Monday, December 1, 2014

Mudroom/Storage Room

We've been testing out the new, improved mudroom this week.

AFTER - Fritz and Mattias changing shoes on Friday.
BEFORE - when we moved in four years ago.
When we moved in, we bought a 1x5 Expedit from Ikea to use as an impromptu bench. We thought maybe, someday, the bench would be like the window bench upstairs.  (Good thing we purchased it when we did, because the Expedit has since been replaced by the Kallax series which doesn't offer a 1x5 version. And we need 5 cubbies for five people!) Back in the day, we hung up some hooks for coats. We bought some plastic shelves from Home Depot to hold stuff on the other side of the room. But we still weren't quite sure what we wanted from this room, so it sat in an unfinished, messy state (frequently piles of coats) for the last four years.

Ikea planner. Oh, fancy. (And a little temperamental.)

It's a small room, about 7' x 8'. It lies between the garage and a hallway that leads to the kitchen. The original plan had a washer and dryer in this room. We moved the washer and dryer to basement when we moved in, because we felt like a small room on the first floor by the garage was the wrong place for our family.

In the last few months, we finally settled on a list of what we wanted from the mudroom:
  • A place to sit down and put on/ take off outdoor clothes and shoes.
  • A place for the small countertop appliances that were taking over the kitchen counter.
  • A place to throw mail and receipts when we came in from the car. Basically, a drop pad or drop zone.
  • Recycling and Trash so the junk doesn't make it very far into the house.
  • A place to hang coats which are being used. (There is a coat closet in the hall, but it doesn't work particularly well with the children, who can't seem to either 1) use hangers and 2) open and close doors without injuring each other.)
  • Storage for cleaning supplies.
We thought maybe we wanted a sink in this room. The hookup for the washer and dryer was still there, making it possible. But we weren't sure; a half bath is located just 3 feet down the hall. And there's a sink in the kitchen, another 14ish feet away. We eventually decided to kill the sink.

We were motivated to finally finish this project because Ikea is discontinuing their Akurum line of cabinets. We've used the Akurum line before and we knew we would be happy using them in the mudroom. And secondly, with our pending major renovation projects, it seemed like a wise idea to get this room organized. It was a place of constant disorganization!

Here's what we ended up with:

Counter side
Bench side
I've been on a real white-walls kick for the last few years. And I still really like white walls. But we thought we'd have some fun in the mudroom. Fritz and I took about 15 seconds to pick out this paint color from an itty bitty sample in the paint aisle at Home Depot. Exactly how you are NOT supposed to pick out paint. (One should always be able to thumb one's nose at conventional wisdom.) For now, I'm quite happy with it. We'll see how I feel in a few years.

It took me some time to let go of the idea that this room should be a locker room, where everybody had their own cubbies, their own hook, their own sitting space on the bench. But I wanted to put so many other kinds of storage into this space! Finally, I decided that the locker room style wasn't the best use of the space. I still haven't figured out how to get all three kids to sit down and do the same thing at the same time, anyway. We kept the 5-shoe-cubbies-one-for-each-person because that aspect of the room was working out well. But overall, I decided that a shorter bench and less coat hanging space could be almost as helpful as a long bench and more coat hooks.

Bench cubbies, in their final position, not touching the back wall.
We made the bench a counter depth (about 25" versus 15-18"), even though that meant adding some structural support and pulling the Expedit away from the wall. It created some dead space behind the Expedit that you can see in the photo below. Maybe we'll hide our secret treasure there! The depth of the bench is working out great, even if it looks kind of cluttered; the kids are so much more reliable about using the basket for accessories and stacking their backpacks on the bench because the surface is at a kid-friendly height.

Dead space behind the cubbies. Not ideal, but, oh, well.
The deeper bench also allowed us to set a full size cabinet on top of it. This configuration was definitely not in the Ikea manual. Let's hope the Expedit is strong enough. So far, so good.

Is all the green giving you a headache yet?

On the counter side, we improvised a little bit as well. The Akurum cabinet with three drawers wasn't available at our Ikea. Lucky for us, we figured out how to convert a sink unit into three drawer unit by rotating the doors and attaching them to Rationel drawers. Gotta love a good modular system. A clever person might notice the drawer panel reveals are rotated the wrong way relative to the door panel reveals. But. It's a mudroom. Mudroom. Mudroom, right?

There's no sink in the sink unit, because we temporarily nixed that part of the project. Also, no handles, because we're not there yet.

You know how when you go to Ikea, you get sucked into it, and pretty soon you think everything Ikea is GREAT? That's how the individual coat and hat hooks got replaced with the Gundtal rail below. The hooks are removable and slide along the rail. The jury is still out on whether or not the rail is a good idea. I will say that it's kind of nice to be able to shove the coats around, cramming more coats on the rail or off the rail, depending on the flux of people in the house:


Pregnantly Plump said...

I like it! And I think the green is nice, but then we have a similar hue in the playroom. It's been 5 years and we still really like it.

Idena said...

Love it! And I like the green too!

Anonymous said...

Very creative and stylish - like everything you do in your house!
And by the time you don't like the green any more, it's probably time to repaint's the mud room after all, right?

Katie said...

Love this! Fabulous work.