Dear friends,

Because I couldn’t wait — and because I just KNOW you are as excited as me about my big reveal — I finished up my Mud Room Friday evening so I could show it to you today.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.

And because, of course, I want the biggest ahhhhhh possible, I’m going to make you sit through two “before” photos one more time.

Here’s the space before we bought the house:


And here’s what it looked like for the first two years we lived here. (This photo is taken from the opposite side as the previous photo. The reflection in the mirror is the view of our laundry room, which sits just to the west of this alcove.)  And, yes, all I did initially to “improve” this space was hang a mirror and throw a bucket in the corner as a catch-all for shoes and other junk. It’s clear it wasn’t much of a catch-ALL, as most of our junk ended up on the floor.


I have only one word for this photo: YUCK.

But all traces of yuckiness have been banished. And here’s what it looks like now, after my flurry of online shopping and with Mr. Mom’s help:


This photo is a tad underexposed so you can get a sense of the new light fixture, which I love, love, love.

And here’s my very favorite part:


I knew I wanted something to really give a punch to the accent wall and I had my heart set on individual letters that spelled out something appropriate for the space. I decided on MUDandSTUFF because it just seemed so . . . so perfectly descriptive.

This addition was my biggest expense. The letters are custom fabricated from aluminum and painted in a high gloss paint. I chose this professional sign company as my source because they offered many font choices, virtually any size, and custom colors. They are adhered to the wall with a fast-setting epoxy glue that was a pain in the butt to use. As you can see if you look closely, we messed up a little on the capital D. And Mr. Mom hung the lowercase n upside down, but figured it out about 30 seconds later and managed to pry it off  the wall just before the glue set so hard we would have had to take a sledgehammer to it. In total, my MUDandSTUFF art cost just over $300 — definitely a splurge but worth it, I think.

By the way, the coat racks (there are two of them hung side by side) are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I thought they were a bargain at $29 each.

Here’s another view of more wall art. I bought a $10 poster from Urban Outfitters and a $25 K-Mart frame. It helped offset the cost of the custom lettering.


And here’s a close-up of the key rack, also from Urban Outfitters.


By the way, the beautiful girl in the photo is our niece. And the vase is a vintage treasure from my beloved native state.

Here’s a close up of the bench, from West Elm:


My West Elm rug is on backorder, so the one you see in the photo is a runner from Urban Outfitters that I purchased for the hallway leading to the kitchen. It’s roughly the same color as the one I’m waiting on, so it worked as a stand-in for this photo.

I’m under no illusions that the space is going to stay this organized. By next week, there will be 25 pairs of shoes strewn around the bench and 14 jackets on the coat rack, but it looks nice for now and that’s what matters when the post-DIY glow is still strong.

And because I just can’t get enough, here’s one final look:


With gratitude {for Mr. Mom who puts the “Y” in DIY and who graciously did all my fetching, toting and hanging for this project},

Joan, who has loved wallpaper since she sold it for $4 an hour at Barlow Interiors, her very first job in 1981, which convinced her a college degree might be just the ticket out of retail hell