Friday, February 20, 2009

Mudroom Re-do: Before and After

For most of my adult life, I have dreamed of having a mudroom. And a clothesline.

In our first home, I was stunned to see the washer and dryer shoved into an upstairs closet. Sure, it was better than walking down to the basement of the apartment building, but still. Sheesh. I hung my new "Fresh Linens" sign in the closet and resolved that our next house would have a bonafide laundry room.

Looking back, I think the mudroom is what first sold me on this house. Specifically, it was the sink in the mudroom. Incidentally, I just love the sounds of that word...Mudroom. Mudroom. A room that you are allowed and maybe even encouraged to track mud into.

I digress.

We bought the house and I quickly set my sights on re-doing the mudroom. The only qualifications were that it had to be cheap. And the end result needed to make my heart skip a beat or two. (That's pretty much a requirement of any home improvement project, otherwise, why bother?)

First, let's take a very quick glance at the before shot. Let me warn you though, it needs to be a quick glance. Trust me.

Our predecessors were knee-deep in moving, but somehow this is the only "Before" picture we have. Anyway, it's an important point of reference.
Please note the floor-to-ceiling paneled closet on the right. It was massive and sort of overtook the room. Please also notice the dreaded pink linoleum flooring. I actually found it somewhat charming, but it just wasn't meant to be, long-term. It was an angel, it just wasn't my angel.

Now, because I want you to see the light at the end of the tunnel, here's the final result, and then we'll dissect it a bit:

My heart just skipped a beat.

This shows the Before and After woodwork. The room (much of the house, actually) was paneled in this tongue-and-groove orange-y paneling. The good news is, it's real wood! And it's tongue-and-groove! All it needed was about 130 gallons of white paint.

After the painting, (Morning Fog, because I like it and I liked its name and because we had plenty left over from the kitchen) Cory tackled that monstrous closet. In an adorably quaint sidenote, inside the closet were many old hooks with names like Agnes, Rhoda, Harold and Timothy crudely written above them in pencil. I wish I could have somehow kept them, but again, not meant to be.

Under the pink linoleum we discovered icky brown linoleum which had been meticulously glued to the cement base floor. Just remembering the hours of heat-gun/chisel wielding scraping we (ok, Cory) spent removing it (in August heat and humidity) sends shivers down my spine. The bad kind of shivers.

I think the glue fumes started to diminish my brain functioning because I clearly remember telling Cory that I really liked the cement base flooring and that we should just keep it as-is. (Remember, removing the Brown Death ended up taking at least 10 times longer than we had anticipated and at that point, I fully believed that the mudroom would be finished just in time for us to ring in the New Year in it.) And what can I say, I'm extremely go-with-the-flow when it comes to my house. I'm not picky or particular at all. Not at all. Nope.

Cory's first tile job, which he did entirely on his own. As I've said before, he is a home improvement stud.

Our Pottery Barn knock-off bench and shelf fit perfectly.

The curtains! The $5 vintage bark cloth curtains! All they needed was some stringin' up.
I still count them as one of my luckiest finds to date. Those colors couldn't be better for this place. And they add just the right punch of color and pattern without impeding the view of the fish pond.

Ooh! This. I found this online and it screamed my name. "Various Kind of the Plants". I'm not sure which era popularized this style of grammar, but I know it wasn't this era, so this must be some kind of the vintage (reproduction).

Hi, Honey!
I found these old scoreboard tiles a few years back at one of my favorite Ohio antiques stores for $1 apiece.
This one was perfect, because I refuse to do laundry outside of regular Banker's hours.
And that metal thing underneath is a chicken feeder turned outgoing mail holder.
(Unfinished: vent cover in the sink cabinet and cabinet hardware.)

The blue cabinet was found at the Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market. It weighs a ton and Cory hung it on the wall masterfully. I was very impressed.

Check out the chips on this most chippy of all cabinets. Chippy and blue. I didn't really have much of a choice, did I?

And last but not least, meet Rhoda, my gardening goddess. May she always send me sunshine and rain in just the right proportions.