3 steps to a Laundry-Mudroom Makeover

3tipsfortinymultiuserooms

The (bla-bla) Backstory:
When we moved into our new home three years ago I quickly painted the mudroom the same (custom paint color created by me!) pale lime green as the kitchen.  Mostly because I had a lot of paint leftover and I was exhausted:  I had spent the previous 4 months designing, planning, contracting, building, budgeting, putting in 16 hour days and even tackling some projects myself like levelling the garage before the concrete was poured, installing the thermal barrier sheet in prep for the basement floor and even sanding, priming and painting our entire home.  I was tired.  Really tired.  And I just wanted it all to be done and over with.  To move in, unpack, get the kids settled and start reconnecting and living as a family again (did I mention our temporary living arrangements were my in-laws basement?).  So I painted the kitchen and then took the paint color right into the laundry room and literally moved on with my life.
But I almost immediately regretted it.  There is zero naturally light, and so the green, which looks ‘spring fresh’ in the kitchen, just felt like the color of ‘sick’ in the laundry-mudroom.  Which of course makes sense now, because I was actually sick n’ tired  at the time I was painting the laundry-mudroom (roll eyes at bad joke here).  Lol!
I thought many times about changing it, but what color?  I got paint swatches and browsed Pinterest for inspirations but still, I had no idea.  Then, over the summer while mopping the room’s slate floor,  it hit me.  The color inspiration had been there, all around me -all along:  Black & White.  Duh!
With the room’s charcoal slate tiles, white cabinets, white appliances, black coat rack, grey counters, white trim and ceiling, the black and white accessories I already had … it suddenly became obvious to me that I should just paint out the entire room a fresh glossy white.  I’ve mentioned before that my fave white paint is Behr’s Ultra Pure White in gloss.  Every white painted surface in my home is this color, and I always seem to have a leftover can hanging around.  Best of all, because this room receives a lot traffic (and dirty soggy outerwear), I became giddy imagining how great it would be to have everything painted in the same white-glossy-easy-to-wipe-clean-and-do-paint-touch-ups-color.  As an added bonus I knew this would kick start me into properly finishing and organizing this room once and for all.
 
beforesickntiredlaundryroom
 
#1 Just Plan it:
  • Inspired by the black & white color theme my mind raced at all the possibilities for accent colors (hot pink or aqua?).  Except, when I really stopped to consider how this space was being used (backpack drop off, mail station, dog diner, laundry area, seasonal clothing storage and accessory closet).  I realized that all of our family’s stuff already had plenty of pattern and color.  A bunch of super cute colorful accessories would only end up getting lost in the shuffle or worse -just add more visual noise to the space.  Keeping it simple was key.
  • I decided to continue with a monochromatic palette adding a little warmth in the form of saddle toned wood with hits of gold.  
coachclogsforroominspiration
 
 #2 Just Paint it
  • Before back-to-school arrived, I emptied the laundry-mudroom and gave the ceiling, walls, trim and doors a new paint job (of course, I filled any holes, sanded and primed first!).  It took 4 coats (5 coats in some areas).  Not because the green paint was too dark, but glossy paint can be tricky like that.  It’s not as forgiving and for a really rich deep perfectly glossy painted surface, a little more effort is required.  It only looks great if you can build up those glossy layers of paint (not convinced about going glossy yourself?  Click here for more).

Prepping the laundry-mudroom for painting

  • I replaced the cabinet door handles for some unique ones I found at my local hardware store (Hudson Hardware) which I spray painted gold (yup still loving the gold, more on that here and here).  The gold ties in really nicely by picking up on the warmth of the wood accessories.

goldspraypaintcabinetdoorknobs

  • Finally, I had a little leftover chalkboard paint from the guest-game room makeover (more on that project here) and I thought it would be a cool, not to mention free, back-splash idea.

chalkboardbacksplashwall

#3 Just Organize It
  • Aren’t those labelled-wall-mounted-metal-wire-storage-baskets (that’s a mouthful) fantastic?  I found them at the MAXI grocery store around the time we were just moving in.  I love how they taper at the bottom so that they don’t take up too much space.  Aside from storing the obvious seasonal accessories they are also great for hanging sunglasses and the fact that air can circulate through means damps mittens get the chance to dry. Everyone in the family has their own, even our Siberian Husky, Kaya!  Best of all, they sell for about $6 each.

