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A few of my One Room Challenge favorites

First, thank you all so much for your lovely comments on our mudroom.  You guys are the bomb.  We’re really happy with how the room turned out and now we get the joy of actually using it.  Function.  In this money pit.  Who knew, right?

A ton of crazy talented people participated in this round of the One Room Challenge and here are a few of my favorite transformations.

Simplified Bee.  I love that gorgeous light fixture with the wallpaper and everything that’s going on near that console.


Always Rad.  The awesome power of paint.

bottom right outlet

Design Manifest.  This whole condo renovation (!!!) is stunning but I can’t get over the entry.  I want to lick everything.


Kelly Rogers Interiors.  A cozy and unique office.

kelly rogers

Design Indulgence.  Sherry is an evil genius with neutrals.


Green Street Blog.  Such a sweet guest room.


Kate Collins Interiors.  This closet is beyond adorable.

kate collins

Claire Brody Designs.  The color combination in this room kill me.



Who knows, maybe once the shock wears off from this ORC and my husband and I stop twitching, I might be ready to tackle the little yellow bathroom this spring.




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.





one room challenge – cozy vintage boy room {The Reveal}

That went by fast!  The end of One Room Challenge is here.  Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments over the past six weeks!  You kept my eyes on the finish line.  As a greenhorn blogger, it’s my first time participating in Linda’s challenge and I loved it.  There’s so much talent, inspiration and support.  It’s been a lot of fun and a great motivator – I would definitely do it again.


Here’s where I started….pale, blah, no art, no curtains.  In our defense we only moved in a couple months ago. Hence the sheet.



It’s amazing what paint, art and window treatments can do.








The placement of the bed against the wall is necessary for a squirmy three year old boy.  Overall I’m really happy with how the room turned out!  Hollis is loving it too.  He wants me to fill the lamp with rubber snakes so we’re working on that one.

We kept the closet door but added molding, black paint and oil rubbed bronze hardware.





A big thank you to Linda from Calling it Home for organizing this fun mayhem and to you all for being so supportive!

orc gold




Source List
wall color – Benjamin Moore Bunker Hill Green in eggshell
ceiling color – Benjamin Moore White Dove in satin
closet door color – Benjamin Moore Mopboard Black in semi-gloss
spindle bed – free on Craigslist, painted Rustoleum satin black
side table – DIY with dark walnut stained top and hairpin legs spray painted Krylon’s Citrus Green
table lamp – Target
rug – Safavieh indoor/outdoor from Overstock
curtains – origami by Nate  Burkus for Target
curtain hardware – DIY using electrical conduit piping and Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint
dresser – Ikea with DIY leather pulls and brass bolts
duvet – Ikea ticking stripe
sheets – Target Threshold
Hudson Bay blanket – vintage from Acushnet River Antiques
pillow cover – Etsy
light switch cover – DIY decoupage with a free beetle print from Vintage Printables
art – vintage/junk/stuff from our grandparent’s basements


one room challenge – cozy vintage boy room {week 5}

I’m at that point in the project where I’m fairly certain it’s complete shit.  We’ve all been there, on the hamster wheel of self-congratulation and self-flagellation.  It’s week 5 of the One Room Challenge, the deadline is looming and I’m starting to panic a little.  The room feels like it’s missing a lot but I need to keep going and see how things shake out in the end.  Art will help.  I hope.


I spent Week 5 finishing up the curtains in Hollis’ room.  Unfortunately West Elm no longer makes  the curtains I really wanted to use.  The jacquard leaf print.


Why do you hurt me WE?  This gem was neutral perfection, it was lined, it had texture.  Please bring these puppies back!

Then I came across these origami print curtains from Nate Berkus.   They’re not lined but the pattern, color and price were just right.  Unfortunately they only have a pocket rod, not back tabs like I wanted, so I sewed on faux tabs using pieces of wide grosgrain ribbon.



The windows in this room are typical mid-century malarkey.  Let’s just jam ’em all in the corner.  Great idea.  At 10 inches wide that pointless corner window is basically an arrow slit.  Finding a bamboo blind to fit would mean going custom which seemed like a waste of money so I left it blind-less.  Does it look totally weird?


The strange window placement meant the curtain rod had to make the 90 degree turn around the corner.  These rods are surprisingly expensive so we DIY’d one using electrical conduit pipe, an elbow piece and a few coats of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.  I need to add finials to the ends but it came out pretty well.


Next up is figuring out what art to put on the walls.  Damn, I wish I’d bought something new and modern.  Oh well.


Be sure to check out what all the ORC-ers have been up to this week!

orc gold

And if you want to get caught up on my progress….

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

Thanks for stopping by!




one room challenge – cozy vintage boy room {week 4}

We’re past the half way point of this One Room Challenge!  I didn’t crank as much as I hoped this past week but things still got checked off the list.

IMG_4529I obviously can’t wait to get art in this room

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