Our laundry/mud room was the first room we completely gutted when we moved into our house. It was also the first room I designed completely from scratch. Over the years, and after two more kids, we realized we needed it to work a little differently for us. So we decided to give it another update. This time using our most experienced DIY skills and design knowledge to create a space full of form and function. Including built-in DIY and hidden shoe storage.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back at where we first started when we moved in. It was too bad, but Dan’s dad lived here alone and didn’t really care what it looked like.
That’s why this was the first room we took up when we moved in because he didn’t have any emotional attachment to it… unlike some of the other rooms in the house 😉
This is what it looked like after we completed the One Room Challenge in 2016.
Over the years, I’ve changed the decor around a bit and given it a bit of a refresh, but the main bones have always remained the same.
Now that we have 3 kids, we realize this space hasn’t been used to its full potential. Our shoe storage was completely nonexistent and in disarray – I knew I wanted some hidden shoe storage. The kids really couldn’t reach the hooks to hang any of their stuff and my style had developed and I was ready for a change.
Walls: SHIPLAP panels
One of the easiest ways to add visual interest and personality to your walls is to hang wood paneling. However, if you buy individual panels, they can get expensive very quickly. We used these Shiplap panels From Lowe’s which was much cheaper but still looks the same. All you have to do is cut it to the size on the table when needed.
We hung this on every wall that used to be plaster wall, including behind the bench, and it really helped make the room feel more cohesive.
Color: Farrow & Ball Mouse Back
I’ve considered for years changing the color of the cabinets here but never got around to it. So when we finally decided to make this update, it was about time. I sampled a few colors from Farrow & Ball and ended up choosing Mouse back It is the most beautiful light brown, beige color. Don’t let the funny name fool you, it’s absolutely amazing!
We used new Dead flat finish Which is exactly what it looks like: very Flat and I normally don’t choose a flat finish for such a high traffic area but this paint was for exactly that. It’s durable, rubable, and scratch-resistant, so I felt confident placing it where I knew dirty little hands would constantly touch it.
They are also multi-surface which is great because they can be painted on walls, woodwork and metal. No tape needed – just draw everything!
Cabinets: Do-it-yourself with a custom look
New cabinets can be very expensive—something we recently learned from our Kitchen Reno. So we knew we wanted to be more budget friendly here. I wanted to get that custom add-on look, so instead of ripping everything out, we just built on top of what was already there. We kept the two tall cabinets that were just stock cabinets from Lowe’s and added trim and molding on top of them as well as a shelf in between to hold them together.
He completely transformed that side of the room and made it more practical with the extra storage space above. Crown molding has taken the whole thing to a higher level. Making our own in-house tools has saved us a lot of money.
Another update we did was to change the cabinet doors. They were originally overhangs meaning they rested on top of the face frame. I wanted to change it to be compact for a more European look.
We asked them Fast closet doors And yes they live up to their name. They arrived super fast and were really great quality. You can get it in a number of finishes but we just got it in paint grade since I was going to be painting.
I went with Campbell’s closet door Which has a bit more detail than your standard shaker door and I love the look of it.
Installation turned out to be a little trickier than we thought, only because we measured our door openings before we built everything around the cabinets. After doing this, the weight of the new wood changed slightly and the new doors no longer fit perfectly.
All we had to do was shave the sides of some of the doors as well as some parts of the inside edge of the dresser and in the end we had it sit inside and it looked pretty cool! If you are ever in this position, a hand planer Works wonders!
Another thing you can add to your DIY kit is custom toe kicks. This is a great way to make your builder class base cabinets look a little more personalized. You can create any shape you want and stick it on using wood glue. Details like these are what really make the space special!
Storage was the main thing we were lacking here and by adding the space above the bench we were able to fit 3 large baskets. We’ll use them for seasonal items like shoes, winter accessories, swimming gear, and beach towels.
Boot positioning has been my least favorite part of this space before. We just bench them all for no rhyme or reason and it was always a bit of a mess. I knew we needed to tackle this in a more efficient and beautiful way.
