HOUSE: New Mexico #1

Project One! The mudroom.

Mudroom makeover -

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about which room to focus on first when embarking on giving my new rental house a makeover. The conclusion I came to wasn’t what it would have been a week or two ago: The mudroom. Why the mudroom? Well…

Most importantly, going to the laundromat SUCKS. I know, what kind of New Yorker am I to be disparaging laundromats?! The truth is that even going back to my very first Brooklyn apartment almost two decades ago, I somehow managed to luck into those rare places that had washers and dryers on the premises, whether in a laundry room or right in the apartment itself. Then when I became a homeowner, I put a brand new washer and dryer in the basement. Even during the times when I did need to use a laundromat in Brooklyn, I did the whole wash & fold thing—you stick the bag on the scale, take a slip, come back 5 hours later, pay $15, and go home with your washed and folded laundry. Magic! When I inquired about the cost of wash & fold here in Portales, I was quoted a weight-based price that would have wound up costing somewhere in the area of $10,000/week to have someone else do my laundry for me. Or, you know, close to that.

So, I’d like to have a washer and dryer. The hookups for both are already in place in the mudroom, which is awesome. I need to do some careful measuring because it’s going to be a really tight squeeze, and I don’t want to wind up with machines that don’t fit (or having to climb over the washing machine to get out the back door). Also, it’s a small room—only about 6×8′. It’ll be an easy project, and then I’ll feel proud of myself and have a sense of accomplishment and blah, blah, blah. Also also, this little room is an addition at the back of the house. It doesn’t have any heat, and I don’t want to wind up trying to paint out there when it’s 30°. In other words, it’s gotta be done before winter sets in (yes, winter does come to eastern New Mexico).

Mudroom makeover -

There’s a sink in the room (though not a utility sink—I suspect it’s the house’s original kitchen sink) with garden hose-style taps, one of which leaks profusely. The washing machine hookup is directly to the left of the sink. There’s only about 27″ inches of clearance between the edge of the sink cabinet and the baseboard molding on the opposite wall, so…it’s tight, but it’s doable.

Mudroom makeover -

This right here is why I don’t like those epoxy-based refinishing kits for sinks and tubs. They always wind up chipping and peeling, and then you’ve got a mess on your hands because you can’t just touch it up. It doesn’t take much to cause that first flaw in the finish, and once that happens, water gets underneath and the problem snowballs. Regardless, I’m happy there’s a sink out here—it’ll be nice when I start potting plants and stuff like that.

Mudroom makeover -

It looks like at some point there was a door hiding the hot water heater, but it’s nowhere to be found. I need to look into how much clearance I’d need between the front of the heater and a new door, but if the current framing is too tight, building it out a couple of inches is no biggie. I’ll need to build a custom door myself rather than buy anything prefab, since the size is non-standard. I’m thinking I can just do a really basic hinged door with radiator cover screening paneled in for ventilation. Three hinges, a cute knob, a magnetic closure, and it’s done.

And oof, that hollow-core door. It’s really gouged up, and since it was never finished with anything, the wood is pretty deeply dirty in a way that can’t be cleaned. Some TSP, a little Ready-Patch on the scratches, a light sanding, and it’ll be fit for painting.

Mudroom makeover -

The exterior door just needs a good scrubbing, no paint. It’s a nice gray that’ll look much nicer when the walls are white instead of the “warm mayonnaise” color they are now. I kind of want to hug the guy who attempted to do the trim when this door was installed. You tried, buddy. You didn’t measure or do any critical thinking about that top strip, but you tried. I’m not sure what to do here other than rip off the trim and start over, unless I get saw-fancy? I’ll figure it out. I just need that gap gone.

Mudroom makeover -

✚ Caulk all gaps
✚ Paint walls and trim white
✚ Replace overhead boob light with an Alabax fixture from Schoolhouse Electric
✚ Clean, patch and paint wood door
✚ Fix trim around exterior door
✚ Build door to hide hot water heater
✚ Create storage for cleaning products and dog supplies to the left of the dryer
✚ Heavy-duty rolling laundry cart
Steel shelving for laundry detergent, etc.

✚ Scrape off peeling epoxy
✚ Scrub to death (life?) with Barkeeper’s Friend
✚ Get that mismatched, leaky tap thing worked out
✚ Repaint cabinet, add nice handles

✚ Scrape excess paint
✚ Patch, sand, repaint
✚ Cute curtains? Privacy film? Both?

✚ Repaint?
✚ Maybe these “stained concrete”-style vinyl tiles? Is that crazy? Are they hideous and I just can’t tell?
Cute rug that’s easy to shake out

The closest IKEA is 470 miles away (a moment of silence…), but there is a Lowe’s in the next town over, thank goodness. I have a feeling I’m going to be living at Lowe’s for the next few months.

