OH, MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, I HAVE ONE FOR YOU. This woman, Mrs. Mudroom, is arguably my favorite room in the house (rivaled by our kitchen, sun room, and bathroom, TBH). I’m not kidding that every time I enter it, I feel joy and happiness through the feeling of light, space, and sheer ease of function. All the design elements come together as they do in my mind, NO, even better. At this point in the post of revelation/agricultural progress, you’ve heard me guide you through my regrets and disappointments (to an almost painful degree… for all of us) so I hope when I say I truly love something you believe in. I’m not trying to brag or pat me on the back here, though with that, I’m going to celebrate this room today and every time I get into it because it brings together a room you really love, having done so much hard work into a space, especially in the midst of a bigger stress renovation worthy of the local GD parade. Float! Firework! If you can relate to this, I encourage you to CELEBRATE EACH VICTORY. I made and acknowledged a lot of my personal mistakes and regrets in this house that I had to fix in public (and now I’m excited to do it), but this room, this amazing workspace that I was lucky enough to call our own, (almost) nothing I was going to change about it when we moved in last September. Sure, there’s a funny and totally permanent carelessness/glitch that none of us got caught on and which I’ll explain below, but it doesn’t bother me anymore, and hell, maybe that’s even better. If you really want to know what’s going on in this brain, I just got back from a 4-day spiritual/wellness retreat with two of my closest friends because this past year and a half I’m not my best self, and I feel completely in tune with the joy, the love of capital, the universe, God, nature, everything/us. And everyone, I’m going to try to bring that energy here every day. Starting today with this happy and hardworking space, I can’t wait to tell you.
We’ve never had a mud room before because in Los Angeles the need is more of a “drop zone” that we barely have, but that’s okay. At PNW, mud and wet shoes are part of our daily lives, so people often carve mud rooms out of other spaces if they don’t have them. Same with us. This room is a high priority to reduce mud/dirt/coats/shoes throughout the house. I feel like I can’t say with complete honesty that the kids and dogs only use this room because we’re still gardening and the slab road to the outer door was installed over Christmas. But yes, for two weeks now we are now trying to use ONLY those doors when we go in and out for a walk with the dog or play in the backyard on fun days. In order to achieve this noble goal, children receive sweets every time they enter the room. Like seals. They do their tricks, they get candy. More specifically, whenever they drop their shoes/belongings in the mud room, carry/lower their lunch boxes into the sink, we throw their little snacks at them. Parenting is really questionable, yet it really works.
We think of all design elements through the lens of durability and ease of cleaning. In the name of not being boring, I’m still committed here and there to beauty, as I’ll explain in a different post (and dabble in it today). By the way, if you want to see a video tutorial of this room, I give you a full tour here (just wait for the ad to play, please and thank you :))!!
AMAZING DARK TEAL HERRINGBONE TILES
These tiles were chosen from the start as the perfect mudroom floor color because they feel fresh and clean, but darker, textured and more indulgent. It’s a special color through Pratt + Larson in their redstone collection – it’s completely handmade with more surface movement. We choose 2×8 bricks to be spikes with straight edges two wide tiles. I know this detail (edge) may not be something everyone will notice, but God, for me it makes the whole room feel more unified and special. I don’t like it when the nail ends up in the wall and I’d rather the border stop it (no big deal if you’ve done this, just a little preference that, yes, is more expensive to execute).
We hired a Level Plane to install the tiles and they were meticulous in making sure it was balanced. They first create edges, then count the spikes of the bricks to make sure they look as intentional as possible. We used a 3/16 grout line (which is at the larger end of the “very small” and a smaller Pratt + Larson one is recommended for this handmade tile size) and chose Slate for the grout color. The grout color is very important because if we become lighter, you will definitely see dirt or it will turn brown, but the completely dark (which we sampled) changes the whole look of the room to make it more intense and super serious.
FLOOR-TO-CEILING WHITE OAK CABINETS
A true dream, made a reality by a Unique Kitchen and Bathroom. We customized it to be very special if you ask me with dedicated storage for each drawer or closet. They did an amazing job building it and 8 weeks later they arrived in a truck with blankets where Jamie and the ARCIFORM team installed it. They are white oak with a transparent natural sealant and are very durable. We choose natural wood here, like the kitchen, mainly for durability after years of dealing with paint chipped on cabinets (which can be avoided, but in my personal experience, it is quite inevitable that they are painted wood). In addition, wood hides dirt if the dog shakes and does not clean it immediately.
We shake the design of the cabinets with a metal grid on top. It’s primarily an aesthetic option, but it certainly adds to the ventilation if there’s a future sports uniform there. We originally had them at the bottom of some cabinets, but apparently, they can be easily kicked and broken there. We’re actually going to put on a show and tell what’s in all the cupboards as soon as you set it up (but yes, there’s a dog food container pulled out). ARCIFORM (a shout out to the awesome Stephyn and Anne) did the first round of drawings and helped us tag everything with UKB, but the good thing about UKB is that you don’t have to have a designer, they’ll design the kitchen with you and do all the drawings (thus saving an important step). If you are interested in your closet, they give my readers a 10% discount with the code EH2022 (yes, I also got a discount).
While we are here, I would like to show you the hardware of the Rejuvenation cabinet, which is repeated in the kitchen and is very classic and perfect. We chose an unvarnished brass that has skated PERFECTLY in 3 months and looks very beautiful on a white oak tree (it’s a quieter look, less than the great pop I also like, but for this room and our kitchen, I love the look of brass and wood tones). I chose a mix of knobs, container handles, and hooks to make it look special but cohesive. We use similar hardware in the kitchen and the Oil Rubbed Bronze version in the kitchen. I love how you can mix and match and actually dress up the closet.
