Tag Archives: Bob Vila

Mudroom seating and organization

My mudroom  has been a process!

It has been interrupted by holidays, events, and quite frankly a lack of motivation.

The Mudroom seating and organization in the old new closet was finally finished this weekend …


Let me go back in time …

A time when there was a hall closet.

That opened into the hallway.

That made it impassable if it was open and there were others standing in the hall,

Or if there were shoes kicked off and now laying in the way.

Usually, my shoes.

There has to be a better way to make this space work for my family (Mr Man, Me, and Paxton,our dog) Here was my mudroom closet in all it’s glory.


The first step, was to take everything out of the closet and take off the door.

Taking things apart always goes quickly and is part of the fun for me.


I removed all the wood trim but wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to proceed with the framing.

I had to “ponder”.

I tend to “ponder” a lot!


I measured the width of my closet and found a bench that fit EXACTLY.

It fit so well that I had to assemble it in the closet!

(Notice that the closet has been painted and tiled)


This bench came with canvas baskets to store winter gear.

Perfect for us here in Minnesota!


I love packages delivered to my door.

I look for great deals and free shipping and then wait for them to arrive, and Mr Man does not tell me when they come to the door as I love the surprise!!!

Think Christmas 🙂

This is my wall mounted cubbie with hooks. Some assembly required … again.


We needed to find a mail solution that could organize where we kept our mail and yet be out of sight.

“Mail = Privacy” in my mind.

I found this at the Container Store that works perfectly for us!


I decided to get my “Craft” on and make tags to help organize where items would be stored.

Michael’s had a 20% off entire purchase coupon and I found some fun sale items so this was an inexpensive part of the project.


For the mail slots, I stamped our names on the upper two and “ETC” on the bottom one, and then used blue cord to tie them to the wire.

(Blue is my accent color)


I chose plain tags, number stamped safety pins, and number stickers that I had on hand.

The upper baskets are numbered 1, 2, and 3.


I used the same plain tags for the lower baskets, but I chose to stamp the names of the items that would be stored in them, and tied them with the blue cord I used on the mail labels.


I love to hang my clothes when they are just damp to eliminate wrinkles.

I do NOT like to iron and neither does Mr Man.

Hiding the clothes rod above the opening was the perfect place and the hangers can be tucked back and out of sight.


Sitting on the Mudroom bench and looking up … this is what I see 🙂


On laundry day, this is what you will see.

(Mr Man’s shirts)

I love this system!

And oh, look! I finished off the opening of the Mudroom seating area …


Home Goods is an amazing store that I love! Love, Love, Love it!!!!

I went shopping this past weekend and found these great pillows that fit as if I had made them for the space.

Thank goodness I didn’t have too.

And …. they were the perfect shade of blue to match!

(Sadly, no coupon but worth every penny I paid!)


1. I love how this turned out because it fits what Mr Man and I need.

2. Mr Man loves how this turned out because he sees the finish line is in sight. (Hee Hee)


The inside is done except for the baseboards.

Next weekend!


Beginning to end


More work on the mudroom but almost done!

Will be sharing more soon.

Hope this finds you having a great day,


P.S. You can read more about the Mudroom/Laundry Room here:

Laying a tile floor in the Mudroom/Laundry Room

Laying cement board before tiling Mudroom/Laundry Room Floor

Demolition of our Mudroom/Laundry Room floor


Mudroom update …

I have been working on the mudroom this weekend and will be sharing my work tomorrow …

Are you ready??!

I sure am!

A sneak peek of what I have been working on.


Join me tomorrow when I reveal the nook I created in the mudroom.



Making an EASY step stool

Step stool? Maybe I should have said … “Step Platform” 🙂


Let me start from the beginning …

My adorable daughter asked me if I would make a step stool for Miss Precious so that she could use the potty by herself. She is not quite big enough to get up on it by herself … Problem is, it really needs to be a “stable” step up so that she can stand on it and maneuver on it without feeling as if she might fall. I arrived at their home to take measurements and to see first hand what it was that she wanted and how it would fit their bathroom.

Here were my thoughts and ideas … (I think out loud on paper)


It is great on paper but do you know how cold it is outside? My work shop is not heated … it is called the Garage!


What we won’t do for love! I cut the wood faster than I ever have before and my KITCHEN became my temporary workshop.

These are my pieces and it took only 5 min to cut them all!


Yes, that is snow on the ground. I had to take it out doors to sand the sharp edges.

My fingers were frozen.

(Maybe I should think about building myself a heated workshop!)


