Nowhere to Hide Anything
People come into a farmhouse with muddy shoes or with jackets…it is unavoidable. We purposely built a mudroom so that all that mess could be dumped by the door. Heck, the washer and dryer are only a few steps past this room in case things are really bad. Up until this week, the mudroom has been a full on storage closet. We stored all of the old doors (to include the red screen doors from the old house) here, while they patiently await their turn to be useful again. We dumped tools, shoes, ladders…you name it here. There is even a 10’X10′ tent stored in here.
That room needed some attention and we found the time to devote to it and not a moment too soon. With the holidays upon us, we really needed a place for jackets to be hung by the back door with care. Who am I kidding? It is supposed to be in the 70s on Christmas Day. Still, the room was taken care of this week in a big way.
Setting the Stage
We are certainly learning the value of having a great backdrop. The entire house is a backdrop for all the shenanigans we have planned for the future. We decided to dip into our vast pile of crap…I mean our vast supply of vintage wood we have oh so carefully and neatly stored on the porch and backyard. *Hint: if you are storing stuff on a porch AND in the yard, you have too much stuff. Fortunately, we do have plans for it all and with time, we will be able to use what we need and dispose of the rest. It is a bit out of control.
We opted to showcase the original flooring in the mudroom. The boards were originally installed in 1846 when the house was built and when I prepped the boards for this project, my goal was to sand off over 150 years of dirt and spider eggs from the boards. The floor boards had gaps, you see, between the boards and all the dirt that was falling to the ground or blowing up into the house was stuck on the sides of these boards. Newsflash: sanding dirt is really easy and fast.
Using the boards in this room also gave us an opportunity to see just how rough the floors were back in the day. I cringed when I thought about walking on them barefooted. Maybe that is why I still have a recipe and a jar of my great great grandmother’s drawing salve.
We installed a board (floor to ceiling) on the left edge of the space and then cut the remaining boards to length. After the wall was completed, we prepared to install both the bench and the overhead shelf.
The Bench and Shelf
Whoa baby. The bench and shelf are more of the black walnut planks we had from Virginia. We did the same thing for them as we did for the kitchen shelves. Jerry trimmed the back side so that the boards would fit flush against the wall. We made the bench by nailing the black walnut to two Cyprus stumps. The shelf went onto four mounting brackets that had been securely (I hope) bolted into the studs.
These boards were rough cut and required a lot of sanding. We stained them using golden oak stain. It is so important that you test the stain on the type of wood you are working with. There was very little difference between the golden oak (typically a fairly light colored stain) and the much darker honey colored stain. Every project is different. Test. Test. Test. Two coats of poly with a light sanding in between finished the boards.
Y’all! Hobby Lobby!!!
I can’t ever go in there again. Certainly not without supervision. While looking for picture frames, we happened upon the aisle with hardware. So much fun! We went a little crazy and bought all the hat and coat hooks we thought were cute and decided to figure out what to do with them later. This is us planning where to put each hook. Once again, Jerry traced each hook out on paper so I could arrange and rearrange until I was happy with it.
The Finished Product
I think that this room turned out exactly as it should have. It is fun, practical and a bit quirky. We are in love. I am thinking that a couple of throw pillows in the corner of the bench and a rug from Ruggable are next up, but this is what we have going into the busy entertaining Christmas season!