Guest post from Jamie Oliver
We’re a busy family of five. Between having young children and a farm, what we seem to have the most of is DIRT. Keeping shoes and coats in our little mudroom helps corral the dirt (and the dust and hay and pebbles and feathers and crunched-up leaves and everything else that little boys wander around with in their pockets) in one place — more or less.
But our mudroom is small. Floor space is at an absolute premium. So my husband and I put our heads together and created our family coat wall in the mudroom.
It was a pretty quick and easy project and the costs were decidedly reasonable. The top shelve is two wrought iron shelf brackets, a back-board, and a top shelf board. We just screwed them together using the screws that came with the brackets. The brackets were not heavy duty and were pretty inexpensive. Most of the weight of the coat rack is on the backboard screwed into the wall; the bracket is just for the top shelf.
The board was cut to length while we were in the store. It was pre-painted, solid wood molding. Our decor is sort of a rustic-country look, so the chunky style and white-washed look worked for us. Reclaimed boards or plain boards that you paint yourself would reduce costs, although they add a little extra time.
We choose robe hooks for this project. They range from $5–$15 or more, each. Ours were about $3-6 each because we checked the clearance shelf first. You could certainly find smaller and less-expensive options. We liked the look, the size for holding a lot of stuff, and the sturdy design.
To get the most out of our space and help our kids develop healthy habits, we mounted one row at “kid-height” for them to use. The bottom row is hung just high enough to be off the floor (we eyeballed, we didn’t measure), so I can sweep and mop without removing everything. The kids have a “homecoming” routine every day to hang their coats and backpacks up before they do their chores and get a snack.
This project lends itself beautifully to repurposing materials. Here’s one made with doorknobs, beautiful drawer knobs with a really funky coat and key rack, made from door locks! We’re working on another one for our back porch like this one from Recyclart, except that we’re using antique garden hose faucets that my husband comes across at work (he’s a plumber!).
It would also be easy to add names or initials, if your family is that organized. I find there’s a point of diminishing returns for us, where the system takes more time for me to police than it saves me — I didn’t do that. So as long as everything’s off the floor I call it a job well done!
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