When we bought this house there was no mudroom or even a designated entryway! The front door opened directly into the living room. We live in Alberta ???????? where winter can last 8 months and spring is mucky as the snow melts. We knew that at some point we would need to create a proper mudroom and 10 years later our dream has become a reality.
Here’s a before shot of the original entryway. The front door is on the right of the photo facing toward the side of the strange open closet.
So that I don’t completely horrify you, here’s an after shot of the same space. Much better!
Even though it may seem counter-intuitive when trying to create storage space, we took out the closet. We added lots of coat hooks instead to make the space more functional (and pretty)! We also separated the entrance from the living room with a half wall that contains hidden boots racks and baskets. This space served us well as our main entrance for 9 years, but we were really starting to outgrow it as the kids got bigger. Last year we decided it was finally time to build the mudroom we had been dreaming of.
The house was only 1350 sq. ft. to begin with and there wasn’t room to add a mudroom within the existing footprint. So we added an extension to the side of the house that could be accessed through the existing exterior door into the kitchen!
Here’s a before picture of the original kitchen entrance…
The corner was originally very dark, but after we demolished the closet and pantry and added a door with a window it became one of the brightest spots in the house!
And what a pretty door it is! I had pined after dutch doors for years and was so excited to finally have somewhere to put one! Isn’t she a beauty?!
Oh, and all that without compromising the amount of natural light the room would receive…Oh, and I really wanted a bootwash…Oh, and I would need to fit this all in about 200 sq ft…Oh, and my layout was going to be limited by the existing plumbing, electrical and heating in the main house…Oh, and the design had to take exterior aesthetic and structural considerations into account…
Let’s just say that it was a challenge, but we are so happy with the final product!
We chose a beautiful plain shaker cabinet door in dove grey to keep the design classic. The custom cabinetry was a splurge, so we wanted the space to be as timeless as possible. I call this house our “English modern farmhouse cottage”! Growing up in Cornwall gave me an enduring love of country houses. Elements of classic English country cottage style such as floral curtains add a comforting and nostalgic feel to the house. This is balanced by the more modern elements such as white shiplap and dark floors.
Mark installed black slate look ceramic tile floors in a herringbone pattern (he is one talented guy). They add just the right amount of interest to the room without being overwhelming. They also hide dirt and are easy to clean. We added underfloor heating before laying the tile and it keeps the floor toasty warm as well as dry.
We thought carefully about electrical outlet placement. Each cubby has its own outlet for charging phones etc… and there is another outlet at counter height by the door. This comes in handy for using small tools or plugging in a vacuum etc… The room is also heated by an electrical heating insert since we couldn’t run the forced air heating system from the house into the extension without considerable difficulty.
We added 4 cubbies, one for each family member, for storing coats, boots, bags etc… We chose inexpensive hooks and hardware from Home Depot and cute striped bins from Wayfair. The two tall cabinets on either side of the cubbies hide out of season gear.
I made sure one of the main features was a big window with bench seating. The custom made linen bench cushion and bolsters make it an excellent napping and reading spot. And it’s a handy seat for putting on shoes as well. The fabric covers zip off and are easy to clean! The windows and glass doors on all four sides of the space make it one of the brightest areas in the house.
This tricky little corner gave me some headaches during the design process, but I think it’s actually the most functional section of the room. The white quartz counter is pretty and bright, but also heat and scratch resistant. Durability was a must as we use this counter as a drop zone for groceries, a potting bench etc…
I opted to leave open space under the counter to allow for storage of seasonal items, gardening supplies and recycling. I used pretty raspberry print fabric curtains to hide the clutter. The shallow cabinet that sits on top of the counter houses bug spray, sunscreen, gardening gloves, sunglasses etc…all the things we didn’t have a dedicated space for before.
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most useful. The little mail and key holder that I spray painted gold and mounted by the door stops me from frantically searching for my keys every morning before work!
On the other side of the entry door
In the Winter we leave snowsuits hanging on the hooks to dry. In the Spring dirty rubber boots get scrubbed clean after a day in the garden. And in the summer, when the girls have been outside swimming, we wash the grass off their feet before they enter the main house! It’s also good for soaking flowers, rinsing out buckets and the list goes on…
I love the light and airy views throughout our house. You can see straight through from the front door to the back deck area! I wanted to keep this airy feeling in the mudroom design. I kept sight lines a top priority when thinking about window placement and layout. From the kitchen/dining area you can see straight through the dutch door and mudroom windows to the evergreens outside. In the Winter I love being able to see the sparkling snow and frosted greenery!
There’s one more corner of the mudroom not shown in this post and that’s freezer and pantry space! For a peek at this area check out Small Space Living & Organizing Tips.
It’s amazing what a difference adding 200 sq ft of well thought out storage space made to the way we live in our home. The entire house feels much larger and less cluttered. Dirt doesn’t track through the house and school supplies don’t get lost. I no longer feel the urge to put a for sale sign on the front lawn every time we are trying to get out the door to go to an appointment or after school activity!
It truly has allowed our family to live large in a small home!