An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘shoe racks’

A Room Just for Mud

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The poet, e.e. cummings wrote, “…when the world is mud-luscious” to describe how spring looks through the eyes of a child. Of course, as adults and especially as parents, we want mud, whether it’s luscious or not, to remain outside and not be tracked throughout our homes. Having a room dedicated to removing mud or cleaning oneself up before entering into the main part of the house is not a new phenomenon, even though the term might be. In bygone days, the back room or the porch of a farm or manor house served as a place to wash off the grime of the fields or the stables before changing clothes and going inside.

Today, many homes either have a mudroom, a mudroom that is part of another room like the laundry room or an entryway designed as a place to easily take off outer clothing and store them conveniently away. It acts essentially as a buffer from the dirt that can be tracked from the out-of-doors into our living spaces. And especially now that we’re heading into spring and spring-cleaning mode, a mudroom or a mudroom type entryway can come in handy.

Decide where your mudroom will be. If it is in its own room or by the back door, you can go more casual than if you are designing a mudroom that will be part of your front foyer.

Opt for easy-to-clean, waterproof flooring such as tile, vinyl, laminate or stone. If your mudroom is a part of another room that is carpeted, add a mat or mats made of seagrass, bamboo or material that can be easily machine-washed. This will protect your wall-to-wall carpeting and save you from having to spot clean the area all the time.

Because this will be a high-traffic area, choose paint or wallpaper that is low-maintenance. Many types of paint and wallpaper can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Particularly if your mudroom is by the front door, consider adding an accent chest or console table with concealed storage. It will also be a handy place to leave keys or messages.

A coat rack paired with a bench like the Linon Storage Bench Short Split Seat Storage creates the ideal place for family and guest alike to sit and take of shoes or boots and then hang up their coats.

If you have a closet in the room or in the entryway, make it part of your mudroom design by adding a shoe rack to one end. Plan on hanging just jackets directly above the shoe rack to maintain the functionality of your closet,

Increase the storage capacity of your mudroom by placing a row of hooks above the storage bench or on the opposite wall. The Prepac Sonoma Black Cubbie Shelf Wall Coat Rack for Entryway includes hooks and cubby storage, which is ideal for a mudroom.

Shoe Storage Blues and How I Cured Them

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’d been fighting the clutter of shoe boxes in the bottom of my closet for awhile now. Aside from not being able to see what pair was stored in which box, there was also the matter of accumulating dust.

Ameriwood CA Closets Base Shoe CubbyEvery now and then, my keen sense of good housekeeping would kick in: I would remove the boxes and loose pairs sitting on the floor of the cupboard to attack the dust bunnies that had been hiding in the corners and on the shoes themselves. There were a lot of shoe boxes, 15 to be exact, and about a dozen pairs of shoes without boxes. So it would take up a nice chunk of cleaning, and it started to annoy me. There had to be a better way to organize the shoes in my life. 

I don’t like hanging racks or hooks on the backs of doors, because I want to have them open to let in as much light into the apartment as possible. I considered a shoe cubby, but couldn’t find one that would fit; they all stood a bit too high and a couple that I looked at were too wide. The matter was conveniently decided for me when I went to the store for some cleaning items. As I walked by the kitchen and laundry organizer aisle, I happened to glance down. 

Standing in a neat row off to the side by themselves were four shoe racks. I picked up one of the packages to examine it closer. Made of wood, unpainted, it was an RTA (ready-to-assemble) rack with two end panels and four open shelves. Suddenly, I was possessed with an inexplicable resolve to Do Something! about my shoe situation. 

Winsome Mud Room Shoe Rack with Zinc Tray in Antique Walnut FinishThere were no dimensions listed on the label. I looked and looked again until I finally figured out that the width of the rack would the length of the shelves plus a little bit extra to accommodate the sides and the height would the same as standing the unit upright on the ground. But I still had no idea if it would actually fit in my closet. Upon further scrutiny of the shoe rack organizer, it became evident that there was no instruction sheet either. One glance at the price convinced me to take a chance. After all, even if it didn’t fit in the bedroom closet I had in mind, it would certainly easily go in the walk-in one in the hallway. 

Once home and opened, the six pieces neatly laid out on my living room floor, I discovered that yes, indeed there were no instructions. There were, however, 16 screws. No problem. I picked out one of screws from the small plastic bag and noted that it was the kind with the little cross on the head. I fetched the appropriate screwdriver from the kitchen drawer and prepared to put my new shoe rack together. 

It made sense to start at the bottom and work my way up. I don’t know if it was genuine wood or not, but it smelt piney and although smooth to the touch, one of the shelves had a small knot. I turned each piece over a couple of times just to make sure there was no “right” or “under” side. (Except for sides with the finials and the knotty shelf, which, when it came time add it, I made sure the blemish was underneath, out of sight.) I lined up the side panels and positioned one of the shelves in the middle.
Two and a half hours later, I discovered that:

a)       I’m not the handiest person in the world

b)       the holes in the side panel do not necessarily match the holes on the end of the shelf (at least not without a bit of wrestling)

c)       one pair of hands is not enough to prevent everything from shifting after having aligned it perfectly while trying to insert the screw through two sets of holes

d)       and finally, 16 screws is a great cardiovascular workout

In my defense, all of my five previous RTA experiences involved Allen keys and were easily assembled in under an hour and a half. But it was worth it. Once assembled, I admired my handiwork. The shelves were not bowed in anyplace; the shoe rack stood flat on the floor; and the round finials were the crowning touch. And yes, it did fit perfectly in my bedroom closet (once the shoe boxes had been recycled).