With New Year’s quickly approaching we also have resolutions to look forward to. Starting the new year with a fresh perspective and thoughts of being better disciplined , more productive and of course more organized. I have to admit, I am one of those people that do find optimism in the new year energizing, it refuels me to either get back on track or start with a clean slate. With January being the first full month of winter, means we also have way more shoes & boots to keep organized in our mudrooms and/or entry way. I know for myself getting organized can be overwhelming if I don’t have a plan. Often a good starting point is shopping thrift stores, flea markets and checking some local salvage shops for some original pieces to maximize the storage potential in your space.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to storage is essential if you are using vintage items. After a few winters in my own home, I quickly realized that I needed to find a new solution for my tiny & slender mudroom. The little bench I had was great for scarves and mittens but not for all the shoes & boots. It was maddening trying to keep them all organized on the floor so I knew I had to go vertical. To my surprise a few weeks later I found an old canning shelf from the 1930′s, for only $75! To say this piece is perfect for the small space is an understatement. It holds up to 30 pairs of shoes and boots, so convenient! Vintage wooden shoe racks like this one below are also perfect for extra footwear storage and again, going vertical with a slender shelf like this is not only practical and also a space saver.
Displaying your shoes in a pretty glass piece can be an amazing focal point in a room. Who would have thought using a china cabinet to house a vast array of heals could look so good! The shelves are the ideal height for heals or boots, don’t be afraid to create a new function for a your vintage pieces.
If you don’t have the space to go up then why not use floor space to boost storage. I love the idea of using a bench with old, worn crates underneath. You can even label them for easy and swift stowage.
If you are using crates to organize your floor space why not add casters for movability and easy access. These can also be used under a bed or a family room sofa for non-seasonal shoes and accessories.
Another great space saver for a mudroom is to add shelving using recycled barn wood. The worn texture and natural hues in the wood will make it feel like an art installation. Not only will your back door space be stylish & pretty but also purposeful.
Half the fun of using vintage and flea market finds is reinventing its function. The idea of using an old stereo or TV cabinet for shoe storage in genius. By adding glass doors, this piece feels intentional and perfect for its new role.
Using an old mail sorter as a new place to host shoes, hats and gloves is also an ideal storage solution. The slender nature of the piece still allows for good traffic flow and the counter height gives another place to keep mail, keys and everyday essentials.
Metal milk containers also make for ideal shoe and boots storage. They are a good size and keeps items visible, which we all know that comes in handy.
These days you can find industrial pieces pretty easily and by simply cleaning them up you can give it a while new life. Adding woven baskets can add texture to an industrial piece and soften it as well, plus it adds another layer of storage for smaller objects.
I hope this gives you some clever and unique ideas for shoe storage in the New Year. Happy Holidays!!!
I have such a fun dream house update today! Remember way back in March when my studio in the basement was supposed to be finished? Well now, 9 months (and a lot of frustration) later, it is finally ready–HOORAY! Over the holidays, I plan to unpack all of my boxes, hang pictures and calendars, and really get moved in. But after waiting for almost an entire year for this room to be ready, I needed to jump right in and get some work done. The power is on, the sink is installed, the flooring is in, and I’ve already gotten lots of projects crossed off my to-do list since the room was finished last week.
For my birthday in January, I treated myself to some really pretty hardware from Anthropologie. Since I only needed a handful of knobs and brackets, I thought it was the perfect time to splurge on something a little fancier than what you find at the hardware store. The pretty knobs do a great job of dressing up out-of-the-box lower cabinets, and the beautiful scrolled brackets look so nice paired with the reclaimed wood open shelves.
When we moved into the dream house last November, we put a fiberglass utility sink from the hardware store in the laundry room temporarily. And we have absolutely loved it! So we bought another one for my studio. I picked out a cute brushed nickel pull-out faucet to go with it and really love it. It’ll be able to handle any messy project I can dream up!
Instead of doing bookshelves for storage, we put in two sets of IKEA cubbies with a desk in between. I’m really excited to get all of my props, supplies, paints, yarn, books, houseplants, and more organized and, of course, beautifully styled in these cute little square openings. It is so nice to finally have this room finished and ready to be worked in. And I can’t wait to see how it looks when I’m all moved in!
Hi there! I’m Ashley, the author behind the blog Cherished Bliss. I’m so excited be here with you today sharing a little about our mini mudroom that’s been all decked out for Christmas. When we first moved into our house about 2 years ago, I knew one of our top priorities would be to create a space for our winter gear. The one thing this house lacked was a mudroom, but there was quite a bit of space and storage so I was pretty confident we could make it work. And when Better Homes and Gardens wanted to come out and photograph our little space for the “I Did It” section in the magazine, well I was as excited as one can be and then some!
This bench is extremely easy to build and a great beginner project if you would like to dip your toes into the world of woodworking! It mainly consists of pocket holes (which are a lot easier than they sound) and finishing nails. You can get the building plan here.