metalwirestoragebasketwallmounted

  • A shoe horn, compact umbrella, bottle of insect repellant and a tube of sun screen are out of sight thanks to the woven basket above the coat rack and the three large wicker baskets above the cabinets house my scented candle addiction. The wood box (made by my grandfather) hides take-out menus.

laundrymudroomblackandwhitenaturalbaskets2

  • Decorative bowls and small planters can be re-purposed for organizing misc items like gum, pocket change, message pads and pens.

mudroomstorageideascollage

  • Serving trays are the interior decorators’ go-to trick for making items look neat and pulled together.

laundrymudroomcounterstorageblackandwhite

 black and white mudroom

blackwhitewoodgoldmudroom

The Shopping
I only purchased four things for this space -all of the other items I shopped my own house!  I used up a leftover can of Behr paint in Ultra Pure White, but had to buy another can for $34.99 at the Home Depot.  The cool (earring inspired) cabinet door pulls for were $4.99 each.  I scored the mirror at Bombay for $25 (down from $299) and the black and white hounds-tooth laundry basket was $16.99 at HomeSense (also known as HomeGoods depending on where you live).  It’s also worth mentioning that the black coat rack (also purchased at HomeSense, 3 years ago) is actually designed for displaying a tea cup or mug collection, but when I spotted it I knew it would work perfectly for the mudroom.
AFTERlaundrymudroombright&organized

The 101: Before decorating any room, be honest about how you use it.  A monochromatic color scheme is a perfect backdrop to a multi-use space.  Small rooms are great to experiment with fun door hardware.

Julie

you might also like…

Master Bedroom Retreat

I’ve blogged about my master bedroom before (you can find that post HERE).  But I never mentioned anything about the large recessed wall across from the bed.  There was a television, complete with visible ugly wires and a small audio stand housing our digital video recorder (DVR).  Blah.

masterbedroomemptyrecessedwall

Several months ago we ditched the satellite dish for a tiny Apple TV unit (it sits just on top of the television), which meant “ba-bye” to the DVR and the awkward audio stand.  The hubs got to work opening a section of the wall and did a little electrical work to hide all the wires  Then he repaired the wall, mudded and sanded and I finished up with a coat of primer and two coats of leftover bedroom paint.  I must say we did a pretty good job -you can’t even tell!

daybed

Now we were left with a clean, empty slate.  At first I had visions of something custom built like bookcases or shelving.  But you always have to think about resale and if/when we sell this house, built-ins would mean one huge wall lost for bedroom furniture pieces like dressers or a vanity (we prefer storing all our clothes in our his and her walk-in closets).

usingdogbedpillowsondaybedsofa

With our kids getting older and taking over more of our home’s entertaining spaces for themselves and their friends, I wanted to create a quite, lounging, retreat feeling in our bedroom.  I decided to incorporate the existing day bed we already had and buy cabinets to place on either end so I could have a surface where I could put a small coffee pot and sparkling water (boutique hotel inspired much?!).  The cabinets were tricky to find because I needed a specific size for a snug, custom-like fit between the (recessed) wall and the daybed. After several months I did find two identical cabinets in the perfect size that needed a little DIY! (you can read all about that HERE).

masterbedroomretreat3

The accessories however were fun to shop for, and I was definitely looking to inject some touches of silver and gold for a little glamour like the gorgeous antique crystal and silver pitcher – it weighs a ton and I am in serious love with it!  Or the cute lamp with gold sequins shade I picked up at HomenSense/HomeGoods.  As well as a couple of hits of coral pink, like the stunning vintage vase I scored and the cashmere blanket I already had (from my mom) tucked away in the back of my linen closet.

masterbedroomretreat8

sparkingwaterpeony

daybedcoffeeloungemasterbedroom

The three round abstract art pieces were a made by me, to find out more on the art DIY click HERE.  The art resting near the coffee maker is an original by a talented friend Susan B. Landis, you can browse her work and get more info on her blog HERE.

masterbedroomcoffee

masterbedroomtouchesofpink

masterbedroomretreat2

masterbedroomretreat11

masterbedroompillowsdaybed

I did a lot of shopping in my own house, which I always try and do first before going out and spending.  Not only does it save money but by moving things around to different rooms in your home, you get to enjoy your stuff in a new way.