Put wood putty in the holes …


Sand the top, wipe it down, and it is ready to paint!


I wanted to put a quote having to do with using the potty and since Miss Precious loves, “Horton Hears a Who”  … I used this quote.

(Cut using my new #SilhoutteCameo)


It didn’t work so well on the “-Dr Seuss” so I re-cut it and used my drawing ability, or lack thereof, I drew a butterfly.


It is crazing I know … and, Oh, yes I did! … I used Miss Precious’ water color paints to paint the butterfly!!!!


When I finished the butterfly, I used Washi tape to decorate the sides. I am not that excited about how it turned out but it will work for the short term and I get to improve on my decorating  skills as I am making one more for their other bathroom. 🙂

I finished it all off with a clear coat of #Minwax. I love their products!!!!

It is all ready for a little one to use it …


Hugs and make it a great Tuesday,



Reading Nook … Before and After!

The Reading Nook was finished by Christmas Eve! I have had so many of you wondering if I finished and if Miss Precious liked it …

 She did!!!!

For those of you who want to see the Before and After right away …

You will have to wait until the end to see them side by side 🙂

However, I’m prepared to show you the finished project if, you keep reading until the end! Deal? I promise to make it worth your while.


For me, most of the fun is in the details that make it special. I found some glow in the dark butterflies (#Target) that I knew would be perfect for when the door is closed and the light is turned off. I arranged them to look like they were fluttering off in a group.


Miss Precious LOVES keys so I found some that had words engraved in them. (#Michaels) Three of them really sum up what I was doing … “Secret”, “Memories”, and my personal favorite, “Journey”.


Snuggling was a must! and I fell in love with this snowflake throw (#Target) that is so cozy. I wanted a place to store it when we don’t need it so I bought a white hook to hang it on. No secret place is complete without a flashlight and I found a red one to match the accent color that I was using. Yes, Miss Precious LOVES flashlights too!



The Dreaded Cushion …. da da da DA! I picked this upholstery fabric as it reminded me of all the places that books can take you. (I am an avid reader!) I also wanted to use it because it will grow with her and never be out of date. (At least for this kind of space) The fabric is sturdy which I love, and soon, will do a post on, “What I learned while making a Cushion”. Subtitle … “Someone, save me from this HELL on earth”! You get the idea. I had to make it, as the size I needed, made it too expensive to purchase. I love it and I am glad that I can say, “I did it!!!!!”

 There were more books in the baskets below that she could open … A “Handy Manny” series. Teach them while they are young 🙂



This sweet little pig became my theme and I found her, and her books at #Costco. I am so happy that I went with her as the theme as it gave me an opportunity to bring in a paint color that I would not have chosen otherwise, but now am in LOVE with!




I am not removing the door, so that it remains a secret that it exists. After all, children love secret spaces. Then again, So do I! I set a plant in front of the door and she did not even peek in there once.



Miss Bliss over at Bliss Ranch suggested a bow on the door and I knew she was right! I love fun suggestions 🙂




Miss Precious and Adorable Daughter disappeared on Christmas Day. Look where I found them.


It is almost hard to remember the closet it used to be, until I did a side by side. I vote for the Reading Nook in that space 🙂 LOL, as if you needed to have them labeled … I give you the Before and After! Thank you everyone for following along on this project, giving me support, and your interest. It means so much to me.



As a “THANK YOU” and celebrating one year of blogging I am hosting a giveaway. A $25 Starbucks card! (I don’t know about you, but I could use coffee about now to keep awake while I clean up after the holidays!) Young or old, in the States or another country … anyone can enter. I am no longer on blogger and miss seeing your friendly faces, so I am hoping you will follow me either by Linky or Network Blogs.

Hugs and Happy 2013!


To find more on this project …




The Reading Nook was featured here …


I was featured on Practically Functional


All Star Block Party

Featured on One Creative Weekend
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I party here …

In The Old Road
The Fun In Functional @ Practically Functional - Wednesdays @ 8am




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New Lighting at Christmas!

Everyone is running around shopping for Christmas presents, wrapping, baking, sending out cards … me?

Putting in new lighting in the Kitchen and Dining room.

Let me take you back …

Mr Man came upstairs with a sheepish look on his face and said, “I broke something of yours when I was getting down the Christmas decorations.”

With my raised eyebrow silently asking what was broken, he said, “You know your Thanksgiving pumpkin? If you tell me where you bought it I will replace it.”

(Let me explain that there are pumpkins and then there is THE Thanksgiving Pumpkin)

“Do you know what I would like MORE than replacing that pumpkin? New kitchen lights!”

