Finishing Touches, Function, Mud Room, Organization

A Hardworking Home

Happy 2019!

This week I am inspired by Joanna Gaines’s book, Homebody.  She has some amazing photos, sure.  But what really inspired me is her philosophy on design:  every nook and cranny of a home should be special, and work for you.

If you think about it for a second, it makes a lot of sense.  As homeownership evolved, and homes started to be kept not by a staff, but by the owners themselves, there became the idea that we would keep some parts of our homes to show others, and other parts would be closed and private.  We started to really buy into the concept of public and private spaces.    But then we took it a step further and started to pick out private places that were not worthy of investment.  Laundry rooms were in a dark corner of the basement.  Mudrooms were in the garage.  Pantries were shut behind closed doors adjacent, but not visible in, the kitchen.  Why?  Why did we take the tasks that people enjoy the least (laundry, gear organizing and putting away the groceries) and make them even more tedious by making the working environment they exist in so deplorable?

Thankfully, we are in a time of design where these spaces are being reconsidered.  I see plenty of second floor laundry rooms (depending on how you feel about that 😉 ), show stopping mud-rooms, and large pantries with spaces to sit and hang out.  But not many people have room for all of that.  So what I want you to take away from this is one small concept…make it intentional.

I love this laundry space…a counter top finished off the appliances.  Further, the homeowner brought in a lamp, a potted plant and a couple of other touches to make this space feel finished.  It’s especially important to finish these spaces when it’s the primary entrance to the home for your family (ie, it’s how you get from the garage into the home).  That first greeting the house gives you is so important, make it clean and inviting!

Here is another intentional space for a plant lover, I assume.  This is a great example of a space that more than likely brings the homeowner great joy, even if it isn’t each and every one of our’s dream laundry.

From this space, just admire the intention.  Fun cabinet hardware, friendly tile work, unique lighting, a throw rug.  These little touches make a space feel special.

For a pantry, consider clear containers to make the space more intentional.  It keeps food fresher, longer, and looks more uniform on the shelves.  If you don’t have a dedicated space for a pantry, these containers look fantastic on a high shelf in the kitchen.

And I have featured mud rooms before, but what I want to point out is that even a small hallway can be a mud room.  A few well anchored hooks, a couple baskets to toss smaller objects, and a small place to sit to put your shoes on, and you have a mud room!




Mud Room, Organization

Mud Rooms

Remember when I almost moved?  One of the big reasons I was so excited was that I was going to create a 400 sq ft mud room.  I still get a far away expression and have trouble completing my thought when I talk about it…in my mind, no backpack, running shoe, lacrosse stick, etc would ever make it’s way into the main area of my home with the mud room I was going to build.  No sir.

But it got me thinking…what’s going on in my mud room right now that is making me want to move rather than tackle it?  I can answer that truthfully…13 years now of layering on cork board push pins and stuffing in cubbies has it busting at the seems.  It was time to start over in that room, and I don’t mean knocking out the kitchen to create a giant mudroom.

The misconception is that the mudroom is where you store certain things.  That, for the most part, is not true.  While I subscribe to the theory that you should never put something down NOT in it’s place (just put it back now!), the mud room provides a transitional area to leave items that are either still being used, or are finishing their use.  Examples are wet raincoats, your purse, muddy shoes, anything that can’t just yet go back in it’s regular spot, or whose regular spot is on your person.  The problem in my house is that we have gotten away from it being a transition area, and have started to store things, inappropriately, in there.  It got claustrophobic.  Looking for sunscreen?  Check the ledge above the key rack.  What?

Yes, well, all of that has changed.  Because if you carefully read between the lines of my text here, you will hear a familiar falsehood…I need more storage.  No dear, you need less stuff.  Or more to the point, you need to find a more appropriate place for all that stuff.

The basic math of a mudroom is some sort of bench like run, with shoe keeping capability under it, and some sort of hanging capability at about 5 feet.  Mudrooms are, most of the time, that great small size where you can make a statement and it’s not too overwhelming (cough cough, cement tile floor).   Let’s look at some I found on Houzz…

Love the light fixture, love the floor, love the space.  You name it!

These next two I want to point out because they have fully enclosed fronts.  This is an awesome idea if you can get away with it.  Leave the clutter behind closed doors.

Of course, open lockers look adorable too, and in a smaller space, they feel a little more spacious, provided you don’t overload the hooks!

Those floors!

This last one is the inspiration for my mudroom reno…love!