The weather here in the Boston area isn't exactly what we all pictured for a long weekend—it's pretty soggy out there. But, the silver lining to those rain clouds is we have retreated inside with some time to finally finish some spring cleaning projects (in fact, we just finished a big garage clean out Saturday afternoon. HIGH FIVE!) It is also giving me the chance to finally show you the mudroom project that we completed late last year. I grappled with what to do with this space for a while. I kept adding inspiration to my mudroom board on Pinterest and gave it some percolating time. I finally decided to hinge everything as an ode to the premise (and function) of the space: the transition between outside and inside.
Disclosure: this was not exactly a DIY project. We had enough crumbling plaster and carpentry needs that we called in a professional. And we are so glad we did. Sometimes free time and a project that doesn't go on for months and months in household disarray is worth every penny.
Below: Doors Before / In Progress / After
The front door (orange) didn't have a frame or much of a casing to speak of. The plaster was crumbling from water damage on the bottom half. The door into the garage (gray, on left) had a spray painted glass center (what??) and a commercial, metal threshold that stuck out into the mudroom. It was a total eyesore.
The front door "frame" was demolished and built back up using a wood frame and a concrete compound fill. Due to the nature of our commercial-turned-residential building and the odd lack of spacing around the front door opening, this was the perfect solution.
The metal threshold was removed from the garage door and a custom solid wood threshold was built in its place.
We replaced the garage door with a beautiful, solid maple door complete with a new brushed metal doorknob and a metal frame (that comes standard with this type of industrial/commercial door). All of the door trim and the front door itself were painted to match one of the warm grays in the birch pattern wall paper (from Sandpiper Studio's Book, EcoChic, in Birch). The mudroom is narrow and this kind of space is not really worth trying to make look larger. So, I went in the other direction and embraced the narrow scale and coziness of the space by using a very visually dense paper. The effect was quite cool—the vertical pattern of the birch trees heightened the room even more and you do feel like you are walking through a tree-lined path into the house.
No mudroom or entry is complete without a keyholder and mail station! Of all the options I looked at, I kept coming back to this Magnetter from Umbra. And I've always liked the humorous BÄSTIS hook from IKEA for Lucy's leash.
Below: Flooring Before / In Progress / After.
We took the opportunity to rip out the feeble 2x4 boards that were standing in as baseboard. We added some "quarter-round" trim to the TOP of the baseboard because we wanted something sleek and modern, which is hard to find in a sea of traditional baseboards.
While the tile in the mudroom is in perfect shape, it had nothing to do with the style of our house (or our taste) at all. So, we simply covered it, wall-to-wall, with super low pile Flor carpet tiles in Toy Poodle in Lime so it would look, unabashedly, like grass beneath our feet. (Heaven Sent in Kiwi is similar—Toy Poodle seems to have been discontinued). And for an entry or mudroom, definitely look for their medium or heavy traffic-graded styles.
I found these fantastic felt storage bins on Etsy. We kept the fixtures we already had and liked a lot, such as our TJUSIG shoe rack and hat rack with coat hooks from IKEA (unfortunately, they no longer have them in the Birch finish).
The Prato umbrella stand rounds out our grassy indoor/outdoor mudroom. And by the time I finished this post, Monday has rolled around and the sun is out and shining. With umbrella stowed away, we are hoping those spring showers are giving way to sunnier summer days—and a post about outdoor living and dining. Stay tuned!