Mudroom reveal

So I’ve got six kids. That means six backpacks, ten or twelve jackets, a jillion pairs of shoes, and all sorts of miscellaneous junk that accompanies them. In my house all of this kid gear gets hung on a little coat rack or stuck in some cheap plastic cubbies. The coat rack and cubbies share space with the laundry room (“room” is a generous term. “Tunnel” is more accurate.) Would someone please explain to me why the laundry room, which is used for a few hours each day, is combined with the space where eight people are supposed to put all their stuff? And yet I have a nice-sized dining room that has a chandelier and fancy crown moulding and is used approximately . . . never. (Not to mention it’s carpeted. Hey, builders, in case you hadn’t heard, carpet + food = disgusting! Duh.) Basically we have spent years with a disaster of a room where coats and shoes are always mixed up with spare socks and clean undies. It makes me want to scream. Actually, I think I have screamed about it from time to time.

For years I have been plotting the conversion of my dining room into a mudroom. The dining room occupies the perfect spot between the front door and the garage. Mister and I haven’t exactly seen eye to eye on this matter (he’s all, “resale, people like dining rooms, resale, it’s too weird”, etc. I’m all, “I’m not living this way just because the next people who buy this house may already have dining room furniture.” I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t rather have storage than a big, seldom-used waste of space.

Mister’s parents were here a few months ago and they chimed in on how nice it sounded to convert the dining room to a mudroom and, voilá, he was suddenly on board with the idea. Imagine that. So we got busy ripping out the grody beige carpet and figuring out which color to paint over the ho-hum walls.

Here is the room just after we took out the chair rail, baseboards and carpet.

I spent hours and hours researching lockers. I knew I wanted something that had plenty of room with hooks inside and a couple of drawers. And most importantly doors. I hate all these storage systems that have eveything just sitting in cubbies out in the open (I’m talking to you Pottery Barn!) I do not want to see all my kids’ junk! I want to close everything and have it look neat and attractive. The cheapest option turned out to be the Pax Komplement closet system from Ikea. Especially after I went there and saw that all their birch and oak doors/drawer fronts were on clearance. But the Ikea systems are really plain and contemporary-looking. Not me at all. But the price! The price was so right. So I got my thinking cap on and ended up buying a stencil to jazz up the cupboards. A stencil of geese. (No, not really. But that’s what I think of when I imagine stencils.) Instead I got this odd-looking beauty from Whitewall & Co. (uh, what is that, Jennie? Just stay tuned, friends.)


I decided on a blue and white color scheme, but I wanted a softer, slightly greener blue than I have in my family room. So after trying a few colors from Benjamin Moore (none of them right) I mixed up a batch of paint that was a combination of my family room paint and my light green bedroom paint. Perfect! I took it to Home Depot to have it color matched and they were way off (right color but four shades too pale.) So I threw in some more green and blue until it was just right–it’s a kind of spa blue. Sadly, that means that when this gallon runs out, I’m out of luck. But I still have a bit left so I think I’ll be OK.

I painted the walls the spa blue color and stencilled the lockers/cabinets spa blue and white. Here is one finished cabinet door and the “wall of experimentation”.


Mister installed my new cherry wood floor (actually fake wood laminate from Costco. I’ve had it in my family room for a year and it’s great stuff) and built my cabinets. I laid out all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts on the floor and stecilled the whole thing at once to keep a sense of continuity.

I just love the way the lockers and the whole room turned out!


I didn’t want to label the lockers for each child which would distract from the design. Luckily I found these snappy little knobs in every letter of the alphabet at Hobby Lobby (and they were 50% off that week. $1.50 each! Bargain!) Yet another reason not to give your children all the same initials.


Here are the three drawers at the bottom of each locker:

I wanted to close off the open section of wall next to the front door but Mister simply wouldn’t hear of it. While I was in Utah he built this wall of cubby things instead and I really like it.


I painted a bunch of Ikea plastic boxes that fit inside the cubbies. Ikea never makes things in colors I like, so I used a primer made for plastic things and then painted them with the wall paint.


