mudroom

You Design it Part II – Mudroom/ Laundry Room Results are in!

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

It has been a long two weeks for the Sell family but I can finally say we have moved out of our old house.   I don’t know how it is possible that something can take forever and manage to still be a whirlwind experience, but we made it!  I am so glad phase 1 of our move is over and we look forward to getting ready for phase 2, which I will tell you more about at the end of this post.  The point is, I can’t wait to start designing and decorating the new house!

Mudroom /Laundry Room Survey Results

Two weeks ago I invited our readers to help design my mudroom/laundry area by giving feedback in a brief survey.  I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people participated!  I love all of the ideas you chose.  A lot of your ideas confirmed exactly what I was thinking, so you obviously have excellent taste. Some of your ideas also have me rethinking parts of the plan, which is a good thing!  Today I am sharing with you the results of your design choices.

If you want to see all of the options presented in the original survey, you can see them here.  There is no time limit on participating, so feel free to check it out and share your ideas.

But for now, here are the results.  

Which washer/dryer setup do you prefer?

61% preferred top load washer vs. the front load washer.  I have had both, and I can say without hesitation that I prefer the top load over the front load.  Done deal!

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Which of these below is your favorite washer and dryer brand?

This was a fairly even split on what was your favorite appliance brand, but Maytag won out as the favorite with 26% of the vote.  Since there wasn’t an obvious brand favorite, I plan on doing a little research in Consumer Reports, since, you know, research is my thing (I’m a librarian by trade).

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How important is it to have a sink in your laundry room?

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I thought this would be a top priority, but you collectively rated it a 3.70 out of 5 with 5 being “very important.” I have never been fortunate enough to have one in my laundry room, but we decided to include one in our design plans.

Which overall laundry room look below do you like the best?

There were two options that you all seemed to prefer.  35% liked the design in the first photo below with the beautiful tiles and 35% liked the second picture, with the more simple sight lines.  Obviously you have good taste, because those were my two favorite looks.  If I had to only pick one, I think I would lean towards the the second photo with the simple sight lines, but I am also a big fan on the gorgeous tiles in the first picture!

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Would you have the laundry room closed off from the mudroom (ie would you have them as separate rooms?

This was the big shocker – 57% of you said you would keep the mudroom and the laundry room in the same room.  Randall feels pretty strongly that they should be separate so that you don’t see the laundry room mess. Having said that, he isn’t the lead on doing the laundry, so we may have to think about this a little bit more….

Which cubby setup do you prefer?

62% of you decided that you preferred a mix of open and closed cubby space.  I completely agree with this one.

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Which flooring do you like the best?

35% of you said you preferred the natural color tile in a herringbone pattern.  I had personally been leaning towards the black tile, but the natural tile is starting to grow on me.  We will keep it in mind.

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Which entry door style do you like the best?

Thank goodness you like the dutch door! 43% of you chose it, and that is enough to confirm that my strange obsession with it is valid.  I really, really, really, REALLY hope we can fit it in the budget!

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Which organization setup do you think would work best in the laundry room?

52% of you said you preferred hampers hidden in drawers.  I personally love the idea of hiding the dirty clothes away, but my only dilemma is that it assumes the kids will open the drawers to throw the clothes in the hamper.  My 15+ years of personal scientific research says that it won’t happen. I was leaning towards the rolling bins, but  I am keeping an open mind….

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If you had a dog, which feature(s) would be a must in your dream mudroom?

Dog features.  Let me tell you Button Jar friends, we clearly have some dog lovers out there because you all had very strong opinions about this topic.  The dog feeding station was picked by 50% of you and the dog bath came in second with 45% of votes.  I think the dog bath is genius and I am trying to figure out to make it happen.  Not only is it a great spot to hose down the dogs, it would also be great for wiping down muddy shoes before storing them in the cubby.

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Do you have a favorite feature in your mudroom/laundry room? Any advice for designing the space?

Wow, did you guys provide some helpful feedback!  I wish I could include all of them, but I have picked out the top 5 that best summarize your ideas.

“Bins for recycling material is a must for us.”

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“Definitely have a hanging area for delicates that you want to hang dry (or shirts that you’re hiding from your husband so he doesn’t wear the same ones every week).”

