When it had been decided that this very small house, four hundred and eighty square feet, that was purchased for our offspring to live in while they attended college was going to be renovated, I drew up a plan on some graph paper. I am not an architect, but knew that it must include a greenhouse/sunroom and a mudroom. A detailed post was written early on in our blogging career about the greenhouse/sunroom that can be read by clicking here.
Being an avid gardener, one who goes in and out of the house hundreds of times a day, often looking like it was mud wrestling rather than gardening that had been the pastime of the hours, there was a great need for a small space to disrobe and hang the clothes and stow the sloggers and boots. A place to pile the gloves, with clean pairs at the ready, a place for a gathering basket and a wide brimmed hat was essential. A mud room, closet and greenhouse/sunroom, only twelve feet by twelve feet of precious house footprint for all three, was carefully measured out on the little squares on the graph paper.
A covered vestibule just outside the mudroom was included, a place to enter the back door under cover, with a small bench to sit down and remove muddy shoes was included in the vision. The contractor agreed that it could be achieved easily and more importantly, cheaply. This part of the addition to the existing house would be a poured concrete slab with a drain in the center of the floor of the greenhouse/sunroom. The interior flooring was tiled, with a full sized bull nose tile along the bottom of the walls. This was going to be a hard working space, complete with mud. It needed to be able to take lots of water for cleaning.
A space was made for the old kitchen sink to be installed in the greenhouse with hot and cold water. A coiled hose attached to the faucet is used often to water the orchids and wash the floors, with the drain in the floor catching it all. Grow lights and heat mats have been added for seed starting.
As it came together, with five windows and two skylights in the greenhouse, the mudroom came into existence as a space with four doors, the outside vestibule door, the greenhouse door, the closet door and the antique door to the main house, complete with stained glass window.
There was just enough room for a wooden plant stand found at Big Lots that was perfect for workhorse shoes to dry out and even space to hold baskets for gloves. A little folding chair sits in the corner, a place to put on and take off shoes. Old barn boards were found and cut to size to hold hooks that would allow wet and muddy jackets and pants to dry out.
This is not a dream mudroom, the likes of which can be found in upscale shelter magazines. There are no built ins or nice furniture. There is no wall space for art, but as this is typed, there is a space above the wall hooks that holds nothing at present. Hmmm…. It is a tiny, humble space that is a dream come true.
The orchids, already with buds!, have once again come inside to spend the winter after getting the dip of death. Some cuttings are already trying to take root on the shelf. The cold weather gear that was washed and stashed in the mudroom closet last spring has been inventoried, for we garden all year here as long as the ground is not frozen solid. The mud room has been dusted and scrubbed, ready to continue as an important feature of the Fairegarden as summer turns to fall turns to winter and onward to spring again.