So many people often ask “what’s a mudroom”? I know, we aren’t in America and we don’t really have snow or extreme muddy weather, so what’s the point of it right? Well, some like to use it like a cloak room to hang their coats and store their shoes, whilst others simply like the way it looks. We decided to use it to double as a kid’s command station.
The house we chose to build had a small area they called the cloak room. It was a tiny 2x1m room with a window, a clothes rail and a shelf. Definitely not a room that appealed to me because it was a closed off room that was so tiny we couldn’t do much with it. So very quickly I put my thinking cap on and got designing. I knew I wanted to turn it into a functional mudroom that had more than one purpose. Yes, being a stop to change your shoes would be great, but in our house,, we don’t enter the house through the garage yet as it’s not functional (soon I hope) so we put our shoes on at the front door as they’re stored in the bedrooms. I got creating to come up with this!
Miss T was soon to start school (Prep) and it made so much sense to utilise the space for her school needs. Now as much as I wanted it to be practical and functional, the styling freak in me couldn’t help but want it “pretty” so I decided to get my DIY on.
We purchased 3 timber panels from Bunnings for $15, measured and designed a practical panel wall that hubby installed and painted white. We kept it simple yet effective. We weren’t able to add any decorative corner trims as I’d hoped to because we didn’t have the height or depth without bumping heads on it so we improvised.
I was on the hunt for a bench seat, but given the size required, it was an impossible task to find one that measured under 1m. After many nights on google, I finally found one that was surprisingly the exact size to the cm, it was like it was made for my space. A cheap $159 I couldn’t go wrong. I purchased it and removed the cheap looking baskets (and replaced them with some cute baskets I purchased at Adairs. I added 3 decorative marble hooks I had at purchased a while back in each panel slot to complete the back wall. It looked great on its own and also great with the clothes rail put up.
I contacted the lovely Erin from Decorators Workshop and discussed my options for a beautiful custom bench mattress and got started. I chose a fabric that was industrial so it was removable and washable and it was the wow factor this bench needed to transform it, but also had the Hamptons look my house needed. I also had her make a couple of matching cushions to decorate. It was perfect and instantly transformed the space. And ironically, the colours matched T’s school uniform colours which was definitely not planned haha.
Next, I purchased a $12 basket from Kmart for the top shelf and teamed it with some decor pieces I had at home and a gorgeous Sprout Gallery print. A couple of oars to decorate and my space was complete. Now this was just the “pretty” part of the project. Let me show you how we utilise it for school daily.
The basket on the shelf stores T’s school uniform that isn’t needed that season, whilst the current season uniform hangs on the rail for easy access. I fold lightly whilst keeping the hangers on for convenience. The hooks hold her school bag. The little decorative jar holds her hair ties and clips. The baskets are where her shoes, socks and shorts are kept. The little shelves above are for her book bags and any artwork or forms she has, ready to be filed ( I will show you how I file her artwork in a post soon.)
We had originally planned 3 sections, one for each child and a spare for a 3rd or in case more room is needed and so glad I did because Miss A now has a spot too! Behind the door I have a Kmart planner that we use for any school appointments and upcoming dates to remember like her friends birthdays etc.
During the week, it serves the purpose of being the school zone and on the weekend, uniforms are in the wash and the room is then automatically transformed back into a beautiful mudroom that is pleasing to the eye. During school holidays, All school items are packed into the basket and we use the space to store our daily shoes.
One mudroom, two purposes. And the best part, it’s inexpensive to create. Life has been less chaotic since creating a school zone. We know where school items are and everyone is on the same page. It stays nice and neat as everything has a spot. Once the girls are out of school we can still have a beautiful room that can be used purely as a mudroom.
Below are the progress shots of how we created out feature wall as well as the bench with the original baskets. So easy, anyone can try it!