House For Six

The Hard Working Home: Giving The Rooms In Your Home The Right Job

Deme CrinionComment

The beauty of a forever home (or any home really) is that you can take your time in getting things set up the way that best serves, reflects, and welcomes your family home each day.   At the same time we knew it would be a whole lot easier to knock out some bigger projects before we brought in all our furniture and really settled in.  

We had 3 goals for the house after we recovered from move-in day. #thescarsarereal Yesterday, we showed you how we opened up the space for better flow/light and created a unified and easier to maintain space by replacing the main level carpet with hard flooring

Both made a huge difference in how our home feels and functions.  The open concept floorplan isn't for everyone, but when I'm able to watch the kids play a game while I cook in the kitchen or observe the sibling knock down happening in the family room from my perch on the living room couch, I know that it was the right decision for us.

We're now working on another change that has me beyond excited! I've always said that if you have a space in your home that isn't working for you, could serve you better, or simply drives you nuts, then don't think twice about changing it.  In our last home we took an ill-functioning closet...

....and turned it into a hard working drop zone for our family by taking down the old rod and maximizing the space with new trim, hooks, baskets, and boot trays.

In the house before that we took an unused pantry space and carved out a spot for the kids' backpacks and coats.  The need for a space to dump all our stuff when we walk in the door seems to be a common theme for us.  And as a family of six we have a lot of stuff.

This house has a den that the previous owners used as an office.  We planned to use it in a similar way, but when we realized that the main coat closet was by the front door and there really wasn't a lot of space to organize things where we enter from the garage, we quickly shifted gears to mudroom plans.  

And THEN we realized the washer/dryer closet was on the other side of the den wall.  A quick check and thumbs up from our contractor and we were now scheming plans for a full blown laundry/mud room.  

Seriously.  I'm not even embarrassed to tell you how happy it makes me to have a whole ROOM to throw the piles of laundry that multiply under the cover of darkness and a place to keep all the kids gear organized. I know it's a rarity!

You can see James walking out of the doorway to the den in the picture below.  Those double doors to the left of the den entrance are the doors to the laundry closet.

The first order of business was to take down the back and side walls of the old washer/dryer closet so that it was open to the den.

Then the guys walled off the previous closet door opening and ran the plumbing for the washer/dryer through there. 

That allowed us to flip the washer and dryer around so they are now facing into the room.

Next we ripped out the old carpet to discover this avocado gem beneath....  

Praise the sweet Lord, it was in great condition and level throughout.  Since we ended up replacing the flooring throughout the main floor, we really needed to save on cost/labor in this room.  Our contractor took care of the plumbing swap and drywall adjustments, but the rest of this room needed to be a DIY effort.  

We decided to look at self-stick vinyl tiles and were so pleasantly surprised at the modern options.  Many of the "tiles" you can even grout for a more authentic look.  We went with the 12"x24" tiles by TrafficMASTER in Industrial Stone, and laid them right over the old vinyl.  I'll share a detailed tutorial on the installation in another post, but the bottom line - super easy!

We completely lucked out that the wall we planned to build out lockers for the kids was already paneled in (painted) wood.  That meant all we needed to create was the frame.  We came up with the basic design together and I had absolutely nothing to do with the rest, other than holding boards in place while James secured them.  He was an absolute work horse and for someone who often loathes my project ideas, he sure does come through with the skillz when we need him.

And this is pretty much where she stands today.  I need to finish the rest of the flooring, caulk all the locker seams, and then everything is getting a fresh coat (or several) of white paint. We also plan to build a waterfall shelf over the washer/dryer, repurpose some cabinets from the kitchen project, create a folding and ironing zone, and finish off the locker space with hooks and baskets.  

Even though this space isn't finished, the kids already use the lockers for their backpacks/shoes/jackets/etc, and I smile as I close the door on my mound of waiting laundry.  Best project to date and I can't wait to finish it up!  

We're fortunate to have a separate room for this job, but we've lived in plenty of houses that haven't had a dedicated drop zone space.  The good news is with a little creative thinking and some strategically placed hooks you can carve out that much needed space.  Even if it's just a space section of wall.  How have you solved the problem of coats/shoes/bags taking over the house?