A Sun Baked Mud Room

Wrapping up at a client remodel, we first started with a master bathroom change up, removing a seldom used tub to replace it with an oversized shower.  With the shower shifted over to the right, there was space to move the washer and dryer from a cramped pass through style laundry room into a stacked closet.  So, what happened to the former laundry room?

laundry room before

Well, it’s now a storage filled mud room, complete with a bench, small sink, and oodles of storage.


Coming in from the garage, the space can now handle the shoes, jackets, backpacks, purses, and everything else life comes along with.


To maximize the function of the space, we divided the width into three sections.  On the left, a stainless steel sink and counter with a cabinet large enough to stow away cleaning supplies below.  Above, two sets of cabinets store infrequently used kitchen appliances and other household items.


In the center, a floating bench with baskets below and an over sized peg board above.  Rather than hooks in one row, the pegs are movable and removable, allowing any configuration necessary.


Over on the right, a tall cabinet to house vacuums, mops, brooms, and more.  You know you’re an adult when you’re excited about a cabinet to store such items.


To add some joy and personality into such a utilitarian space, the owner selected a happy muddy red tone, called Sun Baked Earth.  In a small room with no natural lighting, the camera makes it appear a touch more orange than it does in person.


The custom sink is big enough to be able to get a bucket inside, but now boasts a bit of counter space.


Extra pegs are close by, and double as a towel hook.


Across from the shelving, the owner has two racks to store shoes, keeping everything off the floor.  sun-baked-earth-mud-room-shoe-racks-and-shelf

Above, we built a ledge to display art but also store keys, wallets, a garage door opener and other items that are easily misplaced.  We’re thrilled to report that the family loves their new spaces, and not stumbling over laundry.

A Finished Client Bathroom/Laundry Switch

Do you remember this client bathroom before we started a remodel?

bathroom from bedroom before

Well, the bathroom remodel is complete, and here’s how it looks now:


Before the family moved in, they had the entire house repainted, and the vanity updated.  Obviously, those elements make a huge difference in updating the feel of the home.

bathroom sink before

Our part of the remodel included replacing the tile floor with the same slate we’ve used throughout our home.  Yes, we love it that much (and the amazing price for a natural stone) that we recommend it to clients.


Across from the vanity, we removed the tub, replacing it with a generously sized, marble clad shower.


In place of the old shower, we added a closet, but not just any closet.


Here’s a hint at what’s hiding behind those double doors:


A stacked washer and dryer below with a huge cabinet above.  Getting the laundry units out of the traffic flow between the kitchen and garage was the name of the game.


The homeowner is surprised at how often she wants to do laundry now that it’s in the master bathroom.  She’s not waiting to make sure they’re not coming and going, tripping over laundry or baskets when going through the garage.  Another simple, but high function change was swapping the water closet swinging door with a pocket door.


Changing the door leaves space for a wall mounted drying rack is nearby the laundry, but easily tucks away.


The shower now features a beautiful marble hex floor, a 6 by 12 inch marble tile surround, and a built in bench.


A bar hanging from the ceiling solves the solution of where to hang towels, scrubbies, and the squeegee.


Aside from all of the beige and cosmetic updates, the home owners are thrilled with the new function of the space.

bathroom to bedroom before

It’s hard to believe that space above and the space below are the same, isn’t it?!


By swapping the laundry into the bathroom, we were able to also update the function and look of the former laundry room.  master-bath-with-laundry-from-bed

You can see the tiniest peek of the new mud room through the bedroom door.  We just put the finishing touches on that this week, so stay tuned to see more!

Entry Rug Update

Before I get started on this little upgrade, I feel compelled to share this photo taken about after moving into this house.


The peachy beige walls, the old rail, the blah tile are all bad, but those red curtains take the cake for me.  Take note of the rug, a wool West Elm rug I found at a thrift store shortly before we moved.

Notice it here, circa 2016.  Obviously, this was close to Halloween, just after we changed out the entry tile.


That same solid gray, slightly textured for pattern rug has been in our entry literally since move in day.  It was a great 15 dollar purchase, and has held up very well.  Other than it being a solid gray against our dark slate floors, it showed every piece of debris on it.

A couple of weeks ago, after vacuuming it two days in a row because it already looked terribly dirty, I decided I’d had enough.  Time for a new rug, something still dark enough to wear well, but with variation to help hide whatever gets tracked in between cleanings.