“Lots of shoe storage! Even when I think I have enough places to store shoes, I run out of room.  How do 3 kids have so many pairs of shoes?”

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“Tall, one door cabinet for storage of brooms, mops, cleaning supplies.  Shelf and hooks inside, as well.  Love lots of heavy duty decorative hooks for bookbags, activity bags, coats, dog leashes, etc.”

“Accessorize it attractively, so you enjoy being there. I also say make sure there is plenty of task lighting.”

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Well that is it!  Thank you again to everyone who participated – I appreciate your feedback and ideas!  We are keeping them in mind for the design.  I can’t wait till we get to put these ideas into action, which leads me right into where we are today with the house. Our next step while we wait to close on the new house is to work with the builders on the blueprints and final drawings – eek!  We should be in the house in early November and break ground in December, but I know that is a highly optimistic schedule.  I will keep you updated.    I am hoping I can share the preliminary drawings with you next week, so stay tuned!

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DIY Decor: Boxwood Wreath Meets Chalkboard

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Posted by  Abby Branham

Back in September I posted 10 DIY Fall Wreaths to Decorate Your Front Door.  I made one of the wreaths for our front door, the Felt Leaf Wreath for Fall by Lia Griffith, and shared it in my Fall Home Tour (check it out!).  Since that turned out so well, I decided to try the Simple DIY Boxwood Wreath by My Fabuless Life too, because I have always loved boxwood.  It’s simple, classic, and green – a perfect pop of clean, natural color.  Because my front door is already set for the Fall, I decided to hang my simple boxwood wreath over a chalkboard as an inside decoration.  Looking at it now, it is also kind of perfect for the Christmas holiday.  I hope you like it, I was happy with the way it turned out.

materials

  • Boxwood Garland (I bought fake garland from Hobby Lobby (50% off, $10!)
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Green Wire Pipe Cleaners to match the color of the garland

constructing the wreath

For whatever reason, I never went back to reread the original tutorial by My Fabuless Life before I started constructing this wreath.  I knew it was a fairly straight forward tutorial, but I think in my mind I combined some of the tutorials I had been reading for various DIY Boxwood Wreathes that  I included in my September post.   So, here’s what I did, which worked just fine and was really easy.

First, I wrapped the entire Embroidery Hoop with the green wire pipe cleaner.

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Next, I pulled “clippings” from the Boxwood Garland, placed them on the wreath, and wrapped them into place with the green pipe cleaners.

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displaying the wreath

I bought an interesting shaped chalkboard from Hobby Lobby (again, I got it on sale – love that place!).  I attached my Simple DIY Boxwood Wreath to the chalkboard, and the only thing left to do was to think of something to write on the chalkboard.  This chalkboard and wreath are displayed as you walk down a flight of stairs to exit our home.   Because this is displayed so that people see it on their way out, I wanted to write something to brighten all of our days. I went with “You are loved!”, because knowing that gives me the strength and courage to face everyday.  I will update this with a lovely message for the holidays in a few weeks. Did I just write weeks? Eek!  I can’t believe it is coming so quickly!

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This post was shared on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on Making Merry Link Party on My Pinventures, on DIY Link Party on DIY Showoff, on the Over The Moon Link Party on Marilyn’s Treats, and on the Dishing It and Digging It Link Party on Life and Linda.

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Busy Weekday Meal: Crock-Pot Meatball Subs

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

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Now that my kids are older, our weeks are filled with activities that keep us going ALL DAY LONG. In fact, a typical school week involves us running to practices and games 4 out of 5 days.   The second my kids get home from school, it is a race to get homework done, uniforms on and out the door to practice or games.  Here is a snapshot of the kids on our way home from practices.  Again, this is a typical scene on any given weekday (though they’re not always smiling).

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Because our schedule is so busy, meals are a challenge.  I have three options:

1 Have a meal ready to eat before we leave.
2. Make a meal when we get home (which is usually between 7:30 – 9 pm)
3. Eat a lot of fast food.

Let me be clear – my family can not handle eating after 6 pm.  They turn into angry creatures that NO ONE wants to be around.  So number 2 is only for emergency situations.  Two years ago we did a lot of eating out.  We had a weekly rotation of Wendy’s, a local salad bar, Pizza, and Subway.  It was fun at first, but then it got to the point where eating out was not that fun and we all gained weight because we weren’t selecting healthy eating options.

