Mini mudroom: tiled & benched

Something I want to get back to doing this year on the blog is to post more in-progress photos of our home improvements.  The perfectionist in me craves a styled before & after; the realist in me knows that home doesn't happen overnight.  I think with the rise of social media & blog monetizing, there's this pressure for bloggers to churn out material at a mind-boggling, neck-breaking pace. 

I'm not one of those bloggers; I can barely keep up with the pace of our laundry.  I'd rather a room sit "unfinished" for months, even years, until I find the right-for-us elements to fill it.  Also? Once a room's "finished", I'm happy just enjoying it until the urge to breathe new life into the space kicks in.  Not for blog fodder but for me (and my family).  I strive to translate this genuine love for house & home into my blog posts.  It might mean silence for that living space for months at a time, but isn't that how turning a house into a home usually goes for most of us?  For me, half the fun is in the "curating". 

Or perhaps I'm just making excuses for the snail's pace at which we're moving because seriously what the frick is wrong with us.  It's like maybe we're sitting around eating bonbons & watching trashy TV.  I said maybe!  I sincerely thank you for taking interest in our little journey & coming along for the ride!

All that to say, here's an update on our mudroom progress.  I shared on Instagram the tiled floor here & the newly stained floating bench here. Originally, Hubby was also going to build the bench himself, but we opted to have our contractor whip it up so the mudroom would be functional in time for Quinn's birthday party last fall.  This room's already proven to be a workhorse in our lives.  (There are usually 20 pairs of shoes under the bench but I temporarily cleared them out for a better visual.)

Not sure why the tiles look sort of uneven here but I promise Hubby made sure to lay them as level as possible.

It being a mudroom, we wanted low-maintenance, durable, & slightly rustic materials.  The plank tiles are the porcelain 6x24 inch Style Selections Ivetta Black Slate from Lowe's, right off the shelf.  It's got the look of slate without the maintenance, woo-hoo!  It's difficult to capture the tiles' true details in such a small space, but this shot below depicts the actual color/texture pretty well.  We wanted a low contrast look so we went with a close-matching grout color.  And bonus: since the tiles are porcelain, we only had to seal the grout. Sidenote: We learned a long time ago that grout tends to dry lighter than the color shown on the bag, so we kept that in mind when we chose the grout color.

It's been 2 months & these have not disappointed!
The weather warmed up a few weeks ago so we finally got to staining/sealing the bench.
  Then on went a couple coats of low VOC Acrylacq for extra durability but mostly to seal in that ferocious stain smell/offgassing.

What's left to do? 
This (also: new bins for the cubbies, a mirror on the wall, & a mail/message center on the side of that cabinet).
Quinn believes the bench is for shoes & shenanigans. Obviously.

Hope your week is great & your weekend greater!
We'll be gathering with a bunch of friends to cheer on our Denver Broncos in the SuperBowl.
Dear Peyton Manning: Love you mean it.

{More about our mini mudroom mayhem here.}

71 comments:

  1. Love the classic style of this bench with the floor. I am looking for a built in type bench for my kitchen and this looks like perfect fit.

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    1. Thanks so much! We're loving the look. Best of luck with yours!

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  2. It's looking so good! And glad to hear I'm not the only one who moves at a snail's pace around the house. These things take time! Especially since, you know, we forgot to plant a money tree to fund all our projects. ;)

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    1. Thanks, A! You're definitely not alone! And how did we overlook a money tree when we had our house inspections?!?! ;-)
      xoxo

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  3. Looks great so far! You have great style so I'm sure what ever you do wi be amazing!! Xo

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  4. I love the warm stained bench with the white and the dark stone floors. Mudrooms basically don't exist where I grew up but I sure as heck feel like I couldn't live without one now! And I'm on the progress-shots train too. I don't want to burn out on my blog or my house :)

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    1. Thanks! I never knew of mudrooms growing up in the midwest so I hear you. I mean, where did we put our Hunters back then?! ;-)
      Seriously! I don't know if I could ever be a full time DIY blogger. Much respect to those who do it & do it well.

