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One Room Challenge – classic mudroom REVEAL

We made it!  One Room Challenge is doooone.  And this one was no joke – doing all the work ourselves while working full-time jobs and wrangling two crazy kids, who never stop eating or wrestling.  The majority of the work was new to us – laying floor tile, installing woodwork, building the bench and cubby, and let’s not forget entirely rebuilding the floor.  I owe my husband an enormous debt of gratitude for all he did and to our generous friends who loaned us tools and gave us advice and helped us along the way.

A big thank you to Linda from Calling It Home for opening up the ORC to linking participants and loads of thanks to all of you for lighting a fire under our butts with your support.

Let’s revisit the scary BEFORE, shall we?


Oh hi 1950’s, sure I’d love to store my….canned goods and clear plastic babushka here???

Then things got much worse…..


After re-building the floor joists, we started the One Room Challenge with this blank slate.  Notice the highly effective ceiling light.


And here’s the AFTER










Shiplap walls + herringbone floors + black doors.  Is there anything better?







I’m still painting the doors so don’t look too closely there and the styling is in flux as always…but I love it so much!  I can’t believe this is a room in our house.  This is also the curtain call on major house projects for us in 2015.  We’re fried.  Our 1 year anniversary of moving into the house is approaching and we tackled a lot in that time.  Now we’re ready to get our holidays on.  Eating, drinking, hiking, parties, Christmas music, general not working on the mudroom merriment.

Thanks for stopping by to check things out!  Be sure to pop over to Calling It Home and see the gorgeous transformations cooked up by the ORC featured participants and linking participants.  Super talent, everywhere.

Play catch up on our transformation here….

week 1 // week 2 // week 3 // week 4 // week 5





I’m always nosy about how much a project set somebody back so I’ll just tell you.  We added up all the receipts and the entire project – from floor joists to accessories – cost $2,500.

wall and trim color – Benjamin Moore White Dove
door color – Benjamin Moore Mopboard Black
ceiling color – Benjamin Moore Moonshine
floor tile – Ivetta black slate from Lowe’s
ceiling light – Bellacor
mirror and antler hook – Hobby Lobby
woven basket – Home Goods
gray bins and coat hooks – Lowe’s
plaid scarf – TJ Maxx
orange tray – West Elm
art – Cove Antiques
odds and ends – shopping our house


One Room Challenge – classic mudroom {week 5}

Putty, sand, dust, prime, paint….is my life.  It’s week 5 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge and since we cranked with a capital C this week, we might actually finish this shiz on time.

ORC Guest BlackHere’s a peek at our progress…..


My husband worked so hard to finish installing the faux shiplap (6″ wide strips of 1/4″ thick hardwood plywood from Lowe’s) and I’m obsessed with it!  I kinda like it better than real tongue and groove panels because the gap between the boards is more pronounced.


I painted all the woodwork with Benjamin Moore ADVANCE in White Dove (satin finish).  Between the awesome paint and the microfiber roller, this is by far the easiest and most fun part.  Catching up on This American Life, waving my magic roller around, watching the shiplap get all beautiful.

Painting the doors black has been less fun.  I loathe painting doors, it stresses me out.  But these babies must be black so….I need to buck up and start knocking that out.


We also built and installed the cubby for the open vertical shelving.  I like the space on the bottom that’s open to the floor.  The whole thing needs trim and paint of course.


The bench is almost finished too, which will go to the left of the cubby.  I’m just adding the final coats of satin polycrylic.


There’s still a ton to do before the reveal.  Finish painting…everything.  Add crown molding.  Install the bench.  Add the batten and hooks.  Accessorize.  It’s going to be another mudroom-centric weekend around here but it’s worth it.  We can’t wait to finish this project!




One Room Challenge – classic mudroom {week 4}

Okay now we’re cooking.  It’s past the halfway point in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge and we’re starting to crank.  But we’re still gonna need every one of the 14 days left until the reveal.  Hopefully November 11 is sunny and gorgeous because that’s likely when I’ll be shooting.

The biggest news of the week is….the floor is tiled and grouted!  I’m in love.


This took WAY longer than we expected – lots of cuts, lots of waiting for mortar to dry in an unheated room in October – but thanks to my intrepid contractor husband, it looks amazing.  The medium gray grout (Driftwood color by Polyblend) does a great job of highlighting the herringbone pattern without being too pale.

We pulled the trim off the three doorways in the room.  The wood was totally shot and would end up being too short for the new floor anyways.  The stratum we unearthed was mind blowing.  Bright yellow and pink paint, naturally.   I honestly don’t understand the 1950’s.  But we’re still the chagrined owners of two pink toilets so who can blame me?


