Renovating a small mudroom on a budget can be a great way to optimize space and storage in your home without it costing a fortune.
We recently gave our farmhouse mudroom a much-needed makeover. This post outlines how we prioritized design and organization to renovate our mudroom, and how you can do the same.
Step one: Remove clutter
If you’re anything like us, your mudroom might look more like a disorganized storage unit than anything else. Our mudroom was seriously lacking efficient storage and was stuffed with a bunch of freestanding furniture that took up way too much floor space. We started by moving the dresser, coat stand, and a large wardrobe to maximize space (more on that below).
We live in an old 1300 square foot lake cottage so maximizing every single square foot is extremely important.
Step two: Small mudroom organization: Think about functionality
Before your mudroom makeover, think about what will be stored in there so the room will be functional for everyday use. Our dresser had deep drawers that always seemed to have everyday items stuffed into it. It was impossible to find anything in there.
Also, living in the Okanagan we have 4 seasons with endless activities, so the gear in our mudrooms accumulates rather quickly. In order to maximize storage on a smaller floor plan, we decided to make some built-ins.
Step 3: Think about what you can remove or alter
Before you get started on construction, scan the room. Are there any beams, structures, or surfaces that serve no purpose that could be better utilized? For example, there was a small window right in the middle of the wall that was looking into our outdoor storage. Needless to say, it served absolutely zero purpose.
Step 4: Think about what designs go well with your home
As mentioned, we wanted the design of our small mudroom to be cohesive with the lake cottage theme of our home. We decided to create a shiplap wall effect by purchasing 1/4” sheets of MDF and ripping them into 8” strips.
I hate repairing drywall… so any chance I can avoid it I will. I continued the shiplap wall to wall so you’d be able to see the shiplap detail behind the cubbies. This wasn’t necessary, but this was just my personal preference as it gives the cubbies a little extra character.
Step 4: Create storage solutions for small spaces
Towering on either side of the bench I made cubbies so we could have some easy access storage solutions. Wall cubbies are a great way to keep things from taking up space on the floor. I built these with 3/4” MDF and painted them Simply White from Benjamin Moore. If I was going to do it again, I would have opted for 7/8” MDF as it has a slightly more solid look to it.
The use of wicker baskets or metal bins is a great way to hide all the mess that you may not want to see every day. For the higher cubbies that aren’t so easy to reach I like to display pretty decor items because who doesn’t want something pretty to look at? Am I right? Check out your local thrift store for items with character that match your decor. I went to a Salvation Army and was on the lookout for some old books and the only thought I had in mind was colour! I wanted fun pops of colour with these books and coming in at 50 cents apiece it was a no brainer.
Step 5: Start building pieces for functionality
We started with building a bench for the mudroom. To do this, I glued a couple of planks together and opted for a stain that matched our post and beams throughout the house. I had a weathered piece of wood that worked great to install the coat hooks but you could easily just get new wood and stain to match the bench as well. Totally up to you! The metal hooks I got locally sourced; however, I have seen them on Etsy and Amazon alike.
On the opposing wall, we have our laundry area. There used to be a tall wardrobe made of cheap particle board beside the laundry machines that took up too much space and impeded the room. Immediately I tossed that out and built a nice worktop area for folding clothes that we could also store wicker laundry baskets underneath that we found at IKEA.
Unfortunately, the washing machine is a top-loader otherwise I would have built the counter right over both the machines making it span wall to wall. Since we will be rebuilding in about 5 years time I will most likely wait until then to get the new laundry machines as there is nothing wrong with them at this point in time.
Step 6: Make it your own and add decor elements
Mudrooms are often an afterthought in the home, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be both beautiful and functional. Don’t forget to add some decor that depicts your personality and allows the room to come together.
Since the cubbies gave us plenty of storage, I decided to have a little fun on this wall as it is the first thing you see as you walk in the door. I hung some artwork up to make a collage, something I never intended to make so feminine and sassy but nonetheless that’s where it went and I love it. Luckily my boyfriend Brody actually ended up liking it! I bought all this artwork without telling him and hung them up before he got home from work one day. Maybe a bit of a gamble but I was pretty confident. I bet if I picked out the same artwork in the store with him he would have hated it. I think this goes for all design. Sometimes you need to take pieces home and put together the end result to see it all come together (and to convince your boyfriend to see it too ;))
As you can probably tell by now I am a huge fan of wicker lol so I bought a larger wicker basket that would hide my laundry soap and dryer sheets and other not-so-pretty items.
Lastly, I’m contemplating painting the floor checkered… maybe one day I’ll do it but for right now the sun is shining and its calling me to get outside and enjoy it!! A little reminder that you don’t have to do everything all in one shot. When renovating a small mudroom on a budget, you can do things in phases until you’re happy with the final result!
There you have it! That’s my mudroom room makeover.