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.}