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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

So, today I’m finally revealing my DIY mudroom makeover… I finished it months ago, have absolutely loved how it’s changed our home, been so excited about the space and all the projects, and yet, I didn’t share it except for some small peeks on Instagram.  You guys have been amazingly encouraging with those tiny peeks and asking to see more! I was even completely blown away when Better Homes & Gardens featured it on their IG account, and yet, I still didn’t blog about it…

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To be honest, I’ve been having a WTF blog moment that’s been lasting a long time.  East Coast Creative is growing as a company and I’ve had so many amazing opportunities… working with Kelly & Michael, shooting a huge project with Lowe’s, and working on a bunch of other projects that I’m in love with… it’s been an exciting, amazing, challenging (in a good way) time, and yet, I’ve been struggling with the blog piece.  You see, I look at other bloggers posting daily, keeping their homes looking blog-worthy, and to be honest, I sometimes feel like I can’t keep up with that… like calling myself a “blogger” is being a fraud.  I’m doing more DIY projects than ever before, designing multiple spaces at once, shooting things, working on upcoming TV shows, and for some reason, putting content here on EC2 just has been a struggle.  I have all the projects photographed, I have them ready to go, and yet, I’m wondering… am I still a blogger… did I move too far away from it because of TV and other opportunities. Should I slowly bow out or is it okay for my kind of blogging to look different? It it okay for it to have a different flow, and vibe, and just overall be different than so many of my talented friends that are just killing it and doing an amazing job at the blog thang.

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To be honest, I’m still working this out in my mind, but I think after a week lounging in the sun in Costa Rica (more on that later), that I think I’m okay with being different. I think I’m okay with the fact that my house looks like Lowe’s threw up all over it (so many supplies and projects) and all but 2 rooms are “in progress”… I think I’m okay that I’m the type of creative that goes in 1 million directions at once and my rhythm (or lack thereof) might be really different.  So, I’m not going to make any huge promises of new posts 3x a week or anything, but I will let you know that I’m working on figuring it out, and as long as my projects and ideas inspire even just a few people, well that’s enough for me.  So, umm yeah, this just got a tad awkward, especially if you were just expecting a mudroom before an after, but I felt like I needed to level with you guys a bit- especially if you’ve been here since the beginning (#tbt Real Housewives of Bucks County lol).  Now, let’s get onto this makeover, because it’s one of my favs of all time. If I could marry this mudroom I totally would!

DIY Mudroom Makeover Before

Be prepared to feel really good about yourself, because these before pics are a hot, hot mess! Our garage was like an episode of hoarders and what makes it even better… everyone that comes into our home comes in through the garage.  Nothing says “Welcome” like 50 bikes…

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and no, we don’t have a bike fetish… just 4 growing kids and bikes for every age/stage.

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You might remember that a few years back, I turned a little area of our garage into a faux mudroom… it was clean, cute, and fun, but only looked clean and organized like this picture for about 2.3 minutes.  The problem was that A- My kids are slobs B- It was still a garage C- Bikes and sports equipment didn’t really get the memo to stay out of the “faux mudroom” area, so it quickly turned into a mess again. #fail

Mudroom Elements

We don’t have a logical space in our house for a real mudroom, so I talked to the hubs and convinced him of my idea to use 1 bay of our garage as a mudroom.  I’m going to give you all the details about that in a different post, because I’m confident some people will get fussy about the idea, but in a nutshell, we built around the garage door track so it’s completely still intact and if we ever wanted to sell our house (we don’t and likely won’t) the new homeowners could remove one wall and have the full garage back. Voila.

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DIY Mudroom Makeover After

You’ve seen the bad and the ugly, let’s finally get around to the good!!   I’m going to give you the grand tour in this post, but don’t worry I’ll be sharing all the tutorials in follow up posts.

Welcome to my new and improved (and possibly favorite room in my house) Mudroom!

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Yes, this really IS the same space… Just drastically improved!

So, guests come into a much more welcoming space now, complete with tons of coat hooks, because we entertain all the time.

