Before this house, I’d never lived anywhere that had a real mudroom. And although our mudroom is small, I just love it.
But its best feature is also its biggest drawback: The large windows.
All the wonderful natural light means very little wall space to work with. As you can see from the photo, the limited wall space makes it difficult to keep things organized – not that I’ve been trying very hard. The room is a haphazard mix of random storage baskets and bins. I’ve never really made it a priority.
Well that is about to change. I’m in the process of reworking the mudroom – starting with the taming of the shoes.
Invasion of the Shoes
My husband, Chris, likes to keep the shoes he uses most near the back door. The problem is, the shoes seem to multiply when no one is looking. And yes, he really uses all of these.
A while back, in a half-hearted attempt to get organized, I added a flimsy thrift store rack to the top of the boot bench. It doesn’t look good, and now we can’t sit while putting on shoes.
The small wooden shelving unit near the door was too shallow to house his shoes.
A New Angle
What to do? My mom suggested a shoe rack in place of the shelving unit. It should have angled shelves, she said, so that the shoes would not interfere with the door swing.
It was a great idea, but most angled shoe racks I found were more suited to a closet than a mudroom.
And then I wondered about our little shelving unit: Would it work to simply reposition the shelves at an angle?
I asked Chris to give it a try. He repositioned each shelf at about a 30-degree angle and used screws to secure them.
And it worked! The shoes would be nicely contained on the newly-angled shelves.
Now we just needed to make this basic unit a little prettier.
A 99-Cent Upgrade
A reclaimed wood top would elevate the look. I checked the nearest salvage shop and found all kinds of beautiful wood – all of it too shallow in depth.
The next salvage shop was way across town, and I started to wonder if I was on another one of my fool’s errands.
While deciding whether it was worth the drive, I stopped at my local Goodwill. There I found a piece of fir in the right depth – with a nicely finished edge. And it was 99 cents! I could not believe my luck.
All we would have to do is shorten the length a bit. Reclaimed wood at Goodwill: Who’d have thought?
Adding More Character
Then I got it in my head that, since the mudroom is next to the kitchen, the exposed side of the shelving unit should be attractively paneled to match the style of our kitchen cabinets.
I tease Chris for keeping all kinds of scrap wood pieces, but it came in handy for this project since he had just the right scraps onhand to create the panels.
Then I painted the bench the same white as our kitchen molding – a color custom-blended to match our kitchen cabinets.
And here is how it turned out.
It’s perfect for the overflow shoes, and it frees up a lot of space in the boot bench. There is even enough room for some of my shoes.
And for 99 cents out of pocket, it’s a nice upgrade for a plywood shelving unit that once looked like this.
This small change is already improving the flow of the mudroom, but there is more to come, including a snazzy upgrade to the concrete floor. So stay tuned!
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