Y’all, when we moved into this house, the very first room that I finished is our mudroom. I was so excited to have this space! Our old house, even though it was over 1000 square feet larger, did not have a mudroom or any kind of drop space, and it drove me bonkers to have piles of book bags and coats all over living room floor and mail all over the kitchen counters. It made me a crazy lady.
So when I saw that this house had an actual mudroom off the back entryway, I knew that I would be able to recapture a small, tiny piece of my sanity back. And every little bit of sanity helps, right?
I love little rooms too. Because they are super fun to decorate. I really feel like mudrooms, entries, powder rooms- you should just let loose with them. Have fun. Well, any room really- it’s your house! Why not? But small little rooms? They can really pack a punch for so little effort. And I really love that mudrooms, entries, etc., can just immediately tell your guests what they can expect from the rest of your house. So I was really looking forward to decorating this mudroom.
I wanted our mudroom to be bold, but also classic and fun. While I wanted to respect the farmhouse/victorian vibe of the house, I also wanted to throw in a coastal element that my family loves. And honestly, I was channeling Kate Spade a bit for this room. Just a bit. Because I love her modern yet playful style:
I love the overall feel here. Fun, preppy, and classic. Bold color and pattern. Coastal farmhouse style that respects the style of the house. That’s what I was going for here.
First thing I did was paint the baseboards. They are chunky, as you can see. I debated white, but decided I wanted them to stand out, so I went with aqua. I love aqua and knew I would be using it as a color throughout the rest of the house so I knew it would be a good pop in here.
Next, stripes. Navy and white stripes give me the bold style and pattern that I wanted, but are still be traditional enough to respect the style of the house. Plus, it’s a classic coastal element. There are two doors in the mudroom, the back door and the door to the laundry room. I painted both doors aqua initially, but they looked awful- so I repainted them navy.
Okay, want to know about the mantel? Yes, that is a mantel. I might get a few haters for this part, but here goes nothing…
That is the original overmantel from the living room fireplace. I love it in it’s place in the mudroom. In the living room, it was just too much. See those light colored lines on it, where the stain did not take (not noticeable in real life, just in pics)? That is where there were originally ornate shelves attached. The original owners had knick knacks and stuff on them. While the craftsmanship is stunning, visually, I just could not take it. The living room is very small, and even with 12 foot ceilings…no. With no furniture or decor in the room, it is beautiful, but I knew that once we moved our stuff in, it would be overpowering.
When Michael and I were debating what to do with it, we realized that it was just sitting on top of the mantel. It had literally been attached to the mantel with tiny finish nails. We just lifted it off. Easy peasy. And realized it would make a beautiful addition to the mudroom. And it does. We attached hooks to it for our jackets and hung it on the wall.
The mantel is such a presence in that small room, that not a whole lot more is needed, visually, especially with the stripes. And the craftsmanship really is stunning.
I guess at some point I should probably have a psychological evaluation to explain why I prefer a television to a beautiful antique overmantel over my fireplace.
Anyway. Moving on.
The back door we hope to replace some day. The original owners left us the original antique door! The problem is that it doesn’t quite fit- we’ll have to reframe this door. Which means work to the vinyl siding outside the house. So it will be a project. But it has the original antique hardware and everything and it is beautiful. I’ll try to take a pic and post it.
This is the broom closet in the mudroom, and the view looking into the kitchen. Because the laundry room is right off the mudroom (that’s the door to the left), we really don’t have the need for a broom closet. I initially put a hanging rod in there in hopes that the boys would hang up their extra coats. Do you think that actually happened? Hah! I’m planning to turn it into a pantry, which will help me with my plan of removing the upper cabinets in the kitchen.
Doesn’t this look nice? It’s my mail station. At first glance, it looks like someone very organized likes here, perhaps someone organized enough to casually put her Lilly planner here when she gets home from work, then grab her iPod, then take her dog (who would never dare to go on the floor vents) for a walk. She probably exercises regularly, has a really perky ponytail, and only shops at Whole Foods.
But my header says “authentic life”. So this is what it usually looks like:
I can’t keep this spot organized. The mail, school papers, coupons, etc., add up unless I deal with it on a daily basis. So I need to figure it out a better way because that’s not a realistic goal for us. The truth is, I bought this mail thing because it matched the aqua trim. Probably not the best reason. I need to work on that. And, I’ve never been to Whole Foods and my hair is too short now for a pony tail.
I did have a basket that corralled shoes, which worked well. But when we got our pups, Marshall and Tucker (#canthidered), all of that ended, cause they ate them. And the basket. Closed shoe storage isn’t practical, because they boys won’t use it. I haven’t figured that part out yet either. Perhaps a metal basket, mounted about 5 feet off the floor?
So that’s our mudroom! I actually love this space. It is so nice to have a drop zone, even though it does need some work. Any ideas for how to squeeze some organization into that small space?