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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Create Garden Room with Natural Choice

Create a garden room from the mudroom you no longer need for kids’ snowsuits and unfolded laundry. A garden room devoted to potting plants, growing seedlings, and storing your basket collection brings the sights and smells of the good earth indoors. Here’s how to create a garden room and turn a drab space into a natural retreat.

Garden room must-haves

Sink: Keep it deep for rinsing slugs off garden vegetables or cleaning muddy trowels. A stand-alone stainless steel sink from a kitchen supply store is a workhorse ($250 to $1400), but a plastic tub ($80) will do, too.

 Countertops: When you create a garden room, more countertop is better for repotting plants or pressing seeds into soil. Counter space next to the sink makes cleanup easier. Stainless steel is best because it won’t stain and you won’t care about scratches. Cost: $75/sq. ft. If your budget is tight, use an old wood table that a few more scars won’t hurt.

Storage: Throw up some cabinets in your new garden room; you can get deals at Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets ($45 for a single cabinet), rescue school lockers from a yard sale, or stack and anchor inexpensive bins to a wall. A forged iron curtain rod with some large J hooks is a great place to hang baskets for less than $100.
Light: Your seedlings and hanging plants will love natural light. Replace wood doors with a swinging all-glass door. Rip down window treatments to maximize light.

  Choose a surface in your garden room that won’t show dirt and is easy to clean. Vinyl sheets ($8 to $10/sq. yd.), are best. Ceramic tile (typically $1 to $10/sq. ft.) is sturdy and can give a natural feel to your space. To hide dirt, use darker tiles and grout. Also, make sure you periodically reseal grout lines to keep out dirt.

Caralee Adams, a veteran journalist, has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Fitness, and The Wall Street Journal

source: houselogic

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