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  5. I am a fan of in progress pics, homes really do take time. This mudroom looks great! The tile, the wood, the cabinets....I bet it has made your day to day so much easier with such a great space. Lookin' good!

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    1. I don't trust homes that take forever to become home ;-)

      Seriously, I don't know what we did before a mudroom! It's easily become my favorite room, ha. Thanks so much for dropping by, gal!

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    2. Oops, I meant "I don't trust homes that DON'T take forever to become home" ha!

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  6. This space is such a treat! I know you've needed something like this for awhile now and having it be pretty + funtuall is the cat's meow. <-- Seriously, who says THAT anymore?? Feel free to defriend me. Haha!

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    1. Funtuall!!! I'm totally working this into my vocab. Not defriending you, I should THANK you. Also, does anyone say bling anymore? Me-ow!
      xoxo

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  7. I think I spied a bonbon wrapper ;) Love the in progress shots. The floor is divine and the bench is perfection - love the recess on the bench and how the moulding sits above it.

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    1. Thank you, friend! I love that you notice & appreciate those little details! Which also means no bonbon wrappers get past your eagle eyes ;-)
      xoxo

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  8. Amen, Sister! We still have not finished our several-year-long bathroom project. It's functional and 3/4 pretty! We work on it when we feel motivated. We eat bonbons most of the time. ;) LOVE the tile you choose! And that delicious hunk of wooden bench... meOW! ;) Keep on keepin' it real. Love it!

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    1. Thank you, friend!! So true. We also do the big push on a reno & when it's 90% done, we're like ehhh, we're good for now. If only I could quite my bonbons habit, our house would be finished & my thighs would breathe a sigh of relief ;-)

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  9. It looks fantastic. I love the bench and the moulding together. Oh and I love that you have a mud room. Super jealous.

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  10. Just stunning! I love the simplicity, but it is absolutely gorgeous. My hubs wants slate floors in one of our bathrooms and I'm going to have to introduce him to those tiles! The best of both worlds.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, H! The tiles really are the best of both worlds. It looks SO much like slate without the maintenance.
      Loving your kitchen reno progress!
      xoxo

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  11. So pretty!! :) Will you come do something like this at my house? I'll supply the bonbons and trashy TV :)

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    1. That sounds like a fair trade. Throw in some wine & I'm on my way! Quinn can fend for herself.
      xoxo

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  12. That tile is drool worthy. Now get to painting. I mean seriously. I need a full reveal tomorrow. Or you can just use the ever popular "I've stepped away from my blog to gain creative inspiration." That's what I'm going with next week. ;)

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    1. Yes, ma'am! Putting away my bonbons as we speak. One full watermarked, Pin-ready reveal coming up ;-)

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  13. It looks so good! I love the choices and that bench stain is great! I'm with you, I do reveals in real time. Every once in a while I hold something back, but it's hard! xo Kristin

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    1. Thanks a bunch, gal! The little nuances with blogging are funny aren't they? Not as easy it looks ;-)

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  14. You can find me rolling around on that gorgeous floor! I've been thinking of a floor like that for a bathroom...thanks for sourcing the tiles for me! ;)

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    1. Hey no prob ;-) I'll roll around on the floor with you! We could get at least a blog post & several Instagrams out of the whole thing.
      xoxo

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  15. OMG everything looks so amazing. Sure a pretty "after" picture is all good and such, but I looove just regular ass, "here's where we are today" pictures too. I feel sad that blogging has lost some of its authenticity. Hopefully we can get back to it.

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    1. Thank you, friend! Seriously, gimme some real ass blog posts. None of this "Look what I did for blog fodder & clicks!" I LOVE how authentic you are. It's why you'll have readers forevah evah.
      xoxo

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  16. Thank you for your honesty! I love that you want to "keep it real." The floors are amazing!

