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Redesigning a room doesn't always mean a major expense or knocking out walls. It can be just a fresh coat of paint and some thoughtful details.

I'm no designer. (Emphasis on “no.”) I can't put things together in an aesthetically pleasing way or even recreate a magazine picture. So I don't try! I figure the point of our house is to work for us—not to show off to the neighbors. I just look at what feels good and makes me happy!

I don't do this with some unilateral overreach. My husband owns the house, too. So if I want to do something impactful in a shared space, he always works with me to find things we both like. We both like practicality and function. I'm more concerned with appearance and I love color.

Ten years after building our home, some of the rooms need a major refresh. Others were never really satisfactorily completed. I'm working through the house now, to get these things done.

One of the easier jobs was the mudroom. (Because it's small and has no furniture!) Here's the vlog I created to show the update.

Below are the items we purchased to make the space the way I'd always envisioned.

Large Cotton Rope Storage Baskets

Look at these beauties. I searched far and wide to find a pretty and functional storage container to fit across the top shelf of our mudroom. Here we store out of season items, like ski clothing, etc.

I love the style, braid, handles, and colors (you know I love color!). My only complaint is that I wish they were rectangular. Using anything round for storage is a very rare occurrence for me, because of the wasted corner spaces. These were just pretty enough that for an open storage area, they won me over.

Large Wire Milk Crates with Copper Handles

I'm not much of a designer. It's hard for me to envision or describe what I want. But if I see it, I know it.

I looked everywhere for a container to put in the mudroom cubbies. I wanted something to corral the loose gloves, scarves, and whatnot that always collected on each person's shelf. The contents needed to be visible without pulling it down off the shelf. But I wanted it to be a bit funky and unusual. When I saw these cool milk crates, I knew they were perfect. (And also rectangular!)

I found these for a lower price at Target, but they only had one in stock. Amazon to the rescue. They have the inventory and a lot of different shapes and sizes to choose from.


Covering a brighter color takes some careful planning!

I covered the green walls with PPG Ultra-Hide Zero paint with an eggshell finish. The color is Whitecliff Beige (30YY 69/048).

It took at least two coats to cover the old paint in all areas. (Throughout the house, we covered two different shades of yellow, a light green, and tan with this color.)

Alison Moore Smith is a 59-year-old entrepreneur. She has been (very happily) married to Samuel M. Smith for 38 years. They are parents of six incredible children and grandparents to two astounding grandsons.

She is the author of The 7 Success Habits of Homeschoolers.

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