I’ve always loved the look of tub curtains and cute little cafe curtains on brass rods, so I decided to make a shoe shower curtain! I actually shared my No-Sew Pinch Pleat Curtain tutorial so you can check it out if you missed it but I’m obsessed with how it looks!
on awesome Floral block print fabric Combined with the brass rail and hooks it makes my heart so happy.
I ended up creating 3 small blinds, that way there are more access points to get into our shoes. Behind the curtain I put two little ones Shoe racks It has two levels, so it saves us a lot of space. Now, even if things get a little messy, you’ll never see them 😉 It’s the perfect hidden shoe storage solution!
Since we have sliding glass doors here, the cabinets cannot lie flat against the wall on the left. I created a little nook that I ended up finding the perfect little antique wardrobe for. It gave us another storage space where we could put some of the kids’ shoes they don’t wear every day, paper towels and any other random things we need!
This was another area that had not been used to its full potential. I had a very small drying rack on this wall that was rarely used. Since kids can’t reach the hooks above the bench, I decided to turn this into a giant peg wall.
Once I did that, I wished we had done it all over again. You have created such a practical space for us! Now kids can reach all the bottom hooks and hang everything they need. We can hang to dry clothes, extra coats, purses, bags – everything!
To add some visual interest, I used pieces of baseboard to attach the pegs to and then decided to tint the pegs in some contrast with the paint.
Honestly not much has changed on this aspect except for the rack. The first one we hung was small and didn’t fill the entire wall and looked kind of random. I have no idea why I chose this size!
I knew that running it all over the wall would make it feel like part of the space and also give me more room to put things. But instead of just having a top shelf, I also added a brass rail below to hang things from. This made it more functional and also added another nice element to it.
You can read more about how to build the rack and get the entire tutorial.
The counter over the washer and dryer was an old door panel we bought at a warehouse for $20. It was still in good shape but I wanted to darken the stain so I sanded it down and gave it a new coat.
To make it look more visually appealing, I added some trim around the edge which was a minor addition, but completely changed the look.
Another goal for this space was to give it as much personality as possible. One of the ways we did this was by adding rustic beams to the ceiling. They’re from an old barn that fell down 5 minutes from our house and I love that they bring a little bit of local history into this room.
Since they are only 3 inches thick, we screwed them directly into the studs using countersunk screws. The holes are barely visible!
The details of the space are always my favorite and I had so much fun designing and decorating this room! It definitely has a different vibe now but it’s a testament to how my style has evolved over the years and the different skills we’ve learned.
We hung these beautiful brass hooks above the bench where Dan and I put most of our stuff. Stained hooks give kids plenty of space for all their book bags and coats.
I have replaced the carpet with a new one of this type antique rug store on etsy. Using old rugs here always serves me well as they hide dirt and stains well but are also easy to clean. You can read more about how to keep old carpets clean.
The knobs on the cabinets are made of uncoated brass and I like that they have a little back plate. Small details make it a little unique from the standalone handle.
For the sink cabinet, I used the same Uncoated brass latch Which I used in the corner cabinet in our kitchen.
I kept our lint bin as is because I like it so much and it works so well. This is where all the dryer lint and little sprinkles of trash I find in everyone’s pockets go. It’s way nicer than having a trash can somewhere!
It’s so much fun to look back on the evolution of our laundry room and mudroom and see how much we’ve evolved as DIYers and myself as a designer. Yes, the room was just as good as before but the close attention to the little details adds up to the space. I never want to stop learning and growing and updating this room shows that it’s worth making those changes and creating something you love.
paint color: The Mice Return by Farrow & Ball
Cabinet doors: Fast closet doors
Floors: Sintesi Atelier Fumo Porcelain Tile 12″x24″.
DIY Non-Sew Pleated Shoe Curtain
Front load washing machine from General Electric
General Electric front load dryer
Floral printed canvas
Brass Curtain Rod – Custom Made by Baby and Carrolls
DIY shelf with wood gallery rail
Flush mount light
Shop in the room