THE MOST SOOTHING PAINT COLOR TO DATE: DEW STOPS BY SHERWIN-WILLIAMS
My new goal in life is to feel the same way about all paint colors as this one. I walked in and it was straight “oh my God, this is so good.” Literally everyone who enters has the same reaction. This is a very relaxing cake that has shades of green and blue. It is clear and bright, but with white on it, you can see more tones. I think this in a darker room will probably lose some of its power, but in a room full of natural light it just envelops you in this gentle song of wonder. We were also very glad we went with the wood paneling and semi-gloss here: very durable and has been cleaned as easily as a puppy removing mud everywhere. Even if I let it dry, it rises easily without leaving a mark. Some other paint colors I could “live in” because they were nice (like a children’s bathroom and a powder bath), but through this process, I realized that despite all the hard work so many people and companies put into this house, I had to love every color as much as I liked this one (which is so much). So in a way, my love of this prompted me to muster energy and money to paint others (which I really LOVE THANKS TO THE UNIVERSE ABOVE). Sherwin-Williams had a lot of options and I got better and better at understanding both the nuances as well as what I really wanted in this house after living here. More to come, but if you’re looking for a light pastel color that’s super fresh, relaxed, and still completely sophisticated, Dew Drop Sherwin-Williams is your new best friend.
DOG WASHING STATIONS
There’s a lot to tell you about this, so it deserves its own post regarding the size, functionality, and tips I’ve learned. But as you can see, we have this dog wash and so far we have used it no less than 5 times a week. Not necessarily for a full shower (especially since Brian likes to shower with them, which makes them more contained), but it is great for cleaning the feet every day after a hike, which is what it was designed for. We made it from stone (the same Carerra as the rest of the house) and it turned out very well (Alpha StoneWorks is the manufacturer for anyone local). The tap comes from Rejuvenation in polished nickel mainly because I feel the gold here would be too tacky for a dog wash. Hand baths work wonders to get the dirt off your feet and they even love it! Maybe it’s because I said “good boy” and “good girl” over and over again in an annoying voice that somehow came out when I was talking to my dog. Ask for all the details in the comments in this area so that when you write that full post, you can address everything.
WASHER AND DRYER
Wood seeder | Wooden trays | White boat (similar) | Wooden and glass boats | Art (vintage) | Lamps (vintage) | | bowl Blue Out deck | Wicker tray | Washer and dryer
So here’s the funny story. About a year and a half ago or hell, even more, we had a mud room where the kitchen was, but it was much smaller. That would be a drop zone with a small washer/dryer for wetter football clothes, dog towels, etc. We will also have another laundry room installed on the bedroom floor for most clothes and sheets. Then we changed the layout, moved the mud room to this corner of the house to make the kitchen bigger and better (I’m glad I did), and dragged and dropped these units into this new room in the picture. We designed the rest of the room with all the specifications in place. You know where it’s going. We didn’t realize until later that we hadn’t upgraded to a larger size. We already have a washer and dryer and the more we think about it, we think most of the clothes will be upstairs: children’s clothes, their bathroom and 3 bedroom beds. So as long as we have a bigger size there, we’ll keep this one for our kitchen/dog clothes and towels (not for mixing, by the way). I’m afraid it will look off scale with the room and maybe it will happen, but I’m very used to it and I really like it. This Miele set is very famous in Europe because it is very energy efficient, uses little energy. Two things I’ll point out: the capacity is smaller than the normal size, and I often have to do scheduled drying so that everything is completely dry (it will likely be drier in the summer). But I like the soap integrated and very beautiful, very well clean and relatively quiet. We work with Build With Ferguson on all of this equipment (and carefully select the brand we want in our homes). The washing machine also speaks German with a sweet little “Willkommen”, not “Welcome”, which is very cute.
PENDANT AND SCONCE LIGHTING
As you know, I love this pendant (we have the same thing in our kitchen) because flat proportions with round bulbs are fun and modern. I love how useful and simple they are (plus they emit enough light so we don’t need hidden lighting). They hang about 16″ from the ceiling with wires (which is our preference, so they feel more relaxed). It comes from Rejuvenation and is often used for indoor outdoor areas, but I really like it in this space. They are perfect for here and for us.
Tolson’s cage app is the one I’ve always loved and it’s very classic with no boring at all. I especially like it in the hard work area, because the glass screen and metal cage are obviously durable and can handle moisture very well. We combine nickel polished from tap and very beautiful with white oak and Dew Drop walls.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
Windows and doors
Do you need a lot of natural light in your mud room? Not technically. But with the north-facing light (which is very soft and pretty) we knew this room could be very beautiful and bright without any harsh light. So we worked with Sierra Pacific in a window with a modern configuration of 2×2, with a paint grade in it to be able to paint it the same color as the panel. The French gate is also Sierra Pacific and leads to a backyard with a slab path through which puppies take to stroll around the neighborhood. All excellent quality with some operational and some fixed. The light here is pure magic even on the most cloudy and rainy days.
Skylight | Wooden trays | Metal bowl (similar) | Bench (vintage) | | | glass container Broom and dustpan Distribution plate
In the name of getting the best natural light for most rooms, we added two skylights here that, to no surprise anyone, really help you feel bright, airy, open, and even more connected to nature (watching the sky while in a room is really light). Velux never disappoints, both in function and in making space much better through natural light.
WHAT ARE I GOING TO CHANGE?
NOT. In addition to needing better dog mats for doors and trays for food. I couldn’t bear to photograph what we had, which was plastic, rubber, and ugly. I bought a great version of both that won’t take away from the design but will work better than this super cute wooden tray (which I got from one of our favorite JP General stores in Multnomah Village).