Back Porch Brainstorming

Even though there's about 1 more week of Lent, I'm going ahead and slowly re-introducing the internet into my life. :) I'm really glad that I took this 5 week or so break...it gave me a lot more free time to catch up on life, get organized and reflect on how I'm really spending my time as a stay at home wife/mother. But, all that being said, I'm ready to be back to blogging, daydreaming about decor, etc. It's just something I do. :)

So today I'm going to share with you a little about our mudroom / laundry room / sunroom (a.k.a. back porch) makeover and where I am with it. You may remember that we last shared about this space when we moved a shelving/ coat rack unit up from the basement and added some bead board and crown molding to it back in December. I'll have you know it still looks the same. ;) No more painting has taken place. 

The only thing I've done with that is buy a $5 quart of grayish-green "oops" paint from Wal-mart for the inside of the shelves only to later decide against that color. Another thing we learned is that we really don't like having all these baskets in our cubbies. I'm thinking it is better if we have no baskets or something like wire baskets so we can easily see through to what we have on each shelf. And we still don't have a bench to sit on. Someday, someday. . .

With the coming of spring and nice weather, this drafty space has definitely become more fun to use (a.k.a. warmer) so we put the screens in all the windows and opened up the space. And we decided redecorating this area should move to the top of our home-related to-do list since we wanted to maximize enjoyment of it during the nice springy weather. This also happens to be the place where everyone (friends, family, customers) enter our home and the half-painted shelving unit and dated wood paneling walls just wasn't the first impression we wanted to make anymore.

While we were at it, we decided to remove a small sink cabinet that sat between the washer/dryer. 

You see, I really did like having it there. In theory it was a fabulous amenity. But our new washer and dryer were larger than the appliances that sat there previously so we could not push the appliances all the way back into their proper locations. Instead they protruded about 9" out into the walkway. And the dryer blocked the doorway to the outside and the crank for the casement window next to it would not turn, so we couldn't open that west facing window and gave up on a lot of cross ventilation on warmer days. 

So, since we lived 9 years at our previous home without a sink in the laundry room I was sure we would be fine without it. Not to mention there was a leak in the drain pipe so whenever I ran water down the drain, some sort of gross substance that looked like Pepsi ran out from underneath the sink. Ugh. So...we decided to pull it out randomly one Sunday afternoon. We felt losing the sink was a small price to pay to be able to use that door, window and walkway more effectively. And leaking pipes are never a good thing. We know from experience.

Oh how thankful I am that my husband knows how to do stuff like this. Here's an in progress photo. Levi even got in on some of the action, handing tools to his Daddy.

In the end, we were left with our washer and dryer tucked neatly side-by-side in this laundry area. *sigh of relief* And now we could open that window!

We also gained a nice little space over by the window, to the left of the dryer, that we're considering building some shelving for laundry baskets or something. For now it's the perfect little spot to store our microwave oven that's still in the box and not installed 4 and a half months after it was delivered. But that's an entire other story altogether. 

After "operation sink removal," I finished clearing out all the random junk on the other end (Goodwill donations, our wire shelves, freezer, etc.) and shopped our house for items to create a cozy little sitting area. I snagged a couple chairs from our patio, throw pillows from the family room and living room and tossed a too-large tablecloth haphazardly over a round decorators table along with a throw and a tray and vase I'd found in some stuff of ours upstairs. and WA-LA. A quaint little sitting area for free. It was nice. 

For 2 days.

And then..... we couldn't stand the wood paneling any longer. So one afternoon last week while Levi was napping, I took a roller to the wood paneling. I have to say that the first few strokes were quite anxiety-inducing since I've never really painted anyone else's walls before (we're renting). In fact, I took this photo about the time I panicked about what the owners would say.


But then my desire to ditch that dark paneling won out and I kept moving on. In an hour and a half, I'd rolled most of the room, only stopping to say "Welcome to the 21st century" as my husband stepped inside for a minute. He followed it up with "Enter: Millenium." which is what our high school english teacher told us all as he passed out our Year 2000 yearbooks. ;) Oddly enough, that phrase has stuck with us all these years. The joy of marrying your high school sweetheart...

I still need to go around all the edges with a brush, and along all the trim and then choose a paint color of course. But you would not believe how much brighter the space already seems! I think I'm going to stay extremely neutral with the paint color for the walls (white, cream, etc.)

And then we'll have to paint the ceiling and the mudroom shelves. And oh yeah, I guess we have done SOMETHING to the shelves since December... Dave added some wood strips to the face of the shelves to make them appear more chunky. See what I mean in the above photo? I love it.

With our crazy life these days, I have yet to finish priming and painting but in the meantime I've been daydreaming about the color scheme for the space. I like green, blue, yellow, coral, orange. Anything uplifting and fresh looking. So after poring over Pinterest images, I found myself particularly drawn to those with a turquoise or blue/ orange color scheme.

So pulling ideas from all those images, I cooked up this fun little mood board for our sunroom sitting area using Olioboard.

I'm definitely planning to work with what I have, shop the house, and DIY a few of these items but I think I'll be able to create a similar looking space on a major budget.

I'm going to keep using the chairs from our patio and probably pull in a white wicker chair from our bedroom sitting area and repurpose a kiddie table in the basement as a coffee table of sorts. I'd really like to purchase an indoor/outdoor area rug for the space. But that will probably wait a while. Meanwhile, I have a mirror I'd like to paint turquoise like the one shown in the forefront of the mood board. And I've got a lamp very similar to the one shown that I might bring in from our bedroom. I have a white bookshelf that I'll probably bring in from Levi's room, similar to the turquoise one shown. And I'd love to bring in colorful throw pillows and artwork and a DIY bench for the mudroom area.

As for window treatments, we will probably continue with nothing for now. I really don't mind bare windows, but I may look into a bamboo shade with IKEA sheer white floor length panels like we had in our old front room. I think with the bamboo shades I'd be able to "cheat the window up" to make the windows appear larger and make the space look more sunroom-y.

I'd also like to bring in storage containers such as old crates, galvanized buckets and wire baskets for the mudroom shelves and laundry area. And I'd love to install a hanging rod for clothes that we air dry in the laundry area.

All that being said, we've got our work cut out for us in that space. And I can't wait. I think it will be fun! So, what do you all think? Do you like the orange and blue idea?


Bethany said...

I love the blue and orange idea! I think it's perfect! I love the pic from House Beautiful with the orange walls and that blue striped hoodie goes so well! Great choice Katie! I'm looking forward to seeing your finished mudroom!

freshnewday said...

Love your ideas!

Molly said...

Love all of your inspiration pictures, Katie! I love the blue and orange together. It seems so bright and happy. :) Reading your post actually made me excited about decorating my teeny tiny laundry room (someday...).

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