Today we start installing the new door trim and baseboards, which are clean-lined 1×4’s and 1×6’s.  I didn’t want anything too fancy to compete with the faux shiplap walls.  And we snagged a hopefully-sufficient-quantity of 1/4″ hardwood plywood that Lowe’s kindly ripped down to 6″ strips for us, with only a little bit of eyelash batting on my part.

On the mirror hunt – every Home Goods and TJ Maxx and Marshalls in Southern New England had squat, so on a whim I stopped into Hobby Lobby and scored this fella for 50% off.  And a gold antler hook to hang him from.



We also built the bench this week by biscuit-joining two 2″ x 9″ boards together, so it will look like one seamless wide plank.  Last night I sanded and stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut.  A few coats of satin polycrylic is next.

Some accessories shopping…..who knew braided wool storage baskets were so pricey? Damn, Gina.  Eventually I’ll pick up some big woven felt ones like these from Crate and Barrel but in a fit of general mudroom sticker shock, I grabbed two of these gray felt bins from Lowe’s.


Some other goodies I’ve gathered….



Okay, I’m off to paint trim.  And shiplap.  And crown molding.

Thanks for stopping by and checking on our progress!  I’m sending lots of good vibes through the interwebs to my other ORC cronies.

week 1 // week 2 // week 3







One Room Challenge – classic mudroom {week 3}

Nope, not possible.  Week 3 already???  Oh boy.  We’re knee deep in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge and I’m not entirely sure everything will get done in time.  But we did a metric butt load of work this week so I’m hopeful.  As the great American philosopher, Sandra Bullock, once said….hope floats, people.  It floats.

First, we took down the drywall from the back wall, after discovering it was stucco crap with minimal studs, and anchored in plywood over the whole thing, then put the drywall up again.  That way we basically have studs everywhere on that wall, which we’re gonna need to support the bench, hooks, and vertical open shelving.

This is my general plan….don’t be jealous of my Powerpoint skills.

mudroom storage


With drywall finally mudded and sanded, we put cement board on the floor in preparation for tile and started dry-laying it to finalize our strategy (we’ve never tiled a floor before).  Thanks to everyone for throwing their support behind the W pattern.  You’re all geniuses who were totally right.

IMG_5407Sorry horribly blurry pic!

I painted the ceiling last night (Benjamin Moore Moonshine in eggshell finish) and we installed the bronze semi-flush mount light from Bellacor.  I’m loving it.

IMG_5403My 75W edison bulb from West Elm is coming in the mail

Put a fork in this beast – the radiator is done!  Look at her all primed (oil-based Kilz spray) and painted (Benjamin Moore’s Advance in White Dove, which will also coat all the shiplap and trim).  A huge improvement, right?


The radiator lives here to the left of the kitchen door.

IMG_5400I don’t even want to talk about the kitchen.  Those cabinets were once pink.  The chipping paint told me so.

And I’ll be putting a shelf above it (stained with Minwax Dark Walnut to match the bench with these iron brackets) for keys and stuff.  Above the shelf, I’m trying to decide between a mirror or a wire mesh mail holder thing-y.  I snagged this one on sale at Target which I really love.


But given all the other storage we’re creating, I’m not sure we need this little rack so I’ll probably return it and focus on finding a mirror.

In my dreams it would be a buttery cognac leather captain’s mirror like this one.

leather mirror


However these are way out of my price range!  I could  DIY the look with an Ikea Grundtal mirror like others have done.  There’s also a shop on Etsy that will send you a leather kit specifically for that.  But $200 is still a lot of money to spend on something that will only verify that I, per usual, did not comb my hair today.  Hmmmm, gotta think about this one.  Maybe Home Goods will come through for me.

There’s still so much to do!  Install the tile floor, paint the doors, install and paint the shiplap, build the bench and storage system (!!!), get storage baskets, etc.

Check up on our progress here – week 1 // week 2

What do you guys think?  Am I on the right path?  Will we get it all done in time?



One Room Challenge – classic mudroom {week 2}

What a week!  The Cubs are going to the NLCS, my cousins were here for a girls weekend….sigh.  Oh wait, One Room Challenge?!?!  Whoops. Thankfully we were able to knock out some work there too.  Insulation is one of our main goals in the mudroom.  We laid foam board insulation between the new floor joists but needed something thinner for the ceiling and back wall, which is shared by the super cold garage.  The plan was to staple this reflective roll up insulation to the ceiling and back wall, then cover it with 1/4″ drywall.  We found sufficient studs in the ceiling and that went well, aside from the fact that our drywall holder (me) is only 5’4″ and doesn’t have shoulders like the Hulk.  Mama hurt.

But that back wall….we’re not entirely sure what it’s made of and we need strategically placed studs there to anchor the board and batten, the hooks, the bench, the open shelving.


