Out with the dining room, in with the mud

Mudrooms are a saving grace in a house with kids and dogs.  We recently did a renovation project that involved converting our dining room into a mudroom/powder room/entry hall and staircase.  You can read the background on that transformation here.  Today we’re going to have a closer look at the mudroom part of that project.

Here’s the before floor plan that shows what the pathway to our 1st floor bathroom looked like with little paw prints to show the mud path from the outdoors to the bathroom:

And here is what the after path is:

See the difference in the mud path that leads from the outside to the bathroom?  Big change, don’t you think?  My mop and I haven’t seen as much of each other lately, but I don’t miss her at all.

What I do miss are my little mudmakers – they’re teenagers now, but man were they happy to track mud (and other stuff) into my house when they were little:

Le sigh.

Let’s move on.

Here is a detail drawing of the mudroom as it looks today:

We put a wall up to create a wide hallway on one side and a powder room and mud entry on the other.  There is a pocket French door that separates the spaces (say hi to Gibby):

And on the opposite side you can see that a window was replaced by an Andersen patio door with prairie muntin details.

Here’s the before of that wall when it was a dining room and had a window:

And this is that same view today with the Andersen door:

Whammo, blammo don’t you think?

I really wanted the powder room to blend into the background and I used this image as my inspiration:

(Sorry I can’t remember the source – its been years since I downloaded it!)

I used 24” deep pantry cabinets from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot to create lockers for each kid:

The wall behind the cabinets are a full foot deep. The left side runs plumbing to the second floor for our future master bathroom.  The right side hides a pocket door to the powder room:

There is a neat little trunk that I got at a yard sale this summer that serves as a storage bench in the entry:

Here’s a similar view of that same area when it was a dining room:

The board and batten detail is one I learned from Centsational Girl – it looks so lavish and is really quite simple and easy to do.

The moulding is very simple, but provides and nice detailed finish

The tile floor camouflages a multitude of mud-packed sins.  You can see in this photo that I designed custom baseboard heat covers because I cringe every time I look at metal baseboard – they are always getting dented and the ends always fall off!

Here is view out to our new staircase and hallway:

And here is the long view from the living room with the french door between the hall and the mudroom closed:

That french door is pretty handy when you need to keep the puppy away from the UPS guy:

And here’s the view in from outdoors:

Our house isn’t huge and I wanted to layer and frame the views all the way through the house to make it look more interesting.  Each “layer” invites your eye into the next space without walls blocking the view.  The result is that you feel drawn into the mudroom, through the entry and into the living room.  That last layer – the screened porch – isn’t built yet, but that should complete the look.  Small houses often suffer from “rabbit warren” disease when they have walls blocking views.

Architecture lesson of the day:  here’s a hint on locating structural walls:  look for beams in the ceiling of your basement – those will sit below structural walls.  All other walls are called “partition walls” and can be modified much more easily than a structural wall.  The staircase wall that we modified to open it up and create the railing was a partition wall.  A good builder or local architect can help you figure out how much of a wall can get opened up without compromising structural integrity.  Don’t go knocking down walls unless you get some good advice first!

Here’s a little before and after wrap up:

Front of dining room before:

And converting into a mudroom after:

And the mid-back area of the dining room before:

And after:

I love the space and it really helps cut down the mud and mess that comes into the house.  The lockers are a life saver – everything from catcher’s equipment to school books get dumped in there and don’t get strewn all over the house.

Next week we’ll have a look at the screened porch turned dining room!

Linking to these fun link parties  – check them out!

Thrifty Decor Chick



Boogieboard Cottage

Home Stories A2Z

A Diamond in the Stuff

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia



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14 thoughts on “Out with the dining room, in with the mud

  1. Looks awesome! Really, it does. And, I have the exact same french pocket door separating my basement mud room from our rec room 🙂

  2. i just love what you did!!! Everything turned out so great. So practical too. I love my fur babies but cleaning up after them can be a challange at times.

  3. I love this! I have such a soft spot for mud rooms, and really think they should be as standard as a bathroom in homes nowadays – especially if you have kids and/or pets!! The board and batten looks fantastic too (I have added it to my home in more than one location I love it so much!). Great, great look! Love the paint color too – what color is that?

  4. Pingback: Top Crunchy Four of 2012 | Crunchy Diva

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