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Turn the corner and you’re at the storage lockers, kids’ artwork gallery, and the door that leads into the other bays of the garage. You’d really never know that this was a garage before I got started- I think the laminate flooring makes a huge impact (I’ll be sharing all the details about that in another post, because it’s a dream boat- hides dirt, easy to clean, and looks fab).

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My kids were SO excited when they came home from school and saw that I had created a gallery of their artwork.  If you’ve never put your kid’s art in a frame- do it! It gives them a feeling of validation and I’ve found it makes them want to create even more! I used a combo of black frames and some unframed pieces and attached them all with 3M Command Strips, so I can easily swap them out every few months.

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I’m so going to miss when my kids are out of school and aren’t bring home their art projects each week. This collection makes me smile every.single.time I see it.

Next to the gallery wall is the central hub of organization… the built-in locker wall.

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These lockers are the best! I’ll post a building tutorial soon, but the main thing to know is that these aren’t an advanced project. Using stock kitchen cabinets from Lowe’s made it so much easier and the hidden storage is clutch!  I have one locker for each of my kiddos with loads of storage and organization solutions.  I’ve learned that organizational systems only work if they’re designed with the user in mind… I needed something that would be perfect for lazy, messy kids! 3 months later, this locker wall actually still really works!!

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The only part that kind of stinks is that our dogs take the kids’ shoes out of the mini shelves and carry them outside… Grr! We’re working on that…

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Next to the locker wall is our huge memo board and sitting area (the kids plop down there to put their shoes on).  You can get the tutorial for the memo board here.
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We have 2 massive Bernese Mountain dogs and since they’ll spend a good bit of time in this space (they like the cool floors), we went with a bit of a whimsical nod to our dogs.  These vinyl dog silhouettes were inspired by wallpaper that The Yellow Brick Home used in their animal shelter makeover, but I wanted to customize our wall to fit our Berners, so I made my own decals.

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On the wall opposite the lockers, I went with a geometric board and batten for the lower half… I know my kids and my dogs… both wicked messy, so I wanted a color and pattern that would hide dirt. I had seen a similar board and batten in a CB2 catalog a year ago and put a note in my phone to try it someday… I’m so glad I did! My husband, on the other hand, wasn’t a huge fan of the time it took to caulk and paint my lovely pattern, but once it was finished he loved it too!

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I also blew up some massive (seriously, they’re 4 feet tall) engineer prints of our puppies, and created DIY poster frames to fill the big, open wall.  Again, my kids loved this part of the space and I didn’t mind having massive dog artwork, because it’s a mudroom.  Plus, it kind of warns guests that they’re about to be meeting two, very excited, 120 lb dogs… they’ve been warned!
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I partnered with Lowe’s to make my dream mudroom a reality and I’m so thankful for a partner that trusts my wild ideas… “Oh hey, I’m going to turn my hoarders style garage into a dog themed mudroom with about 100 DIY projects and in my head it looks amazing”… And they actually agree to let me give it a go!

I’ll be doing individual posts on about a million things in this space, but I know you guys never want to wait for the details, so I’ve linked as many items and products as I could in this slider below.  Just click a pic below and it’ll take you to the source.  If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below too!

SHOP THIS POST

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I’d love to know what you guys think of this space and again, thanks for letting me share a bit about where I’m at with the whole blog thing… we’ll get it figure out!

-Mon

DIY Mudroom Makeover East Coast Creative

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This post is part of our Real Design Series. It’s all about DIY home projects and ideas that actually work in real life, with a real family… not just ones that look pretty for the camera.  I’ve spent the last 2 years doing countless makeovers for other families on TV, but this series is all about the Mangin Family (that’s me) and how we’re working room by room to renovate our own home! Check out all the past series posts here

Real Design Series- East Coast Creative

*This post is in partnership with Lowe’s.  All ideas and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brand partners that help make EC2 possible!*

The comments +

  1. Karen says:

    Hello, love the before pics. Exactly my garage. And house. And life. Working towards the afters! Looks amazing in my head too!

