Halley’s mudroom makeover: the power of paint

Everyday Homes

March 24, 2021

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You know you’re a mom when one of your favorite parts of your new house is the mudroom.

Seriously. We live on a dirt road, so it’s especially awesome to have a place to shed all the mud that inevitably makes its way up the driveway and all over all four kids, but truly, having a designated room that’s tucked out of sight, with built-in organization! A hook for snow pants, a special corner for rain boots, a bucket for church shoes and a tile floor that vacuums up easily — somedays it simultaneously feels like the most essential and the biggest luxury in the world.

We bought our home from my parents. They raised 7 kids in this house, and for 17 years that mudroom was the absolute workhorse of the family. It also flows into a half-bathroom and laundry room, and together those three rooms took on all of our stuff, caught all of our mud, and welcomed all of our friends through its warm and familiar doors.

If you haven’t noted this already, I love those three little rooms and we spend a lot of time there. So after we moved in I started scheming up ways to refresh without changing the core — my goal was for colors to flow with my furniture and decor style throughout the home, and, to provide a bit of fresh energy for a mudroom that helped raise 7 and is about to raise at least 4 more.

It is, at the end of the day, a mudroom, so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this room — realistically, there’s often quite a lot of mud and melting snow in here. However, paint is so powerful. I managed to give all three rooms a whole new look using only three shades of paint (and one shade of stain for the wood).

Here’s what I did:


We have these awesome built-ins with great hooks and cubbies for storage. I wanted to keep at least part of it wood, because wood holds up better to heavy wear and tear than paint does, but I knew it would take more time than I had to sand and stain the whole thing. So, I prioritized, and sanded down and stained just the bench using three coats of Minwax Espresso which looked really nice and rich on when I tested it on this type of oak.

Then, I painted the rest of the builtins in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, which is a color I knew I loved from the moment I saw my mom use it in her new house. It’s so deep and full while still feeling neutral and peaceful — exactly what I was hoping for.


I had played around with painting the walls Hale Navy as well, but after I saw it on the built-ins I knew I needed to let them stand out on their own. So, on the walls I went with my favorite creamy white (Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee), which I’ve also used in other places throughout my home, because it provides continuity and a gorgeous but not-too-stark contrast against Hale Navy. It also looks great whether you have natural light or not (which, the mudroom itself does not).

Then, on a whim, I started painting the trim in a beautiful, soft cream sample I had called Baby Fawn (also Benjamin Moore) and I loved it so much that I decided to extend it throughout all three rooms, and paint the doors and cabinets in that color as well. It’s so complimentary to both of the other colors in the room and gives all three rooms a bit of extra color as well as serenity at the same time and in the end, I think it’s my favorite detail of all.


If you need me, I’ll be happily folding laundry in here for six straight years after the backlog of not doing laundry while there was wet paint in here (#worthit). Truly, though, paint is amazing, and I’m so happy with the difference this made without touching one other thing. It feels fresh for spring and cheerfully ready for the next wave of mud and now I am too.

Dreaming up a makeover in your own home? We can help! Request Halley to help with your project and learn more about our design services >>

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