My husband put this drywall on the back wall up in the dark, save for a head lamp  In the morning, he realized this wall doesn’t have uniform enough studs for our needs.  So we need to remove this drywall,  lag in some studs, lay the insulation again and put up drywall.  Again.  Will it be perfect?  No.  Good enough?  Let’s hope so.

We also picked up the floor tiles at Lowe’s in Plymouth, which is the only local store that had enough in stock so I could psychotically hand-pick each one because some of them had too much brown variation.


I chose a medium gray grout for the floor tiles to let the herringbone pattern stand out a bit.  But the only Polyblend options at Home Depot were Oyster Gray and Delorean Gray, neither of which blew my hair back, so I ordered a new color of theirs (Driftwood) online.  It seems to split the difference between the two, at least on the box.  Fingers crossed it looks good on the floor!


I’m still trying to decide which way to lay the herringbone floor, relative to 3 doorways.  W’s or Z’s and from which view?


I’m leaning towards W’s as viewed from the kitchen with the hooks and bench as the backdrop.  The lateral pattern in the herringbone will complement the line of the bench.


Then there’s this beast.  The mudroom radiator.


Curse whoever slapped yellow and pink paint on this fella.  We’re almost done stripping and scraping to the best of our ability.  This will get painted the same color as the shiplap walls to make it blend in.

Not a lot of sexy progress yet but we’re getting there.  Check out the befores and my inspiration from Week 1 HERE.  And be sure to stop by Calling it Home to see what amazing transformations the other ORC nuts are cooking up.



One Room Challenge – classic mudroom {week 1}

It’s One Room Challenge time!  I’m really excited to be linking up to Linda’s blogger bonanza again.  This spring I tackled Hollis’ room and was blown away by how much people loved the space (Country Living….holy crap).  Plus it was a ton of fun playing along, everyone was so inspiring and supportive.  I wanted to bring that same level of motivation and community to the renovation of our dreaded mudroom.


IMG_53718×8 foot room – very hard to photograph.  This is the view from the kitchen.

You may remember that a month ago it looked like this.  The original built-ins.  Sigh.  We need to break up.


These wall-to-wall cubbies were really deep, almost completely useless and reminded me of cadaver coolers at a morgue.  (Speaking of dead bodies, THIS book is crazy interesting).  They also smelled horrible and were just gross.

Our mudroom is not well insulated and we also suspected there were rot issues happening.  Aaaaaand…..we were right.  Rotten floors, rotten joists, ancient mouse nest.  It was worse than we thought and took a while to fix.  Doing this structural and weather-proofing work outside the Challenge timeline was definitely the right move.


That black hole in the wall was a heater….that wasn’t wired TO ANYTHING.  No wonder it didn’t work.

After weather-proofing, insulating and rebuilding the floor and joists, this is where we start our 6 week transformation.  Blank box.


IMG_5373Yes, it’s a shotgun mudroom

And here’s where I’m headed.  Shiplap walls, herringbone pattern slate floors, stained wood bench, black accents, blue-gray ceiling.

mudroom design board

Some inspiration….

tiek builttiek built homes and studio mcgee

frecklesfreckles chick

miles reddmiles redd via two ellie

ORC Guest BlackHow we’re going to finish this mudroom (millwork!!!) in 6 weeks is anybody’s guess. I’m already panicking a bit.  Thanks for stopping by, guys!  And be sure to check out what my other ORC peeps are plotting this round.  Okay, let’s do this business.





prepping the mudroom for ORC

I’ll be linking up to Linda’s One Room Challenge again this fall for the pimpification of our non-functional mudroom (*cough* glorified porch).  But we knew there were structural and weather-proofing issues in here, so we decided to fix the major problems before ORC starts.  .

The showman in me really wanted to dazzle you by starting Week 1 of ORC with this behemoth.  Boom goes the dynamite.

IMG_5325The view from the kitchen

But based on what we uncovered, it was absolutely the right move to tackle the structural issues outside the Challenge timeline.  My husband’s sanity also agrees.

Here’s another view – the mudroom has two entryways directly across from each other and another step-up one to the kitchen.  It’s only about 8′ x 8′ wide and around 8′ tall.



Not bad so far….but then we hit an old mouse nest under the built-ins and rotted sub-floor…..and then 6 layers of flooring and crumbling plywood.  Only to find that ALL the floor joists were rotted.  It’s a miracle this room was still standing.


It looks like a crypt at the moment – and smells like one – but we’re making progress.  This space isn’t above the basement so underneath all those layers of flooring was just…..dirt and air.  Again, glorified porch.  So we’ll be dealing with the moisture issues and insulating the floor.  Pronto.  No wonder this room was an ice box in the winter.

It will be a blank canvas for the Oct 8 start of the One Room Challenge!  Stay tuned….