Home & Design

Mudroom Before & After


mudroom miko bowen

I thought I would finally share the before and afters of our mudroom renovation we did a few months ago. While I was shooting these pictures for this post Liam came outside and asked if he could take some photos of me sitting in here. I obliged, and now one of his shots is heading this post ;). Anyhow, it’s about time I start getting my goals accomplished since it is nearing the end of the year. In typical last minute fashion for me as one of my biggest goals for this year was to blog more and to have all of our home renovation before and afters up before the end of the year.. so I’m kind of hitting crunch time!

For as long as I can remember I have alllllllways wanted and dreamed of having a mudroom. Especially when we had all six kids living at home! Oh what a dream it would have been then… and it’s still a dream even though it’s a reality for me now! This room was the very first space I walked into when I knocked on the door to this home to inquire about purchasing it. I immediately fell in love with the fact that this home had a mudroom and started dreaming up visions pretty much right away of what I wanted to do with it! I knew I wanted it to not only look really great, but more than that I wanted it to function well for all of us.

I was (and am) so grateful to have this space, but it really didn’t make me feel great anytime I stepped into it. It needed some good storage and a serious facelift. I could see it’s potential and knew it could be so much better than it appeared. So without further ado.. welcome to our new and much improved mudroom!

From the moment I set eyes on this cement tile pattern I knew it was what I wanted for our mudroom. It was definitely a splurge for us. But since this is the entry most of our friends + our kids friends use and as it’s also the main throughway to our backyard I really wanted it to represent our style and home. When I showed Will this tile he immediately agreed with me and we jumped. This was our first time ever using cement tile and boy did we learn a lot.

While handmade encaustic cement tile is truly stunning it is also a bit more, dare I say “a pain” to work with, install, and live with. Now let me back up a minute. I say a pain, but only in the sense of the learning curve. Once I realized that cement tile can be compared to marble for a countertop I knew we had made the right choice for us, for our home, and for our style. We LOVE marble. In fact everyone who has ever come into our homes contractor wise has always shunned marble and tried to get us to not install it in our home. But both Will and I love it. We love how timeless it is, how it ages, and how it feels + looks. Yes, it takes more work. Yes it can etch. And yes it wears and ages. But have you ever walked the streets of our nations capital and looked around you? There’s marble, marble everywhere. Marble that’s been there for hundreds of years and marble that still looks beautiful and has stood the test of time in both function and design. Whoa.. I just went off on a bit of a tangent, sorry about that!

With all of that said, cement tile has the same timeless, aging feel and look. It is and can be a bit more delicate (in the sense of chipping and wear) and does need some more prep work prior to installing (it needs several coats of sealer plus a grout release before grouting can be done), but no more than our forever favorite marble. For instance on our stairs our tile installer suggested we not butt the tiles up to each other edge to edge for fear of the tile chipping away. He suggested we use a pencil rail to buffer the edges of the tile and save it from chipping. And of course since our tile guy Glen knows us, our taste, and style in and out he showed up with a marble pencil rail one day and it couldn’t have been more perfect! It not only ties in the marble we carry throughout our home, but also serves it’s function of rounding the stair edge and saving the tiles from chipping!

Here’s a few more before and afters from the same angles just because I love seeing them when others share theirs and it really helps you see the changes that were made so much better! And a huge shout out to our carpenter Mike who was able to take all of my crazy ideas and make every single one of them a reality in this space. He literally customized all of the woodwork in here from the extra moulding detail to the rounded but also slightly detailed corbels holding the shelf. Basically he pulled my visions of this space from my brain and made it happen in real life. Also, sources for everything we used from paint and grout color to the magnetic brass door stops are linked and shared below. Tell me do you like our mudroom before or after? Leave me a comment letting me know! xoxo, Miko

Sources: Tile // Grout // Marble Pencil Rail // Paint – Benjamin Moore Advance (Satin sheen on all trim and doors, Eggshell on the walls and Flat on the ceiling) // Doormat // Brass Door Stops // Coat Hooks // Ceiling Light // Round Wicker Basket

