Build a Mini Mudroom in Your Garage

Build a Mini Mud Room - A Pinch of Joy

Build a Mini Mud Room - A Pinch of Joy
We lived here only a very short time before realizing that a house designed and built in 1977 needed some work to make it livable for today!   When our house was built, it was a big deal to have a two car garage open directly into the kitchen so groceries in paper bags could be carried in easily. One of the things I have long wanted is a landing place by the garage door because a lot of other things happen around that garage door nowadays!     I wanted to be able to kick muddy garden shoes off and out of the way, a place to store reusuable grocery bags and assorted household “stuff”, somewhere to hang caps or light jackets so they weren’t tossed who knows where.  In short, someplace convenient for storing things to be picked up and used and returned as we come and go through that turquoise door in daily life. 

 The kitchen remodel gave us the perfect opportunity to repurpose an old upper cabinet to improve the situation.  We used scrap trim, repurposed plywood, scrap lumber, a piece of found beadboard and came up with a great mini mud room!  Here’s how we did it for a cost of $2 and 63 cents (almost), a weekend’s worth of time – most of which we did something else while paint dried.    Little investment but so worth it. 

 An upper cabinet, 24 inches wide, 30 inches high and 12 inches deep, fit perfectly in the space between the step and other permanent cabinets.  I flipped it upside down so the knob would be at the top of the door.

Plywood platform -- A Pinch of Joy Bytes cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom of the cupboard exactly.  The plywood came from shelves we tore down in the basement.  I took scrap lumber “one by” pine and tested to see which size would allow enough clearance for me to kick walking shoes underneath the cabinet.  A one by six inch piece was just right.  (makes me think of Goldilocks!)

 Bytes cut two pieces from the 1×6 board into the correct length for each side and screwed them onto each end of the plywood.  This made a platform for the cabinet to set on and gave enough clearance to store garden shoes.  It also raised the top of the cabinet about six inches which was just right for the new use!  (Goldilocks again!)   He decided  a board across the back of the platform would give a little more stability.  Because of the way we installed the cupboard, there was room so he added another piece of the 1×6 across the back, stabilizing the two legs. 

Top of cupboard -- A Pinch of Joy

 Bytes used a piece of 1×2 scrap pine screwed to the studs in the garage wall to set the cupboards and fasten them to the wall.  This allowed us to match the depth of the existing peg board.   Wheels didn’t want to remove the peg board and the logistics would have made it a much longer job!  Get ‘er done now won out!

 I cleaned the cupboard thoroughly and painted it with two coats.  Bytes cut a piece of the repurposed plywood shelf to fit on top of the cupboard.  My initial idea was to make a tile top with leftover bathroom shower tile.  We might still do that when there is thin set around for the next bathroom tiling project (oh, yeah, that is coming!).   But for now, the plywood top is just sanded with multiple coats of white paint. 

coat hooks
 Wheels found a piece of thin bead board that was just the right size (yay, Goldilocks!).  I painted it and we used it to transition the bit of open space and cover the pegboard above.  Bytes tacked the bead board to the pegboard supports and the trim above and below also help hold it in place.

 We used the remainder of the 1×6 pine to make the top of the mini mud room/area.  I had purchased a set of mounted hooks intending to use them as towel racks in one of the bathrooms.  Towels did not dry well on test hooks so this unit never was installed.   This was the perfect way to repurpose.  I didn’t count them in the cost because I already had them although they were about $18.  If you count that, the cost of this project goes up to just over $20 – still not bad.  Wheels installed the hooks on the 1×6 top. 

I went through the stock pile of scrap trim and Bytes cut them to fit the need.  We used baby quarter round (I’m sure that’s not the official name – it’s probably ½ or 3/8 inch quarter round!) to finish off the edges of the top.   We could not find anything to cover a gap between the side of the cupboard and the adjacent storage that would allow the cupboard door to open.  Off to Lowe’s.  There I found a trim piece that fit the bill for $2.68. 

 A bit of caulk and spackle over seams, pits and nailholes, another coat of paint. Let the paint cure and begin to add the essentials.   Done! 

Just right, said Goldilocks.  And me! 