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    1. My pleasure, Jenn! Thanks so much for your kind words!

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  17. Can I just tell you that room is the bees knees. I so love that floor and all of that storage and the bench. Love!

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    1. Haha, the bees knees, love it. Thanks, love!

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  18. love love love it! and we have those teeny little converse too!!!

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    1. Thank you, friend!! Aren't those teeny pink Chucks just the greatest?! Can't get enough. MIght need to get a matching pair.
      xoxo

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  19. Love it all - seriously!!! And little pink converse are the absolute best things ever!

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    1. Thanks so much, friend!! I need a pair of pink Chucks for myself, I'm thinking ;-)
      xoxo

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  20. I love your mudroom! The tiles, the bench, the cubbies...all of it. You and your hubby did a beautiful job. So wish we had space for a mudroom. We have a bench! Quinn's pink shoes are darling! Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thank you kindly!! Now that we have a mudroom, we don't what we did before without one. We didn't even have a bench! And I'm kinda wanting a pair of pink Chucks to match Quinn. Or maybe embarass her, not sure which ;-)
      xoxo

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  21. Oh I have serious mudroom envy!! This is kinda what I want to do at our "getaway" house. The farmer we bought bought the property from built a narrow mudroom/porch on the backside of the house and I'm noting all your clever design elements (that floor!!! drooling!!) for when I get done with all the other 300 things that I need to do to that house. Thanks for the inspiration, doll. And I love this post. I have pretty much stopped reading blogs that are just "look what I bought myself today!!" and just reading blogs like yours--authentic and soooo well written. And of course, keeping up with Quinn's shennanigans is my hobby now. xo

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    1. Aw thanks so very much, friend! Isn't it funny how endless a homeowner's work is? Hopefully this room will be wrapped up before 2015...how does the littlest room entail the biggest work?!

      I've been blogging for ~6 years now & while I'm no expert, I do think that one should maintain a certain integrity whilst blogging! I'm just going to stick to keeping it real. And Quinn's shenanigans are as real as they get ;-) Thanks for coming along for the journey!!

      xoxo

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  22. Of course I'm head over heels in love with your mudroom! its fantastic! what a great space and I can't wait to see more :)

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    1. Thanks so much, K! Hoping we can get it all "done" before 2015 ;-)

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  23. That looks incredible! I love the slate and wood stain choices. Well done!
    And gosh, your first few paragraphs- did you jump inside my head and post exactly what I feel? Because, that's me. I want to post more too. But you are SO right about social media pressure- I cannot fathom trying to come up with blog material that's beautiful and ready to be pinned on Pinterest by thousands. Kudos to people who can do that and not burnout or die of exhaustion. Like you, I can barely stay on top of laundry (how old do kids have to be to do their own?) and everything else that requires my time. All this to say, I get you. Totally.

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    1. Thanks so much, L! This mudroom is fast becoming a fave space.
      I knew you'd get it. I think there's a responsibility to maintain integrity whilst blogging. This cut throat pace of blogging these days makes that almost nonexistent! I agree, kudos to those who can churn out the material but it's just not for me. I don't want to burn out on my house (or family lol) for the sake of blogging. That being said, I love that blogging has brought people like you into my life, sister friend ;-)

      Back to laundry!

      xoxo

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  24. We bought a house last June and we are moving realllllly slowly with our improvements, too. I'd rather take the time to save for the things I want and do it "right" rather than slap stuff together only to update it again in a few years. Everything looks great so far!! We are doing a floating bench in our sunken dining room; I love yours! xo

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    1. I adore your approach to home ownership/improvements! Slow & steady, it's how a house becomes a home. Can't wait to see your dining room bench!
      xoxo

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  25. Here I am behind the ball on blogs again. It looks absolutely fabulous, FC. I love that the tile you picked has texture - and the board and batten with the natural wood bench is perfect. Well done, as always.

