Monday, July 7, 2008

What's up with the mudroom, anyway?

We've stolen a few moments from a really busy week to write a blog. So, we figured we'd fill you in about what's up with the mudroom, since it's our rainy day project this summer. And we've had plenty of rainy days, so we've gotten a good bit done.

The mudroom is what we called the coat room growing up, but mud is better for me & Ken since we can get pretty messy. When we bought the house, the mudroom was the first thing we saw. And it's a miracle we didn't turn right back around and leave. That was where our realtor uttered the fabulous phrase, "Well, I guess you could call this move in condition". It was that tacky. The charm of the little boy chef planter kept us looking - I can't believe we didn't photograph him before he went to the yard sale (someone bought him, by the way). He's just out of view (you can see the hanger) behind the fridge in this pic from move-in day.

And then we've spent the past 3 years apparently avoiding photographing the mudroom! So I don't have many before pictures for you. Eddy doesn't care to look at it either - thus, the bag over his head. Kidding. This is what Ken & Ed do while I'm slaving away at work. Nice.

It started out as a long room, that we think was originally a classic bungalow back porch, which probably was not heated space and held the icebox. There's evidence of pipes to the basement, and the basement under this part of the house may have been a later addition. Thank goodness someone else did it! We also think a wall was moved, and this room was originally probably 2 feet wider (at the expense of the kitchen).

The long shape and the setup made it an awkward room - it had some 1950s era tall cabinets added for storage, and they were hard to get to and not that useful. So we split it into 2 parts: the half bath and the mudroom. The goal of the mudroom is to hang coats and snowpants, put snowy boots and various shoes, store dog-walking stuff, and generally get into the house with your stuff. We're keeping it pretty simple, since it will be small.

Now, the half bath end has been done for quite some time. And might I say, I think this was the best/smartest thing we ever did - a first floor half bath is a GREAT addition. It was our realtor's idea to put it here - brilliant!

So the other half of the room has been languishing in dingy, dirty-carpeted, brown paneled purgatory since then.

Last year, we found a photo of a very simple mudroom about the size and shape of ours, and finally had an inspiration for what it should look like. Since then, we've been chipping away at it when we've needed a project or when I needed some demolition therapy (I yanked the carpet & floor one afternoon - thanks for the portable, battery powered skil saw, dad! It's awesome!).

During the recent raininess, we realized that we had done enough that most of the infrastructure and prep was done! Ken wired it when we did the bathroom, I stripped the paint when we were hosting a brunch and I didn't want chippy paint if guests brought kids, and we had the floor out. Time to prep walls and paint!

So Ken had a great wall-patching, plaster-fixing, JC floating week last week, and I managed to clean and paint our tin ceiling panels in 20-minute sessions. This was one of the first times we actually had all the prep work done and weren't running around in the middle of installing something, still fixing something or shimming something. So we painted and put up the ceiling in record time late last week! The green paint ("rejuvenation", my favorite color) was leftover from the kitchen trim.

Tin ceiling was a lot we bought on ebay to do the mudroom, half bath, and my study. It was nice to sort of go shopping in our own basement - we didn't really have to buy any new materials or supplies for this room, since we have a good stockpile going at this point.

And we cleaned this vintage globe for the light fixture - a find at the antique store for $7. It appeared to be hand-painted. We had a new schoolhouse fixture, and replaced the plain white globe with this. We actually hemmed and hawed about whether or not to buy this globe - yes, over $7 - and we're soooo glad we got it. Duh!

We still have to add moulding and all the rest of the trim (some original, stripped and some newly-made*), plus put in the floor - but we decided to wait till after the dirty landscaping is done to do that. I mean, how much mud can a mudroom handle?

*We needed 3/4" fir quarter round, and our router bits didn't include a big enough roundover bit. So, we used a 1/2" chamfer bit to get most of the material off one corner of our 3/4x3/4 stock, then hand planed it to approximately quarter round shape, then shaped it with rough sandpaper - and it came out really well. Just in case you ever need to cheat on the quarter round!


Derek said...

for some reason, the quarter round we get here is hemlock fir, and it's 11/16" instead of 3/4". It seems to match pretty good to the douglas fir though.

Jennifer said...

We have that same awful fake wood panelling in OUR back addition! How funny! Ours is still up. :)

sarah said...

Ah yes, but you're out west - we can't get any sort of fir moulding here, so we have to buy boards (only 1 store sells it!) and make our own. It's amazing that it's not more widely available.

Amalie said...

Ditto on the fake wood paneling in our mudroom! It was also in the kitchen hiding some very nasty plaster patching-- as in, plaster that was patched with sheetrock and immediately covered up with fake wood paneling.

Our mudroom acts as the laundry room, and I, too, am stockpiling things for when I get around to it. So far, I have slate flooring that HD was clearing out at 50¢/ft2, some old light fixtures we found in the house, and several small cans of leftover paint for the walls. I don't even want to know what's behind the paneling in that room-- I just want to follow suit and cover it up!

Sandy said...

I love the auditorium seats and the tin ceiling!

Karen Anne said...

There's fake paneling in my mudroom, living and dining room...What possessed our ancestors.

I love that ceiling and the light fixture.

Karen Anne said...

Has anyone successfully painted over or otherwise covered fake wood paneling? I am hoping to avoid a big tear out job or having to reset the door frames.

sarah said...

Karen Anne:

I don't know about painting over the paneling. Maybe with a really good primer? They might have a suggestion at a paint shop.

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