When we went house hunting in Virginia I immediately started lists of how I would modify spaces to make them feel more like “us”.  I love to make lists!!! It calms me and helps me stay focused.

I thought I’d share my “vision” and to do lists for each room and the progress I’ve made.

This is what we call the “mudroom”. This photo is from when we first moved in. It’s an entry area from the garage. There is a washer/dryer hook up here but it felt cramped so we used the hook ups downstairs. That freed up this space for storage, dog feeding, potting plants etc This room is *highly* visible from the kitchen, eat in kitchen area and great room so it was a high priority of mine to add some pizzazz!

My original list and check marks showing progress :


✅paint cabinets – used Chalked in CHARCOAL

✅Replace tile – Home Depot

✅Remove blinds

✅paint window frame black

✅add Barn door- a DIY project

✅Paint walls- used DECORATOR’s WHITE

✅Hang silver mirror above sink

✅hang and swag light in corner

The first thing I did was paint the built in ironing board with chalkboard paint. Originally I hoped to remove it but it’s recessed into the wall. It thought it would be fun to remove the front and create shelving but then I decided the front was useful. It serves as a message board and calendar reminder for all of us as we come and go.

I don’t have a before photo but there were mini blinds over the window. There’s a pretty view out that window and I knew I would never, ever close them so I took them off. Thought it would be nice to paint the window frame black- like a picture frame around the gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Turned lemons into lemonade on the tile. When we moved in the movers dropped a dryer and cracked tiles. I had an allowance to replace the tile. No way I wanted white again with 6 people and 2 Great Danes using this as a main entry!

Went with this great vintage black and white tile from Home Depot with Charcoal grout and couldn’t be happier.

As you can see in the former photo (and this one) I painted all of the oak cabinets in Charcoal. The walls were all repainted white and I love the contrast in here. I swagged an outdoor light in the corner which serves as the Danes dining room light. Lol.

I built a custom sliding barn door across the entry as well. It’s open 100% of the time but it filled the space to the right of the door nicely. The black barndoor track hardware ties in with the black cabinets, black floor and my black orb light in the eat in kitchen. There’s a DIY barn door tutorial here on the blog as well.

EDIT to add that I eventually ripped out the ironing board, patched the wall and did a faux brick treatment on the wall! There’s a blog tutorial of that DIY too.

For this being a fairly plain room when we moved in it’s now one of my favorite spaces in the house!!! ♥️

Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

DIY Blogger, Personal Organizer and Designer

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