Mini Mudroom Reveal – Week Six Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

It’s so satisfying when a space comes together! I knew the hall closet was not working for our family, and now we have a mini mudroom that is functional and also beautiful – I am so happy with the result!

After building the space,

  • I painted the shelves, trim, and ceiling in a semi-gloss paint that I had color-matched to the wallpaper.
  • Next, I hung the beautiful Ronald Redding Aspen wallpaper. If you’re hanging wallpaper that contrasts with your walls, prime the wall (or, if you are lazy like me, paint stripes of primer where the seams will be), so the wall color doesn’t show through at the seams.
  • Finally, I installed these brass coat hooks I found on Etsy. I wanted double hooks for more storage and was looking for something that felt traditional but not too antique, and these turned out great! I did curse the matching flat head screws a few times, because they’re much trickier than a Phillips head, but I managed to install the screws using bigger pilot holes and hand-screwing them in. Now that it’s done, I do like the more clean traditional look of the screws.

Enjoy these photos of all the details!

There’s something so luxurious about a glossy dark painted ceiling… even if it is in a closet 🙂


I would never have guessed that a closet could make me so happy!

Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge site to see some more room transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Building a Mini Mudroom – Week Four Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

I am so excited to share this build! At our old house, we had a cloakroom-type space, with shoe racks and coat hooks. That space was not directly visible from the living areas, so I did not mind it being a bit more more casual and utilitarian. I was looking for the same functionality in our new home, but I was a bit stumped by how to accomplish this with a small hallway closet that is immediately visible from the entry and living room. I researched various closet conversion ideas, but many of them seemed more casual than what I was looking for. I knew I had finally found my solution when I stumbled on the “California Mudroom” created by Jessica D’Itri Marés of Renovate 108 featured on Real Simple (below right) Can you see ours (below left) coming together? Please say “yes!”

This project involved just the right level of DIY for me – I got to work on my skills but not get too stressed. In this post, I will share the construction steps to convert a standard hall closet into a mini mudroom. I’ve been chipping away on this project for a while (because job! and kids!), and now I am excited to bring you up to speed with where I am!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the door and door hardware
  • Use a pry bar to remove the door stop trim, so the opening looks more like a framed entry than a doorway
  • Remove the hanging rod
  • Patch holes – in addition to spackle and caulk, I used some craft sticks and wood glue to fill in the areas where the door hardware was attached. I’m sure that’s just what the professionals do!
  • Add shelves to the top. Mine already had one shelf, and I wanted to add a second. Both shelves are supported on wide trim, mounted into the studs.
  • The wide trim will be perfect for installing hooks
  • Patch and caulk
  • Prime all the surfaces

Now that the structure is in place, the fun begins… Actually, the building was very fun! But anyway, next up is painting, wallpaper, and accessories!

Be sure to visit the One Room Challenge page to see more home transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

FREE Campaign Cabinet – Week Three Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

While I get the main project – our mini-mudroom – ready, I’ll show you more of the smaller projects going into our foyer makeover. I wanted closed storage for shoes, and I didn’t want it to look obvious or utilitarian. After spending too much (or just the right amount) of time browsing options for new or thrifted furniture, I found the perfect piece! If there’s anything you know about me, it’s likely my addiction to vintage furniture. Free is best, as is anything mid-century and/or with an Asian influence. Call it a gift, a fatal flaw, or just many hours browsing Craigslist… I spotted this free(!) cabinet and saw that the hardware had a beautiful mix of campaign and Asian details.

When I first saw it, I assumed it was too big for our space. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I when I asked for dimensions, it turns out this is a petite cabinet that fits perfectly inside of our closet!

The wood finish was too pretty to paint, but it had a lot of scratches and marks on it, especially on top. I briefly thought about trying to refinish it, but it is veneer, and I’ve never done that before. I decided to try sanding it lightly and then using furniture polish – I’m happy to report that it worked!

I made some other modifications, because we are using this as a shoe cabinet. I painted a strip of wood block and installed it behind the front legs, so that we would not get too much dust and other stuff stuck underneath. I also lined the inside with clear, contact paper, and drilled some holes in the back, so that we can store shoes inside.

Next week, I’ll show you the mini-mudroom build, and we’ll see some big changes in this small space. In the meantime, head over to the One Room Challenge page to see more fun projects!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Decorative Paper Storage Boxes Inspired by Antoinette Poisson

Making these decorative paper storage boxes makes me so happy! Like many of my other creations, it started by seeing something beautiful and wondering “how could I make that?!” In this case, it started by seeing these gorgeous Antoinette Poisson … Continue reading

Small Foyer, Big Plans – Week One Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

  • Week One – Small Foyer Inspiration

I’m really excited to take on our foyer for this One Room Challenge. It’s the first space you see coming into the house, and it’s visible from our living room, so I wanted to give it some style! This is a small area – basically a hallway and a closet, so the project feels very doable, but as the title says, I have big plans!

The biggest part of this challenge will be converting our closet to a “mini mudroom.” I’m also sharing our flooring, which always gets lots of comments, a fabulous free furniture makeover, and a new ceiling light fixture. Here are some inspiration pictures for our “new” foyer. I’m so excited to share the process and results!

