Getting Muddy: A space for modern living

I’m not one of those people that doesn’t allow shoes in the house. I do live in a city, and I am certain of this, all manner of unmentionables are tracked into my home on the bottom of my shoes. This is something that I have chosen not to give myself over to considering in depth. It will only lead to another phobia, or anxious obsession, which frankly I have no time for. It’s likely to cause more damage than the germs I trek in. We have to build our immune systems some way, and this feels as good a way as any.

Not Custom job here – beautiful nonetheless. Architectural Digest

I do draw the line when it comes to rain and melting snow, and nobody, and I mean no—-body, enjoys tripping over someone else’s shoes when all they wanted was to have a nice cup of tea and read a book for a half hour. Am I right?

A tiny space, a custom bench, a shelf and a few hooks. Ca Marche

Shoes, hats, coats, bags, tennis rackets, balls, don’t think I couldn’t go on and on, because I certainly could, deserve a place, as close to the outdoors as possible. A relatively new invention – think 1950’s suburban living, and the advent of loads of free time and space – mudrooms don’t in fact have to be a whole room. A simple transitional space between garage and main living space – outdoors and in, will do. The general intent is to keep these wet, sometimes stinky, often dirty items, out of view for guests and people like me that can’t stand the sight of them, guest or no guest, and from my beautifully curated interiors – or yours as the case may be.

All in one. Ballard Design.

My challenge today is taking a small hallway closet and converting it into a mud room, or a mud space, you know what I mean. It does have doors on either end of the corridor, so in my book it qualifies as a room. If you aren’t careful, I’ll have it designated as a bedroom. Narrow it may be, but it’s got a window and a closet with a door, and with the price of square footage, I could get creative if this home didn’t already have so many bedrooms.

A clean, simple, but likely expensive custom built-in.

A mudroom ideally would have a tile floor or a material that was easy to clean, flagstones, vinyl flooring, concrete, but when you are making due, we work with what we have. Hard wood isn’t a terrible material because it cleans pretty easily, and nowadays you can find some pretty amazing indoor outdoor carpets that can take the elements with a smile on their face.

Narrow hallway, put to maximum use. HGTV.

There are a number of prefabricated storage/bench and hanging systems intended for mudrooms. I like them quite a lot. Having a custom built bench and shelving will cost you much more, but will likely adapt to the quirkiest of spaces and/or desires. I offer up and even simpler alternative for those that are seeking utility, rather than conformance with some predetermined notion of what constitutes a “real” mudroom. A beautiful bench, some great hooks, a simple shelf, and some storage containers, maybe a little paint – et voila, the elements remain on the right side of the door.

Add these happy Hable Storage bags in canvas.

H. Able to do it all

I don’t know what got me to thinking about Hable Construction exactly. I was thinking about Earth Day which is today of course, and that got me to thinking about sustainable fabrics, and patterns whose inspiration was derived from nature, and there I was, back in Nolita – NYC at the turn of the century. This one of course, I’m not that old!

California Beach Bungalow – design: Krista Ewart – Featured in House Beautiful. Note the fabric on the sofa – Hable . Note the pillows: Bead . Hable.

There was a little shop that I would visit on Elizabeth Street, whenever I was in the city. The bright patterns, a crafty re-imagining of the mundane or tattered, a wicker lamp turned into a front stage stunner, a wall, neatly lined with colorful canvas storage totes – hip before they were mainstream, or an old broken down chaise converted into an enviable place to lounge and recover from the stress of daily life — even if it is self-inflicted, as it so often is in my case, I support my own need to recover in a happy place.

Hable Construction Storage Baskets . $95.00 – Canvas Bead.

Lordly, lord I can’t wait until this renovation is complete. Which of course got me to thinking about the custom banquet I want to set prominently against the pale gray painted brick wall. That’s in Benjamin Moore’s Ice Cubed Silver in case you were wondering, and it’s dreamily calming. I’ve selected a rug that makes me smile, as much for its name: Carnival, as for it’s wonderfully unrestrained use of color. They’re all in there, giving me the freedom I so rarely have, and desire – to use whatever color I want – dare I say – throw many into the mix.

Custom Art Work . Blue Swatch . $620.

A banquet, I think, requires a fabric that is on the tougher side – all that sliding in and out of tight spaces (and trust me when I tell you, it’s a squeeze), can be hard on a fabric. It’s got to have a little metal, and canvas does. Naturally, (wink, wink) that led me to Hable Construction. A tough sounding company, whose name was derived from the founders Great-Grandfather’s Texas Road Construction Company. I can’t tell you how much I love that! Back to their roots, paving their own business road in textiles, flooring, and custom art work, these two sisters, Katherine Hable Sweeney, and Susan Hable Smith, are cool, talented, and apparently uninhibited in their reach.

Combining their talents – art, and marketing, they’ve made, and shared, their talents, and I cannot wait to make them part of my home.