets for hats and mittens.

Hooks for coats and backpacks.

Just enough room on top for a few functional decorative touches.

You see before it was just a pass-through. Something completely unfunctional (dare I say dysfunctional). A hallway that I really just tried to ignore as I entered the house through the garage. Now it's a room worthy of my extra attention. It's functional and beautiful. While it still needs a few more decorative touches (coat hooks need to be installed and a few chocolate brown accents need to be purchased), I'm still absolutely, positively in love.

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