*Tests megaphone* It. Is. Time. People! Time for the One Room Challenge™! If you’re new to the One Room Challenge™ (ORC), it is an online event in which hundreds of design-minded people transform one room and post progress in real time! We will be posting every Thursday on our blog as well as linking up to the ORC™ page along with the other ORC™ participants. The ORC™ link-up page can be found at the bottom of this post so that you can follow the other participants’ progress as well!
If you have not already gleaned this information from our title, we chose to make over our…drumrolllll please…mudroom/laundry room! It’s going to be a big job. Let’s take a look at what we’re working with. Here is our mudroom when we purchased our home in summer 2016:
You see, other than not being our style, the main issue with this room was flow. From the day we first saw our home, we knew we wanted to blow through that closet in the photo above to make a new path from the mudroom into the kitchen. The former passageway into the house from this room was that doorway on the left above. It was a narrow doorway that made passing with our arms full of groceries (or a child) awkward. The layout forced us to take the scenic route by the master bedroom and walk in a wide half circle around the backside of the closet which jutted out into the kitchen. That blank wall below was the backside of the closet and the open door was the entrance into the mudroom:
Because we typically enter our home and go straight to the kitchen to deposit groceries, lunch bags, water bottles, etc., this layout was less than ideal. But this story has a happy ending! We felt very fortunate that the solution to the poor layout was relatively simple: demo the closet to make a new opening into the kitchen, reroute the wiring that ran through said closet and close up the old doorway. The closet wall was not load-bearing which further simplified the process. This change was made within days of purchasing our home as we were laying wall-to-wall hardwood flooring at the same time and wanted to avoid patching them at a later date. Check out these scary in-progress shots:
And in case the photos above are as clear as mud, allow us to give you another visual to help you get your bearings. Below are two renderings of our room. The first layout is when we bought our home. The second represents the room in its present state, after we removed the closet.
Back when we moved in, we scrubbed the entire mudroom down, laid our hardwoods, cleaned up and rerouted all of that wiring, hung new drywall around the new opening and called it good enough. We’ve lived with the new layout for 1.5 years now and can thankfully report that the work we put in initially was certainly worthwhile. Not only is the flow from car to home infinitely more efficient, but we also gained physical and visual space in our kitchen courtesy of demolishing the closet. This seemingly small change allowed our open-concept house to breathe.
But! What our room gained in function she still lacks in form. There are still so many challenges within this space. For starters it is way too cabinet heavy. We are minimalists by nature and the sheer amount of storage this room offers far exceeds our needs. What’s more, the countertop immediately to the left upon entering from the garage is a too-convenient clutter catchall. Receipts, mail and anything else that needs to be scanned, shredded or filed are like a magnet to this surface. The KonMari part of my brain explodes on the daily. All of that excess cabinetry means no place to sit to put on shoes save for the floor. Ahhh, the floor. The floor is one of the ugliest faux tile vinyl varieties we have ever seen. Its only positive attribute is that it hides dirt well. Is that a positive?? The terra cotta wall color, maroon countertops and oak cabinets feel heavy and dark in this room that lacks natural lighting. While we’re on lighting, you could get a tan under the fluorescent factory lighting overhead. Since we removed the closet before moving in, we use a bar hung above the dog wash basin to hang our coats. As our family is dogless, the dog wash basin holds our boots, shoes and sandals in a haphazard mess despite our constant efforts to keep them organized. The whole setup is downright classy. It was pretty great to find a home with a nice large laundry sink, however, this chipped, stained bisque-colored number is not exactly the stuff of dreams. And the low profile faucet with dual turn handles makes soaking bulky bedding (cough*kid vomit*cough) a little tricky. Though it may sound like we’re ripping on this space (because we are), we feel very fortunate to have a dedicated mudroom and are beyond excited that there is so much room for improvement! So how will we save this space? Here we’ve gathered some items we hope to use to take our room from Urkel to Stefan.
And to help you make a little more sense of our graphic, here is our plan in list form:
Phew! Pretty sure that covers it. See what the other ORC™ participants are up to here. Let’s get this reno party started!!!