19 August 2014

Mudroom - The Before Photos

As promised, I snapped a few 'before' photos of our utility room/soon to be mudroom. Last week I shared with you my plans for this space.

Be warned: these photos aren't pretty. Our current utility room is cluttered, messy, dark and scary. It doesn't help that the lighting isn't the best for photos. I had to prop open the garage door to get a little more light to get them this bright. The room itself isn't bad during the day and we have two light sources when it gets dark at night. 

This is the view from the door entering from the garage. There is a double window (Maybe 50" wide? I could be wrong, but I'm basing it off the size of the 40" bench I purchased) that looks out into the backyard. We already had the Ikea Aneboda Wardrobe in place when I took these photos and have since added the bench from Target under the windows. We have a bulky high chair holding all the leftover decorations from Lucy's birthday party, as well as Jordan's tool box and a storage bin with more tools under the window. To the right are a few kitchen appliances that we don't use regularly. Next to the window is our Verizon box where our internet/cable is hooked up (eyesore #1).

Turning to the left you can see the door that leads into our laundry room. You can also see our hot water heater and furnace against that wall (eyesores #2 and #3). Along the garage wall we have our dingy utility sink (eyesore #4) as well as all our cleaning supplies stored underneath. I know it looks like a dangerous situation for a house with young kiddos, but Lucy has never been one to get into things she isn't supposed to (Honestly we've never even baby proofed past outlets and a gate at the steps). By the time Mila is up and crawling around this room will be in shape and the cleaning supplies will be stored off the floor.  

When you face the other way you can see our oil tank against the far wall (eyesore #5). The door on the right leads to our garage. You can see on both the far wall and garage wall that there are brackets for shelves already installed. This would be nice, except when Jordan tried to hang shelves they fell right down. We plan to remove these as we want to repaint the room anyway.

It's a little difficult to see, but the far corner contains our paint supplies as well as a stash of wall art and rugs that we haven't decided what to do with, yet. The vaccuum, shop vac and rug shampooer are just hanging out in front of the oil tank.
After chatting a bit we decided that we'd like to somehow install a track unit along the ceiling about a foot or so in front of the oil tank that we can hang a wall-to-wall curtain to create a 'wall' that closes off the tank from the rest of the room. We would also use the empty space (well empty once we remove all the clutter) to the left of the tank to install real shelves and store all our cleaning supplies and hide our vaccuums behind that curtain.

Here are the two light sources I mentioned above. I'm not really sure the reason for the placement of the track light aside from the fact that the stagers had a card table under the window. I'd like to find a more modern, smaller track light to replace this one that still gives significant light. The flush mount will be replaced with the Crate and Barrel pendant I shared in last week's post. I also have plans for some window treatments thanks to a great deal I scored on a clearance curtain from Pottery Barn. My idea will put my sewing skills to the test. I also ordered the Chevron Knot Rug from West Elm earlier this week since it's currently on sale!
There you have it. Our ugly little utility room. These photos really make me want to get moving.
Do you have any 'ugly' rooms you're itching to makeover?

15 August 2014


Taking the day off to wear a crown and drink coffee in bed all day. 
Have a great weekend!

14 August 2014

School Shopping with Tea Collection

Today's post is a fun, non-home decor post. With three weeks to go until school starts, I've had serious school shopping on the brain. I was definitely one of those kids who would get excited for back to school shopping. I loved picking out my favorite patterned folders, notebooks, bookbag, pencils, etc. One thing I didn't get to enjoy was back to school clothes shopping. I went to private school K-12 grades and wore a uniform every day. Once I started college it was a whole new experience to actually plan out what to wear each day.

Lucy is starting preschool this year (cue my tears) and will be going three days a week. In all honesty I'm really excited for her to begin school and all the fun experiences that go with it. Plus I'll take any excuse to do a little shopping and Lucy could certainly use some fall clothes.

