How to Redesign a Mudroom for Fun, Function, and Lightness

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Moving into this house was 10% more exciting because of the presence of a mudroom. I don’t where you live, but here in Colorado having a mudroom can mean the difference between life and death. Of those not responsible for cleaning the house. Of course in this house, due to the NNI Phenomenon, there’s always the risk of me snapping and losing my shit probably sometime during tax season and stuffing J’s body in the spare freezer.

The mudroom is where we trap coats that are too bright and messy because you need bright and messy coats to shovel snow, ski, and avoid being plowed down by trucks sliding on ice while you’re walking the dogs. In theory, it’s also where I’d keep keys, wallets, purses, phones and all manner of stuff that should be dumped when you walk into the house from the garage. Of course with J it never quite works out. Never mind there’s a nice 6 x 10 room in which to store things. Coats end up all over the house and at least once per week he loses either this wallet or his phone.

Le sigh. Engineers.


The mudroom was painted blue when we moved in. And not a pretty blue, but a muddy boy-bedroom kind of blue that made me sad. When J and I got together, everything in his house was blue. The sofa, the chair, the ottoman, the plates, the silverware, the napkins, the placemats (yes, he was very adult and had both), the glasses, the art. Everything. So decorating the old house was a very deliberate effort to tone down the blue. Even though, because he’s such a gem and loves his blue, I do try include blue accents whenever I can.

I’m not as anti-blue as I was, but entire walls of it are a bit too much even still. So I repainted it a pale gray.

J thinks it’s madness to decorate a mudroom, I think it makes perfect sense. I have to look at it every day. A while ago I asked on social media where to find attractive shampoo holders for the shower. Someone said, “Who cares?  Only you have to look at it!” I said “Exactly!  And I don’t want to look at no ugly assed shampoo holder!”  For me, it’s not about what someone else sees, but what I have to look at every day. Yes, I’m a princess. If you look nice and bring pretty food, I’ll allow you to be in my presence.

Redoing the mudroom meant a few things:

Change the sink & faucet. The plastic sinks are fine and cheap, but you can’t get paint off without a chisel. And I mostly use that sink for paint since the laundry room is upstairs. I was hellbent on finding a stainless sink and adding a spray attachment. The original faucet didn’t reach the center of the tub and bathing the dogs was a hassle. I found this sink on Amazon. Though it was pricey and hurt to purchase, I figured I could avoid a lot of pain in the future for my various paint and art projects.

Update the countertop. The old one was outdated tile. Since we were replacing the sink, we figured we might as well update the countertop too. We played around with the idea of granite (to the tune of $750 for a 48 x 24″ slab with most of it cut out for the sink itself). Thought about wood and cement. We settled on large 24″ x 36″ tile with a decorative backsplash for maybe $100. With J handling the labor, it still only took a weekend to finish the hard part. And frankly, it’s easy enough that even an idiot like me could do it.

Paint the cabinets. Cabinets all over this early 2000s house are yellow maple. While solid wood (yay), the color feels both dated and clashes with my neutrals obsession. Solution? White!  I primed and painted with a semi-gloss that matches the baseboards. Painting cabinets is sloppy work, but they turned out okay in the end.

Update the storage. I came to hate the baskets I bought for the room early on. The color, the style, the obnoxious holier than thou personality of them all. So when I found these super cheap bins from Container Store, I leapt. Never mind that they’re blue. Adding those plants above cost very little and adds a lot of homi-ness. I also got J a new “put whatever the hell” here basket at Container Store in the little black and white one next to the fridge.

I also added some wallet, phone, and key storage that is instead used for keys, locks, water bottles to shoot the animals, and other miscellaneous crap. Also, I always update the switch plates as we redo any given room. It’s such a nice, inexpensive upgrade that adds a lot of style.

Dog treats and dog-inaccessible cat foot was also imperative.

It’s not quite done, because I want to figure out how to use the big blank wall opposite the fridge. Right now, day t0 day coats are behind the door in their own kind of chaotic mess. Ideas for what to put on the big empty wall?  Hooks just make for more messy coats and I’d like something useful but attractive.

What do you suggest?




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