I scoured the internet, looking for a 3 foot by 5 foot rug that ticked all of the boxes.  Dark, slight variation in color, patterned, not gray and these were some of my favorites:


1 Blue Loft  2  Flatweave Solid Tassel  3  Handwoven Gray  4  Moroccan Trellis  5  Tribal Tale Triptych  6  Overdyed Vintage

Unfortunately, some rugs didn’t come in the size I needed (number 4, which is the blue version of our living room rug), while others seemed too plain (number 2).  I love number 5 for the fun pattern and bold colors, but the 3 by 5 size is sold out.  But then, I found another that had a slightly vintage without the traditional medallion pattern, the Georgetown.


The deep blue should hide dirt while the color variation should be forgiving.  Fringe on the ends helps it stand out against the dark tile.


At 49 bucks, it’s not a precious rug I’ll be worried about in an entry space.


Blue and green is a favorite color combo of mine, creating a happy, cheery welcome inside.


And for the sake of appreciating how far we’ve come over our journey of turning this house into our home, I’ll present you with this before:


And after:


Covering the huge heavily textured entry wall in tongue and groove and replacing the front door with nearly full glass panels are still some of my favorite home improvements.  Both lighten and brighten the entry and are seen from several rooms throughout the house.


A Client Bathroom/Laundry Switch

We’ve been hard at work on another client project, with phase one nearly wrapped up.  Part one is a bathroom remodel, consisting of removing an unused bath tub, turning it into a wide shower.  Then, the shower space would become a closet for a stacking washer and dryer with a storage cabinet above.

bathroom shower before

bathroom sink before

Additionally, the swinging door into the water closet would become a space saving pocket door.

bathroom toilet room before

bathroom to bedroom before

One smaller change the owner wanted was to eliminate the swinging French doors, turning them into frosted barn doors instead.  This part of the remodel is only awaiting a glass shower door and then I’ll share the pretty afters.

Bathroom from Bedroom Before.jpg

Phase two of the remodel includes converting the existing laundry room right off the garage entrance into a mud/storage room.

laundry room before

With the garage door being the primary entrance for the family, the laundry room didn’t function well and offered little storage.  Wanting a place to sit to put on shoes, hooks to hang jackets, a cabinet to store a vacuum and mops, while still keeping a utility sink, we started planning.


Nearest the garage entrance, a 24 inch deep base cabinet to store the vacuum, mops, cleaning supplies with a cabinet above.  Center, a floating wooden bench with an over-sized peg board wall to hang jackets and such on, and an 18 inch deep cabinet above.  To the far left, a sink with two 24 inch tall by 18 inch deep cabinets above.  This space sits just off the kitchen, so storing crock pots and other kitchen appliances in the cabinets is required.

All of this plan centered around leaving the option open to put a stacked washer and dryer back into this space.  If ever needed or desired, the floating bench could come out and the stacked units slid into place.

Displaying Travel Mementos

We took advantage of the recent holiday break and headed off to Utah and Nevada for a vacation.  It was great to get away as a family, crossing four national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, and Great Basin) off of our list, among seeing other sites in and around St. George and Las Vegas.

For years, I’ve collected shells, sand, rocks, twigs, leaves, and other interesting items, either on walks around our neighborhood or from places traveled.  While traveling, I carry ziplock bags with to put my treasures into, labeling each bag along the way.


Once home, I empty the contents into test tube looking jars with corks in three sizes.


On the bottom, I use a piece of tape and a super fine Sharpie to create a label of where and when to stick to the bottom.


Until a few months ago, I stored the jars on the shelves of our guest bedroom.  Wanting a change, I brought the jars into the living room to place on the wide shelf above the tv.


Two tall jars didn’t fit perfectly on the shelf with the others, so they stand alone on others.


These jars are great conversation starters, and are great reminders of fun times had in various locations.


Contents obviously vary depending on the location, some with fine sand, shells, and beach glass.  More city centered spots include tickets and wristbands.  Others include rocks, twigs, moss, and pine cones.


More recently, I’ve started collecting vintage inspired postcards with pretty art.


A post card from Zion National Park, depicting a high cliff side from a vintage travel poster tucked into a small stump is a quick and easy display.


Want more ideas for displaying reminders of great vacations or events?  How about a custom coffee table book from Shutterfly dedicated to the trip?


Create an over sized print from a photo taken on a trip.


Turn an old printer tray into a rotating trinket display.


Do you collect items from vacations?  If so, what do you do with the items brought back?  Are they forever tucked into a drawer or box, or do you try to display the items that hold so many memories?