Custom Woodwork by: Mike McAuliffe

Painting by: Jose from Painter Bros of Davis & Weber County

Indoor Pool House Renovation – Before and After


indoor pool house door

Our indoor pool house renovation is finally complete and I couldn’t wait any longer to share it! From the very first moment I walked into our pool house I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it. In fact one of the very first things we did when we moved in just over 2 years ago was purchase paint for the walls and floors…

Well fast forward 2 years later.. and it still looked the same as the day we moved in. For some reason I started second guessing my original vision for this space and couldn’t quite pull the trigger on painting it. I was worried that we would be erasing some sort of history and possibly miss the quirky and somewhat Wes Anderson feel of the bright avocado green and aqua walls. Until one day we received a knock on our door and standing in front of us was the original owners son. He was 9 when his Dad finished building our home and now much older was in town with his kids + grandkids and really wanted to show them all where he grew up.

We happily invited him in and proceeded to learn some amazing history about our home and property. When it came time to view and talk about the pool house my very first question was if the paint was original. He answer was NO! I was so happy to hear that and it gave me the confirmation I needed to feel really good about my original vision for this space. We also learned that the pool house was completed around 1957 and that all of the amazing wood planks and beams that cover the ceiling are original. He told us that every. single. one. was hand sanded and then stained before they put them up. Just hearing him talk about all of it I knew it was a huge labor of love. I was so touched by that and also so happy because I had never wanted to paint or touch the ceiling. I had a feeling it was original (as are the 1950’s schoolhouse lights hanging from the ceiling) and wanted it’s beauty to shine more by toning down the walls and floors. Here are the before photos:

1950's indoor pool house before

When it came time to paint we realized that the paint we had originally purchased a couple years ago to paint the walls with was no longer good, nor the right type of paint for the space. Since our pool is indoors it can get quite humid and we wanted a paint that would withstand moisture as well as cover the dark current colors on the walls as well. After some research we decided that the best option for paint would be Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior paint. Here’s why:

  • Emerald Interior Paint is a paint and primer in one with advanced stain-blocking technology.
  • Emerald Interior Paint hides stains and covers dark colors for a beautiful, smooth finish and stunning color for years to come.
  • Emerald Interior Paint provides exceptional coverage and advanced washability in all finishes, with outstanding resistance to water streaking and spotting.
  • Emerald Interior Paint also contains anti-microbial agents that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint surface.
  • Emerald Interior Paint meets the most stringent VOC regulations.

Basically Emerald paint by Sherwin Williams had every single thing covered that we were concerned about!

Once we knew what paint we would be using it was time to choose a color. I knew I wanted to paint the walls a white and the floor a gray-ish color. But if anyone knows white paint you know it is not that easy to just choose white. There are quite possibly a million different colors (shades) of white paint. And white paints read completely differently in different spaces. Thankfully since we use a lot of white paint around here I had several samples laying around so we were able to test the ones I was debating between. I knew I didn’t want a stark white, but more of a white that was ever so slightly warm. however not too warm of a white that could read cream especially in the evening when it’s dark or when we have the lights on in the pool house.

So after testing what my husband would say is ALL the whites, we decided on Westhighland White for the walls! And I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Every time I walk into our pool house now a feeling of complete peace comes over me. I am in love with this space. It turned out just as I envisioned it and in fact I told my husband that I just might consider sleeping out here some night because I just love it so much! Now my plan is to add a couple of citrus trees and spend as much time in here as we can!


Paint colors:

Walls – Sherwin Williams Westhighland White

Floors – Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Girls Changing Room – Sherwin Williams Intimate White

Boys Changing Room – Sherwin Williams Sea Salt


If you’re local to me and are looking for the absolute best painters ever make sure to call Jose from Painter Bros of Weber & Davis County! They did a phenomenal job and we can’t recommend them enough!


Disclosure: I received paint from Sherwin-Williams as compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and no other compensation was provided.

