Content creator Tamara Smith was tired of finding her three children’s muddy footprints in her sunroom, the main thoroughfare between the backyard and the garage. “I thought I could use it better than dedicating the whole space to the kids,” says Smith. Their kitchen didn’t have a pantry and holiday decorations were shoved into any closet she could find. Her solution: cut the 250-square-foot room in half. The “play” side isn’t quite finished yet due to supply chain holdups, but the mudroom side, complete with a wall of storage, is fully operational. A wall of custom closets and freshly limewashed brick (which Smith did herself) turned the light-drenched transitional space into a grown-up’s dream spot. 

The real-estate listing photo.

Go Splitsies

Because there were already two exterior entrances, it made sense to Smith to draw a line—er, build a wall—between them. The sliding door that led to the side yard was closed off, to become a window, while the garage entrance simply got a fresh coat of paint. “I had already envisioned this space pulling double duty,” she explains. Halving it allowed her little ones to roam free in their own playroom, away from the cleaning supplies and winter coats.

Pick Up the Paintbrush

While Smith left the wall building and floor installation (a wood-look laminate) to the professionals, she took on the finishing touches herself in order to save on costs. “I knew I could wire pendant lights and paint everything,” she says. “I wasn’t going to pay for labor for tasks I could do after the main crew left.” Ask your contractor to complete the job through priming, so you can save time and go in with color immediately.


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Play Cupboard Tetris

The wall of custom cabinets, painted in Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore and fit with hanging bars for coats and a bench for easy shoe-tying lessons, is the mudroom’s pièce de résistance. Pantry storage is closest to the hallway for easy access from the kitchen, while bins for gloves and hats are perfectly slotted into open shelving at the other end so the family can grab them when running out the door. Seasonal decorations and miscellaneous knickknacks have a home up top, secured with Smith’s favorite brass latches from Etsy. Rather than vertical racks, Smith chose deep shoe drawers with rounded brass pulls, located at the very bottom, so everyone can reach their favorite pairs. In fact, her kids have even taken to putting their boots away themselves.