Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Huckleberry Finn: Laundry and Mud Room Remodel

"I clumb up the shed and crept into my window just before day was breaking. My new clothes was all greased up and clayey, and I was dog-tired.  Well, I got a good going-over in the morning from old Miss Watson on account of my clothes; but the widow she didn't scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay, and looked so sorry that I thought I would behave awhile if I could."

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Trouble spots.  I seem to have them everywhere---on my lawn, on my carpet, and on my body (like that pesky "spot" between my kneecaps and chin).

But I'm working on them.  I have fertilized the lawn, I have spotted the carpet, and today I let a neighbor talk me into going to a nearby playground/park to "work out."  I was envisioning a less-than-rigorous routine of going down slides, doing underdogs on the swings, and hanging from some monkey bars.  I mean, what else could you possibly do at a playground?

Well, you could do stair-steppers on park benches until your behind starts to spasm.

You could do lunges across the grass while the other mothers at the playground shield their children's eyes from the unpleasantness of it all.

Or you could do football squats, and silently compose your last will and testament as you anxiously wait to die.

You could do all those things.  And I did.  I have no weight loss to show for it, but I do have a terrific limp and whimper when climbing stairs now.

As bad as these trouble spots are, none of them compare to my home's largest trouble spot:  the laundry room/mud room.

How is it that the room where clothes go to be cleaned is always the dirtiest room in my house?  Forgive me as I give you a brief peek into our "mud room."  This was on a good day.  Don't judge.

Our shelf and bench system just wasn't working for us.  No one actually "sat" on the bench to take off their shoes.  Instead, they just "sat" their junk there.  And every time one of the kids needed a backpack or a baseball cap off of one of the hooks, I would find a pile of once-hanging items on the bench.  Argh.  

Never mind the fact that the laundry room is so sedate with its dark putty walls that I needed a can of caffeine to stay awake long enough to do a load of laundry.  (And you all know how much I love to do laundry.)

This has been our troubled story for the past seven years.  

Until this week.

Several night's ago I lay there awake trying to figure out how to make our laundry room/mud room functional for our family.  As I enumerated our needs in my mind, I realized how we could do it.  I shook my husband awake and told him the exciting news.  He wasn't nearly as excited as I thought he'd be.  

Go figure.

With a few hours of sleep under his belt, hubby caught the vision and we went gangbusters on our project.  

We had lots of help along the way with construction . . .

and painting . . .

And a few days later we had this to show for it . . .

With a happy new color scheme and loads of functionality, this space is finally meeting our needs.

We've "moved in" to the new room, and I couldn't be happier with the results.  The backpacks are organized, the hats have their own hooks, the shoes have a place to call their own, and I can finally fold laundry somewhere other than on a kitchen counter or couch.

One trouble spot down, 3.67 million to go.  Good luck with your own troublesome spots.

If you'd like to talk about them, come find me at the playground.  I'll be the one doing leg lifts by the tire swing.

Wall Color is Ivoire by Sherwin Williams
Door and Cabinet Color is Red Garnet by Better Homes and Gardens
Base Cabinets are from Ikea
Top Shelves/Closet Rod by Hubby
Valance Fabric is Waverly Ballad Bouquet from Joann's Fabrics

Sharing at . . .


  1. Hi,
    Amazing.... it look likes other place!Enjoy it !
    Have a nice week.

    Hugs from Portugal
    Ana Love Craft


  2. Aaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhh!!!!! Why can't my laundry room look like this!?!??

  3. Great transformation and I love the red door.

  4. This is fabulous! So great to have so much space in a laundry room. Mine is in a closet...only room for one person.
    Mary Alice

  5. Great makeover! A room with a purpose! Love all of your storage and touches of red.

  6. It looks beautiful and you made it so functional as well! I love how you really made so much more organized storage for everything! Have a lovely week! Angie xo

  7. I'm laughing out loud more than once in reading your post. 1) I too, was up the other night, thinking about how I could demo one of our closets and make it a more functional space, 2) your leg lifts by the swing. Love your sweet helpers too. But I'm also loving how totally awesome this space is! I could see the bench being a dumping zone for our kids too. Gives me something else to keep me up at night now. :-)

  8. It's cheery and functional now! I posted about my mudroom tonight, also with a red door, believe it or not. Mine is more of a "before" shot but, you know, all in time! Love that bold floral fabric you used too. It keeps things cozy! I just signed up to follow along with you and I'd love it if you were inclined to follow along with me too! :)

  9. Amazing!!!! I have a similar wall that I am desperate to do something like this with. I don;t have little ones in the house (accept my grandsons on occasion) but would love a wall of baskets for craft supplies. And yes, a folding area would be nice too. My laundry "area" for I can't call it a room, is much smaller but I love that this utilizes the "up" space. Great job!

  10. It looks really lovely - and sooo functional!!
    Greetings from Australia♥

  11. There, there (this is me patting your back while you do your exercises)...

    Well, you deserve to suffer, if you ask me ;).
    How did you manage THAT? Geez, not talking about touching your keen with your perfect little nose, or those pounds you'll soon be bragging to have droped ahahahah

    I'm getting over those really tiny toes and hands helping Handsome Dad and tell you what a great work you did.

    You started changing the entire room's feeling when you changed the walls' color. (I once read an article that there was a experiment going on by playing classical music next to suffering walls that were covered in grafitti in a daily basis. Turned out that the classical turned off the "artists". That Ivoire Wall were your first acords...) Bravo!
    Enjoy! And Have Fun!!!!