I recently teamed up with Tea Collection as a new affiliate for A Simple Kind of Life. I was first introdued to Tea Collection when Lucy was born and I received a few items from their infant line as a gift. I fell in love with their unique patterns, great fit and mature look. I really love when kids' clothes mirror something I would wear myself. My favorite thing about Tea Collection is how great all of the pieces can be mixed and matched. Purchase a few staple items and you'll be set for the season!

After drooling over their fall collection I put together a few outfits that I could defiitely see Lucy rocking to school.

The first option is my personal favorite as I have a pair of pants almost identical to those and I'm not ashamed to dress Lucy and mommy alike. I think the top right would be Lucy's favorite as my girl loves red.
Are you itching to do some shopping now? Click below to get started.
BONUS: They're having an extra 25% off sale items today only with code 'BYEBYE'.
*Note: The above blog post contains affliliate links and is sponsored by Tea Collection. All opinons and words are my own.*

13 August 2014

Mud Room Planning

So we have a utility room. It's the room you enter when you come in the house through the garage, and it is connected through our laundry room to the rest of the house. We don't have a basement so this room houses our hot water heater, furnace and oil tank. It also has a utility sink and is currently the home for our tools, paint supplies, cleaning supplies, and stores items we haven't put in the attic yet. You're probably picturing quite a glamorous set-up aren't you? It's become quite the junk room and I'm hoping to clean things up a bit and make the room more functional. I promise to have photos later as I haven't had a chance to really get them together.

Designing this room is a bit of a challenge due to the fact that we have a number of huge eyesores. The furnace/heater/tank situation is one we can't avoid. Without adding walls and seriously cutting into precious limited space, they are there to stay and we just have to work around them. We also have our internet hookup attached to a wall in there as well as some mounts for shelving that are painted on (aka practically glued to) the wall in certain spots. The utility sink is rather ugly and stained with paint/stain/whatever else has been washed in there. I'd love to someday replace it with a prettier one.

While this room will never be perfect due to the fact that it needs to be practical, I can still dress it up a bit. Here's what I'm thinking to transform this utility room into a mud room:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

We've already purchased the Ikea Aneboda Wardrobe and set it up in the room. It currently holds my craft supplies, but we are considering purchasing a second to use as a coat closet. Our current coat closet in the living room is being used as a toy closet since we more often than not enter the house through the garage and utility room. We also have the Target bench already next to the wardrobe to use as a seat when putting on boots or taking off jackets. We have a double window in the room and the bench fits nicely underneath next to the wardrobe. 

We currently have awful track lighting on the ceiling towards one wall as well as a flush mount in the middle of the room. I'd like to replace the track lighting with a cleaner, less noticeable version and install a pretty pendant in place of the flush mount. 

The striped baskets are the same ones we have in our living room to hold Lucy's toys. I picture a few of them tucked under the bench holding scarves, gloves and hats, maybe labeled separate for each family member. The L and M hooks will be used to hold book bags or jackets when our little ones come home from school or a trip out.

I currently have a kilim rug on the floor but because of the nature of the room I think a natural fiber rug would make more sense for wet boots and drippy umbrellas. The pillows and art are just fun accents to make this utility room feel cozier and more welcoming. 

Just seeing this mood board is getting me excited to get this room into shape!

11 August 2014

Case of the Mondays

Yesterday had it's moments. Sundays are usually spent with my side of the family while Jordan works. Lucy was being a tough three year old and Mila was being a doll, but needed to be nursed a lot. Mila went to bed fairly easy after a bath and a feeding. Lately Lucy will only go to bed with me so I end up doing bedtime routine x2 most of the time. Jordan and I didn't sit down for dinner until about 10:30pm - followed by a shot of tequila for each. (It was necessary.) I did get to sneak in an iced chai latte yesterday after at trip to Target with the girls. One of my favorite treats these days and probably the only reason I was still awake at 10:30 for dinner.
Some days can be really challenging trying to keep things going with two young kids, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Taking this Monday to regroup and back to the blog tomorrow.