Previous Post Next Post

Other Stuff You Might Be Into


  • Reply Niki November 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Hmm… I’m betting you could get a similarly priced cute rug from a local New Mexico artist instead of something imported!

    I can’t wait for all of your new projects.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Probably! Since I don’t know how to drive yet, I’m pretty limited when it comes to getting beyond Portales and exploring—I just know I can’t afford any of the incredible rugs I saw when I was in Santa Fe. 😉 That’ll come, though, for sure. For now, I’m doing the best I can and trying to think about the room as a gateway to the rest of the house.

    • Charlotte November 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      After 34 years, I had to learn how to drive in Washington, DC (original I’m from a very small town and walked everywhere). I had panic attacks before getting behind the wheel. The severity of the panics lessened after about a week and dissipated after about two weeks. You’ll be just fine there. You won’t have to deal with city drivers. You can do it, just get the hard part over with and start driving. Best of luck to you on the newest chapter of your life.

    • Regan January 20, 2016 at 8:50 am

      There is a huge sale on rugs USA. Another blog I follow used them and loved them. I am shopping for a rug for my new apartment as well and was shocked my the inexpensive prices might want to check there for Mexican inspired stuff… Don’t know what they have for that but it’s worth a shot

  • Reply Sarah Pick November 4, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Boob light! That’s tickled me. You’re right…it’s uncanny. Good luck with this project 🙂 Looks like a ‘fairly’ straightforward one and a good place to start! Can’t wait to see the progress!


    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      I can’t take credit for “boob light,” alas! Try googling it—hilariously, even Google Shopping knows what that means.

  • Reply Danielle November 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Yay! Can’t wait to see the results!

  • Reply Elissa November 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Wow, that trim job around the door is something special! I don’t think I’d bother with the vinyl tiles, just paint and call it a day.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Yeah, you’re probably right. I was thinking about the drying time involved with floor paint and what that would mean for access to the backyard, but I guess I could do it in halves…

    • Ryan November 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      if you paint the floor in halves, you’ll probably end up with a line that will drive you nuts for the rest of your tenure in that house. An epoxy floor paint should be dry to light traffic in 24 hours and ready for furniture/rugs in 72 hours.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Yeah, those long drying times (especially with 2-3 coats) would be an issue in this house for a variety of reasons. If I do decide to paint, I’m pretty good at feathering edges to avoid the dreading line you speak of.

    • Glenys November 8, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      I did my entire basement floor in a similar tile- suggested over Marmoleum because it will absorb water if there’s a laundry flood. Best advice ever. Friend just did her store in a very dark purple/black version, equally excellent.

  • Reply katrina November 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    hey, anna, about ikea… i can relate. the closest ikea to my house is portland, about 400 miles away. you might already know this, but ikea delivers! if you’re gonna order big stuff (like, say, room dividers), the shipping expense can get really steep, but for all the other things, the cost is fairly reasonable. ikea may still work out for some things!

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      That’s what my mother is for, Katrina! 😀

  • Reply Lynn November 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Is a stackable washer-dryer not possible? Mine are full-size but stack.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Nope! The hookups are on opposite sides of the room, and I don’t want to get involved in moving plumbing/electric around since this is a rental.

    • Melbournite November 4, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Is is just the dryer duct you need to move though? That would probably come as a kit. No pressure : )

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      It’s the vent and the high-voltage outlet. I don’t want to cut a new hole in the side of a house I don’t own, and running a duct across the room to the existing vent on the other side of the room wouldn’t be safe ventilation-wise. You can’t use an extension cord with an electric dryer, either. I also don’t want cords and ducts running all over the place. 😉

    • Melbournite November 5, 2015 at 1:04 am

      Oh so the dryer doesn’t use a regular outlet? The things you learn… (I’m not in the US).

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

      No, clothes dryers here require special outlets and dedicated circuits to prevent overloading/electrical fires. Regardless, there’s no vent on the other side of the room, so it’s a moot point. (And I would prefer to not stack, anyway…)

  • Reply Lindsey November 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    As a Lubbockite, I’ll join in on your IKEA silence. It’s maddening and makes for some crazy suicide trips where you buy everything you think you may need from IKEA in the next year (whilst too caffeinated from said crazy road trip) and then sell unneeded items on Craigslist when you realize you went overboard.

    As such, you can sometimes find people who are making the trip and will pick up things for you. Just a friendly tip from an isolated Texan.