    P.S. My husband doesn't get excited when I decide I have to do something... I guess it's the fact that he says that when I come up with something to do he ends up doing it ahahahah

  12. How perfect! Love the color scheme and all the new shelving.

  13. I am visiting via Savvy Southern Style. I absolutely LOVE the after shot of the laundry room! Have a blessed week!

  14. Beautiful, Erika! What a great transformation of that space. I love all those cubbies and how everything has a place. You've got the cutest helpers around, too! : )

  15. Love the transformation! That's awesome! I know you will enjoy it! I'd love for you to share this at my party, Twirl & Take a Bow at www.houseontheway.com. It runs Tuesdays through Sunday. Hope to see you there!

  16. I love how your laundry room turned out...the cabinets just make the hole room happy! I love red..
    My laundry room is in need of make over. Its going to be my winter project.
    I have enjoyed my visit with you today, I am visiting from WOW Us Wednesday.
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  17. Wow what a transformation! If I had a mud room I would love to do this!! Come link up to Centerpiece Wed. on my blog and share this idea.

  18. Oh this is great, I'm doing my laundry at the moment and WOW this is wonderful!

  19. I am just drooling over all that storage! What a fabulous makeover! I'd love for you to share with my readers if you get the chance - my party just opened tonight! http://www.momontimeout.com/2012/08/taking-timeout-thursday-no44.html

  20. Erika,

    So much better! I am hapy for you! We have to remodel for me to have the laundry room of my dreams. *Sigh* Oh, well, someday. I liked the red bench but like the red door much better. It anchors the entire room and gives it a focal point.


    P.S. Found you through House of Hepworth

  21. Love the new wall and door color! It looks great and like it would be pleasant to be in your laundry room. I need to make mine over as well. You can add one more to that list of trouble spots. hehe!

  22. It looks great! You are really making the most of your space here!

  23. Hi! I came over from Imparting Grace and am a new follower. What a fun redo of your mudroom; loving the red door and cabinets!

  24. Hey, that's pretty darned spiffy!

  25. what a great use of space now! I bought a few lockers from Orvis, but I think I should have gone this route with the Ikea cabinets. Looks great!

  26. whoa!!! this is a great transformation! i love your organization, but also the new brighter color scheme. well done!

  27. I'm so envious! I would love it if you would visit and share this on I Freakin' did it Friday @ Miss Information!

  28. OH, what a dream!!! I love red, and I love all the spaces to store things. I MUST wake my husband up tonight with this VERY same idea!!! :) Thanks for sharing!!

  29. That looks excellent - practical and function. I dream of having the space for such a set up. I laughed (out loud) when I read the bit about the idea coming to you in the wee smalls an waking hubby to tell him. I could just picture my hubby in that situation and I think his response would be similar to your hubby's. And I too get great ideas at such times.

  30. Wow and double wow! That looks great! My husband is an amazing man and so talented in so many ways except with power tools! So, we will continue to search high and low for our backpacks, coats and shoes. . . You are going to so love that new space! Life to the full, Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

  31. It looks incredible!! That wall unit is so fantastic and I just love how warm and cozy it feels. I get my best ideas while lying awake at night too and for some reason my husband doesn't appreciate them either...what's their deal, huh? ;-) Thanks so much for sharing this terrific makeover with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  32. Wow, so organized and bright. Cute little helper too!
    Would love if you entered our link party supporting Habitat for Humanity. You could win up to $150, have $100 donated to H4H in your name, and be featured on some pretty big blogs!

    -Jocie @ The Better Half

  33. Yay, thanks so much for linking up and linking back. Be sure to like us on FB for contest updates. Good luck!

  34. Saw your link at Cowgirl Up so came to check out your mud room. To say I'm impressed is an understatement. The whole thing totally rocks! Love the red door and all the cubbies. Well done!

  35. Visiting from Tuesday's Treasures - WOW! What a great transformation of such a fantastic room. I am jealous of all of that space!

  36. Fantastic transformation!! So clean and neat and organized! I wish I had that in my laundry room! Great job!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

  37. What a beautiful transformation! You guys did an incredible on with this room. So pretty and organized!It looks amazing!

  38. Looks amazing! So functional and practical yet gorgeous!

  39. wow! What a transformation - love, love, love! I love the cubbies and the board - everything! i'm sure the mornings are a lot easier now for everyone! Great job!

  40. Amazing transformaton! Yes!! Your laundry room turned into a wonderful room, I specially love that wall rack with all it's cleverly thought out functional design. Well, you were lucky with ALL THE MEN HELP TOO!

  41. This is lovely! I need to tackle my laundry room/mudroom. It's nasty and disastrous as well, and needs a good dose of fixing. :) Thanks for sharing!

  42. That looks fantastic! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  43. Hi there!
    I love your new space... I am featuring it tomorrow on my blog!
    Thank you for linking up to The 36th AVENUE.

  44. I'm green with envy! This is FABULOUS! I'm featuring you at It's Overflowing on Saturday!

    XO, Aimee

  45. Just wondering... are those "curtains" hanging behind the washer/ dryer? Love how that looks and wondered if it was hiding something? Or just because it looked so darn good... you have my wheels turning for my laundry room!

  46. Holy moly, I am in love with a laundry room!! Can you send your hubby over here to do some stuff? :):)

  47. This is awesome and I love the red door! I'll be featuring it tomorrow :)

  48. Great redo! I wish it was my mudroom!

  49. Can you possibly provide the measurements for this unit? This would be perfect in my new house and would love to know the measurements to know how to space everything ahead of time for adding outlets.


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