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I have a confession to make. This is what my mudroom has looked like for…well, let’s just say waaaay too long. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a travesty if it wasn’t the main entrance people use to my house. I remember when we bought our house five years ago that I was so excited to have such a large mudroom, but then suddenly it became so small. It was small because it became cluttered with every item that entered our house. The jackets that didn’t get changed over properly from one season to the next, the hand-me-downs that were dropped off and the ones that I’d compiled to hand over to the next kid, the tote bags for the grocery store, and just about every other thing you can imagine would come into a house with two small children. It had gotten completely out of control! I finally reached my wit’s end and voila, we have a majorly re-worked mudroom that I now love to look at when I enter the house!

I started by going back to basics. We emptied the space completely and took down all of the shelving. Good news, it really is a decent size space! Then we painted the wood paneling Benjamin Moore Simply White (using the kitchen and bath paint because we live near the water and this room experiences the dampness that goes with that). This turned into a little bit more of a production than I intended, but once you start scraping a little bit of paint, it makes sense to go all the way so all the doors and windows got a makeover too.

I brought in the two chairs that I found at Brimfield last month, and actually their wood coloring and imperfections are what inspired me to go full speed ahead with a nautical mudroom (well, there’s probably a good chance I would have anyway with my track record, but they made the vision clear). I added a wire basket from Marshall’s to gather the kids’ shoes in. Then we hung a series of eight cleats that we picked up at the local ship supply store to hang our severely edited collection of coats (we actually do have two coat closets in the house!) and bags on.

They offer a perfect spot to display our favorite Sea Bags while also making them handy to grab as we’re heading out the door!

I had also picked up some used nautical rope when we were at the consignment ship supply store. You can easily find it new as well, but I like the vintage effect it adds, particularly since the chairs are vintage. I didn’t really have a plan for it and was actually envisioning using it in the garden, but it became obvious that the perfect spot to use it was going to be in this space. I thought about just winding it across the upper molding, but then I decided that spelling out a little welcome to our guests would be more fun and so I created this “ahoy” message for all to see when they walk in the door, and I added a little anchor stencil to ground it better in the space.

It only seemed logical that we post a farewell message on the opposite wall where people exit the house and while “fair winds” might have been slightly more appropriate, my husband and I both preferred the sound and the look of “bon voyage” to send our guests off with well wishes. And because I was able to scoop up so much rope at such a great price I even had enough to create a rope border along the molding around the entire space.

It so much nicer to walk into this bright and fresh space, and perhaps the most unexpected benefit of this makeover is the new view I have from the kitchen when I glance out the door. It’s so much more refreshing to see this space than the mess that once was.

There are of course still several more things we’d like to do in here. I hate the textured tile that is also in our kitchen and catches every bit of dirt (less than ideal for a mudroom). We’re also incredibly tempted to open that awful tiled ceiling up, but while we hope we’d find some nice beams, there’s a good chance that it’s just a mess that we’d have to fix and seeing as it took us this long just to tackle the mudroom at all, I think we’d better wait until we can tackle any problems that arise with that job.

But at least I’ve knocked one more think off my very long to-do list!

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