Hannah’s Custom Space

Part two of our mudroom/laundry renovation took us to The Container Store more times than a sane person should visit a warehouse full of boxes. A major component of any good mudroom space is storage, a concept we had been lacking since our college days. In our former pied-à-terre back in yonder Cambridge, the two of us shared 733 square feet of space. The Container Store came in handy many times to assist shoving personal belongings beneath the bed and extraneous electronics behind the washing machine. It was the best of times; it was the tightest of times.

Today, we share a whopping 1,561 square feet, but, somehow, there was nowhere to put anything. So, with architectural plans in tow, we set to designing what would become known as “Hannah’s Custom Space” in The Container Store’s computer system. Built to support a dizzying number of shoes, umbrellas, our coats, guests’ coats, and even the vacuum cleaner, after our first design appointment, we realized we would need to cut a few things or our closet doors would burst. For round two, we came prepared: detailed shoe measurements, exact hanger count, and laser-accurate closet dimensions.

Fast forward to the following week. It was time to put this puppy on the wall. The Container Store offers a terrific system by Elfa for designing storage spaces such as this. Before pickup from our local store, everything had been pre-measured and pre-cut to our needs. All we needed to do was drill a few holes, screw in a single horizontal track, lay some verticals, and hang the shelves. It’s idiot proof, really.

Except when you have pipes running through your walls. Thanks goodness for this site. Archival photographs to the rescue! We had taken so many photos of the before and during construction phases in order to share the progression at a later date, but they have also become quite useful during times like these. If you ever happen to be up for a renovation project, we would absolutely suggest documenting every step of the way.

After spending far too long determining where studs were and pipes were not, we set to work. And, of course, 3 out of the 6 initial holes hit nothing but drywall. Fortunately, after some quick math, revised installation went much smoother. Ignoring the fact that some of the shelves we had ordered were sold out, the entire process took less than a day. We’re so excited to share our completed space with you, but even more excited to have a place for our stuff!


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