  2. Karen says:

    And your after pics look amazing as well. Keep sporadically blogging! I’ll keep reading! I love your style and need to tap in for my own inspiration.

  3. Dana says:

    I love the pics. The space looks amazing. I want to add a note from an empty nester…..enjoy the mess from the kids and don’t stress over it. You’re going to blink twice and the kids will be moving out to go to college or whatever it is that life holds for them. Enjoy their time with you while they are young. Roll your eyes, yell at them to come pick the stuff up, and then go looking for the shoes. When mine were young, our white shephard-lab and saint bernard mix would steal the kids underwear and take it out in the yard. I had to go pick up the kids and husband’s skivvies before I could do laundry. (I was the only one who kept dirty clothes in the closet.) It’s now just something to laugh about, although I cried at times years ago! Just enjoy the moment, enjoy the now with the kids….it doesn’t last long.

    Your projects always look great. One thing I like….by delaying posting about it, I get to hear how it has worked out in real life after the pretty pics were taken.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  4. Patti says:

    Keep up the good work! We’ll keep reading no matter how often you post. You inspire us to DIY!

  5. Julie says:

    Love the entire room. Love the pattern for the board and batten! If you don’t mind would you share the color you painted it, its perfect!

    thanks and I have crazy anticipation for the bathroom remodel – that tile is amazing !

    Julie

  6. Fantastic job!!! We converted our laundry room, which was so teeny tiny and the walk thru from the garage to the house, into a mudroom and relocated our laundry room to the basement in a bedroom size unfinished room (which we finished out) that also houses my workout equipment. You will love this conversion!

    I thought about doing similar built-ins or some sort of ikea Pax type system for our mudroom, and still might. But I KNOW they will not hang a thing or put a single shoe where it goes 🙁 At ages 12,14, & 16 this effort is beyond them and no amount of begging, pleading, asking nicely or threatening is going to change that. So if you can train them while they’re young – do it!

  7. Jen w says:

    Would love to know paint colors! Under “shop this room” the slider wasn’t functional when I looked at it, anyone else have a similar problem? Or just me?? It is such a beautiful space! Well done!!!

  8. Trenna says:

    I love it! I am totally inspired to try this at my house his summer, when I have more time. Can’t wait to see if I can actually follow the instructions. We know you are so busy and too creative for your own good, probably. Please keep following/making your own rules. Just do what you do when you can do it. Give yourself a break. Family, career, dreams…we understand the balance battle. We will still be here to read your posts…whenever.
    Thank you for all you do and the inspiration you give us.

  9. Jozy Waisanen says:

    I love this idea and love the way it turned out. The hubby and I have toyed with the idea of turning our 3 bay garage into a 2 bay garage for the same exact reason. I’m glad to know I’m not the only crazy one! I just wish I could have seen the after photos of the exterior- ya know for inspiration! And to tell the hubby, see- it will wrork! Thank you for the post, and your blog!

  10. Courtney says:

    Ok I think you should blog whenever you feel like it-I will definitely keep reading! I would LOVE to know a few things about the space because it’s AMAZING !! Paint colors-wall, board and batten, and that fantastic lime green door! Also, what sizes did you make your doggy decals??

    • Monica says:

      Thanks Courtney! The board and batten are just some simple pieces of wood trim from Lowe’s fastened to the wall, and all the paint colors were from the HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint line also at Lowe’s. The doggy decals are all different sizes, but around 2-5″.

  11. Ashley Suh says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! love the idea of rolled memo board and cute wallpaper.
    So sweet having each rooms for kids. You are awesome mother.
    Thank you for sharing this great post.

  12. Katy says:

    Have you posted the instructions o how to build it yet? I can’t seem to find them and this is EXACTLY what my family needs!!!

    • Monica says:

      I recently built some mudroom lockers in the most recent episode of season 2 of The Weekender. You can watch it here, and get the tutorial for the locker build here!

  13. Monica says:

    You can get these large sized engineer prints done at Staples or a FedEx Kinkos. The frames are just simply some wooden pieces cut in half, and secured with some nails and a string to hang.

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