Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by Clayton Homes

Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by Clayton Homes

 All opinions are 100% my own.

Recently, we were invited to visit the great city of Knoxville and tour a brand new class of an off-site built home from Clayton.  I heard “home tour” and was already packing a bag.  I’m in.  In fact…just give us the keys…we can make it a vacation.  I’d test it out full throttle.  My kids would love it!  

In all serious though, we really really do love touring houses.  And brand spanking new houses are even better.  They give us all sorts of inspiration!  So when the folks at Clayton Homes invited us to tour this new home, we really were excited.  This category of home is a little different than traditional new site- built homes….and I will jump into more of that later.  Let’s get back to the fact that they asked us to tour this beauty.

It got even better when they asked if we would be willing to create a space of our own within this manufactured home floor plan. That’s right….someone is going to buy this brand new home and we got to work on it!  

The thing is – what can we possibly do to improve such a beautiful turn-key home?  That was the dilemma and we realized that we didn’t want to touch a space that had already been ‘beautified’.  

Instead we went to a room that never gets the love and we made it into an extension of the home.  We went into….(dramatic dun dun dun music)….THE GARAGE.  

Our goal was to create a DIY garage mudroom that brought the inside out and made it possible for the new homeowners to feel at home the very moment they pulled into their house.  

We all have garages and they often get neglected as they are catchalls for the tools and sporting equipment and holiday junk.  But if you can carve out a space in your garage for pretty storage and a bench, then you can extend that livable space and improve the overall feel of your home.  Let’s walk through exactly how we did this in ONE DAY.

First I want to explain that these Clayton Built® homes are an entirely new class of home.  They are manufactured homes, built off-site (meaning that they aren’t built on the lot exposed to the elements…..but they are built inside a huge facility and transported to the lots where they come together on the final property.) And the garage of this home was drywalled but not finished (per our request….we wanted the ugly before for a more dramatic and inspiring after).    

So the first thing we had to do was prime the entire space.  The walls got two coats of all-purpose primer and immediately the space felt fresh and clean. 

The power of paint never ceases to amaze me.  

Once all the walls and the ceiling were primed, it was time to add trim around the base.  As you can see on the back wall, we added a 1×6 primed board and it makes a huge difference in how finished the room appears. 

The wall runs directly into the base 2×4 (this is how the home is constructed) so by adding the 1×6 and brad nailing it into place….the room felt immediately more like an interior space.  

We also added 1×6 around the doorway area to make it look more finished and to give our hook rail wood something to run into.  

Speaking of hook rail, we simply nailed a 1×6 into the walls at 5 feet from the floor into the studs.  It wasn’t anything outstandingly hard or complicated…just needed a boundary from the upper part of the wall to the lower part.  This is like the perfect alternative to board & batten….it’s just board  

Then came time for paint.  Dark green walls are all the rage and I really wanted a space that I could use this color.  This was the perfect time to ‘go green’ and this color did not disappoint. 

We painted everything from the hook rail down….even the new trim at the bottom.  The door and the surround also got a fresh coat of green paint as well.  Painting the walls, hook rail, the newly added trim piece at the base and the low-profile foundation board made the entire thing look ridiculously finished and luxurious….and it was just paint tying it all together. 

Then came time for wallpaper.   I wanted something that was easily removable, something that would add interest and also was pretty.  This faux wood texture removable wallpaper was priced right and looks SO so good.  It’s extremely subtle but cheaper than wood and nods to white shiplap.  

Also, did you see those four pieces above?  In the picture, there are four pieces of “furniture”….. the sideways cube storage tower, the bookshelves with faux drawers and the piece of plywood.  We put them all together to create our version of a mudroom storage center.  Mudroom storage centers with a bench are expensive if bought all together so we pieced individuals items together for a fraction of the price.  

The final installation of the decorations was my favorite.  It actually turned this garage into a space that felt like an extension of the Clayton Home.  

And when we finally hung the Welcome Home sign above the door….it felt like destiny that this space had just enough height to accommodate this message that everyone wants to hear.  

SO are you ready for the before and afters?  Mind you this project was started at 7 am and we finished right around 6pm.  That means in under 12 hours we turned an uninteresting garage from this….

Into this beautiful welcoming scene….

Didn’t that storage bench and shelving turn out so good?!  

Again – this….

into this….

It’s literally the most functional and welcoming garage.  First – it should be noted that shoes can be sorted and kept in those bench storage cubes.  And plopping down on that bench equals the perfect place to take off and put away your shoes (or your kids’).  

The other part I love is that there is plenty of storage in those baskets and inside the doors of each shelving unit.  So items that you want to store out here (winter mittens, gloves, hats, etc.) are all organized and have a home. 

I also feel like it’s always helpful to have a mirror in places where you have ‘transitions’.  This allows people to check their appearance and make sure their eyeliner hasn’t transitioned into making them look like a linebacker  

Also functional decor – like a thermometer and a clock – they really do always provide a service (like when your teen pulls into the garage ten minutes past curfew….it’s a visual!)

And remember, that these items should be low maintenance in a garage.  All plants should be fake so that you can enjoy them without adding another chore to your list.  Also real ones would probably die in a garage the was closed to sunlight  


Another functional area we created was with the narrow walkway beyond the entry.  The hook board got….dramatic pause…..

HOOKS!  Didn’t see that one coming did you?!   

The wall got a line of hooks so that jackets, bags and even backpacks can be stored out here and look great!  

In the end I am really proud of how it all came together and I was really honored to work with such a great company that is making it possible for even more people to afford homeownership.

I truly love each detail and getting to learn more about today’s off-site built homes.? It felt like I had a whole realm of possibilities for this!  I am trying to convince Jeremy to buy a lake lot and get one of these Clayton homes placed there so that I can watch the sunset on the water each night!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Like no dealing with random contract workers and long wait times?  Also these homes have loads of options – they work extra hard to make sure exactly what you love can be offered at a price most folks can afford. Want to find other homes like this one to fit your lifestyle? Take this quiz!

So I’d love to share more about this amazing company and what they are doing in the housing industry….but really they can say it WAY better than I can. Here is the link to their site, and below is a really great video.  Go check it out! 

I’ll be right here on this bench….wishing that my garage looked this good  

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