The mask on the floor is from a vacation to Mexico and I plan on hanging it eventually but it is SUPER HEAVY and definitely a two person, with power tools, kind of job.  Although I am starting to like it resting there on the floor!  The stainless tray and coffee pot is by Everyday Essential from Loblaws.  The container that the plant is in is actually a storage basket I picked up at HomeSense/HomeGood

masterbedroomretreat1

All of the throw pillows I already had (some made by me, others purchased) except for the two large back pillows which are in fact, dog beds! You can read all about that HERE as well as the sparkly sequins teal pillow or as I like to call it The Tube Dress Throw Pillow Skirt (you can read about that HERE).

masterbedroompillows

masterbedroomretreat7

vignette: decorating master bedroom

More to come soon …thanks for stopping by!

-Julie

you might also like..

DIY canvas photo peg board

“Push pins work pretty good on painted canvas”

What’s a home bar without some great photos of friends… old memories you can recount and toast to?  For some reason when I walked into Le Carrefour De L’espoir (second hand shop) and saw this original (yet, let’s be honest, ugly) art piece, I knew immediately it’s second life would be as a peg board for our basement bar.

ugly art turned DIY PEG BOARD!

Something about the frame looked 70′s ish with its slightly yellowed fabric (think, smoky cigar lounge) but the faded black and gold accent frame seemed right on.  I snapped it up for $20.  Maybe it was a little pricey (considering), but I really had been looking for a long time, and I knew I wanted something “authentic” vintage and not new “made-in-China” from some retail chain.

TIP: “every room in your home should have a thing or two that is old, unique or eclectic”

unique vintage diy photo peg board

With a paint brush and a tube of black chalk board paint I painted over it.  I know I know, you’re thinking: “huh?”  First, I knew I wanted to paint it black and already had this stuff laying around the house.   Second, the painting was done in oil and already textury (OK, that is not a real word but you get me).  So painting it with a small brush instead of a roller to help even out and add even more texture seemed like a good idea.  Third, I knew most of it would be covered by photos anyways so I thought “who cares!?”.

diy vintage photo peg board how-tougly vintage art turned photo board

More bar pics to come soon! Thanks for checking in -Julie

*re-posted by BOB VILA NATION on December 5th, 2012

you might also be interested in ….

The Breakfast (lunch and dinner) Nook

Well here it is:  The breakfast nook off my kitchen.  I love how it overlooks my woodsy backyard (and the kids tree-house).

Breakfast Nook

Oh and I love that light fixture, it’s unexpected for there -but it works somehow.   In the evenings it elevates the normally casual space into something a bit more sophisticated.

breakfast nook light fixture by Kichtler

My husband made the bench and some of the pillows were handmade (by me), like the green Moorish inspired print was a bed sheet I fell in love with, I used that on the front and for the back I used heavy felted light gray wool and oversize down euro inserts. The rest were purchased at Ikea and HomeSense.   I would eventually like to make a bench cushion as well.

The vintage table was a Craigslist find for $50!  It was in immaculate condition and came with two very un-sturdy bistro chairs but I preferred the table with my vintage aluminium Emeco arm chairs anyways (I scored those 8 years ago for $7 ea and re-upholstered them myself).

The  flooring is Canadian maple and the stain color can best be described as tree bark.  With so many windows it seemed like an obvious natural choice to link the outdoors in and more importantly it’s the color of dirt!

I think some bamboo shades would look nice installed inside the window frames for added texture (we don’t really need the privacy) but on the long list of things we still need to do/buy for this house it’s way at the bottom.


Although technically this is a breakfast nook, it gets way more use than the dinning room (isn’t that always the case?).  Our gang of 5 tends to eat most of the meals here …  it’s warm and sunny by day and cozy by night!

Wall color, Intellectual and trim and ceiling Ultra Pure White from Behr.  Grey nubby wool rug, Pottery Barn, leather shag rug (on top), Bouclair Maison.  Patio door and windows by Solaris.

The 101:  A light fixture can change the mood of a room.  Almost any fabric (bed sheets, blanket,  shirt) can be used to make throw pillows.  An open bright room is a perfect place to try a dark wall color.  Vintage furniture will guarantee a unique space.

You might also like…