Monday, March 28, 2016

spaces: our mudroom makeover

i still recall walking through our current home for the first time when we were looking to buy.  i fell in love with the mudroom area and closet, as I had longed for such a space.  the previous owners had customized the home, leaving a large entrance area off the garage connecting to a very large walk through closet.  since moving in, we've always had big dreams for this space, but had other priorities.

meanwhile, we had picked up a set of 5 vintage lockers from a garage sale website.  i had been scouring the local listings and finally tracked them down from a workshop that was closing. they were in very rough shape, but we cleaned and restored them as best we could.  they made a home in our entrance off the garage. the lockers served us well for over 2 years, but since they were narrow, they didn't provide ample storage, especially through the winter months. 

our walk through closet was filled with builder wire shelving for baskets, coats, and shoes.   it definitely served its purpose, but one side of the room was vacant and unused.  i don't care for this type of shelving as it leaves everything exposed. 

being a family of five, and children now in preschool and elementary, we have an abundance of papers in addition to the regular, everyday correspondence.  throughout the week, all of these papers would begin to pile up on our island and we didn't have a real system in place to stay on top of it all.

i began to gather ideas for this space on Pinterest and draw up plans.

our goals for our  mudroom makeover were...

+ purge, reduce and simplify
+ increase storage
+ increase functionality 
+ increase organization
+ create a defined drop zone
+ create a home management/command center
+ streamline papers/filing/correspondence
+ create hidden storage
+ create year round storage for all seasons

walk-through closet space.

In the walk through closet, we began by removing all wire shelving, and patched and painted walls. During IKEA's 15 % off storage sale, we chose to invest in a IKEA PAX system. the massive PAX is filled with all sorts of fun and functional shelves, baskets, shoe baskets, and hanging storage, behind its space-saving sliding doors.

+ one of my greatest mom-hacks is having a basket for socks for each child.  it saves us from running upstairs last minute to grab a pair when we're rushing off to the school bus.  I also have an extra small bin for pesky strays I find in the wash.  Once a week we try our best to pair them off! 

Across from the PAX unit, is now one of my favourite spaces of our home.  We created a functional desk area within a closet that has greatly benefited and impacted the efficiency of daily life. 

We built this desk for only $20 by screwing in wood brackets to the side and back wall, installing a grey-washed pine {which matches the bench in the mudroom entrance area} and a white IKEA spindle leg. 

On the wall hangs an IKEA file system where each family member has they're own slot.  This prevents school papers from getting mixed up or lost.  above the file system hangs a whiteboard perpetual calendar.  I designed and printed this 16 x 20 whiteboard perpetual calendar at Costco. I'll be offering a freebie printable this week in a following post!  Also hanging, is an IKEA magnet board, perfect for important notes, coupons and to-do lists.

For additional efficiency,  I always have my coil bound yearly planner out in plain view, and two magazine holders that serve as in and out bins for time-sensitive papers and to-do's.  

My children also use this desk space for a quiet homework area so I've added some easy-grab jars filled with markers and crayons.  

garage entrance mudroom space.

we sold our well-loved vintage lockers to make space for a  DIY custom-built board and batton wall with hooks and a long upper shelf.  below, we added two IKEA STUVA rolling drawer bins.  we created the appearance of a built in bench, but adding a grey-wash stained pine board on top of the STUVA bins.  these bins are home to winter wear {ski coats and snow pants} and the second bin is home to snow boots, rain boots, and park shoes.  

the rainbow pillow was repurposed from my daughter's room. the hooks were an awesome IKEA find for only $3 each.  we added the shelf to give the board and batten a finished look below the long, narrow window.  

beside the garage door stands a tall IKEA HEMNES shoe cabinet.  the top drawer is perfect for keys and sunglasses and provides an immediate drop zone when we're coming and going.  the first cubby holds all of our winter hats, mittens and scarves that we use daily. the second cubby is home to summer shoes {crocs and flip flops etc.}

the opposing wall, we left the hooks that were present when we moved in and they're used for backpacks and purses, and the odd hoodie or umbrella.  above, i hung a single framed print and 3 M monograms found at Homesense and Michael's to give a pop of colour.

living proof

what I love most about this space is that it added efficiency and functionality to an under-utilized closet.   it made us more conscious of how much we truly needed to live with and forced us to downsize to only the essentials. knowing our calendar and having our papers organized makes the weeks run more smoothly. entering and exiting our home is no longer a stressful moment in our day as everyone knows where their belongings are and where to put them away.  this space is light, airy and organized but it's suited for real life and our everyday.

+ i wish i would have taken more before photos of the space before we tackled this project but I didn't have any idea I'd be blogging again.  here's one to show the transformation of the desk area...


  1. It's amazing!! I LOVE the whole space!! I hope to recreate it in a new house some day! How long did it take you to do it all?

  2. Thank you! And great question! We focused on the walk through closet space first over one weekend. It allowed us to build the PAX unit and have mostly everything stored away. After selling the lockers, two weeks later, we worked at building the custom board and batten area and installed the Hemnes shoe cabinet. This second half of the space, took us another weekend. The little details were added here and there the weeks to follow.

  3. What a great use of space! A drop-zone (or space to create one) is on my list of requirements if we ever buy another home!

  4. Could you please tell me how you made the desk? Thank you! lovely space!

  5. Looks awesome Sarah! I dream of the day when we have a mudroom *all the heart eyes here! When you come in through the back door its just kitchen and chaos and clutter haha. Love this!

  6. Absolutely brilliant idea of keeping a basket of socks for the kids! Thanks for the mom tip ;)