    I can’t wait to see how your project turns out–love the plan. Welcome to TX-NM!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Oh geez, Lindsey, that sounds kind of insane!! I think I’m more likely to ask my friends and family on the East Coast to stock up on IKEA stuff and ship it to me. Fortunately, my mother likes shopping at IKEA and seems to like me, too, so I’m in luck. 😉

    • mommy November 6, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Fat chance!

    • Anna @ D16 November 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

      D’oh!! 😉

    • Adrien November 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Dyers usually run on 240 Volts, as to electric stoves/ovens as opposed to the regular 120 V plugs for the rest of the appliances!

  • Reply Yael November 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    What an exciting adventure! I can’t wait to see how it shapes up!

  • Reply Jas November 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    My IKEA opens in two weeks! No longer the long, long drive. Apparently we are the smallest town in the world to get one too, though I have no idea how true that is. It might just be one of those local myth things.

    Anyway it’s good to see you back in the saddle Anna.

  • Reply Jaclyn November 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Yay home projects!
    I actually really like those vinyl tiles. My concern about painting the floor would be whether the condition of the existing floor would require a shit-ton (technical term, of course) of prep work getting it paint-ready?

    Also, even though I KNOW you’ll make this new place amazing, I can’t help but notice it’s a little……extra rough in it’s current state. Is that just the norm for rental properties in your (new) area or is it a price range thing? I guess I’m just interested in the housing situation for a place like New Mexico, which is a very foreign place to me.

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Nah, the existing floor would really just need a good scrubbing and some decent primer (which I’d have to do anyway in order to lay vinyl tile) in order to do a good paint job. It would be cheaper and easier, for sure, but the lack of access while it dries could be an issue. We’ll see!

      I’m used to NYC apartments that tend to be a LOT more rough than this place is, so…this just seems normal to me, only much cheaper. Portales is definitely a lower-income city (the rent is basically free in NYC dollars, haha), and this house is actually in MUCH better condition than the other ones I looked at. Unless you want to live in a new condo development or something, this is pretty much what stuff is like. I would imagine that the rental market in bigger cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe is quite a bit different—it’s a big state with a small population, so there’s a lot of variance depending on where you are.

  • Reply Ana from Portugal November 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Uhhh, this is so exciting!
    Love the smell of a new beginning! Good luck with everything (the freelancer thing, the new house and all the rest!…)


    (I´ma a freelancer too, so if you ever need a freelance shoulder to cry on, feel free!!)

  • Reply Vanessa November 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t wait! I vote for painting the floor black.

  • Reply CMG November 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    So glad you have this inspiring opportunity for another fabulous makeover! I got excited when I saw the vinyl floor tiles you’re considering because I’ve got a place where they would look great. But, sadly, the product has nearly 100% one star reviews — serious issues with durability of surface and poor adhesion, even with added glue. Bummer. I’ll just keep shopping & watching for your final flooring decision in the mudroom. You’ve already got great ideas going!

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Oh no! Where are you seeing reviews, CMG? There aren’t any on the Lowe’s site…

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Just to follow up, it looks like all of the other colors in this particular range get really good reviews. Hmmm. I’m curious to see where you saw all of these one-star reviews! I don’t want to waste my time with a dud.

    • LLBillz November 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Anna – I have those tiles in my Brooklyn kitchen (!) in the faux concrete 18×18 size. I was tired of the scuffed ancient black and white check going on in there, and needed a quick fix solution until I can do a proper excavation and redo of the underlying floor. I’m really happy with them. Perhaps if I can kids and pets and people walking all over the place, they wouldn’t hold up so well, but 1 year later they are doing the job, are easy to clean and look just fine. I have pix if you want to you want to check out.

  • Reply Pat M November 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Anna – I’m a long time follower and am so happy with this “old-school” post!

  • Reply Karen November 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Wow cool! I am so looking forward to your project. I love a good makeover and you are always so detailed! I am soon going to do our mushroom and this has inspired me to get working on it!

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Laughing at “mushroom,” Karen!! My iPhone tried to do the same thing to me when I was posting this to Instagram, but I caught it in time. Haha!!

  • Reply Laura (LK Art) November 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Can’t wait to see this transformation! I was thinking the floor would look great black too, but then it might also show lots of dust (and dryer lint). This is a good first project – small room with easy-to-see changes. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  • Reply Jenny November 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    You are such an amazing tenant! The owners must be so happy to have someone in there who wants to spruce things up. I’m so excited to see yet another make over from you. I’ve been a long time follower and always LOVE to see what you are capable of doing. Best of luck to you in your new life. I’m also looking forward to hearing about how the driving goes.

