Wednesday, November 23, 2011

21 Reader Space: Brilliant Mudroom Makeover

Ever wish your home had a mudroom?  Yeah... Me too.

However, after reading today's reader space submission, I once again was reminded that just because my home may not have been built with a mudroom, it doesn't mean the potential to create one {or something similar} isn't there.

Susan and her hubs created their dream mudroom out of a back porch.  Talk about inspiring! 

Susan wrote:

Hi Jen,
I love reading your blog, and have found so much fantastic inspiration from you and your readers!  My husband and I tackled a project of our own this summer, and wanted to share the before and after pictures!

Our mudroom is what used to be the back porch of our 1915 Craftsman.  It was in poor shape; painted wood floors, one shingled wall, one plywood wall and one wall covered in mismatched paneling.  There was an electrical panel box on one wall and pipes running across the ceiling.  We used the shelves to store extra food, but primarily used this room as a dumping ground.  That was OK until we wanted to take guests out to the backyard and had to walk them through our disaster room!  Not to mention, our coats were in a coat closet in the center of the house, not near either entrance.

I wanted to turn our small space into a truly functioning mudroom.  We started by framing new walls/ceiling to hide the exposed pipes and circuit break box {we added an access door covered in corkboard}, added insulation and drywall and installed new flooring and molding.  To make it really functional, we built a three cubby locker unit with a bench to fit perfectly in the space.  We also added hooks along the wall at adult and kid height, along with a large magnetic white board which we use for reminders, menu plans, shopping lists, etc....  It has made such a difference in our lives! 

As an added bonus, we were able to move our coats out of the hallway coat closet and converted it to a pantry!  That means we gained a functional mudroom and added food storage!  Win win!

Thanks for letting me share!

Here is what Susan's back porch looked like prior to the makeover takeover:

And now the perfect example of what some smart space planning and DIY skills can get you:

Pretty fab right?! 
  • They did it all themselves!  Such amazing DIYers!
  • They didn't settle.  The home called it a "back porch".  They called it a "mudroom".  Any room in the home can function however you would like, with some creative thinking!
  • They gained pantry storage in the home!  Sounds like a swap for the better!
  • They now have a place for a family command station.
  • They added storage that is utilized and functional.  It's no longer a dumping ground, everything has a place!
This is another great example of thinking creatively about our spaces.  Taking a moment to recognize the things that might slow us down or that don't necessarily make sense, even though it's been like that all along.  If Susan would have just settled for the fact that her coat closet was in the middle of her home and that the only space she had to store food was in the back porch, then she would still be feeling that sense of frustration day after day.

Congrats to you Susan on getting that mudroom of your {and my} dreams!

Your turn!  What do you heart about Susan's incredible transformation?  Anyone else recently decide that you weren't going to settle for something in your own home?

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More info HERE.


  1. Wow,what a difference! I love it - now I want to see pictures of her new pantry!

  2. Is it my imagination, or does it seem that the space got larger? Great job!

  3. I love this- especially all the hooks! (If I had my way, all my clothes and half my other stuff would be hung on hooks.)
    They did a fantastic job- kudos to Susan & Co.!!!

  4. this is such a GREAT job!! wow!!

  5. Such a huge difference, it looks great!

  6. I turned a front door nook into a scrapping space! It is working well and I am gettin more scrapbooking done!! woot, woot!

  7. We did something similar this summer too! Unfortunately we didn't have a big space as she does, but we turned a little wasted space off the garage entry door into out very own mudroom. It was fun, frustrating but we LOVE IT! We did it ourselves, with help from tossed out pallets. I posted it at my blog. If you like I can send you the link. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. I love seeing before and after pictures!! It makes me feel so motivated!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!

  9. What a great mudroom! I need some work in ours because it is where we drop everything as well as our laundry room. So it is super cramped! Also, Jen did you know your blog was listed today as one of Bloggers Blogs of Note. I saw you listed on my overview page today! Way to go! Love all your posts!

  10. That is such an amazing difference! I love this :)

  11. I have given you the sunshine award!! Thank you for making me smile with all the organizing tips!!

  12. I don't understand how she gained kitchen pantry storage with this new mudroom? I thot she removed the kitchen pantry storage to make room for the mudroom storage? Did I miss something?

  13. This seriously amazes me! Way to kick butt, Susan! Pretty fab indeed!!!

  14. This is a great idea! I pinned an idea on pinterest where they converted a coat closet into a mini-mudroom. They installed a coat rack with baskets and such into the closet after taking off the door. The white piece of furniture blends nicely with the molding so it looks like part of the house. I don't know if a link will work but here it is:
    BTW, I LOVE your blog!

  15. Well done Susan, your mudroom looks so gorgeous and streamlined!

    I have a much smaller example of not settling for something in my home. I have always had a buffet, which is "supposed" to be used for storing and displaying decorative items. Instead, I have converted it to store my children's homework and activity supplies. It's right by the dining table where they like to work, so is a much better use of the cabinet!

  16. I just want to say I saw you on "Blogs of Note" and I'm glad I did! I've been looking for something to motivate me into organizing/decluttering my place and this might be it. I love the before and after pictures and that you have chosen a Readers makeover to showcase a different room.

    Keep up the great work!

  17. hello I'm from Argentina, to see your blog is very inspiring! even translated. to work! thanks!

  18. Pretty fab!

  19. Thanks everyone! It was a fun learning project - now I feel confident we could tackle something even bigger! The pantry space we gained is in the middle of the house, where our coat closet used to be - we moved the coats to the new mudroom, and added shelving to the old coat closet for food storage - win, win! Doing this project ourselves also saved us a ton of money - I think the total spent including lumber, drywall, flooring, etc was around $500-$600.


Thank you so much for taking a moment to join in on the conversation! I read and appreciate each and every comment, however, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious, or spam-like. I would love for this comment section to be used as a place to engage in purposeful dialogue, I only ask that everyone remains constructive and considerate.

All comments will be moderated and may take a moment to appear.