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Dress up your garage entry

Dress Up Your Garage Entry -- A Pinch of Joy
Dress Up Your Garage Entry -- A Pinch of Joy

When you park the car in your garage, do you walk around to the front door to enter the house?  I didn’t think so!  If your family is like most, chances are you come and go by the garage entry door something like 97.3% of the time.  I totally made up that statistic out of thin air just now.  But think about it – you drive in the garage, everybody hops out and runs in the house to the potty, for a drink, for dibs on the tv remote.  That 2.7 % front door usage includes going for a walk, running in and out the front door to play, picking up the mail and other quick forays.  We dress up the front door for curb appeal and to make our home pleasant for us.  And seldom use it.  Especially if we live in a place where winter is a  season that makes its presence known!   

 Why shouldn’t we dress up the door we use most frequently?  It is the door that announces “home!”.  It is the portal through which we travel from our busy world of school, work and errands to a place of sanctuary and belonging.  This epiphany was inspired by the new entry door we installed recently between the garage and the kitchen.  As I contemplated painting the garage side of the door, it occurred to me how much we use this door.  And that inspired a trip to purchase this gorgeous colored paint.  Looooove it!!!! 

 Off to the left you see a sneak peek of another project we completed to make our garage entry more welcoming.  Check back next week! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!


How to hang a wall cabinet the easy way

How to hang a wall cabinet -- A Pinch of Joy
How to hang a wall cabinet the easy way -- A Pinch of Joy
So happy with the  transformation of my $5 bathroom cabinet!  I think it turned out well and I love, love, love the amount of storage we have now!   The white really pops against the new paint color — Frost, a very light gray with blue tones that goes from lavendar to blue to gray as the light from the Sola Tube in the ceiling changes throughout the day.  Our kitchen cabinets delivered about the time we were ready to hang this.  Geek that I am, I looked through the directions included for hanging wall cabinets.  The directions they gave looked like a great idea!  So Wheels and Bytes opted to try it out.  And the method worked like a charm! 

Nail guide
First Wheels determined where the studs were in the area where the cabinet was to hang.  The old one that we were replacing was light weight and was installed with wallboard inserts.  The new one is much heavier and definitely needed to be installed directly into one or more studs to keep it from pulling off the wall.  Having been stung by false positives in the past, he used a combination of methods — stud finder, magnet, knocking on the wall, searching for nail heads in the dry wall.  Where the methods agreed, he marked the studs on the wall.  Use your best magic :-)

Once you have those measurements, determine where the stud location/s will fall on the back of the cabinet.  Mark the stud location on the inside back of the cabinet with masking tape at every point you want to place a screw.

Determine the height you want to hang the cabinet.  We “discussed” various methods of determining the height, including the typical 17-18 inches between base cabinet and wall cabinet in the kitchen. Finally, I measured the distance between the tank lid and the bottom of the cabinet in the first floor powder room.  Which we also installed.  Who knows how we determined that height?   It was settled when it was demonstrated that one would not bump one’s head when rising from the seat below the cupboard.  You are welcome to use our 20 1/2 inch distance.  Draw a line across the wall at that point.  Place  a sturdy guide board at least 1 inch by 2 inches in size, extending the full width of the cabinet, with its top along the line.  Check to make sure it is level.  Nail into the studs. 

I don’t have a picture of the next step.  Well, I do.  But all it shows is the blurry back of two men.  In a thirty inch alcove there wasn’t much room for photography.  The guys picked up the cabinet and slid it straight onto the guide board.  No jockeying around and no guess work — they knew exactly where it belonged.  Once it was in place, the board held the weight with no stress on the installers and no chance of slipping. 

Check level -- A Pinch of Joy
Check the level again.  The bottom of the cabinet was not precisely even, so the level is a bit off.  

 Add Shim -- A Pinch of Joy
Holding the cabinet in place on the wall with one hand, Bytes added a shim between the cupboard and the guide board until the level showed that the cupboard was —- level. 

Fasten cabinet- A Pinch of Joy
Wheels stepped up and quickly zapped screws into the studs at the location  marked earlier on the inside back of the cabinet.  Six screws and they were done.  Didn’t even break a sweat!   Bytes gently pried the guide board from the wall, being careful not to mark the wall.   And we had ice cream to celebrate working smart!!! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!


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