Decorating & Design

December 22, 2008

Mudroom Design Tips

Store It

Storage is the most important aspect of a mudroom, so take advantage of every inch that you can for this purpose.

Make use of valuable vertical surfaces for built-ins. Try to incorporate shelves and hanging space with doors to close off clutter. Built-in shelves can store shoes and boots and free up floor space for a bench or chair, perfect for donning footwear.

For a vintage look, install locker-style cabinets for each member of the family. They’ll add interest to the space and keep each individual’s items organized in one spot. Alternatively, dedicate a shelf, cubby or basket for each person’s possessions.

Hang It

Wall hooks are a mudroom staple and there are many styles and shapes of hooks that go beyond the hardware store basics. Choose a style and finish that coordinates with the rest of your home. When installing hooks, be sure to leave enough room between each so that even heavy winter coats and thick jackets won’t appear crammed together on the wall.

For kids, install hooks 36” high so that little hands can easily hang up jackets and backpacks. Wooden pegs mounted a few inches above the floor work well for drying off wet mittens and gloves.

If your mudroom will be housing recreational equipment, install special shelving and holders for these items. Dedicate a shelf for skates and helmets and incorporate a tall umbrella stand for skis and poles, or have a special built-in storage rack made for these more awkward items.

Step on It

Durable, easy-to-clean flooring works best for a mudroom, like slate, honed porcelain or ceramic which will be less slippery when wet than polished flooring. Stone floors, though pricey, add elegance to any space, are almost indestructible and have low-slip risk. If you prefer a hardwood look, consider wood laminate flooring which is durable and looks great. During cold or rainy months, place a large mat in front of the door to soak up water or mud and catch sand and salt before it gets tracked into the house.

Work With What You’ve Got

To create a mudroom within your regular entrance, begin by making your existing closet space as efficient as possible. Install a closet system that will help keep the area clutter-free and provide lots of storage space for frequently used outdoor clothing and sports equipment.

Situate a large coir mat in front of the door for wiping off muddy boots and shoes. Spend a little extra on stylish shoe racks that can be placed against the wall. Install a few wall hooks for hanging light jackets or bags. A wall-mounted shelf or narrow console table topped with a decorative bowl or tray will offer a spot for dropping mail and keys. Add a mirror above the table and if wall space allows, hang some framed artwork to add interest and make the entryway feel welcoming. If space permits, incorporate a multi-purpose bench with a drawer below or storage inside. A tall, woven basket in a corner can provide storage for umbrellas.