Simple chic storage: A coastal farmhouse mudroom closet
This project has been on my list (and on my mind) for quite some time...if you know me, you know I've always had a thing for organizing, being organized, and being able to find any file/email/record (just ask any of my previous bosses...or my husband!). And while I prided myself on finding new systems, storage solutions, and ways to corral all of the "stuff" that our everyday family life requires, it wasn't until I read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that my perspective was completely changed. (I totally recommend reading the book for yourself - but in a nutshell, Kondo's philosophy is that rather than just trying to organize all of the things, you first have to first eliminate some of the things...yes, you need to pare down, donate, sell, or to use her favorite word, "discard" things you no longer use or simply no longer spark joy for you.)
As I started to apply her philosophy to other areas of my home (starting with my linen closet refresh), I opened my entryway closet one day and my first thought was, "Well, this definitely has to go." A quick look at the closet showed it was overfilling with coats and shoes (of all seasons), winter gear, gym essentials, work bags, board games, and a vacuum. Yes, all of that was stored in one closet!
In my quest to prepare my family for whatever needs or activities were on the agenda, I had created an overstuffed space that didn't truly serve us, since we usually had to hunt or search through stacks of shoes or mittens to find exactly what we were looking for. And besides that, it just looked awful! I was filled with dread and anxiety every time I opened that closet door, and so I set out to design a space that was functional AND beautiful, would allow my family to thrive, and add a bit more ease and simplicity to our days.
Here's how I did it:
First, I completely cleaned out the closet. Anything that wasn't an everyday essential for the current season (meaning, no flip flops are being stored there in the winter) was either donated or stored in the attic or basement.
We had some materials left over from our coastal farmhouse bathroom remodel, so we used up what we could for this foyer closet redesign. The walls were repainted one of my favorites, Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams (no more purplish pink colored walls!) and bead board and trim were added (both painted with Behr's Premium Plus Semi-Gloss paint in Ultra White).
Then we replaced the top shelf with a new frame and base, and added these black farmhouse-inspired coat hooks. My husband then built this bench to custom fit the space, so we would have a place underneath to store boots or work bags, and add more shelf space if needed:
Then, I had a little change in my design plans...we took the door down and started painting it white, and during that process, I realized I loved being able to peek into this little nook! So we ended up removing the door hinges, filling in the door frame, and giving it a fresh coat of paint to make it a completely open space.
To get a little extra light when needed (since the closet isn't wired for electricity), we found this motion-detected LED light and mounted it to the ceiling. It's so convenient and automatically turns on whenever you walk up to the mud room nook:
And finally, to keep all of those little things organized (like winter hats and gloves), I picked up some of these natural seagrass baskets (found at HomeGoods, but you can get similar ones here), added some felt to the inside and under the baskets (to allow them to slide on and off the shelf smoothly, and to protect items inside), and then attached these little chalkboard tags with jute twine with our names written on them - so now everyone knows exactly where to find their belongings:
And for the big "after" reveal:
As you can tell, I had so much fun styling this new light and bright space. And the best part? We can all get dressed and out the door so much easier and faster (scroll down to see how it looks with our everyday essentials). As a #workingmom, anything to take even a little bit of stress out of the morning hustle makes a huge difference. And that's for sure what interior design is all about...designing your home to work for you, to serve you in your everyday lifestyle, whatever that may look like.
PS. Need help figuring out how to make your home work more for you? Let's talk about it!
Shop the look:
Wall Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Beadboard & Trim Paint Color: Behr Ultra White
Home Depot: Dapple gray porcelain floor tile
Lowe's: Black coat hooks
Pottery Barn: Natural seagrass storage baskets
Michaels: Metal rimmed chalkboard tags
Target: Jute twine
Home Depot: Motion sensor LED light
Apolis: Grocery market bag
Nordstrom: Hunter original tall rain boot
Annie Selke: Striped pillow
And with our everyday items - still cute and functional:
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