After building the bench, I wanted to make sure it was still a stylish space because it does technically reside in our living room. I had already built a chalkboard that I was using in my dining room, but I’m known to move things around constantly so the chalkboard found its new home right above our new farmhouse bench. Get the plan for the chalkboard here. I get a lot of questions about the color of stain I used. I actually used a homemade wood stain so that I could complete this step in my basement without breathing in toxic fumes! So let’s talk about getting this little space ready for the holidays.
3 Ways to Update a Mini Mudroom for Christmas
The amazing stylist Char came out and helped stage the area for the photo shoot, and she was absolutely amazing! We added some little wooden tags to the metal bins to label what each one was to be used for. This is great for the kids so they can remember what goes where!
Bring Nature Inside
Next we added a live evergreen wreath to the chalkboard. This chalkboard is my absolute favorite place to hang wreaths. It provides the perfect background for our mini mudroom! I also adore how this space welcomes in guests and provides a place for them to drop their purses or diaper bags. It’s very convenient to have right inside the living room, and with the fresh wreath, guests are immediately greeted by the smells of Christmas!
Last but not least, the accessories. We added some colorful Christmas pillows to provide a warm and cozy atmosphere at our entrance. Char then drew some beautiful chalkboard art, which unfortunately I was not able to duplicate (but you can see above) being that I have the art skills of a one-year-old! But it really adds a bit of holiday cheer!
If you are interested in seeing this space outside of the holidays, you can see that here.
It was seriously a once in a lifetime experience to have Better Homes and Gardens photograph our mini mudroom for the December 2015 issue! I had so much fun with both the stylist and the photographer. They were so down to earth and an absolute joy to work with!
I would love to have you follow along with the journey as we turn our house into a home, so please feel free to stop by my blog and say hi! For behind-the-scenes pictures and sneak peeks, you can follow us on Instagram!
Trend: Homemade Secret Santa Gift Ideas
It’s time for all of those fun holiday parties and that means it’s probably time for Secret Santa gift exchanges. Skip the store bought present and make your gift unique and craft something for your gift recipient. I’ve gathered some great ideas for you.
1) Customize this No Sew Apron with the name of your Secret Santa. It’s the perfect gift for any cook, on Sugar and Cloth.
2) Homemade vanilla extract would also make a great gift for the cook in your life, on The Paper Mama.
3) I love making gift bags out of paper bags. Wrap up a nice bottle of wine in a customized printed paper bag and you’re done, on The Gold Jellybean.
4) Hide your secret Santa gift in a big jar of fun confetti, on Studio DIY.
5) This Sewing Kit in a Jar is so handy to have around the house and would make a great gift, on The Paper Mama.
6) For the garden lover, makeover some plain pots with bright paint and add a succulent, on Miss Renaissance.
7) Create these relaxing peppermint bath bombs for your gift, on A Pumpkin and a Princess.
8) A gift for your tech friend: Leather Laptop Cover DIY, on Oh Happy Day.
9) For the coffee person, create this Peppermint Mocha Java Jar, on The Gunny Sack.
10) I would LOVE homemade bread and jam as a tasty gift for the holidays, on Project Wedding.
11) I always love a candle gift and I should definitely be making this tea cup candle DIY, from Hey Gorgeous Events.
12) This color block serving tray would be a great secret Santa gift and a great hostess gift, on Better Homes and Gardens.
13) Find some favorite photos to create these Homemade Polaroid Coasters, on Darkroom & Dearly.
14) Easily paint a snowy scene on a plain glass bulb ornament with this DIY, on Better Homes and Gardens.
15) Here’s a great gift for the sport-loving wine drinker: DIY Trophy Wine Stoppers, on Inspired by Heather.
16) Another great DIY gift for the gardener: A DIY Terrarium Kit (with printable label), on Wit and Whistle.
17) For those friends that are ALWAYS cold, these DIY hand warmers are so cute, on Rae Ann Kelly.
18) Are you buying for a beer lover? Stick with the beer, but make those bottles more festive with some antlers and googly eyes, on House of Hawthornes.
19) I LOVE peppermint bark. Whip up a batch of these tasty treats, put them in a little jar, and add a tag. You’re ready to gift this to your Secret Santa, on Sprightliest.
20) You can download and print some free stencils to create these DIY Stenciled Kitchen Towels, from Lulu the Baker for The Paper Mama.
We want to see what you’re crafting! You can share a link in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram with a photo (my user name is @thepapermama).
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Once fall rolls around and turns into winter, I find myself gravitating aesthetically towards buffalo check anything (check out that wallpaper above!). More than ever, you can find buffalo check on practically everything from fashion (like these adorable J.Crew vests) to tree skirts and stockings. Simply put, buffalo check brings in some holiday cheer and a healthy punch of graphic pattern along with a classic American design sensibility.
Buffalo check is cousins with the more spring-y gingham. (Often gingham appears in a smaller scale while buffalo check is big and bold.) Most often buffalo check will be found in red/black and navy/white, although it can come in many colorways in a more contemporary riff. If you’re a history buff, I really enjoyed reading this little spotlight on buffalo check at Tidbits & Twine. Apparently buffalo check dates back to the 17th century and was made popular by Queen Charlotte and was even used in decor at Colonial Williamsburg! Woolrich, who designed the blankets in my lake house guest bedroom above, has a buffalo check shirt in its archives from the mid 1800s.
