“Encountering a butterfly is the sign of the transition from an old life to a new life, from a state of ignorance to awareness, from a hard life to a better life . . . The Butterfly . . . reminds us that each of us transform[s] through multiple stages in our life. It is only through exertion that we emerge into who we will be next.” —designer Danielle Fischera on her clothing collection’s signature print for Spring 2020
The transformation of our home into our sanctuary begins with the courage to understand what is needed to rejuvenate and restore us when we return from the outside world, when we emerge from our deep slumber each morning and what we need as we putter around the house resting and creating and enjoying our time within the four walls.
The first project of my own home, the first room I wanted to decorate and furnish was the first room I see when I enter into my home and the last room I see when I leave, the mudroom. As I shared in this post, the goal for redecorating this space was “to create a room that enables ease of entry and exit each time, offering organizational systems and locations for the everyday items I use but that can also create clutter if not stored properly”.
My aesthetic preferences were to create a mudroom that included my English country predilections: my love for rain (there must be a place to put my umbrella), the papering of the walls in a classic English wallpaper print; as well as my love of France as I wanted to showcase, but also make readily available for use my French market totes. From when I began perusing for wallpaper, as that would determine the colors scheme, until the final item arrived – a basket into which I would place the newspaper recyclables and canvas market tote for everyday grocery shopping, it took four months to locate, ship and decorate, and finally complete the room.
First, let’s take a look at the before pictures, as well as the process of wallpapering. Having looked at a handful of English wallpaper companies, when I came across Little Greene’s Grosvenor’s Primrose print (there are four additional differing colors in the same design) I knew it was the one. The taupe background would blend seamlessly with the wall color already in my home, and the yellow blooms brought the sunshine that I wanted into a fairly dark room as it is enclosed and less open than the rest of the house; however, Little Greene doesn’t ship to the states. Hmmm . . .
I reached out to Little Greene directly via email, and while there was a work-around for shipping to the states, it was not going to be simple, easy or likely cheap. One thing that Little Greene did do that I greatly appreciated is that they did ship me via Royal Post a sample. It was upon receiving the sample that I confirmed my choice for the wallpaper. Grosvenor Primrose it would be. Determined to have this particular wallpaper on my mudroom walls, while I would have put in the effort and time with LG and would do if necessary, I searched a bit more and found a British decor company – Tallantyre Interiors who carried Little Greene’s wallpaper. After a direct email request, Tallantyre was willing to ship me the four rolls of wallpaper I needed without fuss or extreme shipping expense. In fewer than seven days, I had my wallpaper, and the project of hanging this treasured significant detail began the following weekend.
Wallpapering is certainly a decor idea that will significantly change any room in the most wonderful of ways. As one TSLL reader describes it, wallpaper gives the room and therefore the home “a personal, friendly hug” (thank you Sheryl M.!). I look forward to bringing more wallpaper into my home, and after completing this room, I am even more confident I can indeed do it by myself.
~Check out this post for detailed tips on how to wallpaper by yourself, complete with a list of supplies.
The room is about 7 x 8 feet square, not that large, but with two doors, and two large windows, and a nine foot ceiling, it had the potential of appearing larger than it was.
I was thankful that the trim was already painted a warm white shade as that is exactly what I would have wanted it to be had I done it myself. The walls are a shade of taupe which is fine, but the room needed some personality and certainly more functionality. Oh, and that ceiling light, had to go.
View a detailed list of the items shown, in this detailed post.
Quickly, before we take a look at the final reveal. 🙂 Where does inspiration for any redecorating project come from? Often my inspiration for how to decorate a room comes from visuals and other home tours, and such was the case with my mudroom. It was the mudroom in this Sussex house (seen below, right) that inspired the round knobs upon which to hang market totes, as well as an image I found in the newspaper (below, left) which brought together three components I knew I wanted in my space, but wasn’t, until seeing the image, certain they would or how they would work together.
And now, to the reveal. I do hope you enjoy the tour.
While undertaking any decor project, when you find yourself in the middle of it, the decisions have been made, the details, furniture, etc. have been purchased, you just plow forward (or maybe that’s just me), but I chose to trust the visual I had held in my mind since I purchased my home. Once I had decided upon the specific details, I never really looked up until it was done. I wanted to walk into an English garden of sorts and smile spontaneously, and for my preferences, for my what makes me smile, I am beyond tickled with how the space turned out.
Let me share with you all of the details of the mudroom and how and why they were chosen.
As a dog owner, my boys needed a space to dine, but I have always included their “dining room” close or a part of the house as a whole, so their dishes are situated in the mudroom in our new home.
The wooden dots (or round hooks) are from a Danish company, Muuto, and are solid oak, ash and walnut. Extremely heavy duty. You can order them in four different sizes, and pre-order them in a multitude of colors. I chose to keep my without paint. Currently eight dots in three different sizes hang in my mudroom.
This is the largest dot, 17 cm.
The first dot put into place. Simple to install. They come with long screws that you will need to drill into a pre-drilled hole which should be into a stud. Then place the screw into the whole with a drill, then with your hand, screw on the knob until snug against the wall. This dot is the one in the above photo hanging the navy blue tote.
The sturdy knobs (dots) also were a desired decor decision for keeping those items I use everyday off of the ground as well as well cared for. My daily tote and everyday handbag needed a safe and visible place to be, so I could quickly locate them and head about my day, as well as quickly place upon returning home.
