A Mudroom Hideaway

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On a whim, I decided I wanted to turn our utility room into a mudroom. It was for good reason, though. Whenever we have visitors, it never fails, they come to our side door. Our side door opens into our utility room. Our utility room houses the HVAC system, our massive hot water heater, our fuse box, cable box, my craft supplies, cat food/litter box…I think you get the point. (I cleaned up/out the room before I took the following photos.)

I should note that I have a front door which opens into a beautiful foyer, but nobody gets to see it because they all enter through our utility room.

I told Jamie of my plans for the mudroom and he eagerly accepted the challenge. (Well, not really. He never actually accepted the challenge, per se; it was more thrust upon him.) So, on Saturday, we made a trip to Lowe’s to buy cabinets. We were planning on buying the cheap, unfinished cabinets until we found out how expensive even the “cheap” ones were. We made an executive decision while standing in the middle of Lowe’s: we’d build the cabinet boxes and just order the doors. Once again, we were planning on buying cheap, sample doors but found out they were $70-80 each, plus, they were limited on sizes. >sigh< Now it looked like we were going to have to make the whole thing. Deflated,we went to the lumber department and stocked up on what we’d needed to build the cabinets AND doors.

Fast forward to that following Monday and I’m going through my messages on my blog. One message in particular piqued my curiosity. Kayla, the marketing manager at www.CabinetNow.com had sent me a message, asking if I’d like to guest post on their site. She went on to say she would love to explore ways to work together.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder how we could work together?”

“Maybe…just maybe, we could use www.CabinetNow.com for our mudroom??”

And so a partnership was formed.

BUILDING THE BOXES

Jamie wasted no time. In fact, by the time I finally made it out to the barn, he’d almost finished the first cabinet.

We made another one very similar to this one. The only difference was the dimensions. (No sense in having a photo of that one too, since it’s basically a duplicate.)

Lastly, we made the corner cabinet.

After we had all three of them built, we then moved them over to the house so we could hang them.

HANG ’em high

I know what you’re thinking…”What is she going to do with those two boxes on the wall?” Stick around and you’ll see. 😉

Next order of business: figuring out what we could do to hide that ugly HVAC monstrosity? I mean, I know what I wanted to do. It was just a matter of talking Jamie into. Finally, after much begging and pleading, he relented. (He told me what a nightmare it’ll be to take it all apart to fix. So, if our heat ever goes out, I will NEVER hear the end of it. Mark. My. Word. )

HIDING THE UGLY

 

Now it’s time to cover this bad boy up!

As you can see, we added the trim, crown molding, and painted it.
“BE-NCHes, PLEASE”
Yes, my floors are a mess. Don’t judge.

 

Instead of ripping out the baseboard and possibly damaging the walls, my husband opted to cut it at an angle so the trim at the bottom would fit flush with it.
I was so ready to get started making the seating for the benches. Alas, Jamie had me wait.
Wall to WallSave

Our next step was to continue with the beadboard on the other walls, underneath the cabinets. I got caught up in the moment and forgot to snap some photos but I think you get the picture (no pun intended). You’re not missing anything–all we did was buy a few sheets of the beadboard paneling, cut it to the desired dimensions, and nailed it to the wall. One thing I should mention, we took the doors off of the cable and fuse boxes so their doors would be sitting on top of the paneling.

Jamie thought it’d be best if we put the paneling up before we finished the benches. Let me tell you…I was chomping at the bits to get started on the bench project because I’d found the perfect fabric!

Premier Prints Faxon Indoor/Outdoor Cavern Fabric

To get started, we cut out three pieces of 3/4″ MDF for the seats. Then, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a couple rolls of the 2″x27″x76″ poly foam pads. No need to buy batting because I already had some at home. So, I laid the fabric face down, then I laid the batting on top of it, followed by the foam pad, cut to the length I needed. Lastly, I sat the piece of MDF on the top. I started stapling the batting to the board; making sure it was taught. Finally, I stapled the fabric to the MDF board. Sorry I don’t have photos of this but, once again, I got excited and forgot to take pics. Good news: you can find a ton of tutorials about this on YouTube.

Now, I had to figure out how to hide those ugly boxes on the wall. My first thought was to paint them. I tried that but wasn’t happy with the outcome. To me, they still stuck out like a sore thumb(s). Since we couldn’t attach beadboard paneling to the doors, I thought I could do the next best thing – paintable beadboard wallpaper. I traced the doors onto the wallpaper, cut them out, and pasted them to the doors. (Sorry for the lack of photos. I just get so excited!)

Much better, if you ask me.
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT (MAINLY JUST SHORT)

My husband may not be the total package (i.e., “tall, dark, and handsome”), but two out of the three ain’t bad.  All joking aside, on a good day, my hubby is about 5’6″. I consider that “fun size”. But, “fun size” can’t reach the top shelf; especially when you have 9ft ceilings. Since we had to build above the cable and fuse boxes in that room, we had to put the shelves up higher than was accessible by little ‘ol me.

But that was okay because I had a plan.

I’ve always loved those ladders they use in libraries to reach the top shelves. I thought maybe we could incorporate something like that into our design.I put the idea in Jamie’s head, where it sauteed for a little while. Next thing I know, he had a plan…and y’all ain’t going to believe what he thought up. (That must be read with a western Kentucky accent.) He made me hardware for the “library ladder” from scratch using slices of a steel pipe and a steel rod. After he did that, we built the ladder.

 

THE DOORS

No, I’m not referring to the American rock band fronted by Jim Morrison. I’m referring to the shaker-style doors I ordered from www.CabinetNow.com. They arrived at my door and I couldn’t have been more excited! In fact, I was so excited that I started painting them before I got a proper “before” photo. My bad.

After I gave them a few coats of paint, added some hinges, and threw on a few knobs, this is what we had.

With the hundreds of choices they had, I enlisted Kayla at www.CabinetNow.com to help me choose which style cabinet door I should get. She recommended the  shaker-style and I think that was the perfect choice. I think it gives it a very clean look. I had considered adding the beadboard wallpaper into the inset of them, but I’m afraid that would be too much. Opinions?

THE HIDEAWAY

In most of the mudrooms you’ll find, the storage space underneath the bench is accentuated with decorative crates or baskets. Not mine. Nope. No way. What I had to store in that space is not something I wanted on display. You see, our mudroom is actually a very small room: 12.5’x8.25′, to be exact. Therefore, when we used the space for the bench and whatnot, we lost valuable space. Space that my cats need. Space my cats felt they’re entitled to. (Hmph, cats.) I decided to use the area underneath the benches as their space. This is where I hid everything “feline”. Their food and water fit under there nicely. In fact, I was shopping on Chewy.com and found the perfect accessory for their space: a corner litter box.

Best. Invention. Ever.

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To hide all of the feline food and furnishings, I opted to put up a curtain. A “kitty kurtain”, if you will. (Phrase coined by my daughter.) Before I did that, though, I decided to add a middle leg to the benches. That way, by spanning across the width of the bench, the dowel rod wouldn’t loose its integrity.

Next, I got a one-hole conduit strap and screwed it into the bench.

Conduit strap holding the curtain/dowel rod.
The three red arrows show where I put each strap.

Finally, I bought gray canvas and made some really fast, really quick, and really easy curtains. Kitty kurtains.

And behind these “kurtains” I’m hiding the necessities…

their food…
and water….
…and toiletries.
IN CONCLUSION

So there you have it friends…my mudroom.

I had my wall art printed at Simple Canvas Prints and I couldn’t be more pleased!

What are your thoughts?

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