My kitchen has been too dark for me, as all we have is a pendant light right over the counter/breakfast bar. Not enough to light the kitchen! Off in the truck we went, to find track lighting for the kitchen. I had it at our other home and loved that it lights up everything!

Let me show you what we replaced …


The “Salad Bowl” (nickname of the dining room light) drove me crazy too. I was just going to replace the kitchen lights but as you know … as soon as you do something, something else gets done too!


Mr Man did the honors (while I was working on the Reading Nook).

I ran in when assistance was needed but for the most part, it was Mr Man who changed out the lights.


Soooo much nicer than the “Salad Bowl” Light!!!


We noticed right away two wonderful benefits of our track lighting …


Second, removing the pennant light really opened up the area. Where once your eyes stopped at the light it now opened up the view into the kitchen.

Christmas  was interrupted but not stopped and I love my kitchen and dining room lights!



Reading Nook Staining and Painting

Some changes were made in the Reading Nook since I last shared.

One of them was the ceiling. The white was such a stark contrast to the red that I decided to paint it.

(Sorry … the pic is a bit blurry but it is the only one that I evidently took. )

The ceiling took 2 coats of paint.


I also decided that I wanted to stain the wood as it was feeling like a sauna to me.

I used my favorite stain … Jacobean!


I had to re-stain the upper part of the back, as the wood didn’t take it as well as the rest.

I painted on the stain and then left it longer before wiping it off.


I used Minwax Polycrylic in Satin to seal the stain and wood.

It dries FAST and a fan helped the process too. 🙂


I wanted to paint the shelves and top railing white to help them stand out …


I also had to paint the seat of the Reading Nook as I really made a mess on the first coat. LOL

Live and Learn!


Now to let it all dry before I do the detail work. I am hoping to have it done but I am stressing about all I have to do!

Not just with the Reading Nook but … baking, cooking, cleaning …

You understand 🙂

*If you missed any parts of the construction of the “Reading Nook” you can click on the links below …

A Reading Nook Idea

Reading Nook Construction begins

Reading Nook Wood Finish

 Reading Nook Decor



Reading Nook Decor

What to do … what to do?

I saw an idea using letters to spell words … and I thought, “What better word to spell than, R.E.A.D!”

I purchased white wooden letters, scrapbook paper (all black and white … just like pages of a book), ribbon tape, keys, and Decoupage that I already had on hand. You can see by the pictures below that I chose writing, cartoon, and drawing paper.


I gave each letter a different design, alternating white and black backgrounds.

On the white, I used the red accent tape that matches my paint color. (I lucked out on that one!)

On the black, I hot glued small keys.

Two reasons for this …

1. Miss Precious adores keys.


2. Reading is the key that opens a Big, Big World!



So easy to do and made me feel so crafty! LOL

https://www.joy2journey.comDo you remember seeing this picture of things I bought for the Reading Nook?


The two baskets at the bottom needed something to make them cute.

Left over wood provided me with tags, left over twine to attach them, and stencils that I already had on hand.

Originally, I planned to use matching paint but nixed that idea when I realized it would make it look to cutsie.


I ended up using a black permanent marker.

You have heard of “Thing 1 and Thing 2?”

I made “Book 1 and Book 2!”


I drilled 2 holes in each one and laced twine in to hold them onto the baskets.

(My pictures are a bit blurry but … you get the idea)


Now a few new books to match my “Olivia” theme.

One word … Costco!


My fave is “Olivia dances for Joy”

Get it? Joy2Journey … dances for Joy? I know, I know. A bit cheesy 🙂


So far so good in getting a lot of the decorating done!

The little arrow below is where I decided to add a bit of reinforcement. I framed it but now need to get it painted!

So far so good getting alot of the decorating done!

Back to work I go … See you tomorrow for another update!

*If you missed any parts of the construction of the “Reading Nook” you can click on the links below …

A Reading Nook Idea

Reading Nook Construction begins

Reading Nook Wood Finish




Reading Nook Wood Finish

Santa is worried for me.

Look at his face.

No pressure here … but it is 9 days until Christmas!


  No worries (HA)

Ok, focus!

I sanded the old wood that I had (remember my stock pile?), to match the new wood.


Fortunately, for me … this step went pretty fast!


Next step, staining the wood. I used “Golden Oak”

A fan was necessary to quickly dry and keep the odor away.

*Handy hint: A pair of gloves are a must to keep your hands stain free.


