The Mudroom: Old House Renovation Story

What’s the next chapter in our Old House Renovation Story? The Mudroom


It’s not a very glamorous topic, I don’t suppose, but the addition of the Mudroom to our old house was actually inspired – if I do say so myself.


The conversation began because the house was built in 1907, and in the 99 years thereafter, no covered parking was ever added. As much as my Renaissance Man travels, he wanted an attached garage to add another layer of peace of mind for himself and Yours Truly. I really appreciated that – and staying out of the rain and cold!


Fortunately, there was plenty of room at the back of the house to add a 2-car garage.


It sounds like an easy enough project, but what I’ve never told you is that the back yard dropped off several feet, so we had to bring in LOTS of dirt to raise it before pouring the concrete pad for the garage. We were blessed with some very good fortune…


At the time, Renaissance Man was Vice President at the nearby local college and oversaw new construction. While reviewing expenses with a project manager, he noticed a charge to haul dirt away from a campus job site.




By the time the meeting was over, the dirt was coming to our house instead (only a couple of blocks away instead of a couple of miles!), the college was saving several thousand dollars, and Renaissance Man was spending his evenings moving dirt around with a Bobcat. He was one happy man!


Ninety loads of dirt later, we had a nice, gently-sloping back yard – and a level pad for the garage. Notice the little square window. If you’ve been following this story, you’ve seen it before – from the inside. Stay with me. You’ll see it again…



Here you can see (right to left)

  • the original house
  • the “wing” added in the 1930s/40s (notice the two colors of brick)
  • a narrow open space beyond the “wing”
  • the garage

If you walk between the “wing” and the garage, you enter a small area where we keep the garbage and recycling bins – and the 24-foot, too-tall-for-the-garage extension ladder. You need one when you have a house like ours. There’s also a door (straight ahead) that enters the Mudroom.



But that’s outside. Let’s go inside and pick up the tour from there…


When I showed you the “before” of the Kitchen’s Dish Pantry, there was a square window up high – on the back wall of the house. That’s the window you just saw from the outside. …Hold that thought.

Old house story16


Once the garage was built, it was time to “tie in” to the house. The square window – with its gorgeous wavy old glass – was carefully removed and set aside. Brick was removed to make an opening for a back door… and an original door no longer needed in the new Master Suite was relocated.



When you look through that door, you’re looking straight into the Mudroom. On the left you can see where Renaissance Man did an amazing job of retrofitting the original screen door and giving us a narrow – but very functional – broom closet just off the Kitchen.



And on the right… the square window. The one that’s been “on the move”. It was exactly what the Mudroom needed to bring beautiful light to the upper landing.



Walk down three steps. The little landing you can barely see (in the broom closet picture above) leads out to the garbage cans.


Take one more step and STOP in the middle of the framed-out doorway… Look right and you’ll see something I’ll be moving to the next house – whenever and wherever that may be.


I remembered Daddy using this carpenter’s ruler when I was young, so I asked him if I could have it. It seemed the perfect way to measure the progress of his great-grandsons… and I can tell Little Man (OHN) and Little Sir (EHN) that it belonged to their Grandpop. It makes me smile every time I see it… which is every time I walk in from the garage… which is a lot!

Growth Chart


Now that you’ve seen my favorite part of the Mudroom, go ahead and walk through the doorway. On the left is a door leading out to the garage. Straight ahead is a half-bath. And on the right (just this side of the furniture) is a door that leads out to the back patio. We’ll go out there soon.



Now turn around and head back up to the Kitchen. This is your view…


The round, tiered shelf with the fleur-de-lis finial was in the house when we bought it. So was everything on it – either in the house or unearthed while renovating. Seeing it is a fun, daily reminder of our renovation story!



Four steps back up the stairs, through the Dish Pantry, and into the Kitchen. Soon it will look like this again…


Please Spring. Come quickly!

Kitchen flowers


If  you want to see more of Renaissance Man’s beautiful blossoms, I’ll show you in the next chapter of this Old House Renovation Story! Sign up to get new posts delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss it.


Has Spring made it your house yet?


In case you’re wondering… Renaissance Man and I left Chile and are now working in Brazil. I’m not ready to leave the blessings of Chile behind in my mind, though, so I’m preparing a post for you about some little girls I met while there. I hope to share it with you soon.


In the meantime if you missed previous parts of the Old House Renovation Story, you can find them here:

The Front Porch

The Living Room

The Study

The Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Master Suite

The Upstairs Bathroom

The Upstairs Bedrooms


  1. I love the thought that you are creating an archive of the old house that can be shared with future generations. I like that there will always be a visual of the wonderful memories that you’ve made in the blessed home. Thanks for including us. Cherry Kay

  2. My favorite part of the tour so far!! I do not know why, but it is. I’m odd like that. Now, I’m clicking a link because I don’t remember the master bedroom. Either I’m blonde and in need of a retour, or I missed it.

  3. Susan, I’m loving your tour. This house will make some young family really happy for all the work you’ve put into it making it a home. Hoping your trip is/has going/gone well…..

  4. omg susan….i am so in love with your house…i especially love your master bedroom, the master bath, the dish pantry, and the renaissance man!!!!! he is just amazing! such a perfectionist….i luv that!!!