So last year I decided if we were going to change I needed to be a meal planner.  This was a serious struggle for me, because if you notice the list of meals my sisters make (proteins and veggies galore) vs. my meals (muffins and stromboli) it is safe to say recipes are not my strongest skill.  But I hunkered down and made it my professional mom goal to find a list of quick homemade meals that we could eat before games.  The current “quick meal” rotation consists of 12 meals, but I am always looking to expand that list.  (Reply in the comment section if you have a favorite recipe you use that is quick and easy that I should try.)

Today I am sharing with you the easiest, fastest, recipe in my quick meal arsenal – Crock-Pot Meatball Subs.  There are many fantastic meatball recipes out there, which you can make and freeze ahead of time and pull out when you need to use them.  Since we are still stuck in the middle of a house move that has dragged on forever, I will be completely honest and admit I used the store bought meatballs this time since we had used all the meatballs in the freezer.  No judging!

So this is how easy this meal is.  It almost doesn’t feel fair to call this a “recipe” but here it is.

Step 1 – Take out delicious frozen meatballs (homemade or otherwise).

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Step 2 – Put meatballs in the Crock-Pot.

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Step 3 – Add your favorite spaghetti sauce (homemade or ….you know otherwise).

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Step 4 – Set Crock-Pot for 4 hours.

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Step 5 – Serve on buns with lots of cheese.

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Step 6 – Sit back and enjoy all of the compliments your kids throw your way.

Step 7 – Ask husband to clean up because you made dinner.  Fair is fair.

This is great for busy game nights, but it is also great for parties, tailgating, game nights, etc.  We typically serve ours with broccoli or another type of green veggie.  Enjoy!

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Link Parties

This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on The Crafted Sparrow, and on Sweet Inspiration Link Party on KreativeK, and on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor.

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13 Fun Fall Crafts for Kids

Abby_bubble1

Posted by Abby Branham

I’m always looking for hands on sensory activities to nourish my daughter’s developing minds, bodies, and souls.  Today’s post is no different and is devoted to all things Fall.  Honestly, I hand picked these activities because I am excited to do them too!  The best part is that most of the materials are found in nature, and what is more invigorating than a walk in the crisp, Fall air to collect your craft supplies. These crafts can be adapted to make them age appropriate for any child.   Click on the subject headings in pink to go to the tutorials for each activity.

Autumn hand print tree by arty crafty kids

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Leaf People Fall Craft by Fantastic Fun and Learning

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Leaf Sun Catcher by Fantastic Fun and Learning

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Create a Fall Wreath by Toddler Approved

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Leaf Rubbing by KC Edventures

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Fine Motor Fall Yarn Wrapping by Cutting Tiny Bites

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Autumn Mobile by Red Ted Art

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Apple Stamping Tree Craft by Crafty Morning

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Contact Paper Sticky Wall Fall Tree by I Heart Crafty Things

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Fall Leaf Prints by Meaningful Mama

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No Sew Felt Owl Finger Puppets by Arty Krafty Kids

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Felt and Pine Cone Elves by Lia Griffith

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create a simple bird feeder by button jar

And last but not least, I am sharing the bird feeder activity that I wrote about in my 7 Rainy Day Activities For Kids post earlier this year.  This one is an oldie but a goodie and it is a calming, fun activity for the entire family.  I’ve done this with pine cones, which are more decorative, but using a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll is probably easier for toddlers.

The supplies you’ll need are:

  • center cardboard tube of a paper towel roll
  • spatulas
  • baking sheet
  • bird seed
  • twine
  • parchment paper
  • freezer bag

Set out the baking sheet as their work space (aka, mess catcher). Put some peanut butter in a bowl that will be easy for toddlers to scoop.  Use a spatula to scoop and spread the peanut butter on the cardboard tube.  Next, put bird seed on the baking sheet, and shake the seed so that it is evenly spread.  Now roll the tube through the seed.  The seed will adhere easily to the sticky peanut butter.  Punch holes in the tube to attach the twine. Roll the tubes in some parchment paper, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze them.  I do this to freeze the peanut butter so that on a hot day it won’t drip off of the tube immediately.  I love to put these out in the winter time, but you can put them out whenever you like.  Be sure to find the perfect spot for your simple bird feeder, hang it, and observe as new feathered friends arrive.

