Hall Closet Turned Mini Mudroom Makeover

Me and my hubby started out our life together as newlyweds in Minnesota, the land of snow and bitter winter temps. Some of the best advice we received while we lived there was, "Once you have kids, never buy a house without a mudroom." Let's face it. Kids haul a lot of stuff to school in the winter, book bags, puffy coats, hats, gloves and snow boots. And their little legs and arms make it pretty impossible for them to hang their stuff up on their own in your standard hall closet with wire racks. 

Unfortunately when we bought our house in Illinois, we didn't heed this advice. Now that we have two kids in school their stuff was starting to pile up all over the house. And no one ever knew where their coat or shoes were when it was time to head out of the door. I had seen the idea of converting a hall closet into a mudroom around Pinterest before, so me and the hubby decided to give it a try. Here is how it turned out.

Luckily for us, we have an additional hall closet by our front door, so the hall closet by the garage door was a perfect candidate for this makeover. We used this post from Make It & Love It for our inspiration. Our closet is a lot smaller, so we made tweaks accordingly. I basically sent this post to my hubby and told him to make it happen. Boy, do I love him!

You will have to trust him when a I tell you that nail gun and miter saw are going to make this project a whole lot easier. He recommends the Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer and the Dewalt DW715 Miter Saw. I'm hoping an investment in tools like this means we can put up some shiplap and crown molding soon. 

Once he was done with the build out, he tagged me in to fill the nail holes and caulk the gaps and seams. He joked that Chip was handing the baton off to JoJo (all you Fixer Upper fans will understand). After I got done filling and caulking, I came to the conclusion that Jo would had left this job to Chip. It's tedious, and you definitely need a lot of patience for it. You need to fill every nail hole with wood filler and fill in all the seams with all purpose caulk. Then sand everything down and wipe it down with a tack cloth.

We had some paint left over from painting our baseboards a while back. I used Sherwin Williams ProClassic Acrylic Latex in Semi Gloss. The mudroom is going to get a lot of traffic and using a semi gloss will make it super easy to wipe up. In fact, my 2 year old found a pencil this weekend and wrote all over the bench. It cleaned up with a little soap and water. Whoop, whoop! 

We decided to remove the door to the closet as well because we were really happy with the way it looked. The hallway is really tight with the door, and it was always getting caught on the rug. I filled up all the holes in the frame with more wood filler, sanded them down and finished them off with a couple of coats of my ProClassic paint.

I completed the mudroom with some Seagrass storage baskets from Target. Here is another storage basket option I found on Amazon. The great thing about Seagrass is it won't scratch your floors. I also bought the hooks from Target, but you can also find some more hook options over at Amazon if you don't want to leave the house.

Lastly, to really make the white woodwork pop I painted the walls in the closet Sherwin Williams Special Gray to match the accent wall in our family room. I love the rich, dark gray against the pure white trim.

We are super happy with how this turned out, but the best part of all is that the kids can now hang up their stuff all on their own! Do you have a closet dying for this makeover?  

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Grandma's Tables Upcycled

painted ethan allen furniture

These beautiful end tables were dropped off to me by a client several weeks ago. They belonged to her late grandmother who she spoke very fondly of and remembered her always loving the way she decorated. She wanted to pay homage to her by having these tables in her home, but their current finish wasn't meshing well with the rest of her decor. 

After a stroll around my showroom, a.k.a. the main level in my house, we settled on Annie Sloan's Old White with clear wax only and medium distressing- very similar to my Grandma's table. What a coincidence.

These tables were beautiful to begin with. Hello, I have never met an Ethan Allen I didn't like. The Old White finish gives them a new level of elegance with a bit of coziness thrown in. My client really loves them, and I think her grandma would, too.

chalk paint white

Old white annie sloan

paint hardware

annie sloan old white

Do you have any family heirlooms in your house? Would you be terrified to paint them?

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Pin-spired: DIY Country Chic Window Treatments

branch curtain rod

Are you a Pinterest addict like me? I love that there is a simple place to go for inspiration and store it all in neat little categories. This weekend, I finally turned one of those pins into reality, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it with you today.

