Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Aspirations for a Mudroom...From the Studs Up

Unless we decide to finish the attic or add a garage, this room is going to be the most major renovation in the house. When we went for our home inspection, the mudroom looked like this:Mmmmm look at that insulation coming out from around the door, and the unfinished concrete floor.

Brett, admiring the uninsulated stud walls while the home inspector does whatever home inspectors do!

The day we took posession, it honestly didn't look much different. The prior owner had left the ugly plastic shelving, any half empty bottle of household chemical he didn't want to take with him, broom handles with no broom, hedge clippers that needed to be sharpened, etc. We cleaned some of it out, but it was still SO UGLY because in the 25 years and 5 owners our house has lived through, no one took the time to finish the room, or even insulate it.

I always enter the house through the side door after work because opens out into the driveway. Talk about a bummer. It just made me so depressed to walk through that door when I knew what kind of potential the room had! Look at those high ceilings! My front entry does not have room for a proper foyer, so this is pretty much my chance, but it needs to be a double-duty room. The lovechild of a mudroom and foyer.

Well, here is what it looks like today...better but still not really a room! My dad and husband spent a weekend putting up the drywall, and it has been cleaned of dustbunnies and ickies. (You guys rock!!! Now it feels more like a construction site than a dump, and at least its clean...

Here are some photographs of what I would LIKE for it to look like when its done! (I believe they are all from http://www.bhg.com/) I want it to be very light and airy. Maybe a tone on tone vertical stripe in blue with a dramatic light fixture to highlight the high ceiling. I want there to be storage, but for it to be tucked away and neat.

Here are some of the current problems with the room that I would LOVE some input on:
1. the stairs--I would love to finish them with some pretty hardwood treads and maybe even install drawers in the risers!

2. the concrete block "wainscoting"--the concrete blocks intrude into the room and I am not sure what to do to cover them. Would it be a bad idea to put on straight plaster? Do I need to put a barrier between the concrete and wall board? We have contemplated keeping the walls recessed and possibly putting a shelf there. It goes all the way around 2 walls.

3. the heat pump--how to hide it...I would like to put up some lattice or paneling to hide it, but the problem is that we still need access and I don't want to mess up its function and cause a fire or something.

Any ideas?


Dad said...

A. leave the heat pump alone. Its a mud room. get over it. Its never going to look like the East room of the white house.

B. No need for vapor barrier on the block if the room is dry when you install. then install dry wall glued as we did on the other wall. then paint. I would not try to hide the ledge, because youll lose too many square feet in an already small room.

Mom H said...

Mud room - definately drawers under the stairs - all the odd ball shaped stuff can go there. You can box in the heat pump with louvered doors which will let air in and out or with wide spaced slatted fencing gates which can be opened for service.

I saw a set of shelves on TV which were high in a garage, but on a rail system - you could pull them down with a hook when you needed to get things. Think Brett could also devise a pulley system which would allow you to acces the high storage space for things like Chrismas decorations which are fairly lightweight and you don't use often. Put things in colorful containers and it would make the space bright and functional.

You want the wall as you come in to be the prettiest, so fun hooks and colors and very little clutter. Perhaps a narrow old bureau from a flea market to paint up and hide what you are storing, or funky old art deco storage cabinets which you could dress up. I think the open storage units you can buy would be less attractive as all the "stuff" would be exposed.

Some of the solid plant trays make excellent boot/shoe holders and keep shoes from being everywhere. A nice old narrow metal shelf right in front of the heat pump could be used to catch things as you first come in - purse, small bags etc. and be a place you put things you don't want to forget to tak with you the next morning.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of things you could do...I.e. paint it (if you can) so it becomes part of the room, rather than something that is just occupying space. Or...(something I did at my last home) CREATE A "False Wall." it's really simple, my husband did made one to cover up the ugly hoses, and exposed 60 year old water pipes that were a huge eye sore in the laundry room. It won't take up any more space then the width of a piece of drywall and what the heat pump already is. I also saw a pic on the Internet of someone who had put up a little white picket fence around the bottom of a room to hide her many outlet cords? Now, that's not something I personally would do, but maybe it will inspire you to think of something that works for you. Hope this helped, and good luck with your mud room! :)