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

      The landlord is WONDERFUL—a really, really nice woman who has gone out of her way to make this house a comfortable place to live. She understands why I want to make some improvements, and I’m sure she’ll be following along here on the blog. 🙂

  • Reply Teresa November 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Can’t wait to see the room once you’ve finished! Have you had a chance to scope out any of the local antique/junk shops? I moved to Roswell, NM a few years ago and found some nice pieces in the local shops.

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I went to Roswell back in April, Teresa! Hit the UFO museum and took all the requisite alien photos, haha.

      Yes, I’ve gone to a bunch of vintage shops in Clovis. I’m kind of blown away by the prices, though—a lot of garbage with crazy-high price tags. I’m sure there are gems to be found, though.

  • Reply Shannon November 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    A few things. 1) I am so excited to follow along on your new adventures in NM! 2) I can’t wait to watch you tackle this house. My current rental is in similar condition, and I haven’t done much (the horror) because I just don’t know where to begin since it’s all so bad. Thank you for inspiring me to just start somewhere! 3) Waving hi from Colorado. You’re not so far away!

    • Shannon November 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Oh I almost forgot! Those peel and stick tiles actually look darn great! I mean, you know, for peel and stick tiles. But I have seen them used in a few real-life situations, and they look good enough that you don’t really notice them.

  • Reply Arielle November 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Oooh yes, I spend a lot of time wondering why the previous owner (any number of previous owners, really) made the decisions they did. That door trim certainly raises some questions! Good luck, excited to see where you take it!

  • Reply Rachel November 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I am so excited about your new place! My husband and I are buying our first house that was built in 1955 and needs some fixing up inside. Nothing big, but I’ve been looking over your old posts from your house and I’m excited to see what you do at your current place. The tub in our new house is pretty stained and I actually considered the refinishing kit, so I’m glad you mentioned those as a negative. And I’m curious about the vinyl tiles too, I can’t seem to find any negative reviews online.

  • Reply Sarah Keller November 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Exciting! It will be so much fun to see how it turns out! P.S. I couldn’t help but laugh and simultaneously feel your pain about the IKEA that’s 470 miles away. I’m always asking myself “why oh why oh why?” I didn’t discover it and/or live near one (ever) before having kids and becoming an Army wife (which means living on/near army bases that are NEVER near an IKEA). But (I’m rambling, sorry) I did take all three kids to the nearest one to us three days ago- and hour and half away, not too bad- only to realize it was the equivalent of German pay day (which meant it was a mad house) AND that the IKEA’s in Germany don’t take credit cards. Sigh. Anyway, New Mexico sounds like an amazing new adventure, thanks for sharing your story!

  • Reply Lizzie Modern November 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve never heard someone describe that color as “warm mayonnaise” before, but that description is 100% spot on, hah. Off whites can be so gross looking. Looks like you have some great ideas, though! Good luck with them, it’ll be exciting to see.

    • imogen November 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I love it that you point to that color description. I swear, my stomach hurt when reading “warm mayonnaise”.

  • Reply Kelsey November 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    New Mexico?! Where have I been all this time?!

  • Reply Kara November 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Congrats on the move!
    I have same exact tiles in my laundry room and they are actually great. I went with them because they were so easy and cheap – went right over concrete and am very pleased.

  • Reply Laura C November 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Looks like you have your work cut out for you! Any worries the water lines will freeze since the room is unheated? Wondering whether the owners typically shut off the water supply in that room during the winter.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      I don’t think it stays below freezing for long enough here for that to be an issue, fortunately. Being without hot water for the entire winter would be a pretty huge problem, so I certainly hope they’re not planning to shut off the lines… 😉

    • Melbournite November 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Your new washer should heat it’s own water, right?

      Anyhoo, you are the Empress of the rental makeover, no-one does it like you. It’s all in the detail.

    • Anna @ D16 November 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      I was referring to the hot water heater (which heats the water for the whole house).

    • Laura C November 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Ah – the garden hose hook-ups made me think this used to be an open potting area and that maybe there was a separate shut-off for that room (versus shutting off the entire household supply, which would definitely be a problem!). I bet it will be a nice change to be in a climate where it doesn’t stay below freezing long enough for pipes to change!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Hi Laura, I meant because the hot water heater is in the same room that would be a problem. 😉 If the water supply for the hot water heater isn’t freezing during winter (and I have to assume it isn’t), then I don’t think it’s an issue for the other supply lines.

    • Laura C November 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Got it, thanks. I completely glossed over the fact that the hot water heater is in there (despite your very clear picture of it and description of what you plan to do to conceal it…sigh). Reading is fundamental.

