Right after we moved into our current home four years ago, my wife, who was 8 months pregnant at the time, knew she had finally found the space where she could create her dream room. The square footage in question was located just off the garage. “It would make a perfect mudroom,” she would say, trying to get me to buy into her scheme. I was skeptical. A mudroom just didn’t sound that exciting.
For the next couple of months I tried to convince her otherwise, suggesting the space would be better used to expand the half bath just off the kitchen. It needed some work anyway due to a faulty wax toilet ring that over time had leaked water onto the floor and slowly rotted the hardwood flooring. All the previous owners had to do was watch the PlanItDIY video on “Replacing a Toilet” and it would have saved me from doing it. Guess they knew they were moving soon.
Anyway, my wife’s powers of persuasion won out, and she convinced me that our family, which includes three young daughters, needed a “system” to keep everything organized year round—from their pool gear in the summer to their boots, hats and scarves in the winter. Not to mention a place to hang their backpacks when they get home from school. As you can see, our current system (Image #1 below) just wasn’t cutting it.
Of course we didn’t have a clue where to start the mudroom project. We both thought it would be great to carve out separate areas for each family member.
But it really didn’t come together until she found a picture in one of her favorite home décor magazines Wow! That was it … the inspiration and solution we were looking for. For the woodworker wannabe that I am, it also represented an opportunity to learn a new skill … building cabinets from ¾” plywood purchased from my local independent lumberyard (find your local hardware store by clicking here). From there, the plan started coming together.
We worked up some drawings based off of the magazine photo, making adjustments for room dimensions and trim details (we love all things Craftsman style). To figure out how to build the cabinets, I started searching my favorite how-to websites, where I found a video from my hero and mentor, Norm Abram (of the “The New Yankee Workshop” fame). One of Norm’s step-by-step videos on how to build book cases from plywood boxes was what I needed to put the pieces together.
In hindsight, this project came together the way most of our home improvement projects do. First my wife had the vision. Then we found our inspiration (from the magazine photo), followed by the how-to lesson from Norm. Sure, there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears during the process, and I’ll share some of those gory details with you in the next several posts. Add it up and you have Scott’s DIY law of maintaining a happy home, where Inspiration + Spousal Persuasion + How-To Information = Project Success (and happy wife). And as they say, happy wife = happy life.