Faking a Functional Mudroom

images: left // right

When I moved into my house we had no mudroom and a VERY tiny, tight entry with no coat closet.  All I could muster was a vintage coat rack behind the front door as a place to hang our coats and bags.  It was a bit of a mess.  We now have a mudroom, but it’s VERY small (albeit functional- with a wide coat closet with a shelf for baskets, hooks on the wall and….well, that’s about it!)  We still drop our mail and keys on the kitchen counter, which makes me a little crazy, but it is what it is!  You can only do so much.  Coming from where we started, we feel really lucky to have the mudroom we do!

But not all of us get the dreamy cubby-stacked, multi-closet mudroom of our dreams. In fact, few of us do!  One of you had commented a while ago about wanting to see a blog about how to create a mudroom type space when you don’t have one.  If you have a nice, empty hallway or wall in an area near the front or side door, you can create a really functional space without having to build in a thing.

Benches with storage drawers or baskets are a lifesaver in many rooms (I just added one under the windows in my new family room to store toys).  This one is GORGEOUS (also available in white) and you can even add a cushion to make it extra cozy, or just a pair of lumbar pillows.  I show the concept below with the large version, but you could also use the small one and use only two hooks if short on space!  Also, the organization pieces, as attractive for what they are, are more casual, so if you are looking for a slightly more formal style– I’d hang a mirror like this or this above the bench and flank with two hooks on each side of the mirror stacked vertically instead. Still offers lots of storage via the drawers and basket, but a bit more tailored of a look. Lidded baskets are the BEST for storing lots of little things like mittens, hats and scarves (or even small sports equipment.)  A small side table with a tiny lamp helps add ambiance and a place to drop your keys too.  And SHAMELESS PLUG for one of my rugs too, of course. :)

SHOP THE ROOM:

 

I hope this was helpful. I’m always looking for more ideas for blog posts, so comment away with yours!

How To Make Your House Feel Less Depressing In Winter

Room design by Erin Gates Design // photo by Michael J. Lee

This probably isn’t an issue for those of you who live in warmer areas of the country and world, but where it’s cold and snowy like New England, winter can make our houses feel like a complete cave of dusty, soul-crushing grossness. So here are my tips to help turn your cabin-fever riddled space into something a BIT more happy.  (Oh, plus a stockpile of Clorox wipes because it seems like the entire world is sick and germs are everywhere.)

(Click images for specific links)

NEW SHEETS

We just got all new sheets at Christmas and it makes our bed feel SO much cleaner and nicer.  I personally think Matouk makes the best sheets (so light and crisp) and worth the investment (they last a LONG time). And when you have illnesses circling the family, it’s nice to feel like your bed is a haven.

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Our Most Used Retail Items

Although we do a lot of custom work for our clients, what people like most about working with us is that we are more than happy to work in retail items into our plans as well. When you have kids or are trying to stick to a certain budget, it’s great to be able to get good quality items without the cost and wait time for custom made. Even people with HUGE budgets don’t want to spend zillions on a sectional for their family room– even if they can afford it. So over the years we have developed a list of “go to” items that we find ourselves using over and over again in projects. Not because all our projects look alike, but good basics are trendless and timeless and can work with just about ANY style decor!  I thought I’d round up a chunk of these items and share them with you!

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Inspired By: Allison Allen’s Home

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m on a quest to complete my house in the next 2 months. So I’m still looking for inspiration for the finishing touches in my spaces and came across this wonderful spread in Southern Living of designer Alison Allen’s home in Atlanta.   I adore the mix of about 80% traditional items with 20% modern touches.  And the use of neutrals in such an interesting way. There is nothing boring about this living room, and yet there isn’t much color beyond the greenery and some blue and white pottery! I want to be here, don’t you???

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