I also usually walk in the door with my mail, and I wanted a place to put any bills, magazines or necessary incoming deliveries if I was not ready to go through them, but did not want to clutter a counter or lose track of any of the items. That was when I came across this handy rattan mail/book basket from Food52.
As it is a mudroom, while I do take most of my shoes off in the garage – snow boots, ski boots, garden shoes/wellies, etc., I do need a a place upon which to sit to take off my shoes from work (heels, flats, etc.), as well as a place to put on my shoes before going out the door. I considered placing a single unique chair here, but decided against it as it is never big enough as you move about trying to pull off or tug on a boot or shoe and then you have to set your purse or tote on the floor as you do so.
Having a bench gives me the space to sprawl, to move if need be and if I want to, just sit with my boys. 🙂
This bench, the Carpinteria Bench in natural was found on One King’s Lane, and the length was a perfect fit for this space. The color of the seating cushion looks darker on OKL, but I was happy with it being lighter as this room receives an abundance of afternoon sunshine (west facing) and therefore the cushion wouldn’t fade much more than what it already is. However, I am contemplating upholstering it in a different fabric down the road and simply pulling the shades in the afternoon.
A small table was something I also wanted to include for a place to put my keys, set anything that needed to be placed upon something sturdy, and when available, a bouquet of flowers to brighten up the space even more.
This bronze table is actually something I have had for about seven years. I picked it up at Rejuvenation, and have enjoyed having it as a side table throughout my different homes over the years. It is light in weight, it offers a new color and texture to the space, and it also fit perfectly into this corner nestled in with the bench.
The dish was recently found at an estate sale for a few dollars, and I love the small finger hold which is something that I don’t see often on similar ceramic dishes.
Along with the traditional English wallpaper which was inspired by wallpaper found in a London Grosvenor home in the 19th century, I wanted to add a touch of modernity as well as a touch of France beyond the market baskets. As well, something cozy and comfortable beyond just a functional room. Enter French designer of eclectic home decor John Derian. His linen print pillows have had my eye since I laid my eyes on them a few years ago, and the Mirrored Butterflies Carmine pillow has always been my favorite. As soon as it went on sale over a long weekend sale at Horchow, I pounced and felt it added just the extra something I was looking for.
The last detail in the corner that was a must-have for functionality and organization was a place to put three things: the newspapers and any paper recyclables before I take them outside to the recycle bin, canvas and cloth totes for daily/weekly grocery visits and my yoga mat.
I looked at more than a handful of baskets, and while the prices ranged from $40-$300, I ultimately chose a classic basket that was available at a great price, offered a natural color and texture, and was exactly the size I needed. Pottery Barn’s Beachcomber Low Rectangular Handled Basket was reduced to $69 and shipping was free. It looks far smaller online, so be sure to do your measuring (I think I measured my space four times, and sure enough, it fit as I had hoped).
The final corner of the room is for my umbrellas and an homage to the English countryside.
Inslee‘s watercolor illustration which debuted here on the blog for the first annual British Week was in many ways the muse for the space, and I feel beyond fortunate to have her work in my home.
The ceramic butter churn offered the taupe color, a sturdy base for umbrellas to be perched and keeps the water off of the floor. I recently picked up this churn at the same estate sale mentioned above for $35.
Last but not least, while we may not look up often in a room such as a mudroom, lighting and the light fixture can change the space immensely, so I knew the original modern wide bulk fixture had to be updated.
I have purchased a few lights from Rejuvenation, which has a flagship store in Portland, Oregon, and each time I am happy with my decision. I trust their products. They are well made, and they look as though they have stepped out of the past.
I was drawn to the Oswego 9″ clear semi-flush dome with old brass finish. Waiting for their winter lighting sale to take place, when it arrived, I picked up one of these for my mudroom and one for my foyer to match my kitchen pendants. Each of these lights are hand-blown and shipped from Portland, so they arrived quickly and were easily to install.
Choosing clear over opaque was a conscious decision to keep the space open and as large as possible.
One last detail. The flooring. I went back and forth over whether to place a rug in the mudroom. As by description a mudroom is for “mud”, I did not want to damage my hardwoods.
However, as I mentioned before, I take off my dirty or large boots in the garage, so instead what I decided to do was place a rug in the laundry room which leads out to the garage, and leave the mudroom floor bare. Now this may change in the future, but so far I am pleased with this decision as the floor looks wonderful, and the rug in the laundry room warms up the entry to the mudroom in just the right proportion.
Speaking of the rug in the laundry room, I was beyond elated to have found it. It is part jute, part cotton and offers a small, subtle design that works with the taupe in the room (Larissa Natural Fiber Rug from Pottery Barn).
Having the first room complete along the journey of customization is a jumpstarting project as it has reminded me of the power of simple changes, all of which each of us can do without a contractor or extra help. We just need to know where to begin.
Last week I shared how I began my own home customization journey with details on exactly what – where to begin and how. Needless to say, my decor ideas are dancing and I have already moved on to another room. More reveals to come soon in the following months. Do stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out all of TSLL Home Customization posts here in the Archives.
Thank you for stopping by to take the tour!
SHOP THE ROOM:
- Larissa Natural Fiber Rug
- Oswego 9″ Clear Dome Semi-Flush Light (old brass – shown in my room, incorrect color shown in collage below)
- Beachcomber Rectangular Low Basket
- Carpinteria Bench, natural
- Hanging Rattan Book/Mail Basket
- John Derian Mirrored Butterflies Carmine 23″ sq linen pillow
- Little Greene Grosvenor Primrose wallpaper