I trimmed the seat area using molding, an adhesive, and finishing nails.


I will fill the corners with a stainable wood putty to give it a more finished look later.


Remember I told you I had a reason for choosing this paint color?

“Olivia” the Pig is why I chose the paint color! I wanted to match her outfit 🙂

*Handy hint: Don’t rely on your memory to choose a paint color. Either, bring in an object to match or bring home paint samples.


Olivia has faith that I will get this done by Christmas Eve … see? she is smiling!

(There will be more frequent posts from me until Christmas as I finish this project.)

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to work I go …



Reading Nook … construction begins!

Don’t you just love how, when you are working on a project, it starts to take shape just the way that you imagined? That is how it is for me right now. We left the closet (AKA Reading Nook) empty of all it’s contents {here} and ready to construct a new inside.


Every builder needs a workshop … this is mine. It is simple and moves wherever I need it 🙂



There will be no comments on my hair!

I got up and started working, when Mr Man snuck up and took a picture of me. Some days, construction women are not pretty!

I made a 2X4 frame, topped it with “Purebond” plywood.

I was worried about the bench part being sturdy, so you can see that I put lag bolts into the studs. This bench is going nowhere people!


Shopping for this space was easy!

I needed baskets for books, pillows to lean on, decorations, and a throw to snuggle up with while reading.

Oh, and a cushion. Oh, my goodness … I am going to have to make one! Can’t buy one the size I need, and a custom order would cost me a fortune.

I can do this …

I bought foam, batting, upholstery fabric, thread, and an upholstery needle for my sewing machine.

(Most was on sale and I had a 20% off entire purchase coupon. Yay me!)


I have to clear out the fun stuff and get back to work!


I like things to be rustic but pretty.

I like texture, and the wood in my garage could be put to good use.

I just measured the length and then randomly cut them. They are attached by Power Grab and finishing nails.


  1. I was half way up the back wall when I thought, hmmm … I should probably paint the top part first. Up a ladder I go. Yup, Mr Man with that camera again! You have to love my zebra socks 🙂
  2. 1st coat of paint but will definitely need another. *Paint color – Calypso Berry in flat.
  3. Working the wood up to the color while it drys.
  4. 2nd coat of paint applied. (I will share later why I chose this color)
  1. Starting on the side wall and installing my first shelf. (The right has more room on that side)
  2. Spacing for a second shelf.
  3. Finishing up to the top.
  4. One more side to go! Woo Hoo!


 This is who I am making this for … The other “Joy” in my Journey.


I better get back to work! Lots to do 🙂



I like to party at …

Weekend Yard Projects!

Weekends are the BEST… and even BETTER than BEST in the Summer 🙂 I am an outdoor lover. I would rather be outside any day of the week, and … I live in Minnesota. That is another story but I really love it here.

So weekends are spent doing all the outside things that I love and this weekend, besides installing the new doorbell button {seen here} that arrived in the mail … Yay, me!, we did fine tuning of bushes and landscape. Not earth shattering and maybe dull to some, but to me? It was a glorious day! It started out by running to the nursery to find some plants to go into a planter that I wanted to put on the mail boxes. A little something to pretty it up and I did have some left over Blue paint that I used on the Front Door.

I had painted the post and replaced our mailbox (on the far side in this picture) last summer.

I gathered everything together …

Mr Man attached the wire frame in the back to the main post to keep it from blowing off or from someone deciding they wanted it for their own. I painted the box my lovely leftover Blue color and when it was dry …

Ta Da …

I love these plants! You can see that the two on the outside have purple in the leaves, but what you may not be able to see, the two plants in the middle have leaves that are green on top and deep purple under neath. Truly gorgeous!

This poor mailbox post has been hit a few times by the snow plow and has some gouges that you can see if you look close 🙂

We trimmed the trees in the front so that we can see the front of the house a bit better, mow under them easier, and not have them hanging over the driveway.

Ugh, I need to paint the window trim still. It is Ranger Station Green 🙂

I bought a Willow Bush that will get to be 3 – 4 feet high. I planted him where I needed a little height and I love the movement it has when the breeze blows it. I promptly named him “Will”.

And … I had to replace a Mugo Pine that didn’t make it through last years winter. Here is one that did but still looks a bit rough! As long as he is fighting to survive … he stays!

And our new pine. I am really loving our front yard and the way it is all coming together. I asked our neighbor if we could plant around the bottom of the mailbox since they put it on his property and was given his blessing to beautify! Another project for another day 🙂

I hope you have a magnificent day!

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In The Old Road