New Year New Room Challenge–Mudroom Decorating Takeaways

Hey, everyone! As promised, today I’m going to share a few decorating takeaways from the completed mudroom, which I shared last week as part of Casa Watkin’s New Year New Room Challenge.  The process of getting a room from my head to completion gets more and more streamlined each time I do it. And while I’m not an expert, I have figured out a few things that can help you become more decorating-proficient in your own home.

mudroom props 1

Takeaway #1–Have a Plan

You’ve probably noticed by now that I like to create a mood board for each room I work on. This is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, you can see how everything that’s in your head is going to work together. Second, you won’t lose focus on what the end result is supposed to look like. This keeps the budget on track by curbing the urge to add in unnecessary items. (I’m looking at you, HomeGoods and Target.)

Mudroom Makeover Plans from Pretty Practical Home

You can either use Polyvore (I explained that in more detail here) or clip and paste your items using photo editing software. I prefer PicMonkey, because I’m basic like that. Speaking of photo editing…

Takeaway #2–A Bad Room Mock-up is Better Than No Bad Room Mock-up

I was scared silly about painting the doors black, but I knew this wasn’t going to work. It looked like the arctic tundra in here.

Mudroom Makeover from Pretty Practical Home

Good thing I had a poorly edited mock-up I could reference!

Mudroom Makeover from Pretty Practical Home

The black doors were necessary to balance everything out and break up the vast expanse of white. And in case you’re wondering, “What if the walls were a different color?”, it still would’ve been too much white, since the door and locker would’ve looked nearly identical. Not good. What is good? Bad room mock-ups.

Takeaway #3–Check Your Work

Remember that from math class? The same holds true for projects as you’re working on them. Just because I’ve made a plan doesn’t mean I won’t change course a bit, like flipping around the location of the plant and dog bowls. The rug would’ve been off center had I kept the original plan in place, and you know how that makes me unhinged. (Scroll quickly past this picture if any of this is hitting too close to home.)

initial rug placement
Oh, the humanity–my retinas are bleeding!

Takeaway #4–Be Flexible

There are certain things I had to modify in the room, and being flexible helped me get the finished look I was after even with those changes. The light fixture I originally selected was on back order, the locker had shuttered drawers (nope), and the snake plant I wanted to show you in the room didn’t photograph well–it was way too short in the non-chinoiserie planter (which was scrapped for budget issues).

The good news is, unless you’re a blogger, some of these little hiccups won’t matter to you. You can wait for the light fixture and you can wait for your plants to grow. As for the locker unit, it ticked all of my boxes except for a small cosmetic detail that was easily changed, and I think we all have to be mindful of budget. Being flexible kept me from throwing up my hands and waiting for custom built-ins that aren’t in the near or distant future, and my family now has a mudroom that we all use and enjoy.

Mudroom Makeover from Pretty Practical Home

Takeaway #5–A Beautiful Space isn’t Effortless

It’s important to keep in mind that having a finished room you can be proud of does require planning and effort. Don’t be fooled when people use the term “effortless style” to describe something–you can bet it’s been thought out on many levels to look like that. #harshtruth I happily admit that I put time and effort into the rooms I create for our home. Do it right the first time and you’ll save time and money in the long run!

Now it’s time to see what the rest of the ladies did for their final post of the New Year New Room Challenge. (You probably thought you’d never get to this part.) Again, much appreciation to both Minted and Lamps Plus for their generous contributions to this project. Thanks for reading and have fun seeing the rest of the finished rooms!

 New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge Participants:

*Linking up at This is Our Bliss*

28 thoughts on “New Year New Room Challenge–Mudroom Decorating Takeaways

  1. Love this space! Thanks for sharing and all the tips. I am going right now to pain my mudroom door black! Why haven’t I thought of that before?
    XO,
    Amy

    1. Thanks, Rachael! Styling is the hardest part of decorating for me because it can totally make or break your room. I agonize over it! I love your bedroom and want so badly to get a hold of mine–I just know it will wind up being the last room we get to! 🙁

    1. Thank you, Holly! I really do love them after living with the black doors for a little while. They hide the dirt much better than the white doors did. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. These are fantastic tips! I love the mock ups although mine are totally hit or miss. A visual is always nice. Still love looking at your beautiful mudroom! It’s stunning.

  3. #5 is like the truest thing on the internet. Great tips! Usually I kind of gather and put together a room over a long period of time. I think I have only decorated one room with a REALLY GOOD plan for what I was doing, and that was when I did my bedroom for the One Room Challenge last fall. (Even for this I only had half a plan, lol). It was pretty crazy how much easier that made things, though! If you can get both “have a plan” and “be flexible” down, I think you’re on the path to victory!

    1. I can’t imagine doing the ORC without a plan in place. We’re already working on it now, which I guess is kind of cheating but all anyone cares about is seeing the finished room in the end. I’m so weird about wasting money. I berate myself if I wind up getting rid of anything without feeling like I’ve gotten enough use out of it. Also why I hold onto things past their prime. Some say cheap, I say thrifty. Hope you have a great weekend, and kudos on the new site–it looks great!

  4. Love what you’ve done and appreciate all the pointers! Did I miss where you purchased the locker piece for your room? I’d love to know that source! Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi, Sandy! I appreciate your kind words. The shutter locker unit is from Home Decorators. The sources for everything else in the room can be found in the reveal post, which you can read here. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. I’ve seen much better renderings, but you’re sweet to say it’s not that bad. 🙂 This was such a fun start to the New Year and I hope you organize it again for next year!

  5. Agree with all your takeaway points , as I do my closet now, and planning on things, I always tweak and tackle my plans, luckily it’s so easy to do this nowadays with all the free tools out there!

    1. Completely agree! I ordered a pair of stools for the foyer but not before I did a quick photo edit to see if they’d work. I never really know until I get all the pieces together, but it helps to have a general idea before I get started. Can’t wait to see your closet and how you get that gorgeous purse collection organized!

  6. This is such helpful information. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and always with your great sense of humor. I am so inspired by your beautiful well put together rooms.

  7. Great tips! You’re right, it isn’t “mindless.” Us decor lovers have mapped out the room a million times before we start working. The black doors totally balance out the space and I REALLY like the new light fixture!

    1. That mockup was a hot mess, but you’re sweet to say otherwise! You killed the dining room, but I’ll gush over at your blog. 🙂

    1. I think you love painting more than the average bear, Kim! I remember you painting the kitchen cabinets. I hated mine the whole time we lived there, but not enough to paint them!

  8. Your space turned out great! It’s so pretty and functional too.

    We have a mud room space and let me warn you…it doesn’t look that way for long. I don’t mind though because my family actually uses it. The shoes really do go there!! 😉

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Stacey! It still looks very clean over here, but that’s because I’m incapable of looking at a mess. The drawers hold more shoes than I thought they would, which helps. There aren’t any flowers wrapped in paper anymore, or carefully displayed magazines in tote bags, though. 😉

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