Thursday, January 3, 2013

Repurposing My Mud Room Area


I have a hallway at the bottom of the stairs of our split level home.  This is where we enter the house from the garage.  There is also a closet in this hallway that houses our washer/dryer.  The hallways also leads to the family room, my daughter’s bedroom, and her bathroom.  You can see this space when you walk into the front door.  I had a bench with a hanging shelf that has storage cubbies from our previous house that is perfect for this area.  At our previous house, I had three baskets for the three bench cubbies.  One for each child to house their school things.  So that is the way I set it up here when we moved.  But the system has not been working in this house.  Because my kids enter into the front door instead of through the garage when they get home from school, and they go straight up the stairs, instead of down.  So these nifty baskets were sitting their not really being utilized. 
Meanwhile, our coat closet is in a huge closet at the rear of our garage.  I had a big basket of scarves in there and two smaller baskets of hats and gloves.  It was not a good system I had going on with the scarves at all, because I usually have to run clear down to the garage to get one.  It occurred to me over the break that I should repurpose these baskets to contain all of the scarves, hats and gloves.  So, with one day left of my time off, I got busy. 
Now, I want you to k now that I am showing you my least favorite part of this whole house here.  It is the one part of the house I want no one to see, but it can’t be helped!  But I decided I am going to show it to you anyway.  This hallway is way up there on my priority list of things to change in this house in 2013.  First off, the flooring has to go, you will see why.  Second, it is in desperate need of a paint job.  Third, the laundry area is just a closet, but I would like to spice it up somehow and utilize it to its maximum potential.  So here goes, my least favorite spot in the house, and how I reorganized it to be a little more useful in about 15 minutes. 



This is the bench.  I believed I purchased all of this at JCP.com a few years ago.  The baskets are from Pier One.  I have a suede and sheep skin-ish throw laid across it from Pottery Barn.  The baskets contain school supplies.  The black one on top contains important school papers.  How do you like my dust?  Awesome, right??  I want to put a cute cushion on top of this bench but have never gotten around to it. 
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First I cleaned out the school supplies and moved them to other locations in the children’s bedroom’s.  Next, I brought all of the winter essentials in from the garage closet.  Here they are.

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I matched up all of the gloves, and put them neatly in this basket.

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I put all of the scarves in the next two baskets.  

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Then, I decided to hang a few of the scarves from various hooks in the hallway and family room.  I made over this chalkboard from Goodwill.  See more about that here.  I totally copied the little chalk art from the Young House Love blog.  Their version is better.  I did this in about 30 seconds.  

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I am not happy with the way this little corner looks at all.  I do like the  free printable art that I printed and framed over the shelf, but that is about it.  I am thinking of maybe painting the shelf.

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These two containers need a makeover!  The laundry basket is from Pottery Barn.  My daughter put her dirty clothes in there.  It needs an update.  I was thinking of painting it with stripes or something.  The big bucket, I bought at a craft show many years ago.  It is hand painted, but I don't love it anymore.  I use it to hold greeting cards and miscellaneous things like that.  I would like to update it to match the updated laundry hamper.

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Here is a shot of the bench and shelf  from straight on.  I just stacked all of the hats in the little black basket, they are overflowing a little.   Maybe I should put some kind of backing on the shelves, what do you think?  There are various longaberger baskets I have had for years here, and some willow tree figures.  I don't want to get rid of the baskets, but am not loving them anymore.  What do you think?  Any suggestions for what I could do to make this arrangement more updated and fresh?  I like the willow tree figurines.  Would you prefer to put them all together as a collection, or split them up into various areas around the house?  YOu can see to the right is where you go upstairs.  To the left is my daughter's bedroom.  Yes, that is a sheet hanging in her doorway.  Don't ask, she does have a door but it was removed due to too many late night skyping sessions, etc.  She has been living unhappily without it for about a month now.

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Through the doorway to the left is the family room.  The doorways straight ahead is my daughter's bathroom.

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This is the doorway to the family room.  The previous owners left this bar hanging.  It is one of my husband's favorite parts of the house.

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To the right is the laundry room closet, straight ahead is the garage.  How do you like my little snowman?  My 5 year old loves him!  Here you can see my least favorite part of this house.  The flooring.  First off, not a fan of linoleum.  Second off, they way it runs diagonal and then turns into carpet makes no sense to me.  It has to go.  This carpet runs into the family room and my daughter's room, which is fine.  I don't have a problem with the carpet.  It is in good shape.  But I don't want carpet in the hallway where everyone comes in and out.

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This is my fabulous laundry room!  Ta-da!  Isn't it gorgeous?  Any suggestions for how I could spice up and prettify this little space?  I was thinking of painting it a bright pop of color.  I need the hanging area to hang clothes up to dry.  On the shelf is spill over from some things I did not have room for in the kitchen.  In the rubbermaid box is all of my laundry supplies.  So ugly, right?  But I do like the front loading washer and dryer.  They use so much less water than my old ones from 1992.

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I learned very quickly that it is better to leave the door and drawer open on the washing machine.  If not, it smells moldy.  Also, there is a little rubber lip inside the door that gets things stuck in it and needs cleaned out periodically.  It gets gunk build up.  The drawer keeps filling up with water and gets on my nerves.  I have to pull it out and empty it.  Anyone else with a front loader who has this problem?

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Do any of remember this little sign I bought at Big Lots for like .75?  You can see more about that post by clicking here.

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So that is my hallway/mud room/laundry room.  It needs major work.  I think by spring break or summer it will be looking much different than it does right now.  Stay tuned!


Here is a list of things to do in this area:

  • Paint the walls
  • Rip up carpet and linoleum and install new flooring
  • Change out the ugly boob light
  • Add backing to the shelves
  • Paint wooden shelf
  • Find a better and prettier organization system for laundry closet
  • Paint doors black
  • Decorate
  • Add shoe storage
  • Paint trim