  • Reply Karen November 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Yay, Anna! So excited you are back. I’ve missed your home improvements. Can’t wait to see what you do with this blank slate.

  • Reply Alicia November 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve had that washer and dryer for about 6 months – very happy with!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Glad to hear it, Alicia!

  • Reply Raquel November 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Can’t wait to see this room come alive, like all the others you have touched. If I may suggest something, don’t get the front load washer. We bough an LG very similar to the one pictured in 2011 that died in 3 years. They are not built to last, unfortunately. Mold is also an issue. At the recommendation of our handyman, we got a Speedy Queen, 100% made in the US and with ZERO bells or whistles. It sounds just like the washing machine my mom used to have back home – hers lasted almost 30 years. It is the same machine used at 1,000s of laundromats all over the country, the only difference is that the ones sold for household use do not have coin slots. If you want to check it out, here is the link to their website and my model:

    • Erica November 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

      I have similar ones. They were hand-me-downs from my mother, and they are going on 10 years. Maybe because I only do laundry a couple days a week? I prevent the mold issue by just leaving the washer door cracked slightly when not in use.

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Yeah, I have a few friends with this set (and similar LG models) who love them. I had a front-loading machine for almost 10 years, and I always left the door cracked for the same reason. Never had an issue…

    • Jaclyn November 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Yes, another vote for leaving the washer door cracked. I have a set of Maytags and we’ve never had any mold or smell issues since we always leave the door open but my mother closed the door fully when she was house sitting for us for a week last winter and the washer seriously smelled so bad when we got home. Prior to this incident I just left the door cracked as good measure but now I do it out of necessity!
      I’d love to not have to go into the basement to do laundry and you don’t have to worry about wrecking white linens if you accidentally drop them on the floor like I do!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Thanks for the recommendation, Raquel!

  • Reply Marymotherofgodfreys November 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I put installed the same “stained concrete” tiles in our laundry room. And had the nerve to use spacers and grout them On the diagonal. It was my $80 solution to a $$$$ problem. And they are still looking good two years later. Installed the same LG washer and dryer, too. I still haven’t pulled the trigger on a Steele canvas laundry cart, but after seeing your idea board, I think I might have to. Go for it! In the end, it’s all about the caulk!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:23 am

      I have NEVER heard of someone using spacers and grout (!!!) with peel-and-stick vinyl tiles! Hats off to you if it looks good!

  • Reply Jules November 4, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    “You tried, buddy. You didn’t measure or do any critical thinking about that top strip, but you tried.”

    I actually laughed out loud when I read this. Bless his stupid, stupid heart.

  • Reply Iz November 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

    So exciting! A thought about a dryer though – do you actually need one? If you’re working from home and in a warm climate, you could air-dry your laundry outside… (yes, i’m in Europe, it’s very normal to do that over here ;-))

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Yes, I definitely want to have a clothes dryer. It’s nice to air-dry things like bed sheets when possible, but I don’t have the time or wherewithal to be hanging up every single sock and towel—especially when it’s freezing cold or raining.

  • Reply Alexis November 5, 2015 at 9:40 am

    What an exciting adventure! If you are at some point interested in buying a Navajo rug (and are driving), don’t pay Santa Fe prices. Go to the Crownpoint Rug Auction (, which is about an hour and a half west of Albuquerque. It’s held once a month and organized by a group of weavers — you buy directly from the artists. There is a huge selection of sizes and styles and it’s half to a third the price you would pay in Santa Fe because it hasn’t gone through multiple layers of middlemen and then marked up for tourists.

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 10:28 am

      That’s great to know, Alexis, thank you!

  • Reply Simone November 5, 2015 at 11:07 am

    My my Anna, I thought maybe you needed a bit of a change of place to sort things out etc. But taking on the mudroom and buying appliances for it, that kind of makes this whole thing really serious… You really MOVED.
    But ofcourse I wish you nothing but the best. It’s looking pretty exciting.

  • Reply Paul @ Eco Stores Direct November 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Loads of potential for this room, but it’s got to remain tough for all those mucky boots coming in. A fun challenge!

    • Anna @ D16 November 5, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Not many mucky boots in this part of the country, fortunately!

  • Reply jeannette November 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    on two of my NM windows i did privacy film on the bottom and panels from a bridal plastic papel picado garland on the top. you can get them cheaply on line.

  • Reply Elena November 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Feels like olden times. 🙂

  • Reply Summer November 5, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    My closest IKEA is hundreds of miles away too. I can relate! I’m actually really excited to see what you can do with non-NY resources; sometimes limitations can cause amazing results…and sometimes even better than without those limitations! The mudroom plan looks like the perfect first project!