This project wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it. Every time I walk into a clean laundry room with nothing on the floor, I rejoice. The kids are being so wonderful about keeping everything put away so I am one happy mother.

| Filed under Decorating

25 thoughts on “Mudroom reveal

  1. Wow. Hardcore. I think I'd go crazy trying to plan and pull off all of that. But it looks great! I wish I had a locker as a kid. XD


    Frankly, with the way you did it, there's no reason why the next owners couldn't use it as a dining room again. I'd LOVE storage like that in my dining room.

    Well done, J, well done.

  3. Pick me up off the floor because I just died of amazement. Fabulous! Incredible! Love every last detail.

    If you could see my mudroom, you would feel so sad for me. So, so sad.

  4. Oh Jennie, I absolutely love it! One day, when I have an extra room I am totally stealing your idea 🙂

  5. Yeah! LOOOOOVE it! Now you just need a bench for a spot to sit down and get your shoes on! Maybe upholstered ottoman type thingies to keep it elegant? As an FYI, you can spray paint light fixtures as well. Love the knobs! Dont' you just LOVE a "place for everything"?!

  6. It's beautiful! Don't you love it when you can take something from your mind and create it, and actually have it turn out like you imagined? Love it!

  7. I really like this! Especially the cubbies!
    Most often than not these type of spaces that us mom need end up being ugly and cluttered- but you made your space look awesome! Im jealous!

  8. LOVE it! Good for you using your space more practically and with such great design. The stencil is gorgeous. This is my first time visiting your blog…I'm sure I'll be popping back for more! 🙂

  9. I love it! I wonder if you could hang a curtain rod and pretty fabric curtain over the opening to the now mudroom next to the front door to conceal the cubbies? Just a thought…

    GREAT idea. As a mom of 4, I know what you are going through. Good job.

  10. I came over from "Be Different – Act Normal."

    Beautifully done! I love the effect of the stenciling and I love how open the room feels yet still can be used for organization. The only thing it lacks is a chair or bench to sit on while putting on and taking off shoes.

  11. I came over from "Be Different – Act Normal."

    Beautifully done! I love the effect of the stenciling and I love how open the room feels yet still can be used for organization. The only thing it lacks is a chair or bench to sit on while putting on and taking off shoes.

  12. Wow Jennie, that is amazing! I absolutely love it! A sitting area would be great, but in my mudroom the bench seems to just be a place for my kids to throw their stuff (ugh). Although… if my mudroom was as beautiful as yours, maybe they would be inspired to keep it picked up 🙂 Great job!!!

  13. I am impressed as always. Do you want to know something that I really like about you? It is a little something that sets you apart from people like me. I think about redecorating a room and when I go searching for the perfect things for that project and don't find them the project comes to a stand still. But you my friend know what you want and when you don't find exactly what you were looking for YOU MAKE IT!!!! I think that is pretty fantastic.

    I love the mud room all the way down to the monogrammed knobs. It looks really wonderful.

  14. I"m jealous. I want something like that, and a hall to put it in. However I am an IKEA-Scandinavian style girl through and through so I wouldn't have to paint it. Lovely what you did with it though. I don't have those kind of skills nor patience.

  15. I am jealous. We are in the midst of deciding on floor plans and rooms for lockers was on my list of musts. Yours look great!

  16. Wow, Jennie! I can't believe all the work you put into this amazing transformation. It looks so good and is so practical. Your stencils turned out perfect and the knobs are just awesome. I like the chandelier even better now, the black looks great with the spa greenish blue. The flooring looks fantastic too. I want to see it in real life! Good job!

  17. What a clever solution to turn a little-used space into a mudroom! I never would have thought of that, but it really makes sense for your family. And the new flooring looks fab! Our builder put carpet in our dining room, too, and I couldn’t rip it out fast enough. Not sure why they do that?!

    Have to agree with you on the combination laundry room-mudroom thing, too. I hate that! It’s not practical to have both in one (usually tiny) space, and I wish builders would stop putting them together. Ours did, too, and we solved the problem by moving our washer and dryer upstairs so we could have a room just for coats and shoes off the garage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *