Before and Afters Triangle House

Mudroom Miracle

HAPPY SPRING!! Great to see ya, even though a nice little Nor’easter battled with us over the past weeks. Out like a lion and in like a lamb. Speaking of lions, our mudroom roared like one with crazed intensity. When Yuri and I first saw the inside of our home, I had no idea what the previous owners used this room for. On the disclosure, it was labeled as the dining room. Who wants to walk into a closed in dining room when you enter a house? Not I! After some thought, we decided to make it a mudroom/laundry area. Let me tell ya, throughout this whole “Casapalooza” renovation, I never knew HOW Yuri and I were going to turn these undesirable, moldy, rundown rooms livable and beautiful again. I only knew how I wanted the renovation to look in the end. I told Yuri that of all the rooms so far, I am most proud of what we have done in the mudroom. Building benches and cubbies, wainscoting, creating a laundry room and so many other things I kinda questioned, “Can we do that?” Well, we did!! Let’s begin with the exterior.

This is how the outside of the “dining room” turned mudroom looked before. I didn’t like double wide sliding glass door, which was old and damaged anyway. It took up almost the entire wall leaving us no choice but to put in a smaller 36″ exterior door freeing up wall space for our laundry area. We had the thought of putting in a half bath also, but it would’ve been very tight and would’ve left no room for a laundry sink, a must have for my doggie washing.

Yuri and his work buddy popped out the old door and framed up for the new one. This was done in September so the weather was still good, but the sun can get really hot in the back so they pitched a tent for shade.

The exterior is T1-11 wood panel siding. It’s probably original from the 70’s. We had to find T1-11 that was a close match to the siding already there to close in the space for our 36″ door. The one we found is a hair off and of course newer looking, but painted it blends very well. Shhh…only you know!

This is the framing they built from the inside. Of course insulation was added. Another one of Yuri’s co-workers came and helped with a bit of electrical rewiring that had to be done for the exterior lights. As you can see, the switches are way too far away from the door. He also found a few other electrical mistakes, so he fixed those up for us.

I plan on painting the exterior of the door a fun color when the weather gets a bit warmer. Now on to the interior! I had real concerns with this room. Like, how the hellz are we going to fix this mess concerns. But, we kept our eyes on the prize and forged ahead!

So this is what our beautiful mudroom looked like when we purchased the house.

This was a dining room?!
How brown can you get?

A 9’x12′ room of what is thisness? Everyone loves brown paneling…in the 1970’s. We couldn’t even salvage the floor. Too many cracked tiles, a cat pee funk and it had that funhouse unleveled quality. I could hear the room screaming “HELP”! So after we got the keys, everything had to go. Gut job. The ceiling, walls and accessories came down quick. The floor was very uncooperative. Two layers of plywood, with one glued on top of the other did us in.

See the window frame? That used to be an exterior wall. The dining room was an add-on.
Floor from Hades.

Bit by bit we chiseled the tile and the first plywood layers off. The cat pee smell still persisted and there was some damage to the plywood, so we just ripped it all out and put new plywood down. In the end, after lots of sweat and the help of Yuri’s buddy finishing the drywall because he’s a pro at it and we suck at it, we had a clean mudroom. Now time for me to work my paint magic! Priming walls and ceiling, painting ceiling, painting walls twice….done. Next, the floor. I knew tile was going to be the flooring of choice because it’s a mudroom. With two kids, a Pooch and a Contractor husband it needs to be easy cleaning. I will confess that the tile I chose was not the style of choice. I wanted the 1930’s pattern 9″x9″ black and white tiles, but I had to be budget friendly and they were blowing it!

Next time beautiful tile!

So we went with a larger 18″x18″ (quicker to finish) grey stone looking ceramic tile from Airbase. Because we chose something a little more subdued, I thought let’s spice it up and do a diamond pattern! I’ve never done a diamond pattern before but there’s a first time for everything. Again, Yuri cut and I mortared and laid the tiles.

This house is messing up my fashionista style!

I had a few hiccups when not enough mortar was applied. We had a few loose, popping off. My Bad! Scrape it up and do it again. The process went pretty well and quick. The grout was great because it had the sealer already built in. Thanks Airbase! We used a medium grey grout to match the tile. Works for me!


We put our washer and dryer in the space to measure out for the laundry area and we needed to start washing our clothes. Next up, the laundry area! Sorry for the fuzzy pic…

Before we started on the laundry area, I painted the door a dark grey color which I love! Valspar $3.48 sample size was all that was needed. Yuri trimmed out the door. He then framed out the laundry area to accommodate the washer, dryer and a sink. He used metal framing because its more lightweight than 2×4’s and then installed the drywall. Yuri’s work buddy came back again to finish the drywall. The recessed lighting went in next. We used 4″ led slim recessed lights that are installed from the bottom and much easier than the regular can lights. I got four of them on Amazon for $50. So far they function and look great! The laundry room opening was trimmed out using pine 1x’s on the inside and outside. After I primed and painted the drywall and trim, we were ready to tackle the next big job…a custom bench and cubbies.

Custom trim by Yuri

Let me tell ya, I was a bit nervous about the built-in’s. I knew what the vision was but doubted if we could do it. Lesson…never doubt! I looked at many mudroom designs and loved the board and batten style, bright white with black hooks. To Yuri’s displeasure, I added in creating cubbies. More work, but it’ll be worth it! Here are a couple of my inspirations:

So, Yuri began building the vision. He did a fabulous job! Then he turned them over to me. I began wood filling, sanding, 2 coats of primer and one coat of paint in SW White Cotton. They were now ready to install.

We measured out at the height we wanted the cubbies and screwed them in. The bench needed a couple of adjustments made before we could secure it. The heat blower and outlet, which were once in the wall, were in the path of the new bench. So Yuri had to pull them forward and build them into the bench.

Cubbies going up
Adjusting heater and outlet

Next we installed the board and batten using pre-primed 1x’s. I caulked the gaps and wood filled the holes. I prefer to wood fill nail holes instead of caulk because it gives a cleaner more invisible look. Two coats of the same SW White Cotton Semi-gloss and it was complete! Semi-gloss for easy cleanup in the mudroom.

The butcher block bench top was sanded and stained. I wanted to use the same stain as the shelving in the kitchen. There were a couple of nail holes that had to be filled then sanding, cleaning and staining commenced.

Staining time!

As you can see, the mudroom was being used the entire time renovations were happening. Well, the mudroom/laundry is 95% finished. We installed the laundry doors and knobs, Yuri did the plumbing for the sink and installed a decorative lighting fixture. We still have to install some shelving and/or cabinets in the laundry area for storage, fix a couple kinks only I would notice and we also want to add a tall cabinet next to the laundry wall for kitchen overflow appliances and bulk foods. Other than that, the mudroom is pretty much complete. See for yourself…





We wanted the mudroom to be a beautiful welcoming entryway and a functional space for everyday messes. I believe we accomplish that. No doubts ever again!

Would you install cabinets or shelves in the laundry area? Cabinets are good for hiding but shelving is a easy access storage.

We’re still waiting for one more fixer upper in the kitchen, then you’ll get the tour! Until next time!


8 Comment

  1. Candi, my heart leaps with joy when I see another of your post. Everything has to stop while I savor the greatness of your work, designs, and finished master pieces. I am so proud of you and Yuri.

    Aunt Dolores (Nana)

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