  • Reply Lisa November 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Love that you’re starting with the mudroom/laundry room. When I decided to refurnish my 1953 suburban rancher, I tried to start with the master bedroom but it was such a daunting project. Then when the interiors of the house were repainted I realized I could get a quick hit of feeling like not a total dweeb by fixing up the old laundry room. It worked. I hung a Mark Rothko poster in there, felt super intellectual. And, BTW, I like those tiles. I think vinyl is good for a laundry room.

  • Reply Adam November 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I love your ideas for this room! I think this is the first time I’ve ever lived closer to an IKEA than you, even if I do have to enter another country to get there!

  • Reply Lulu November 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    What an exciting adventure! Good for you for having the guts to do it.
    I’d love to know why New Mexico and why that particular town…if you feel like sharing.

  • Reply Julia November 6, 2015 at 12:05 am

    This is exciting! While you don’t spend a lot of leisure time in the mudroom, I feel like it’s so comforting to have an organized and functioning laundry area. It’s a good size room to start, too!

  • Reply Adriana November 6, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Can’t wait to use these tiles somewhere. Might be a fun solution for you. If not the mudroom maybe elsewhere in your new pad. Cheers!

  • Reply Cheryl November 6, 2015 at 5:37 am

    The peel and stick tile looks nice when it’s far away from your face, like on the floor…Your landlord is a lucky woman, I know whatever you do there will be so much better than what’s there. I worked magic on a rental five years ago and the landlord sold the place and I was OUT so beware.

  • Reply sahej November 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    a washer is a necessity! a dryer, i found out, was easy to live without. The gas bill is a big bummer w/ a gas dryer and for 1-2 people line drying/mudroom drying is really no biggy. white vinegar added into the washer takes away towel stiffness. Another easy thing for winter was to wash sheets/towels at home and just dry them at the laundrymat.

    • Anna @ D16 November 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I only do 1-2 loads of wash a week, so running a couple of cycles is fine by me! It’ll be an electric dryer, and since I’m pretty stingy when it comes to electric use overall, I don’t mind the added expense. I don’t have the time to deal with hanging laundry to dry, dragging wet clothes to a laundromat, and timing my laundry around the weather. For me, having a washer and dryer in the house is about convenience and practicality—I’d much rather use the time saved to do something else. 🙂

  • Reply emily November 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    i feel like i should be embarrassed to be this interested in reading about someone else’s laundry room. but nopers. love all your projects! stoked to see whats next for you.

  • Reply Alexis November 6, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Ha ha, I have the exact same washing machine. I’m trying to convince myself that I need the matching dryer too, because, matching. Buuuutt… we have a perfectly good non-matching dryer that we basically never use anyway because it is pretty much always warm and sunny where I live (Jhb, SA). So basically it would be an expensive decor item, just to match :-/

  • Reply Melissa November 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    As sad as I was to see you sell your beautiful home, I’m excited to see what you will be able to do with this space!

    …especially since I’m currently in a rental situation and I could really use some ideas! Tips on how to convince the landlord to let us change things would also be MUCH appreciated. 😉

  • Reply Nancy November 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    The LG set is a good solid set. Mine is going on year 2 with no issues. Bought the extended warranty just in case. But overall they rock and have a cute tone when wash or drying is done, it’s a happy little song.

  • Reply bean November 6, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    I’m so glad you have a laundry room. That makes life so much easier. Because I am a cheapskate, I would probably get $3 Lowes’ rosettes for the corners of the door molding, remove the top left piece and scoot it down towards the bottom left, and tack up some cheap molding at the top. Well, maybe it would be easier just to tear the whole thing out as molding isn’t expensive. The floor painting thing might work out if you decide to paint the floor in two tones. It looks like a straight shot from the one door to the other–so, a pattern which allows one to cross, hopscotch-like (or diagonally if you decide to color-block) on the dry areas, across the floor might work? The fur baby would need carrying, though. (Personally, I’d just do Habitat for Humanity ceramic tile in whatever color they have because it is easy and cheap–and cold to walk on in the summer–but I am a cheapskate.) I’m glad you have a project you are enjoying!

  • Reply Martha November 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Looking back on your old basement photos makes me feel better about our basement. That line about “it’s the only place that looks WORSE than when we moved in…” yeah. We have yet to take the bulk of the materials from the demo of our bathroom to the dump (even though it’s probably only 1 car-load) so there are just IKEA bags full of lath and who knows what else hanging out down there.

    side note: If you feel like going back and fixing an old D*S link in that post… here’s the current link to Dagny’s laundry:

    • Melissa November 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Ohmygosh…that laundry room! <3 <3 <3

  • Reply Felicity November 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I love a new project! I am interested to see what you do with the floors. I have two bathrooms that have inoffensive tiles but I’d love to change them, perhaps to make them dark grey or black (tile paint?) without breaking the budget.

