Mud Nook

Mud rooms are such a hard-working, often used (and abused!) space in homes.  In our last house, our front door opened directly into the living room, lacking space for any kind of mud room.  This house is better, with a 5 by 8 foot entry before an up or down stair choice.  Go down, and directly at the base is a door to the garage.  When our garage isn’t functioning as a main work shop, we park inside, come in, and usually the kids drop their stuff.  Blocking the walkway, whether coming in/going out of the garage, or doing laundry.  Here’s a reminder of the previous layout of the basement.


In addition to breaking the one big, open room into two, we’ve made several smaller tweaks to the layout.  A wider shower, slightly modified laundry configuration, and a mud nook carved out from an under stair storage area.


Right after move in, here’s what that under stair situation looked like:


An awkward, narrow, unfinished storage hidden behind a swinging door.  Used to store baby clothes, seasonal decor, and other infrequently used…stuff, we wanted to make that space work a little harder, but in a more convenient way.  Thus, the creation of the mud nook.  By straightening out the bedroom door, it left about six and a half feet of workable space.


With sheet rock finished and tile laid, the pieces were in place to get started on the mud nook.  Since the concrete floors are a bit uneven and slope slightly, Ben cut the tongue off of one board and secured it to the wall, making sure it was level.  Then he cut the framing pieces at seat height to create a seamless support systems on all sides.  A few more pieces of tongue and groove make it down to the floor.  Before installing the baseboards pieces, he set the center dividers in place, using the trim as a stabilizer.


Since the bench will get abused, we chose cheap, but durable pine two by twelves for the seat.  Before placing, Ben ran one side of each through the table saw to cut off the rounded edge, then tightly butted the two together before continuing up with the planks.


The front board notches around the wall, with the casement continuing after.


Adding the tongue and groove not only carries the stair accent wall around, but provides a durable surface for hooks and hanging items.


I stained the bench to bring a darker wood element in, and to contrast against what will become a white painted plank interior.


Dividing the six feet of space into three equal sections gives plenty of room for each cubby.


To keep the ceiling as high as possible, tongue and groove follows the angle of the stairs.


It’s hard to tell in the above photo, but the below photo shows that off better.


At 19 inches deep and 77 inches wide, this isn’t a huge space, but should positively impact our way of using this space.  Packing function into every possible corner will keep clutter at bay and frusteration (and stubbed toes) to a minimum.

3 thoughts on “Mud Nook

  1. This may sound like a ridiculous question but you wrote, “but provides a durable surface for hooks and hanging items.” We are having a lot of trouble with even drywall anchors coming out in our cheap, builder standard house. Is the trouble of screws coming out of drywall eliminated when using the tongue and groove? What are the benefits and risks you find from using tongue and groove on a wall where you will hang things (framed art, coats, towels)? Thank you!

    1. Hi Domesticphilosophy!

      Not ridiculous. Wood has a lot more holding power than drywall. When hanging heavy/bulky items, it’s best to find a stud to screw or nail into, so the tongue and groove acts as an easy to find stud. 🙂 If there isn’t a stud, toggle bolts are the best option. I hope that explains, but I’m always happy to answer questions!


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