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    1. Thanks so much, Em! I love that you noticed those details--they're my favorites! I know, every time I think I'm all caught up on blog reading, I fall behind within days :(
      xoxo

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  26. It's such a great space. I bet having it has sort of changed your home life. Love the wee pink Chucks too,

    jbhat

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    1. Thanks, gal! It has been a blessing of a room! And I'm so close to getting myself some not so wee pink Chucks ;-) So good to hear from you!
      xoxo

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  27. This is so us! We are seriously the sloooowest over here at getting things done. I hype things up on the blog and then I never show anything because I'm too much of a perfectionist and it's not "done". Screw that, it's probably never going to be done!

    Thanks for the inspiration to show things on the go - though your mudroom is looking pretty fan-freaking-tastic as it is!! That bench/tile combo is gorgeous! We could not survive without our mudroom. best.invention.ever. Can a room be an invention??

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  28. This looks amaaaaaazing!!! You guys killed it!! I so wish I had the space to do something like this in my home.

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  29. It looks so beautiful already! I've gotten to the point I do progress shots too or it feels like I work on something for months for one "perfect" (not really) blog post. Exhausting. I love all your choices in your mudroom and can't wait to see more of the progress!

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  30. This is why I like your blog, it doesn't feel forced, it feels genuine. Great mudroom.

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  31. Love it all ! All came together gorgeously.

    Could you please share what brand primer and paint you used for the white shelves? Is it pine wood?

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    1. Thanks, Jen! The cabinet/shelves/board & batten are maple wood from Home Depot. The paint we used was Behr's Ultra Premium Plus with the built-in primer (it took 2 coats but the coverage in my opinion was pretty good!) color matched to Benjamin Moore White Dove (crown moulding was painted in a satin finish & everything else was painted in an eggshell finish).

      :)

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    2. Thanks so much for the info ! Did you have to sand?
      Do you have any experience working with pine painting it white? Thinking of DIYing built in cabinets.

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    3. Our wood arrived pre-sanded. I don't have experience painting pine white but I assume the same applies for most raw wood paint applications: sand down, wipe clean, prime a thin/even coat, then usually 2 coats of paint (depending on your brand) in the finish of your choice. Or for us, it was 2 coats of the paint with built-in primer. Hope this helps!

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    4. That totally helps. Thanks again!
      Excellent choice for everything you picked out for the mudroom and Quinn is just SUPER adorable! :)

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  32. Absolutely beautiful! I love how you wait and always find the perfect piece(s) instead of finishing for the sake of finishing. You put a lot of heart and soul into everything. :)

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  33. The stain is dreamy. All of it is. R has been rocking pink converse since she could walk and I adore them.

    Girl. . you are speaking my language. My daughter's room hasn't had a headboard in two years. I have yet to hang a thing on her walls. And I am pretty sure our playroom is already out of style. . as I am just getting around to finishing touches. Keeping it real and keeping it at your own pace is what people appreciate. xox

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  34. You know I am total fan of your house. Every single inch of it. If there is one house I would move into in a nanosecond, it would be yours.

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  35. Purchased this same tile the other night and just found your blog while doing a search for pictures of this tile installed. LOVE your mudroom - perfection! I'm trying to convince my husband that this is the right tile and your picture s are so helpful. He's not too sure about the sparkles in the tile - does yours have any of that? This will be our first tile job - oh boy! We also did tongue and groove, board and batten in white with a wood counter. Choose some red barn lights that look great! Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Stacy! Some of ours do have the streaks of sparkles but honestly, the sparkles in the tile aren't that noticeable once they were all in. My husband's a geologist & to him the sparkles make this more natural stone-like as opposed to the flat finish of most porcelain tiles, so there's that ;-)

      Best of luck moving forward with your space! Tiling's not so bad once you get the hang of it. Love the materials you chose, too!!

      xoxo

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  36. do you know the name and color of the grout used?

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    1. The brand is Mapei, color Gray from Lowe's.

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Let's get weird up in here.
xoxo
~Freckles Chick~