Makeshift Mudroom

Something I’ve been struggling with lately: clutter. There is a never-ending stack of mail on the counter, shoes all over the house, to-do lists scribbled on scraps of paper, a missing purse, and a horrifying junk drawer (gasp). At first, I attributed the disarray to being in a new house, getting settled in, and figuring out where everything was going to go. Now, I realize that even my massive amount of storage space and a best effort to stay organized is not enough to keep my “daily clutter” in check. A simple mudroom would be the ultimate fix!

mud-room: n. a small room or entryway where footwear and outerwear can be removed before entering a house. Genius, right? You don’t need your shoes or coat in the house, so leave it at the door. I get it, not all houses come with a mudroom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make one. Pick a space and get creative! A mudroom can be anything from a simple coat rack at the front door to a completely customized room. The best part is, there is no right or wrong way to make a mudroom. Simply incorporate what best suits your needs and tack on that personal touch!

Not sure where to start?

Location: What door do you use to enter/exit the house most often? This is where your mudroom should be. It could be a small space inside the front door, a shared room with the laundry, or an area off the back porch.

Space: Now that you know where your mudroom is going to be, how much space do you have to work with? If it’s a smaller space, consider a tall coat rack paired with a boot tray and a set of wall hooks. If it’s a larger space, use cubbies with baskets, shelving, or additional cabinetry for storage. A bench or sitting area is a nice touch, too!

Get inspired by these darling mudrooms:

AKA Design
Crate and Barrel
Nina Hendrick Blog
Studio McGee

Need more inspiration?  Here’s how I turned my small laundry room into a makeshift mudroom. I wasn’t able to utilize a bench or shoe rack due to limited floor space, but I’m very happy with the items I was able to incorporate!

These industrial hooks are on my list of must-haves. Durable enough to hold my heavy purse along with coats, dog leashes, and more!
These vertical bins were a saving grace. I finally have a place to put all that mail! Plus, find this on sale at Target for $20.99!
The tiny, hidden hooks on the side were a nice surprise! The perfect landing spot for my car keys:)
This calendar chalkboard by Ubrands is so adorable! The white chalk pencils are easy to write with plus the board is magnetic!

What items are you going to incorporate in your mudroom?

Thanks for reading!!


Pillow Cover Confession

4 Reasons Why You Need Throw Pillows

I have a confession. I’m obsessed with pillows. I was so thrilled the other day when I got a package from my favorite pillow shop on Etsy. I quickly traded out some pillows on the couch and smiled to myself at how satisfied I was. About 30 minutes later, I hear Kevin from the other room, “Babe…”  He wasn’t pleased. “I have no clue what you’re talking about,” I said. Tehehe. “Didn’t you just buy new pillows a few weeks ago?” To which I quickly replied, “Yeah, weeks ago!” I seriously can’t help myself. Pillows are such an easy way to transform a room. They add that perfect pop of color to the living room or that comfy, cozy feeling to the master bedroom. I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way!

The obsession started when Kevin bought a new sofa last year. I love it. I actually helped him pick it out. It’s a great size with a nice, neutral color and it’s comfortable! Like most couches, this one came with its own “matching” pillows. Little did I know they were absolutely hideous. To their defense (I never thought I would defend a pillow, but that’s how much I love them), they were well made with a stitched floral design on the front and the matching couch material on the back. I tried my best to make them work by pairing them with over-sized orange pillows from At Home. I thought it would all tie together. Wrong. It was still ugly and the new pillows quickly got flattened and deformed. See below.

Those pillows…yikes! This sectional and ottoman (similar), on the other hand, are awesome.