We love quietly watching the birds come to our window.  We have a lot of sparrows. Birds are very interesting and entertaining creatures, and, fortunately or unfortunately, squirrels can be too!

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7 Fun Rainy Day Activities For Kids

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Link Parties

This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on The Crafted Sparrow, on Sweet Inspiration Link Party on KreativeK,  on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on Making Merry Link Party on My Pinventures, on DIY Link Party on DIY Showoff, on the Over The Moon Link Party on Marilyn’s Treats, and on the Dishing It and Digging It Link Party on Life and Linda.

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5 Unique Ideas for Decorating Your Walls

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Posted by Katie Gambone

It’s easy to make a space feel cozy by adding throw rugs, pillows and candles but it’s what you hang on your walls that can make your home feel personal and polished.  If you are anything like me, this is where I sometimes get stuck.  If you are an artist yourself or an art collector, this may not be an issue for you, but I think for a lot of people it can be.  I’ve collected prints that I like from various Farmer’s Markets and art fairs over the years and I am lucky to also know many terrific photographers whose work I hang on my walls.  But collecting art can be really expensive and I’ve been wanting to try something else.  Here’s a list of five unique ideas for decorating your walls that I hope inspire you too.

Stencils

My mom stenciled our walls when we were growing up.  I am pretty sure that she stenciled my bedroom with flowers, because I was really into everything floral at the time.  Today, stencils can be a lot more sophisticated and even resemble wallpaper.  Take, for example, this gorgeous Art Deco inspired stencil created by Design Inspiration – Planet Stencil Library.  I can just imagine this pattern stenciled near the ceiling in half bathroom.  It would add a lot of drama.

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I also really liked this circle pattern stencil, which would be terrific for an accent wall in a kids room.

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Personal collections

If you are a collector, displaying your collectables as wall art can be a great way to personalize your home.  Take, for example, this plate wall.  I think the way that mmmcrafts has hung her plate collection is interesting and I love all of the colors.  I am a plate collector myself.  I fell in love with the idea after eating at Oyster House in Philadelphia.  They decorate their walls with antique oyster plates, which inspired me to start collecting oyster plates too.  This hobby is temporarily on hold due to limited time to get out and shop antique markets, but I plan to pick back up with it in the future.

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I also love these framed race cars for a little kids room by Seed Time.  The fact that they are arranged by color pleases my sense of all things organized.

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Another favorite collectable of mine is vintage Vogue Magazine covers.  A good friend collected early editions of Vogue Magazine covers, framed them and hung them in a staggered pattern in her half bathroom.  I seriously loved it.  I may have stayed in there longer than I needed to because I just couldn’t stop looking at all of them.  I thought they were beautiful.

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Framing wall papers, fabrics or patterns you love

Another great idea for adding color and patterns to a space is to frame wall papers, fabrics or any kind of patterns you love.  For example, I’m a big fan of navy blue right now and thought these framed fabrics from Home Décor Buzz look great for an entry way or maybe even a bedroom.

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Yarn Wall Hanging

I am a huge fan of textiles and Yarn Wall Hangings are very popular right now.  I’ve seen them in a ton of home decorating magazines and there are tutorials all over Pinterest on how to make your own.  They can be very simple and colorful as this Chevron Yarn Walling Hanging that I found on Curbly.

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Or they can be very elaborate and textured like this gorgeous yarn wall hanging from Macro Macrame.  I think this would be especially sweet in a little girl’s nursery.

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Architectural details

And finally, architectural details are a really interesting way to add visual interest to your walls.  I picked this idea up from Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame.  She is a total pro at decorating with old frames, drawer fronts, doors etc.

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I also loved these wall hangings from Architecture Art Design to decorate an outdoor fence.

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That’s it!  I hope these ideas for adding visual interest to your walls help you.  You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Also, sharing is caring! If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

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This post was shared on Making Merry Monday Link Party on My Pinventures, on Inpiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on Made By Your Monday on Skip To My Lou, on Two Cup Tuesday on Pint Sized Baker, on That DIY Party on DIY Showoff, on the Over the Moon Link Party on Sandy’s POV, and on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on The Crafted Sparrow, and on Sweet Inspiration Link Party on KreativeK.