a place to hang your hat

as walls and electrical are going up in the mudroom, we’re really starting to get a sense of how much more spacious the new structure will be. at first, i thought great — room for all the shoes, jackets, hats, and scarves and a whole bunch of other crap — and then pierre was like, “but what if it was just beautiful and empty?” all this money and trouble for an empty mudroom? seems a little cray…

BUT.

a big impetus for doing the mudroom renovation was for flow between the main floor and the basement. the main floor is pretty great. at least, we like it and it works for us. the basement is also pretty great, albeit unfinished, technically. but the piece of shit mudroom that connected the two floors meant you couldn’t step onto on either level without the first words coming out of your mouth being a complaint. usually of the dirty / freezing / AAAAAAH! (as you tripped up or down the cement staircase) variety. the fact that the mudroom was sealed off from both levels with doors (beautiful, old doors, but barriers nonetheless) didn’t help with connectivity at all, so we planned for the new mudroom to be warm enough and nice enough that we could do away with doors entirely (um, but we’re saving the one in the kitchen, just in case) and just have the mudroom feel like a really nice new room that handily provided access to the basement and backyard.

since our house is (as you might be aware) tiny, without the kitchen door you can easily see from the front of the house to the back of the house. and with the wall-to-wall storage that i had planned for the mudroom, that view would be shelves of shoes instead of white walls and garden. so after a little thought, i totally agreed with pierre that the mudroom should remain as aesthetically pleasing as possible. this doesn’t mean the mudroom won’t provide us with tons of storage — the new foundation means we have a new, huge crawl space (oxymoron?) under the stairs — we just won’t have all our stuff on display as we did before (when we had no storage and therefore no choice).

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so i made this twee coat rack to serve as our only wall decoration. the wood is one of the fir boards from our roof, which i sanded using first 60, then 220, 300, and 400 grit sandpaper until it was smooth as a baby’s bottom. i set this piece aside and put a note on it that said “do not throw away,” but pierre still had to rescue it from my dad’s hands as it made its way to the back of his pick-up.

IMG_4021 i also oiled it with mineral oil. being an old roof board there were other holes in the wood already, so i chose two at the same height and used a counter-sinking bit to auger them out a little more. this way, when we hang it on the wall (when, WHEN… i’m dying for drywall and paint here), the screw heads will sit flush with the wood.

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the hooks i just had kicking around, purchased about a year ago from an antiques shop in clarksburg. you never know when you’re going to need old hooks! my hooks supply is officially out. rusty screws i also just had. (i hang onto those, too — you never know.) to hang on one of the hooks, i ordered a small bucket from one of my favourite textile artists, jenna rose. the bucket can hold a couple sets of mittens, etc. in the winter, so we’re not going into the crawl space three times a day.

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otherwise, the plan is to leave a few jackets on the coat rack and a few pairs of shoes at the door in both the mudroom and the foyer. everything else is going to get stored in the crawl space, eliminating all visual clutter. having three or four jackets and pairs of shoes out should be plenty for most people. we’re normally fairly minimalist but can’t seem to extend that virtue to outerwear. we own something like thirty jackets. i blame canada — so many seasons and weather phenomenons — and toronto — so many times stuck waiting 40 minutes for a streetcar. the right gear is crucial here.

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