We’ve officially been in our home one year, and today, I get to share with you one space that is finally finished. And when I say finished, I mean that it’s finished enough to snap some photos…a house is never done, right? Especially when it’s a contractor and a designer’s personal home.
Over Thanksgiving, we finally put our laundry/mudroom together.
This is a small space (about 65 sq ft). We needed it to handle the hard-living that comes with a horse farm, dogs, kids, and all the other outdoor sports we participate in.
This is how I designed it.
The first thing I wanted to do was have our seasonal clothes, plus our boot/shoe clutter, hidden away. I am a minimalist at heart, but our lifestyle fights with that all the time. So at the least, I need the chaos out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I did this by creating space for five lockers, each one running from floor to ceiling. The stuff not being used right away is stashed in the upper cabinets. The tall middle locker is the main working station, whatever season, and our shoes and boots are hidden in the lower portion.
The cabinets are made out of white oak and stained ebony. The black finish is broken up by the strong grain of the oak. I enjoy some of the old 80s music, but I don’t want the orange, stripey cabinets from that era. The black stain keeps it fresh. I love this combo so much that I had our kitchen island made the same way. Here’s a close-up of the finish and knobs, which are Emtek.
Inside, each locker has an outlet. I use mine to charge my headlamps. The nights are long this time of year, and I run and feed horses at least half of the time in the dark.
Behind closed doors, our shoes sit on the floor of the mudroom. This was another detail I was adamant we stuck to. I don’t have time to baby cabinetry or vacuum drawers where muddy shoes have been, so our shoes sit on the cleanable, waterproof tile.
I’m also a huge fan of cheap rugs for mudrooms. They will get destroyed. This is already our second rug. I tell all my clients to buy a durable polypropylene (indoor/outdoor) type that can handle everything you can throw at it, without breaking the bank. And you won’t have to stress when your old pup decides to sleep on it.
The other side of the room is our laundry.
The blank wall is the back of our kitchen pantry. Dead space is a dirty word at our house…haha. Then I chose a stackable Speed Queen washer and dryer. While they aren’t the most stylish appliances in the world, they do have the best warranties. Check them out if you are shopping for new appliances.
There are also places to sort dirty clothes and air-dry things that won’t do well getting batted around in a dryer.
I hung my “Haystack” painting on the blank wall. This has been the one painting that has survived the test of time, moving with us since I finished it in college. It’s one I look to when I get stuck. It has beautiful layers that simply work. How I pulled it off when I was in my early 20s always strikes me and makes me wonder about the art that is waiting to come out in the future.
It has taken time, but my laundry skills have improved a ton. Two things that have significantly extended the life of my clothes (I don’t keep many around) are 1) I stopped using softener and 2) I air-dry clothes if there’s a chance they’ll shrink or pill or anything else in the dryer. My go-to detergents are Tide, The Laundress, and Branch Basics products. This isn’t a paid post, I just really like them. They work.
I have two soft hampers below my detergents. I chose soft ones so they won’t damage the cabinets in any way. Anything that needs to be washed has to make it into these baskets. I told my kids that I wasn’t going to hunt down their dirty clothes any more. Now they’re getting old enough to sort AND wash the laundry themselves. It’s pretty heavenly. Parents, the day will come! Hang in there.
The finishing touch was our barn door. A swinging door would be a total hassle in this tight space, so we opted for the barn door. There are swirls of conversations in the design world wishing that the barn door trend would die, but this is where you have to plug your ears and do what’s right for the space.
So what’s left, you ask? The exterior door still needs to be pickled like our barn door. It’s too orange, and we also need to switch out the white hinges. When we started our home, I knew I wanted minimal trim, and we debated about white or wood around the doors (because our windows don’t have any). Of course, the doors were ordered way before the trim was done, so I said to make the hinges white. Then I decided that I wanted the wood as our baseboards, but the white hinges remained. Dave will switch them to black when it’s not freezing outside and he can pull the door off for a day.
Thanks for joining me today. Look for the next post around the first of the year. This is where I lay out my plans for 2020, plus set my intentions with a word, and the word is going to be a good one! See you next time…..