Buffalo check can feel modern and fresh despite its traditional roots. I love it paired with the white shiplap walls and simple farmhouse table.
But it’s also fun when created in an unexpected colorway (pink!).
Play around with scale if you love patterns. You can easily mix and match buffalo check in the same colorway for a new result. I love the emerald green with this – it feels old school and campy for a boy’s bedroom.
Another fun play on patterns with the bold stripe red chair.
Red buffalo check curtains bring some Christmas cheer to this pretty country kitchen along with the twin wreaths in the windows.
Ticking stripe is also a favorite with buffalo check in a more casual country setting.
But if your aesthetic leans more polished and contemporary, look for textiles that have been slightly reinterpreted, like this watercolor-inspired buffalo check fabric. The legs on the ottomans are more streamlined to continue the sleeker and sophisticated look of the room.
Finally, for the ultimate in casual luxury, this marble buffalo check floor on the diagonal provides a major graphic accent to an otherwise simple space. Wouldn’t this be amazing in a lake house? It’s like a checkerboard floor totally reimagined. I can’t get enough of this one!
Hip hip hooray for buffalo check!
Looking to cross off those last few names on your holiday gift list? This time of year arrives all too quickly and just when we think the final gifts have been wrapped, new names magically begin to appear. In the spirit of giving (and in a race against time!) we find ourselves scrambling to locate the perfect gift for that special somebody. This year, the BHG Live Better Network of Bloggers were challenged to create meaningful gifts for the holidays using the affordable Better Homes and Gardens collection at Walmart. If you’re in need of a last minute idea, read on for some quick and thoughtful gifting inspiration.
1. Kristyn Merkley from Lil Luna fills her home with warm holiday scents by mixing and matching Wax cubes. Whether it’s Vanilla Cookie Crunch or Cinnamon & Spice, there are endless fragrant varieties to package alongside a seasonal BHG wax warmer.
2. Ashley Thurman from Cherished Bliss has mastered the art of gift basket stacking, and you can too! Using a “Pump” Soap Dispenser, “Things” Canister, “Brush” Holder, and extra absorbent chevron towels from Better Homes and Gardens, this guest-ready basket includes all your bathroom essentials.
3. Surprise your favorite teacher! Chelsea Coulston from Making Home Base uses cozy throws, warm scented candles, homemade hot cocoa mix (hello relaxation!) and even adds a personal touch by including an ornament with a handwritten message on the back. This “school’s out” Chicken Wire Basket will have teachers feeling more appreciated than ever this holiday season.
4. Don’t shy away from going bold! Consider pairing White Flameless LED Pillar Candles with a colorful ceramic lantern like Ursula Carmona from Home Made by Carmona. Candles are easy and affordable, and bring a subtle ambient glow to any holiday gathering. Plus, with this flameless alternative, you can forget about the real threat of fire from forgotten flames.
5. Attending a white elephant gift exchange? Ashley from Domestic Imperfection recommends personalizing gifts in a do-it-yourself fashion. She added a witty food quote to a Bamboo Serving Tray that’s sure to serve as a fun conversation starter.
6. Don’t limit yourself to the use of conventional gift baskets. Consider using white porcelain serve ware as a base for your gift set. Destiny Alfonso at Just Destiny adds gold and silver flair to create a glamorous gift platter.
7. Perfect for the entertainer in your life, Myra Yarbrough of My Blessed Life recommends checking out the Heritage Dinnerware Collection from Better Homes and Gardens. The Heritage Serve Bowl is versatile and will stand out on any holiday table.
8. Hosting a holiday gathering and looking for a unique party favor? Bethany Halford and Amanda Jenkins from Whoa Wait Walmart draped woven herringbone blankets over the back of each chair for guests to take home after attending their intimate outdoor soiree.
9. It doesn’t take much to show a friend you care. Brooke Ulrich from All Things Thrifty loves fun, inexpensive gifts like this Small Acacia Wood-Top Jar. Fill it with peppermint candies, add a sweet message, and you’re good to go.
10. For a gift that inspires beautiful home design, Angie Holden from The Country Chic Cottage suggests adding Baroque Mirrors, a distressed teal clock, and cozy throws to a “Décor Lovers” gift basket.
11. When in doubt, bake! Jennifer Hadfield from Tatertots & Jello shares a mouthwatering holiday recipe — S’Mores Mix. You can’t go wrong with gifting a sweet treat for all to enjoy. Use the Heritage Collection 3-Piece Bowl Set to house your homemade cookies, candy and more!
12. Wax warmers and wax cubes are a perfect last minute and affordable gift for the teacher, coach, bus driver and anyone else you’d wish to thank this holiday season. Sarah Saucedo from Thrifty Decor Chick shares how best to package a wax warmer set.
13. Candy, hot chocolate and Christmas classics! Liz Latham from Hoosier Homemade creates a meaningful gift basket everyone in the family will enjoy. Games, warm blankets, and Flip-Tite Storage Containers filled with snacks are the perfect basis for a fun-filled movie night.
For all of these products and more, shop online at Walmart.com/BetterHomesandGardens