Love Your Hair, Love Her Hair with Dove



As a mother I believe that it’s not only my job, but my obligation and duty to instill confidence and self love into my daughter. All the way from her sweet hair on her little head down to her cute little toes. Inside and out and all around. There is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is traditionally thought to look like and earlier this year, Dove Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way. For many, these pressures began at an early age.






Although I grew up without a mother I was fortunate to have a Father who instilled confidence in me and not shame. I’ve never felt pressure to wear my hair a certain way or wished that it looked differently. I’m grateful that my Father taught me to love myself for who I am and what I was given, and hope to instill the in my daughter.

In todays society, where young girls and women face all kinds of societal norms, I want my daughter to feel strong and confident in not only who she is but also how she looks. I want my daughter to love her hair, to know just how unique & beautiful it is and that it can be a source of confidence and not anxiety for her.

Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girls confidence and is empowering mothers to be a leader in their daughter’s hair confidence by teaching them how to love their hair. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother. That means it’s mostly up to us Mother’s to speak positively about ourselves in every way so our daughters will too.



Join myself and Dove in celebrating the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow.

You can tell her why you love her hair and inspire her to do the same by sharing your #LoveYourHair photo on Instagram and tagging @Dove. To add some extra love, visit LoveYourHair.Dove.com to create your own custom animated message and share with your friends & family.


This post was sponsored by Dove. All opinions are my own. 


Photos by Samantha Broderick Photography


Afternoon snack time with Annie’s


View More: http://samanthabroderick.pass.us/annies-x-simple-like-love

You know when your in the thick of raising your kids and you feel like its going to last for forever? Well the hard reality is that, it just doesn’t. One day they’re creating dance shows or making up performances for you, using their little brothers as props, and the next they’re graduated and off on their own living in a city hundreds of miles away. If your lucky they eventually make their way back near home and then if your super lucky they occasionally drop by for an after work/school snack to chat.

View More: http://samanthabroderick.pass.us/annies-x-simple-like-love

And that my friends, is now where we’re at around here. Theres nothing that brings my heart more joy than to hear “Sheila” (our home alarm system named by my 17 yr old Mathew) speak up and say “front mud room door”, followed by “side door” because it means that one of my big kids is dropping by or is home from work or school.

The first thing that’s done after they come in is quickly pair one of their iPhones to the Bluetooth speaker and some sort of music is put on. Most days its like you’ve entered into a European dance club, or sometimes depending on the day and who gets their phone hooked up first you could enter into a hardcore gangsta rap club in downtown LA. And this music that is now playing is not put on just as background noise, it’s put on to straight party.

Next up, they raid the pantry and fridge, usually looking for a quick easy snack. And heres the thing, there comes a time where you’re no longer fixing your children’s meals and snacks and they’re choosing their own. So I like to keep my kitchen stocked up with simple, wholesome snacks, but also ones that are still fun like Annie’s Organic Really Peely Fruit tape!

I love that I know without a doubt when I buy anything that Annie’s makes I can trust what is in their products. No more searching the ingredients for Red40, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors…etc. Because heres the thing. I am admittedly one of “those” moms. You know them. The ones who started banning HFCS back in the late 90’s, who buy organic everywhere they can and ultimately just want to feed their kids healthy food. And not only that, one who wants to instill healthy eating habits into them as much as possible when they are young so they carry those habits over on their own when their older. And Really Peely fits that bill. Its a fun snack that is certified organic and free of all of those ingredients like HFCS, artificial flavors and synthetic colors that kids both old and young can enjoy. As you can see, I think my teenagers love playing with it just as much as they enjoy eating it!





View More: http://samanthabroderick.pass.us/annies-x-simple-like-love


View More: http://samanthabroderick.pass.us/annies-x-simple-like-love


But all too soon the conversation is cut short, the music stops, and one shuffles off to work, another to run errands, another to go grocery shopping for themselves and another to do their homework. And this Mama is left with my cup overflowing usually just enough until the next time I enter into a dance club in my own kitchen.

This post is sponsored by Annie’s, a brand that we have long loved in our home.


Photos: Samantha Broderick Photography


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