Monday, November 24, 2014

Boots boots boots! (my DIY Mudroom)

One of my goals in my new home in Wisconsin is to make some changes that make my otherwise builder's grade 1940's ranch style home a little more updated and custom. From the first time I walked in the front door I knew I wanted a little mudroom in the existing small awkward foyer. For the first few months after I moved in, it looked like this.
First, I removed the ugly hanging racks and coat rod and painted the ceiling white (because, of course, it was brown), which was an immediate aesthetic improvement. But, that meant I had no place to put my bags, coats, and umbrellas, which are all apparently necessary in Wisconsin the summer.

Dad came to town for my birthday and for about $150 he generously bought the lumber to build me a bench and a shelf. We decided to make the bench and shelf out of poplar, and used pine for the pieces I planned to paint white. I gave him my sketch and my tools and left for work. When I came home it looked like this. Dad is amazing. I don't know what else to say.
After my parents headed back to sunny CA, I started by staining the poplar bench and shelf boards my dad had cut to size with Minwax Red Mahogany to match the other woodwork in the house. Next, I painted the support boards and all of the trim in the foyer with white high gloss (because it too was brown-- thats right, the walls were such dark brown you can't tell, but the trim in these photos is light brown). I painted the back wall white and to give the illusion of wainscoting added a few strips of trim down the wall. The other walls were painted the same soft blue (EasyCare Abloom) I used in the kitchen.

Thinking I was nearly done, I fitted back in my now stained shelf and bench, then attempted trim. This was a new challenge for me. I learned (by-doing) how to cut a miter corner using my drawing tools from 9th grade Geometry and a jigsaw. A lot of glue and wood filler putty and even more touch up paint later, I had a place to take off my snow boots. I also filled up my woven felt baskets with scarves, hats, and mittens to get me through the winter.
I took a trip to Ikea coat hooks and spent a final evening installing them, and bought a door sweep to help keep out the draft from under my front door. Now, I've now got a place to take off a layer or two of the 4-5 layers that one has to wear every single day in Wisconsin to avoid frostbite. Plus, for about $200 I think I made a substantial improvement to my humble little house.

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