  • Reply Cori Magee November 8, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Can’t wait to see!… Question: what is TSP?

    • bean November 24, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      TSP is trisodium phosophate. Cleans very well, gets off grease, mixed with bleach it will get rid of mildew, not very good for the environment, can damage eyes and skin, not good for glass or grout or metal.

  • Reply Breanne November 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Hi, just a quick note. We have our hot water heater and washer/dryer in the garage. Some years, it has been so cold that the washing machine’s drainage tube froze. The pipes going into the water were fine, but when the drainage tube froze it clogged, and then when we ran the washer it drained all over the floor instead. Now, when it’s really cold I plug in a space heater while I’m using the washer. No problems since.

  • Reply Lara November 9, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Hi Anna,
    What a big move so excited to see what you do- I recently moved to the Hudson Valley and pointed a new friend looking to renovate her place to look at your blog for the best inspiration, and hopped back on myself and was surprised and excited by all the big changes – really wish you all the best. Anyways quick though on flooring – how about that Nora or Pirella rubber dot flooring instead of the vinyl, which may end up looking like a cheesy- though if anyone could make it work beautifully, it would be you! probably not as inexpensive as the vinyl but they make fun colors in addition to neutral greys

    • Ellen December 9, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Do NOT use the Pirella rubber dot flooring, ANYWHERE. It is gorgeous and comes in great color ways, yes, but as rubber, everything sticks to it, ESPECIALLY around the base of the raised dots. That means dirt, flour, dust bunnies, laundry powder, spilled Bon Ami – everything! And it is miserable to clean as you basically have to get on hands and knees with a scrub brush and then hand wipe to remove excess liquid. I know, years ago I put one into a galley kitchen & bar-pantry area.

      Marmoleum at least is smooth and more eco-conscious than linoleum, and comes in wonderful colors. I had the most gorgeous deep purple-almost eggplant Marmoleum in my former kitchen. However, it showed every bit of kitchen “dust” and required twice daily wiping to keep looking “nice.”

      I made a better choice when I got a sneaker dirty in mud and tried it against several similarly toned Marmoleum. The color where the dirt didn’t show, won. And I never regretted it. I live in western New Mexico, near Cuba which is 2 hours from Taos, Farmington, Santa Fe and Albuquerque and we have mud year around, and a rather miserable mud season in the late spring. So don’t be too sure about no-mud-dom and bewared of dark colors which will show pale dirt like crazy.

  • Reply patty November 9, 2015 at 10:52 am

    ohmygosh! you’re in portales… i’m in that “city” over where lowes is located. haha. we recently moved here as well and we’re been stuck going to lowes for mostly everything. i will tell you, we’ve traveled to cali twice and both times our car was filled to the top with ikea stuff… i’m excited to see what you do with your new rental!

  • Reply Janine November 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Hey! So is Portales Anna more into colour, or are you feeling like you’re gonna keep on with the ultra cool black and white aesthetic? Because I’m excited about the yellow and pink, and it’s not just because I’m drunk at work.

    ….. maybe it IS just because I’m drunk at work. Lots to think about. POINT IS, do you feel like embracing colour??

    • Anna @ D16 November 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever not embraced color. Black and white walls, yes, but I think if you look at my homes over the years, there’s a whole hell of a lot of bright, bold colors.

      But to answer your question, no, I don’t think my personal taste has changed much over the years, and I’m not feeling any shift now. Same old one-trick pony…

    • Janine November 10, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Oh, I don’t think you’re a one trick pony at all, and it’s absolutely true that you’ve always had colour incorporated into your homes with wall art and accessories. I was only wondering if you’d be moving towards wall colours (moving away from shades of white, black and grey) just because you’re in a period of transition in your life. Some people get new hair cuts or tattoos during life transitions, maybe you decide to paint a room orange. I can’t keep a straight face typing that, I know you wouldn’t paint a room orange.

    • Anna @ D16 November 10, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      HAHA! Nope, no orange walls. 😀 I’m still the same person, no matter where I live.

  • Reply Julia November 10, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I’m SO excited so see the awesome renovations to come in your new place. I love that feeling of a fresh start!

