Little Change, Big Impact

There is a mud room located off the back of our kitchen. I love the concept of a mud room, but hate this space…it’s totally useless! Although the room is probably about 8 X 12, there are two stair cases (one down to the mud room/one down to the basement), the garage door, the back door and a large window. The space is such that despite all the room, there really is no place to store shoes and coats because every wall is broken up. The stairs are built is such a way that more than 4 feet of the 12 is lost and the remaining space is about 8 feet square. I have big plans for this space, but it is currently way down the list. It is one of the few spaces in our home that we’ve never touched. I simply decided that it would stay as is until we could do it right. I can’t wait for the day I can call these photos “BEFORE” shots, but for now, this is what I’m living with. You can see that it would be difficult to add any kind of a closet or wardrobe because currently both doors swing into the room. It simply isn’t functional.

Despite our brutal winter, my husband and I realized that we had not closed the back door between the kitchen and mud room even once throughout the winter. We used to close it often as the mud room only has a baseboard heater and it’s often cold, but a few years ago we had an efficiency test done on our house and were told that it would be best to leave the door open at all times for the heat to circulate through. Sure enough, it is better with the door left open. However, this big cumbersome door, when left open, blocks all of the sunlight pouring in the huge kitchen window. I don’t know why, but until recently it never even occurred to us to remove it.  This weekend, my husband removed the door from the hinges and carried it down to the basement. I was absolutely blown away by the difference. The room feels so much brighter and more open and the door is no longer in the way.

Sometimes, the simplest of details make the biggest impact. Of course, we now have to remove the hinges and metal stripping, fill holes and paint the frame, but the over all look seems to be dramatically different. Of course, now we have great sight lines to the mud room that I hate, but perhaps the mud room make-over has now moved up a few notches on the “to do list”.

I don’t have great before pictures because I really didn’t expect it to make such a big difference. My husband is great, but somehow I can’t see him bringing the heavy door back up and putting it back on the hinges for a before shot. The first two photos give you a bit of an  idea of the issues we had with the door.



If something in your space is bothering you, step back and see if a small change might make a big difference. Perhaps it’s as simple as moving a piece of furniture, replacing small picture frames with something oversized, painting or changing the swing of a door. When we did our bathroom make-over a few years ago, one of the things we did was change the swing of the door. It used to swing open to sit in front of the built-in cupboards. It drove me crazy to have to close the door every time I needed something from the cabinet. Although we did a whole renovation, this alone made a huge difference to the look and functionality of the room.