I clearly knew little about throw pillows, so I decided to do some research and ended up purchasing some hand-made ones from Etsy (support small businesses!) This is where I discovered pillow covers. Say what? Why would I want to get a pillow cover and a pillow insert when I could just buy a regular throw pillow for half the cost? Well, here’s why:

  1. SHAPE. Remember my flattened, deformed, ugly, orange pillows? I was forced to throw them away (after letting Drake roll around on them since he prefers anything over his own dog bed) simply because they lost their shape. With pillow covers, you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite pillow because all you need is a new insert. Magic!
  2. CLEANING. Spills and stains are much easier to treat with a pillow cover. Ever tried washing a throw pillow? Yeah, it doesn’t work and then you end up with yet another deformed pillow. Fail. Most pillow covers are machine-washable.
  3. STORAGE. The space needed to store one is less than a folded up t-shirt. I love to change out my pillows with the seasons, and if I had as many pillows as I do pillow covers, I wouldn’t have enough storage.
  4. COMFORT. This doesn’t have as much to do with the pillow cover as it does with the pillow insert you choose. I prefer the feather down pillows (if you are allergic you can opt for the synthetic version). This way your pillows can be pretty and comfy unlike the throw pillows stuffed with poly-fil.

Here are a few of my favorite pillow combinations:

  1. dsc00518
    Mixing patterns and textures is so fun! Try out these from Motif Pillows on Etsy. Both are on sale for $25 each! greek key and multi-colored stripe [cable knit throw]
    Brighten up your space with a paisley pattern paired with white or beige
    Still loving my pillow combo from last spring! white, seafoam, mint floral
    Layering pillows on a bed adds dimention and character. Again, don’t be afraid to mix patterns!  blue chevron, coral nautical (similar)
    This South Carolina pillow is darling! It was a gift from my mom and it is one of my favorites. They make them for different states, cities, and countries, too!

    Monkey in the middle! Two matching pillows with an oddball in front is a popular way to put pillows on a bed. Shhh, this little pillow isn’t actually a pillow cover! [P.S. I’m loving the quilt and sheets on this bed!]

Most of these pillow covers were purchased from various vendors on Etsy. Other great places to buy pillow covers are Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Restoration Hardware. While I love Target and HomeGoods for other decor items, they don’t typically carry pillow covers.  *TIP: Crate and Barrel includes a pillow insert with the purchase of a pillow cover (sweet!), so it’s a great place to start your pillow collection.

Where do y’all love to buy pillows?

Thanks for reading!


Knock, knock

Hey everyone! Thank you for stopping by Contemporary Charm. Blogging wasn’t something I planned on getting into, let alone blogging about interior design, but let me explain.

The past four years I’ve been consumed with pharmacy school. Literally. Eat, sleep, breathe, study, repeat. When people asked me what my hobbies were, I never knew what to say. Who has time for hobbies? I might say something like baking or traveling, but never decorating. You see, I lived in an apartment where I didn’t feel the need to “spruce up” because it never felt like my home. I also never felt “creative enough” to style a room and be proud of it (I’m a science geek, c’mon). Instead, I chose to put my spare time and cash into things like shopping and other weekend festivities (no comment). This all changed last May when I finally graduated pharmacy school and moved into a home with my boyfriend Kevin in Charlotte, NC. What was I supposed to do with all this spare time on my hands? I swear, overnight I became smitten by decorating my new house. Ideas of color palettes, pillows, light fixtures, you name it, are constantly flowing through my head. Now, I spend my weekends [window] shopping at HomeGoods and Crate and Barrel. When I discover an online home sale, I get more excited than Christmas morning. Home decorating has not only become my hobby, but something that genuinely makes me happy, and hey, I’m not half bad at it! So now, instead of stressing about studying for boards and finding a job, I’m busy channeling my new found creativity into crafting my perfect oasis. So the short side of the story is, why not start a blog?

After some deliberation and brainstorming, Contemporary Charm was born. The purpose of this blog is to share my personal experience designing and decorating my home as well as provide tips and inspiration that I find helpful for decorating any home. My style is a hybrid of contemporary, rustic, and farmhouse with a hint of charm, of course. More to come on this, but for now I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of my mini home tour! Thanks for reading!

My “Contemporary Cottage”
The Entry — Say hello to my pup, Drake!
Guest Bedroom #1
Guest Bedroom #2
The Dining Room


Disclaimer: Y’all, I’m not a trained interior designer or photographer, nor did I study either in school. I’m just a nerdy pharmacist who happens to enjoy home decorating and wants to share it with you 🙂