I have this problem, where I’m like the messiest most annoying person in the world. Not only am I messy, but once I make a mess I can literally just navigate through it for weeks and weeks. I can pass the mess, and for the most part the mess will not effect my day. Ask my mom. Ask my husband. Ask everyone. They hate me for it, but they love me also, so it’s fine.
Anyway, My mess can go on and on un-dealt with, until finally, one moment of of the blue I’m like “WOAH, IS THAT A MESS? I HATE MESSES. SOMEONE CLEAN THIS STUPID MESS”. Don’t get me wrong, like I totally see the mess as I pass through it day after day, but honestly, I have a crap ton of other important things to worry about, so any mess in my home that does not directly effect me, is like way down on my priority list.
My mud room is one of those “mess” areas. The reason it has gone so un-loved for so long, is because it’s what I consider to be a passing space. The mud room is the space we enter, and exit, but rarely linger. At this point, it’s a huge source of stress. I’ve gone through all the stages. I’ve noticed the mess. I’ve acknowledged the mess. I’m now changing the mess. Oh but I can’t just stop at cleaning up, that would be crazy. If i’m going to pick up, then I might as well give the entire space a makeover.
This picture was taken from my pantry closet, looking into the mudroom. The door with light shining through leads to my house area, and the door that is closed leads to the garage. Just to help put things into perspective.
Yep. That’s real life right there. Shoes on the floor. Dog food on the floor. A random treasure chest? No lighting, my judgemental cat, a diaper genie…because..why? All that. It’s non-sense and I should be ashamed. And I am.
Here is the view from the opposite direction. It’s hard to get a good photo from this direction, but it’s a more true view of what you see when you enter the mud room.
Aside from the whole “my mudroom looks like I threw all my crap everywhere” thing that’s going on, also note some design things going on. Or not going on. The color :It’s brown, and a below average builder grade color. Does this color looks like it was carefully and wonderfully chosen to reflect my needs and the needs of this room? No. It was chosen because it was an easy color to choose. It was chosen because it was neutral, and would not influence or convince the future buyer of the home (me and Mike) to buy or not buy based on the color. Space Size: it’s super small. I like that though, I really am loving small spaces and look at this makeover as a grand challenge to make the space feel bigger. Function: Nothing functional at all happening here. Aesthetics. Again, nothing aesthetically pleasing about this space. In fact, it kind of makes me want to run away from it every single day.
Below is the mood board I created as my inspiration. The mood board is never exact items I use, because in a mood board, budget isn’t a factor, only mood. It’s just the vibe I intend to create with items that fit within my budget, and items that I am able to come across. Bright and refreshing. Plaid walls. Board and Batten Wainscoting. Cottage coastal living meets modern preppy southern charm. Budget friendly. Custom to the needs of the space. Big space feel in a small space. Yep, that about summarizes the mood I’m going
The list of exact things the space needs to have for our family to function:
1. Thin shoe storage. Since the space is very small and narrow, and the distance between the edge of the doorway and the mud room wall is about 6 inches, then the shoe storage could not exceed that 6 inch width. So, shoes would need to be stored long ways, instead of the usual way. The usual way is where you put the shoes toe first. My way, is where you put the shoes in horizontally.
2. Gym bag storage. One of the issues we have is that our gym bags are thrown to the side when we come home. I want to designate an exact place to store both my gym bag, and Mikes. Mike’s gym bag is the bigger issue here, because I’m pretty sure he like lives out of his gym bag. Seriously, it’s huge, and there are outfit changes in there, protein containers, food, everything. I can no longer stand seeing his gym bag just tossed to the side.It needs a home. (NOTE** Gym storage actually was not able to be addressed in the finished space. We found a different place to store gym bags)
3. Storage hooks for everyday bags and coats. Now, this is way different from a coat closet. All I’m saying is that I need some hooks in the mud room for like one scarf, or one coat, or one purse. Not all of everyone’s coats. Also, Ari needs a lower hook for his backpack, and coat. Aint nobody got time to get AND carry around an almost two year old’s backpack. OR hang his coat everyday. That’s his job now. His other job is feeding the dog, which is super cute.
4. A very thin bench for sitting, and putting shoes on.
5. Pet Friendly. This is the room we have designated to house the cat and dog food, so that needs to be addressed. Also, the cat food needs to be higher, so that dog doesn’t eat it. The cat needs non-stop access to this space, because her litter box is located inside the closet, which means that even when we have guests over, this room needs to be completely open for Ms. Gertrude McFuzz to poop.
I love that I am able to share all the sources for this project. I don’t usually share sources for interior projects out of respect for the clients who are paying me to find items for them. You know. But here, I’m like my own client, so it’s fine.
General Spacial Details:
Walls: Designed and painted by me
Built in Shoe Storage + Wainscoting + Upper molding : Mike Dahl (#1 Husband)
Light Fixture – DIY from geometric copper sculpture+ major help from my dad
Custom Made Bench built by David Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
My superb go-to pillow maker : Ali Ryan, email@example.com
Pillow Fabric | Blanket – Nate Berkus for Target (No longer Available) | Mirror -Anthropologie ( No longer available)
| Green Crate – Home Goods | Rug – Home Goods |
Pet Treat Jars- Target + Rustoleum Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint | Fishing Box – Shelbyville Road Peddler’s Mall | Lower Baskets – Target
Wall Hook Entry Area:
Animal Wall Hooks – Athropologie | Mail Bin – Home Goods | Vintage Frame – Bardstown Road Peddler’s Mall
All Photographs were taken by Louisville based photographer, Quinton Vanmeter.
Hire Quinton + Follow his work @
And one final “before & after”
Follow Lauren Along @DahlHouseInteriors