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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Mudroom Makeover

Sunday, April 26, 2015

And Spring cleaning continues at my house... 

Wait 'til you see my mudroom makeover! 
A catch-all mudroom is becoming an organized 
fun place to store tools, flower vases, over-sized pots, 
and vintage bits and pieces. 

While cleaning the mudroom, a makeover began taking place in my mind. 
Turn it into someplace to hold my favorite French wire basket, flower pots, 
a collection of vintage gardening tools, small construction tools, and vases. 

Turn it into a small attached 
indoor tool shed. 

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. 

The mudroom was truly built to be a mudroom. 
The front entry is small with the front door directly across from 
what was the back door when the house was built. 
Coming in the back door after working in the yard 
and garden brought all the mud and dirt right into the front entry. 
Not a pretty sight. 

We talked about needing a mudroom and one summer while I was 
chaperoning students for two weeks in France, 
my husband built the new mudroom. 
When I left for the trip, no mudroom; 
when I returned, there it was, a wonderful surprise, a new mudroom. 
At least there was an enclosed space with a brick floor. 
The new back door (it was new in the early 90s) matches the original back door 
so that light comes into the mudroom and on into the front entry. 

Whitewashed pine beadboard walls and ceiling were added right away. 
A small bench was built to use as a place to sit 
to take off muddy shoes before coming into the house. 
One small shelf was built about six feet from the floor 
so that people would not bump their heads while sitting on the bench. 

Over the years, the bench, shelf, and floor under the bench 
became a catch-all for the things that did not have a designated home. 
No before photos... 
Remember I had this brainstorm while cleaning. 

After removing everything and cleaning about two weeks ago, 
two new shelves were added between the original bench and top shelf. 
I whitewashed the new pine shelves and sealed them with clear polyurethane 
to try to match the existing wall and shelves. 

The original top space is roomy enough to hold large ceramic drink dispensers 
and a metal box to store unsightly items. 
The new shelf holds antique fruit jars and a bottle from a French flea market 
with plenty of room for a rustic bucket to hold flowers. 

The new large shelf, big enough to use as a work counter, was built at just 
the right height for me and with plans to keep it fairly uncluttered. 

The mudroom is a small space but with room for antique tools and bottles 
as well as the more utilitarian tools regularly used around the house.  
Rearranging already took place between photos. 

The space is smaller than many closets. 
There are 31" between the back door and the wall behind the shelves. 
The width of the shelves is 32". 
The smaller top shelves are about 11.75" deep, and 
the big counter height shelf and bench are 20.5" deep. 

This same look and design could be used to convert a closet 
into an inside tool/garden shed either with a solid door 
or with a door with divided glass panes. 

The original bench at the bottom is sturdy enough to hold large ceramic pots 
and metal bins for holding small construction and garden tools. 

Small shovels, forks, and gardening gloves fit into the ceramic pots. 

The old gardening fork came from Chipper's antique store in Alabama 
and the verdigris metal sprinkler parts are left over spare parts from 
a sprinkler system that was installed in the back yard. 

The top three cloths are bath cloth/dish cloth size and came from HomeGoods this spring. 
The four larger cloths are dish towel size and have been collected over the years. 
I can hardly pass up a periwinkle blue or lavender dish towel/cloth. 
100% cotton is one of the few prerequisites ~ along with pretty. 

Old metal tarnished a verdigris color is another weakness 
especially if it belonged to a loved family member as these two did.  
The odd-shaped tool has a flat-head screw driver at one end 
and two sizes of hex bolt dodads at the other end sticking out of the jar. 
Dodad is the name of a construction gadget, isn't it? 
This is the only one I've ever seen like this. 

A selfie! 

My husband used to laugh and to tell others that I wore matching 
outfits even to work in the yard and garden.  
True, my outfits do match. 
Of course, he was referring to matching blouses and pants, 
but when I noticed my blouse matched the dish towels and cloths, 
I had a laugh that my outfit matches what I'm working on. 

Marley has that, 
"I can't believe you actually let people see the mudroom," look. 
This is before he explored the cleaned room with the new shelves. 

The floor space under the bench is large enough for a plastic bucket, 
rubber boots, and for a shelf out of the refrigerator, 
one of those catch-all items that needs a different home. 

There is still more to do. 
Actually, there are a couple of things already in place not in these photos. 
In addition, I want to add some hooks to the wall above the new large shelf, 
hang some vintage gardening tools, to add new caulking, 
and to repair the back door. 
Then there's the other side of the room that needs rearranging. 
Spring cleaning and organization continues... 

I really like the mudroom as an inside tool/garden shed. 
Plus, it still functions as a mudroom from the backyard. 

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