The Utility Room – a wonderful before and after room makeover

Mudroom, Scullery or Utility Room…what do you call yours? If like me you are lucky enough to have a room to clean the dirty dog, keep the essential white goods and house your coats and brollies, what should it be known as? Well whatever the name, I thought it was about time you saw another room transformation in our home. Since this incredibly useful room will change only slightly in the forthcoming renovations, it has been treated to a wonderful makeover. From an empty shell to a place to hang your hat, our utility room cum mudroom cum scullery deserves its own mention. So let’s head on over to the blog for the story…because as you know, there is always a story …

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And this story starts with an empty shell we shall refer to for now as The Utility Room. As well as performing an important function in our home, it needs to look welcoming. Regular visitors to the back door will know, it’s the first room you enter. Therefore it too needs pretties. And when your utility room is very small and must house your American fridge freezer, a washing machine and tumble dryer and give a tucked away place for an iron and ironing board and two hoovers – hasn’t everyone? – it could be somewhat challenging to be functional and pretty too. Yet we seem to rise to a challenge.

There would also need to be a place for all the boring paraphernalia associated with house work. A large cupboard would work. And a sit down area to put your footwear on. Plus plenty of footwear storage. Plenty. Master M has a footwear collection to rival Imeldas. Oh and a place to store The Spotty One’s essentials. Not forgetting of course, the current sink should remain in situ…. then there are hats, coats, scarves, brollies to accommodate……..Mr M said there wouldn’t be a whole lot of room left for pretties. Yet as is my want, pretties this utility room would have. Like these pretties from this post.

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It was way back last December after we had completed our purchase and before we had moved in, that work began on our utility room. After several hours spent pouring over these ideas, we settled on a design. And then Mr M set to work. I have sung Mr M’s praises often on my blog I’m sure you’ll agree. However it has not always been like that. Early on in our marriage I became a little worried if he got too close to a drill or a hammer or such like. He suggested not owning the right tools was the reason projects didn’t always go according to plan. I wasn’t quite so sure and when he began cutting and sawing in the utility room, I offered up a silent prayer and hoped he had the right tools now.

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Since Mr M is however a practical soul and I do pretty, I had high hopes these two parts would make up our whole. My vision involved lots of tongue and groove panelling with a long row of coat hooks. I could see reclaimed scaffolding boards as seating and shelving. In my vision there was a set of vintage shelving I’d bought for next to nothing to hold The Spotty One’s food and treats. And in my vision there were baskets for the ever-changing seasons accessories… hats, scarves, gloves and brollies.

In a bid to achieve my vision, Mr M measured carefully for a cupboard and built the shell. Then he worked on a backdrop for the many coats and jackets we seem to have.

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Then I decided the seating wasn’t wide enough.  Apparently I didn’t decide that early enough in the process, so there was a delay whilst the seat did indeed become wide enough. And then all that beautiful wood needed knotting. Thank goodness that coincided with the entire bungalow receiving a couple of coats of white emulsion by a small team of wonderful painters and decorators. Take my word for it, that’s a lot of knotting. And then I joined in and painted. For days. Three coats of Farrow and Ball’s Hardwick White. Which is described as a traditional grey and looks very green in this room.

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And that’s when the magic started happening. Like many necessary hooks being screwed into a beautiful tongue and groove wall. And baskets sitting high up on shelves keeping accessories tidy and together. We added a string of pretty lights…

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and a place for The Spotty One’s leads and collars. The eBay vintage shelves worked perfectly for dog food, biscuits and treats…

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and that cupboard I’d imagined was there, to hide bits and bobs, hoovers and irons and it had a cute little country-style door handle…this utility room was just how I’d imagined; just like my vision.

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And finally, an attractive yet robust runner from here to wipe muddy wellies and dirty paws. And suddenly, just like that the room came together. Just as we both had imagined; a practical and pretty room. Two sums making one whole, just as every room should be.

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