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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Dining Room - Before & After

It is reflection time again. I have shied away from sharing a before and after of my dining room because it is incomplete in my eyes. I still need some window treatments, wall hangings, a rug perhaps. But I am sick of waiting, and I want to share it with you because it is my happy place. Seriously, I sometimes just sit in my front room and stare at the dining room because it is so pretty and peaceful. 


The before pic is actually from our house's listing before we bought it back in September, and the furniture you see belonged to the former owner. We put down the hardwood before we moved in along with some taller baseboards, and I also seized the opportunity to paint under the chair rail while we were stripped down to subfloors. There is nothing that is less me than a warm toned red, and I knew it had to go even before I had any kind of vision for this room.

The walls were painted with Sherwin-Williams Hazel in late fall, and we installed the light from Menards shortly after. I inherited the main pieces for this room early this year and eventually painted the table and hutch which you might have seen before if you have been visiting Pretty Distressed for a while now. Most of the decor in the room along with the two end chairs are from HomeGoods, another happy place of mine.






While I love HGTV, there is no instant gratification in a real life makeover. I work on things as time and budget allows. I hope you, too, can take the time to enjoy your space where it is and not get hung up on where you want it to be some day. My dining room journey is not over, but I am still getting a lot of joy out of how far it has come. To be continued...

Linking up at:
Savvy Southern Style

Window Shopping Wednesday - Vanity Light Fixtures


It's time again for Window Shopping Wednesday, a new feature on Pretty Distressed designed to help you shop from the comfort of your computer chair. No showering or makeup required.

This week I am taking a look at bathroom vanity light fixtures. Light fixtures can be a big investment, but in the grand scheme of remodeling costs, you can get a lot of bang for your buck by replacing a dated fixture. And in most cases, they are pretty easy to install as long as you follow the safety instructions included with your purchase.

Look at the difference in my own master bath once I updated my $35 builder grade light with the Argenta 5 Light Vanity Light from Z-Lite.



This modern-farmhouse bathroom is all over Pinterest, and it is easy to see why. I am in love with the use of this barn light over a vanity from Decor Pad. It is a really unique look.


Let's move onto our next fixture from Melissa at 320 Sycamore. Here is an example of a clean, modern fixture. It looks really classy and not too flashy. 


My last inspiration is bringing fancy back. I love the romantic elegance of this fixture from Accent Surfaces.



Get the look:

Argenta 5 Light Vanity Light from Z-Lite

NPower Warehouse Barn Light


BEME International Parker Brushed Nickel

PLC Lighting Rigga Collection
Happy window shopping! Come back on Friday when I will be featuring a post about my local Annie Sloan stockist, Carter's Cottage, in Dekalb, Illinois. I had quite a magical visit there last week and can't wait to tell you all about it.

* some affiliate links may be used in this post. Please see full disclosure here. Thanks!

The Great Remodel - Kitchen Deets

This is it. My fourth and final post on the kitchen remodel. It is time for all the juicy details on the products and vendors we used.

We started out meeting with Christ from Pearl Design Group in Bloomingdale, Ill. The experience was awesome. We had met with several other vendors before this, but Christ was the first that I got excited about working with. He really listened to my wants and concerns particularly about wanting seating at the island and came up with the solution to shift the fridge over to give us more space. Genius! 
After much discussion and a visit to the Pearl showroom we landed on a Merillat Classic cabinet. We chose a classic Shaker style, the Portrait w/ 5 piece drawer in maple with a Cotton (white) finish, and decided to go with a two toned approach for the island in Dusk (grayish black) finish. They all come standard with soft closes, and we are really enjoying the added features of a spice rack and pantry with roll out shelves.


Like I shared in my first post, Mike Titone of the Titoni Group Inc did our install and was amazing. He is so professional, reliable and most importantly does beautiful work. He involved us every step of the way so that we could make informed decisions about our kitchen.

For the countertops, we used Frank from Counter Source Design. We debated between granite and quartz, but ended up choosing quartz for its durability and uniform look. Although granite is sometimes perceived as higher end, they are completely comparable. Quartz is actually more expensive in some cases. We chose a ColorQuartz Stone in the 800 series called Oyster Shell. I love the fact that we don't have to keep resealing it like granite, and you can use anything to clean it.
gray quartz

For the sink, we chose a deep, single basin sink, the Eclipse Single Bowl 16 Gauge Sink in stainless steel. This thing is so big, we could bathe both kids in here. We also selected our faucet from Eclipse, the Poseidon in stainless steel.
single bowl sink

The backsplash actually came from Home Depot which was nice because we didn't have to make a trip to a specialty tile store. We really wanted the quartz to be the star of the kitchen so we went with a simple ceramic tile, Daltile Rittenhouse Square White 3" x 6" in white. We chose a gray grout, Polyblend Delorean Gray Non-Sanded Grout, to complement the countertops and add some interest to the plain white tiles.
white subway tile

Lastly, one of my favorite parts of the kitchen and honestly the hardest decision I had to make was the cabinet hardware. After countless hours searching the internet and visiting stores, we selected a mix of the Dakota Round Knob and Dakota Wire Pull from Restoration Hardware. For the white cabinets we used the Soft Iron finish and on the black island we used Rustic Pewter. All the knobs are the 1 1/4" and the pulls are a combination of the 3" and 6".
Restoration Hardware
Dakota Round Knob 1 1/4" in Soft Iron
restoration hardware pull
Dakota Wire Pull 6" in Soft Iron
Restoration Hardware pull
Dakota Wire Pull 3" in Rustic Pewter
Restoration Hardware knob
Dakota Round Knob 1 1/4" in Rustic Pewter
There you have it- our new kitchen. I am so in love. Please let me know if you have anymore questions on the products used in our kitchen or the vendors we worked with. I love to talk about the journey!

The Great Remodel - Kitchen Before and After Pics

So the big kitchen reveal was on Monday if you missed it. In this post, I wanted to share some before and after pics- HGTV style. I wish I had taken more pics when we first moved in before the floors and new appliances went in, but it is still a major transformation.





The bottom of this cabinet was rotted out and the sink was really thin and shallow. I must confess, I really wanted an apron front sink but my husband and our cabinet designer talked me out of it. In the end, I am really happy with this single basin sink we went with. This thing is huge and really solid, and we saved around $1,000 as opposed to going with a farmhouse sink.




This is the part of the kitchen that made the least sense to me. There was this little tiny piece of counter by the refrigerator that was only good for collecting junk, mail, toys and anything else we could stuff on there. We decided to box out the refrigerator and add a pantry cabinet with pull out shelfs. The amount of space we have gained over here is amazing. We also moved the fridge over to the right side of this space to allow more room for seating at the island.


So I believe all islands should have seating. It is just my thing. I had three different designers tell me I wasn't going to be happy with the room I had for seating at our island. I am glad I stuck to my guns because once we cheated the island a little closer to the sink and moved the fridge to the right of its nook, there is plenty of space. I even got to hear my husband utter those three magical words, "You were right." Victory.


Before our remodel, we only had five drawers in the whole kitchen. Now, we have a bank by the range and another by the sliding door. Not to mention, we had these two weird skinny cabinets and some huge fillers by the sink. Now, we have wall to wall cabinets with tons of storage and room to grow.  

Check back Monday when I will be sharing all the details on the products in our kitchen from the hardware to the backsplash. See you then.