Monday, February 15, 2016

Mudroom Entryway - Maximizing a Small Space

Creating a kid friendly area for coats, backpacks and shoes was the top priority on my list when we built the house.  Unfortunately, my idea of keeping that area in the garage quickly went out the window come winter each year.  The kids were not very fond of putting on cold coats and cold shoes and I can't say I blame them.  So, the daily routine became unloading everything on the kitchen floor after school.

When we built the house, we originally planned on having a very large mudroom with lots of cabinet space and a bench with lots of storage space, etc.  Instead, we added a half bath in the corner of the laundry room which then took away all my storage space and what would typically be the "mudroom" area.  We still had a small area to the right of the garage door entry area that is 3 feet wide by 14" deep.  I couldn't carve out an area for shoes, but at least I can get the coats and backpacks in a designated area.  There is a small half bath on the other side of this wall where we added the coat area.

Starting Out

We did have a few obstacles to create this space.  First, my bead board was 1/4" thick and the top of the baseboard moulding was less than that.  The second issue was this wall had four light switches which we decided to leave as is.  It would have required an electrician to move them to a different location and we really didn't feel like dealing with the hassle of moving them.  The third issue was there were only three studs for this wall, one on each end and one in the middle.  I'll go through how we worked around these obstacles in more detail below.

We had a bag of leftover bead board from the DIY TV Built In project and didn't even use all of it for this project.  I prefer the wider Cape Cod style beadboard from Home Depot that comes in long 8 ft lengths that fit together tongue and groove.  I think it's easier to work with and make custom cuts, plus it fits under my chop saw for cutting.

The first thing we did was add a piece of trim a few inches higher than the baseboard moulding to create the illusion of higher baseboards.  We spaced this above the existing Baseboard with a 1 x 2 leftover scrap piece.  I actually love the look now and want to do this throughout the house ;).  I scoured Home Depot and bought all the materials at the same time to make sure my vertical pieces that I added on the far left and far right would not be thicker than this additional piece of moulding.

I wanted a coat rack below the light switches and a shallow shelf about 5 feet from the floor with the possibility of some more hooks.  We built the shelf out of a 1x8 pine board for the back and a 1x6 board for the top using a kreg jig.  We cut each board the exact width of the wall before putting it together.  Then we attached the shelf to the wall using drywall screws so the top of the shelf would be at 5 feet off the floor.

Overcoming our next obstacle was actually easier than expected.  As I stated above, the wall only had three studs, one on each end and one in the middle.  We used standard flat window/door casing with a slightly rounded edge for the vertical pieces we attached on the far left and far right side.  This door trim rested on top of the new baseboard trim we added and was the same depth as the horizontal piece we used for the lower coat rack.  Our horizontal piece for the coat rack was actually a piece of 5 1/4" baseboard trim with the fancier top.  We had to use the baseboard trim because it was the same depth as our vertical door trim we used.  If we would have used a 1 x 4 board, it would have stuck out beyond our door trim.  I wanted the coat rack for the kiddos under the light switches so we wouldn't be covering them with coats.  But, I didn't want to see the ends of the board from the side view.  So, we ripped the baseboard trim that would be used for the lower hook to cut off the fancy beveled top and notched out an area on each vertical just enough so we could catch the studs with the horizontal coat rack on the far left and far right.  We decided to put the lower coat rack 40" from the floor which is perfect for the kids.  We used the beveled piece we cut off the baseboard later.

Next we added a corbel on each end under the shelf.  We pre-drilled a hole in each corbel to attach to the bottom shelf and screwed the top of the shelf into each corbel.  I bought corbels at Home Depot for $10 each and we cut them to size prior to installation.  We added a piece of crown moulding under the shelf and between the corbels for a custom look.
Adding the bead board is always easy.  We cut to length using the chop saw and lined up where they would go prior to attaching to the wall.  We had to rip off the edge of the left and right side pieces with the table saw.  I glued the pieces to the wall using leftover adhesive I had bought when I added the DIY Ceiling Tin Backsplash in the kitchen.  The glue sets pretty fast so make sure you have everything lined up and measured before attaching to the wall.  We added the last few pieces of beadboard above the lower coat rack and added the leftover beveled piece on top of the beadboard just below where the top shelf sits.  It just adds a little extra character, but wasn't necessary.  I felt the shelf was still missing something, so we added some of the leftover trim we used near the baseboard and wrapped the top shelf with it.  It looks much prettier now :)


I went through and caulked and puttied everywhere there would be a gap or space between where the materials matched up and painted everything with a semi-gloss white paint that was leftover from a different project.  The paint already had a primer in it, but it still took three coats of paint.  Our light switch cover was now too big to cover the switches since we added the vertical trim piece, so we attempted to cut it with the chop saw.  That of course failed even though we cut an extra one laying around where we were successful.  Thankfully, they make nylon unbreakable covers for switches that are similar to PVC and we were able to cut that to size with the chop saw and add back in place.

We added three hooks to the lower rack.  We put one in the middle and spaced the others 10 1/4" from the center of the middle one.  This gave us 7 1/4" space between the end hooks and the corner of the wall/left side.  I decided to add two hooks onto the top shelf.  I could have added three, but then the light switches would have been covered and I knew it would be a never ending frustration of turning those lights on.  So, we added the two hooks on the top shelf and lined them up between the hooks on the lower shelf.  My plan is to find a cute hanging basket to hang there for small essentials like gloves.

This was actually a very easy DIY project.  We had a lot of materials laying around in the garage leftover from other projects, but it would have cost $130 had we bought all of the materials.

Materials List:
  • 1 x 6 x 6 common pine board (top of shelf - used 3ft) $7
  • 1 x 8 x 6 common pine board (back of shelf - used 3ft) $9
  • Primed Pine Base Cap Moulding (above baseboard trim and around shelf) $10
  • Primed Pine Base Moulding (lower coat rack - used 4ft) $10
  • 2 1/4 wide Pine Casing (verticals on left and right - used less than 4 ft on each side) $10
  • Primed Pine Crown Moulding (under top shelf - used less than 3 ft) $5.50
  • Cape Cod 14 sq. ft. Beadboard Plank Paneling (3-Pack - used two full boards) $20
  • 5 Coat Hooks $30
  • 2 Corbel Arch Brackets $20
  • Loctite PL375 Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (1/2 tube)
  • Putty (Any putty will do, I prefer Durham's Water Putty.  It's $8 for a 4 lb container of a powder mix that you add water to.  You make a batch as needed.  I used 3 Tablespoons of the dry powder with 1 Tablespoon of water and had more than enough for this project.  It's dries very fast, can be sanded and is paintable)
  • Paintable Caulk

When we were building our house, we did a walk through of another house our builder was building and fell in love with the wall colors used.  Unfortunately, it's a custom color from Sherwin-Williams and there is no official name for the wall color.  We used this same color for our house and painted all interior walls with this color.  This is the picture of the tag on the top of the paint can if you would like to replicate. They can scan the bar code and color match from that.  The trim is just basic Bright White in Semi-Gloss.