Our Mudroom: Making the Most of an Awkward Space

Most likely, you have a space in your house that feels awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe it's a short wall that feels hard to decorate or a nook in your kitchen that won't fit a table. For us, the awkward middle schooler of our house is a big 6 foot wide, 12in tall dip in the ceiling in our basement. Early on in our house living, I was not so good at taking good "before" pictures (or good pictures at all; let's be honest. Please don't dig too far into our archives.), but this photo from the house listing before we purchased it may help you see what I'm talking about. This is looking from the back of the basement toward the exterior door and the staircase.

The main part of the basement which we now use as a living space (although it is about to undergo a little makeover) is a little over 7 feet tall. Certainly not a vaulted ceiling, but it's normal for a basement. That big stretch of ceiling toward the front, however, is about a full foot shorter than that. My 5'11" husband just fits beneath it. 

Our realtor told us that he felt like that little part of the nearly 1,000 sq. foot basement was responsible for the fact that this house didn't sell very quickly before we bought it. 

For two years, we tried to figure out how to make the most of it. We wanted to raise the ceiling, but the amount of duct work would make it nearly impossible. We tried putting a game table there and making it a hangout spot. We tried putting a recliner in the midst of it, but the pole got in the way. 

I want to encourage you not to give up hope if you feel like there's an awkward space in your home that you don't know what to do with. There may be a solution you haven't encountered yet. 

For us, it was building a wall. 

Rather than trying to make this awkward area part of the bigger basement living space, we decided it would be better served by completely sectioning it off from the rest of the room and making it more functional in and of itself. Luckily, the location by the back door (where we enter and exit 99% of the time) makes it perfect for a mudroom. 

So Jeremy decided to extend the living room wall to that metal support pole, encase it, and create a little nook that is perfect for tossing shoes and hanging purses. That low ceiling area isn't great for living, but it is just fine for a place to unload after coming in the back door. 

Also, when people come downstairs to our basement now, rather than commenting on the awkward ceiling height, they immediately make a comment about the shiplap or the cute bench Jeremy built. 

Last week, I had fun styling the mudroom for summer and using some of my birthday presents (the Hunter boots, dough bowl and alarm clock). 

I also have some fun photos of how I have styled this space for Fall and Christmas. 

Don't give up hope on your awkward spaces. There is hope for them yet.