Before & After: Smart Solutions for Narrow Spaces from a Masterful Mudroom Makeover

published Jun 1, 2016
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(Image credit: Eric Roth)

We don’t all have a mudroom in our home. We don’t even all have an entryway. But nearly all of us have at least one hallway. If you’re looking for stylish and functional design ideas for whatever kind of narrow space you’re working with, find inspiration from this dreamy mudroom makeover.

(Image credit: Joe Murphy Photography)

This mudroom was crafted by designers from two firms—Paige Lewin from Tess & Ted Interiors and Ana Bonilla from AnaVera Design—for the 2016 Junior League of Boston Show House in Newton, Massachusetts. While part of a show house, I think this project does showcase many great ideas that someone with a mudroom, entryway or even hallway could use to make a narrow space more functional.

From Paige and Ana:

Both of our firms share a similar philosophy about bringing style and function to clients: creating a beautiful home does not require a bottomless bank account, but it does require creativity, time, and, sometimes, getting your hands dirty. So when we were selected to design the mudroom for this year’s Junior League of Boston Show House, we made sure to walk that walk.

Our challenge? To create a functional, elegant, and relatively cost-conscious space that could stand its ground next to de Gournay handpainted wall covering, an art salon filled with original sculpture and paintings, window drapes and table linens created by a couture dressmaker, a dining table covered in bone china and fine crystal…you get the picture. Our mudroom would be nestled among spaces from some of the top high-end designers in Boston, so we needed to create a beautiful space while staying true to our firms’ beliefs.
(Image credit: Joe Murphy Photography )

How did we do it? We upholstered the walls ourselves in French-inspired cotton fabric, and brought a used bench back to life with new paint, a bold floral cushion fabricated by a local seamstress, and off-the-shelf throw pillows. We found a coat rack in a vintage shop to add character to the space, and hung an oversize mirror (that got a quick layer of craft paint) to reflect light and help elongate the room. We created a dry-erase family calendar by framing a piece of glass, and worked with a local carpenter to build a black walnut and white lacquer entry table that disguised the radiator while leaving it totally functional. Gilt finishes on the semi-flush light and mirror shine; and the navy door, olive beadboard, and pale blush ceiling keep things interesting, while still serving as a neutral palette that blends well with the more formal adjacent rooms.

(Image credit: Joe Murphy Photography)


  • Wall, Bench Cushion, and Jacket Fabric: Minted
  • Paint: Sherwin-Williams
  • Throw Pillows: West Elm
  • Artwork: Minted
  • Mirror: HomeGoods
  • Ceiling Light: Lucia Lighting
  • Framed Dry-Erase Calendar: Dorian Color
  • Radiator Cover: Ace Nolan Millworks (custom sizes available through Tess & Ted Interiors)
  • Runner: Landry & Arcari
  • General Contractor: Eagles Construction
(Image credit: Joe Murphy Photography)

→ The 2016 Junior League of Boston Show House is open for tours from now until June 5th. All proceeds raised benefit the direct service programs of the Junior League of Boston, which focuses on the wellness of girls.

Thanks, Paige and Ana!

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