Monday, February 27, 2017

The bright and light mudroom makeover is complete!

As many of you know, it can take me eons to finish up a room makeover. It's usually because of two things -- we pay cash for everything so I only make updates as the budget allows. And since I try to do most of it myself, it just takes longer than it would if I hired out. I don't mind this usually because I think I make better decisions when I take my time. 

I'll take even longer if it's a room we don't use often (like our guest room) or one that we use mostly (and guests don't see) so I'm not as concerned about it getting finished up quickly. I've been working on our mudroom for more than three years now -- well, even longer than that if you consider all of our changes -- but I've been making updates for a few years to get it the way I want it. 

And it's FINALLY DONE. Whoot! You may have seen the most dramatic changes I shared last fall, but I wasn't calling it done till we got the storage shelf built and finished up. Now it's finished and because this room looks so different from where we started, I'm sharing a bunch of before and after pics. (My favorite!)

This is one of the biggest transformations in our house, but probably one of the simplest in terms of what we did to change it up. When we built our house the laundry room and mud room were combined. And I hated it from day one because no matter what we did, it looked like this every day: 
Mudroom makeover BEFORE

You can't tell from that pic, but I had already made some changes to the room. I painted it yellow with black accents way back in the day, and then installed inexpensive vinyl floor tiles

What you CAN tell is that the room was a disaster. ALWAYS. It drove us both crazy. There was no closed storage, there wasn't enough room and washer and dryer became our dumping ground for everything

Thankfully, when we finished our basement we added a laundry room. When people ask me if we mind it in the basement I cannot help but express my JOY. ;) We actually quite like it down there (upstairs would be awesome, but we were working with what we had) and I love love LOVE that it's out of this room now. 

Later on I made some additional updates like adding more beadboard around the room where the washer and dryer were, we had some sconces added, and I built the DIY mud room bench:
Mudroom bench made out of kitchen cabinets

Oh my, I miss that fluffy cat every single day. :) 

I was trying to do something different than my normal style with that peacock blue trim and walls, but I grew tired of it. Although I still LOVE that color, it just wasn't our style and didn't mesh with the rest of the house. 

Last year I took on the huge job of painting all the trim and the walls. It made a HUGE difference:
Canvas market bag

There were only two things left that I wanted to tackle -- storage above the bench and crown molding. Last fall we got help with the simple cubby build and then I painted that and the crown molding. 

I looked for weeks to find the right storage baskets for the shelf and ended up with these cubbies from Target instead: 
Pillowfort Target wood cubbies
I ended up staining them and adding metal house numbers I found at Home Depot to the front. NOW the room is done!: 
Bright laundry room turned mudroom makeover

I wish I would have gone a little lighter with my stain on the cubbies -- it's the same color as the bench but that soft wood soaked it up! I just love them though -- they are easier to access than baskets and I love how they look! We use a small stool to get to them and as I mentioned, they hold items we don't need to access very often. 

I've kept the decor in this room really simple -- and the storage is simple as well. The bench holds our shoes, there's a metal basket on the wall that holds items we need to take out to the car and the cubbies above hold off season items and extras. It's a perfect spot for random stuff in our house! I'll list all the items and the paint colors at the bottom of the post. 

When I started the process of transitioning from the black and yellow to the dark blue and light walls, I added my craftsman/farmhouse trim to the three doorways in the room. I also went light blue with the door, which I didn't love long term:
Light blue interior door

I switched some lights around in the house and removed the fluorescent light we had in here. This small chandelier used to hang in our closet: 
Peacock blue walls with trim

I kept trying to live with the peacock blue, but it just wasn't meshing. We have black doors throughout our house and once this one went black I knew it was the right move: 
Black interior doors

You can see here that I never moved the washer and dryer to paint the room yellow 😬: 
Moving the laundry room

And no one knew till we moved them. ;) This room felt SO MUCH better just with the simple addition of hooks there -- like it was supposed to function this way all along. 

I painted the room white and we added a bench for storage for awhile: 
Making a laundry into a mudroom

And now that same angle looks like this: 
Laundry room turned mudroom makeover


Light mudroom with wood accents

Our mud room is actually fairly large -- but half of it is a long hallway by the utility closet. Years ago I changed out the inexpensive metal folding doors that we used to have:
Black and yellow laundry room

To some nicer wood ones -- I added the handles to them and it was an easy upgrade. You can see how I changed out the door trim here as well:  

When I painted the room last year, I simplified the art wall straight ahead with one pretty piece instead. We have enough going on with the IKEA command center I installed (and still love):
IKEA wire art display

The addition of crown molding made a big difference in here: 
Bright mud room makeover

I LOVE that I don't even mind that utility closet anymore -- it used to stand out like a sore thumb. I considered spraying them the dark blue color years ago and I'm so glad I didn't! 

Here are some final looks at this space -- I'm so pleased with it and as always, I did the majority of the projects myself and we only made changes as we could afford them. I'm so glad we waited too -- now it functions perfectly for our needs. We didn't need a TON of storage in here -- hooks for coats, a spot for shoes and storage for odds and ends were all that were needed: 
DIY mud room storage

Beadboard mud room with blue walls

Bright and light mud room with DIY bench

Classic white mud room with black door

Changing out the light bulbs to daylight bulbs makes a HUGE difference too. This room doesn't get any natural light so the new bulbs make it feel so much brighter.