  • Reply Rebecca November 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Hi there! I am an architect and we have been using a lot of vinyl/resilient tile lately… Though a lot of our resources would be hard to purchase without a professional, may I recommend:

    (solid colors are always amazing)

  • Reply Nancy November 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    It is my dream to someday have a mud room. Lucky you! Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

  • Reply Teresa November 11, 2015 at 9:45 am

    New Mexico??? One of my best friends grew up in Pertales. Small world. If you want to come to Houston, I’ll be glad to teach you to drive. It’s pretty easy, very intuitive. There is an awesome Ikea very close by. I can’t wait to see how you make this drab/uglyish room into Anna-pretty. Good luck!

  • Reply Barb November 17, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I have to ask. Of all the places in the SW, why Portales? Just wondering what the draw is. Marfa, maybe. But Portales? It is a drastic change from NYC. Can’t wait to see how things evolve. I envy your courage.

  • Reply Tanta November 19, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Anna, here’s hoping you’re too busy with projects to blog. Since it’s a big move with a lot of challenges, I’m going to assume your silence on the blog is part of that.

    • Anna @ D16 November 19, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Too busy with WORK, actually, Tanta! I always have to make my job my #1 priority, and luckily, I’ve got a ton of work on my plate at the moment. 🙂

  • Reply imogen November 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Glad the work is bountiful but dang!… but very eager to see your next post.

  • Reply tanta November 19, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    …and I’m glad you’re OK, and that an Ikea that’s 400+ miles away hasn’t got you screaming back to NYC. 🙂

  • Reply Cindi M November 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Anna, I so admire your courage and your sense, common and design. Starting all over again is harder than imaginable but so are the rewards. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Please be sure to take care of yourself. I hesitate signing off “love” to someone I’ve never met, but, hey, so what.
    Love, Cindi M

  • Reply Rae November 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Having your own mudroom with a washer and dryer sounds lovely. I am from the US and used to having a mud room be a staple in most homes – my parents’ house has one and it houses the washer and dryer and cat toilets but I now live in Berlin where such things are luxuries in the city. No mudroom, but it is completely common for epople to have their own washing machine (dryers are not really common here at all) that hook up to the hoses in the bathroom. Excited to see how your project comes along!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  • Reply Adrien November 26, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Congratulations on the big life change! Sometimes there is nothing that feels better than a blank canvas.

    Looking forward to your design (and other) adventures.


  • Reply Rosie December 7, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I’m so excited to see what you with your new place. You’re gonna turn New Mexico upside down with your awesomeness! You’re inspiring me to move from my white box of an overpriced apartment into something I can actually afford (Huh, I got randomly fired on Friday), something with some personality. All the changes can be stressful but hang in there and keep shining, you have tons of readers who love you and we are willing to support you in anyway we can!

  • Reply Rita December 9, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Hummmm if you’re tight on space, why don’t you get a washer with built-in dryer?

    • Anna @ D16 December 9, 2015 at 8:22 am

      It’s the side with the washer hookup that’s tight. I just need to measure carefully, though!

  • Reply Karina December 23, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Still dreaming of the day that Ikea opens nearby, in the meantime, welcome to the TX/NM area from El Paso!

  • Reply Genry December 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Good luck with this project!!

  • Reply Kim B. January 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    This is crazy — how did you end up in Portales?! (Obviously I haven’t checked in in a while and must go back and read!). My mom went to college there, and we always drove through there on our way from home in Oklahoma to my grandparents’ in Roswell — we ALWAYS stopped at Pat’s Twin Cronnies and got taquitos!! Good grief I haven’t been there in over 20 years, but I used to go a lot.

    So exciting to see what you’re going to be doing there.

    • jess February 15, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      hey kim – pat’s was still there when i was in college (i grew up in the area and left but all my besties stayed and went to eastern)

  • Reply Andrea January 8, 2016 at 2:55 am

    belated greetings from Las Cruces! have always wanted to stop at the Taco Box when driving through but have never quite gotten there. sending warm wishes. hope you’re acclimating ok.

  • Reply jess February 15, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    hi there lady – i stumbled across your blog and i grew up in the portales area (born and raised north of there)…a few things: keep the ceiling fan, the summers do get really hot. also you are going to need to learn to drive, everything is far away. amazon prime is your friend. for portales when you start driving: those one way streets are weird! not all of the state is like that. don’t be afraid to eat at the gas station for cheap eats, and at least once you should make your way to the lake in the summer (ute lake). and if you make it into clovis and eat at juanitos you won’t regret it.

  • Leave a Comment

    Door Sixteen is a hate-free, drama-free, spam-free zone. Open dialogue is welcome, but comments designed to harm or deceive will be removed.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Get D16 in your mailbox

    Sign up to receive weekly digests and (occasional) other updates from Door Sixteen! I promise to not bombard your inbox.