This project was "pin"-spired by Jennifer over at Town and Country Living. I am a little bit obsessed with burlap. I love its natural, earthy color and the relaxed, country vibe it gives off. I really loved the idea of pairing it with a tree branch for an extra punch of rustic charm.

I started this project by dumpster diving over at my brother-in-law's house after he had a long day of pruning his trees. I measured my window and searched the pile for a branch that was long enough and fairly straight. I had to cut off lots of excess branches, but I found two sticks that worked really well for me. If you don't have trees yourself or a relative or friend that you can use to "branch hunt," take a drive around town. Right now, people will be pruning to prepare for spring. If you see a pile of wood in someone's yard, go knock on their door and see if they are okay with you taking a stick or two off their hands.

branch curtain rod

You will need to debug your branches before you bring them in your home. I washed mine down with a bleach and water solution and a scrubbing brush. After a quick rinse with the hose, I let them dry in the hot sun for an hour or two. If your sticks are smaller, you can place them in a garbage bag and put a bug bomb in there. Most of us don't have a spare kiln or oven big enough to bake these suckers, so those are the best suggestions I have for killing any critters on them.

For hanging the sticks, I used some steel corner brackets. As I have told you before, my hubby likes to use his drill, so he helped me hang the branch. I do know how to use the drill, but doesn't he look so hot using power tools? After we figured out where the stick would be flush with the wall (your stick will not be straight so don't panic) we marked those two spots and hung the brackets there. Then, hubby drilled a screw straight into the stick. Leave enough space between the branch and the wall to weave the fabric through.

hand branch on wall

Per Jennifer's suggestion, I bought landscaping burlap to swag on my branch. I work with burlap a lot and normally get it from the craft or fabric store, but this is a lot lighter and flexible- perfect for swaging. I tied it off at one end and looped it around the branch a couple of times. Then, cut it to the length I wanted and tied off the other end. No sewing. Super simple. 

burlap curtain

burlap valance

burlap branch valance

I just love it, and cannot believe how cheap it was to make this project a reality. Thank you again to Jennifer at Town and Country Living for the "pin"-spiration. Does this "pin"-spire you to take a pin a make it come to life in your home?

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http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net photo TheHappyHousiebuttonfeb2_zpsbc362976.png

Frenchy Country Wall Collage

While I tend to lean more toward country than french country in my decorating taste these days, this project definitely has some French influence so I am dubbing it Frenchy Country. 

I recently made a jute letter and wanted to incorporate it into a collage for our family room. We have two huge blank walls on either side of our massive television (thank you dear husband) and, I wanted something unique to hang there besides another picture. I was inspired by different arrangements I have seen on Pinterest and in a recent friend's home. After hours of wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby, I came up with this.

Frenchy Country Wall Collage

This door handle I found in the cabinet hardware/pulls section. Honestly, I love this more than my jute "M." The best part- 50% off. Cost: $5.99

This fleur-de-lis I had in my last home. Like my jute letter, it needed to be lightened up. I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, mildly distressed it and used both clear and dark wax to finish it off. I have two of these and originally purchased them from Hobby Lobby.

I found this key on a table they had set up with "Spring Collection" items. All priced at 30% off. This table was a jackpot. I also got two glass jars and a metal basket. I can't wait to show you how I use those. Cost:  $4.49

I found the frames back in the frame section if you can believe it. These unfortunately were not on sale and were the most expensive items in the collage. However, I always have my trusty Hobby Lobby app which normally always offers a 40% coupon for one full price item. Cost: $17.99 (oval frame after coupon) $14.99 (square)

The cross I found in the cross section (yes, they have a whole section of crosses). I don't think this piece is particular Frenchy, but I liked it. It is rustic and is a symbol of my family's deep love for Jesus. It will be a daily reminder of his redeeming love, so I went for it. I can be very eclectic at times, and that is okay. I don't claim to be an expert. I just do what I like. Another bargain at 50% off. Cost: $4.99

Here is a before and after just for fun so you can see how far we have come in this room. Still more work to do, but not too shabby.


Disclaimer: This blog and post was not sponsored by Hobby Lobby. I hope maybe one day it will be. Wink, wink.