Here's a list of the items from this room -- some were purchased years ago but I'll add them anyway:

Utility doors: Lowe's
Wood cubbies: Target (Pillowfort line)
Metal numbers: Home Depot
Magnetic bird key holders: Container store (this option is cute too!)
"Exit" sign on door: HomeGoods
Sconces on wall: Lowe's (see more and a link here)
Pillow on bench: HomeGoods
Metal basket on wall: HomeGoods
Hooks on wall: Home Depot
Command center: IKEA
Art: Target

Paint colors: White, Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Walls: Krypton by SW
Door: Graphite by Benjamin Moore, mixed in SW

Let me know if I've forgotten anything!

Friday, February 24, 2017

My first wood burning project!

So I've used a LOT of tools over the years and feel comfortable with all of them. But I still get intimidated when I use a new one! (The tile saw made me sweat the first time, till I realized how easy it was to use!) If someone is interested in learning how to use a new tool I tell them to do two things -- do a ton of research (blogs are a GREAT resource 😉) and take your time and "get to know" the tool before you use it. 

When I'm trying something for the first time I take my time unboxing it and putting it tougher, and read all of the paperwork that comes with it. This helps to ease me into it and makes me feel more comfortable. I also look up videos to see how people use the tool. 

Recently the folks at Dremel asked me to share a DIY project using their Dremel Maker Kit and I was honored they asked...but nervous to try something new!:
Dremel maker kit review for burning and cutting wood

I laugh when I think about that because I feel totally comfortable using my huge compound miter saw but these little Dremel tools were intimidating me. I think it happens to everyone -- and I think it's a good thing because you don't want be overly confident when you use a tool for the first time.

This maker kit comes with three tools -- the Dremel 200 rotary tool, which can be used for a variety of DIY projects. The Dremel engraver is for engraving stone, metal and wood. And the VersaTip soldering torch, which I was most excited about, is for burning into wood, soldering or cutting: 
Dremel three piece tool set

I had a project in mind and I knew either the engraver or the VersaTip would work:
Dremel tool kits

I worked in the garage on a large scrap piece of wood and started trying them out (after reading all the materials on operation). 

I tried the engraver first and it was so cool and incredibly easy to use: 
Dremel engraving tool

I knew right away this wasn't the look I wanted but I am thinking of ways I can use this one on metal or glass in the future. 

I really wanted to give this project a burned look so I decided to try the VersaTip instead. You need to fill the tool with butane -- we already had some for filling our candle lighters. You flip the tool upside down and then press the butane nozzle into it. It only takes a few seconds to fill it up -- you'll feel the canister getting cold: 
Butane Dremel wood burner

You need to let the butane warm up a bit and then it's ready to use! 

It was incredibly easy to operate -- there's a safety switch but once you flip that up it's just like a lighter. You'll hear the torch start burning and you'll see it as well: 
Dremel VersaTip for wood burning crafts

You can smell the butane a bit -- that's another reason you may want to try this project outside. It's not overpowering by any means. This tool comes with a bunch of tips for different projects -- from cutting to soldering to burning. I found this one above to be the easiest for this project. 

On a side note -- I was thrilled to learn that I can use this tool for caramelizing foods as well. I've always wanted to try making creme brûlée at home and now I can! :) 

Once I was comfortable with using the tool, I printed out what I wanted to burn into the wood. A friend of ours is getting married later this year and I thought this would be a cute addition to their gift. I LOVE adding a handmade or personal gift for weddings or baby showers and used to do it a lot. I'm trying to get back to that. :) 

I found a package of wood slices at Michael's for this project and taped the image onto the wood: 
Burning wood with Dremel tool

Then I traced the letters with a pen to transfer the image to the wood like I showed you how to do here

On some of them I found it was helpful to trace the imprint with a pen before I started with the tool. I took the paper off (don't leave it on there with a flame!) and started burning the shapes into the wood:
Wedding gift wood coasters

This is not a quick project -- you'll want to take your time and be methodical about it. I started with a lighter hand to get my shape and would go back over it to get the darker burnt look. 

I think they turned out SO cute. I'm kind of in love with them. In my head I made these planning to gift them as coasters so I added a couple layers of wipe on polyurethane:
DIY wedding gift/craft

But really, they could be used in so many ways!

I added some felt stickers to the bottom of each one so they don't scratch: 
DIY wood slice coasters

I tried to do wedding-type images -- their initials, the heart (like one you would see carved into a tree) and the Roman numeral for the day they're getting married and the year: 
DIY wood slice wood burning craft
I think they'll make great coasters! But they could be used in so many other ways too -- I could see them as super cute ornaments if they decide to drill a hole into the top of each one. I also think they'd be fun as art in a shadow box or placed on top of a black background in a frame. They could also be used as small trivets for dishes -- there are so many uses!

I just think they're plain cute and I smile when I see them. The bride and groom are a fun young couple and I hope they'll enjoy them too: 
Wood burning craft/gift with wood slices

I'm so glad I tried this tool and got over being intimidated by something new. Of course after I used it I realized how easy it was! We have a Dremel cutting tool that I've used in the past but this set is more for precision crafts and items where you want to add more detail. I highly recommend it if you are interested in doing those types of projects. 

Have you tried this tool for any crafts or DIY projects? I though it was fun and it wasn't nearly as intimidating to use as I thought it would be. I felt comfortable with it within minutes of trying it out and burning the wood was fun. My mind is swimming with ideas for future projects! Now I'm off to make creme brûlée! ;)