I knew I wanted to transform our hall closet into some kind of attractive open storage, and it took me a while to land on a design. The closet conversion that best matched my vision is this gem by designer Jessica D’Itri Marés of Renovate 108 featured on Real Simple.

“California Mudroom” Jessica D’Itri Marés

I also love this closet makeover by Jeweled Interiors.

Closet conversion by Jeweled Interiors
However, it turns out, we can all be assured it is better than the starting point!

Definitely go back to the One Room Challenge page to see all the other participants’ projects!

I’m looking forward to sharing this project! Here we go!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Big Closet Dreams in a Small Space!

I can’t help drooling over pictures of gorgeous walk-in closets with romantic and glamorous touches. We gave up our walk-in closet when we created a fourth bedroom upstairs. I don’t regret this extra room, which was first a nursery and … Continue reading

Mudroom Locker DIY: Bookcase Makeover

With our recent renovation, we finished the basement and garage – yay! The garage entry gets used quite a bit when the boys are playing out back or running in after school, so I wanted to create a little mudroom area to corral their jackets and shoes. I especially love this project, because it’s made entirely with things we had in the house already!

Mudroom locker made from a repurposed bookcase | Jewels at Home

I got the idea for turning a bookcase into a mudroom locker from Melissa at Polka Dot Chair, who did this great project using IKEA Billy bookcases. I was going to do the same thing, when I realized we had all the parts I needed at home.

I started with this big heavy bookcase I bought off Craigslist ages ago. I never want to move it again! I shifted the shelves towards the top and bottom – which was perfect, since the bookcase was already missing a shelf, and added hooks for coats and the dog leash. The hooks were from two over-the-door racks we were no longer using. I cut off the hangers and just screwed them in place.

The two baskets on top were also repurposed and fit perfectly, holding all the extra soccer cleats and other shoes waiting to be passed down from one brother to another. Finally, we’re lucky to have pretty mild weather here, so I don’t need my boots too often, and the space on top is the perfect place to store them for a rainy day – haha!

A bamboo doormat finishes off our garage entry!

Mudroom locker made from a repurposed bookcase | Jewels at Home
I’d love to spruce up this area even more by painting the back of the bookcase and the door, but if you could see all the boxes that are half unpacked upstairs, you’d believe me that I’ve got bigger fish to fry!


Felted Wool Storage Basket

I’ve been admiring felted wool bags and projects for some time now, and I was finally inspired to take the leap into felting after unearthing old sweaters and knitting wool at my parents’ place.

My first project was this felted basket that I’m using for my knitting projects. Steve calls this “Knitting Inception,” because of the knitting within the knitting… you know… well, there’s a reason we were meant for each other, and it may be because I’m the only one who appreciates his humor.

Felted wool storage basket with instructions | Jewels at Home

I used this pattern as a foundation for my basket. I wanted to make my basket larger, so I experimented with the dimensions.

To knit the base of the basket, I cast on 35 stitches of 100% wool “Iceland Lopi.” From that, I knit a square in garter stitch (about 45 rows) that is 14″ by 14″, leaving the stitches on the needle.

Knitted and felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Knitting the base of the basket.

The next step is to pick up stitches from the other three sides of the square. I found it easier to pick up the stitches on separate knitting needles (or in this case, chopsticks!) and then join them as I knit the first row of the sides of the basket.

Knitted and felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Picking up the stitches to knit the sides of the basket.

To create the sides of the basket, I continued to knit a large circle in stocking stitch, switching colors every 2-6 rows. I knit 14″ of stocking stitch and then cast off.

Knitted and felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Before felting

Knitted and felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Before felting

Now the part I was waiting for: felting! There are lots of tips on felting available, and I found a good summary of felting techniques on the Lion Brand website. I found I needed very hot water (used the “sanitize” cycle on my machine, after “hot” only partially felted the basket), and I preferred to felt the items loose, rather than in a bag, because I found that they felted more evenly.

As for proportions, I’m sure these will vary greatly with each wool and machine, but as a guideline, the garter stitch shrank to about 60% the original dimensions and shrank evenly in length and width. The texture of the garter stitch was still noticeable after felting.  The stocking stitch shrank to 50% its original height – actually, even a little shorter because the top folded over. The width of the stocking stitch shrank to about 60% the original size.  Overall, the basket held it’s shape very well.

Pretty knitted and felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

The last step on the basket was to sew on handles. These are cut from an old scarf I found at my dad’s that was accidentally felted. Cutting into the felted material was the weirdest sensation – like defying a basic law of physics! I sewed on the handles using embroidery floss.

Instructions for knitting a pretty felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Instructions for knitting a pretty felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Instructions for knitting a pretty felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

Instructions for knitting a pretty felted wool storage basket | Jewels at Home

My sister asked if I’m pleased with my first felting project, and I am. It takes a little bit of letting go of expectations, because you can’t control the outcome that precisely, but I am happy with the result, and I’m using my new basket already!

I promise more felting ideas will be posted soon!