A Mudroom for Tidying Up Kids' Gear
By putting his woodworking skills to use and hunting for bargains ($4 clearance-sale paint!), TOH reader Allan Wiggins tapped his laundry room's organizational potential
Who> Allan Wiggins
Where> Suwanee, Georgia
What> Turned a spartan laundry into a well-appointed mudroom.
We loved having our laundry room right off the kitchen, but it seemed like the space wasn't being put to good use. The room was dark, with nothing but a trash can against one wall. With our kids' backpacks and dirty soccer cleats cluttering the space, my wife, Elisha, and I realized we needed a full-fledged mudroom, and this was the perfect spot for it.
Shown: Son Tanner, 5, gears up for soccer on the new built-in bench. New cabinets, labeled shelves, and coat hooks add function; beadboard paneling and curved corbels lend the room charm. Wiggins saved $200 by finishing the cabinet doors himself.
Woodworking is one of my hobbies, with this blank slate, I envisioned filling the space with cabinets and a long bench. After moving the washer and dryer under the window, I started making cabinets for the newly blank wall. I found a cabinet-supply shop willing to sell to the public, which saved me a bundle. I wanted to do everything myself but realized it would've cost more to buy the tools to make cabinet doors to match those in the kitchen than to order them, so I had them made instead. Working nights after work, it took 11 months. But now my wife is blown away by how much storage we have, and the kids love having their own labeled shelves and hooks.
Shown: The bare-bones laundry room had an inefficient layout and makeshift storage.
Beaded molding that complements the trim on the new cabinets frames the doorway to the adjacent kitchen. Wiggins put a personal touch on the new mudroom by lettering a favorite quote over the doorway.
Shown: Cutting out decal letters from vinyl contact paper saved Wiggins $75.
• Tore out existing cabinets, $0
• Bought new pipes, fittings, and wiring to relocate the washer and dryer hookups, $110
• Built new cabinet boxes out of birch plywood with face frames and poplar trim, $268
Shown: A well-placed bulletin board gives the family's launching pad a handy home for schedules, lists, and reminders.