Decorating & Design

November 28, 2008

Laundry & Mudroom Design

How to design an entryway laundry-plus-mudroom to store cleaning, outdoor and sports gear.

Q. I am renovating my great grandparents’ home (built in 1912) and would like some advice on turning the original kitchen into a mudroom/laundry room. The space no longer functions as a kitchen and has an entrance from the backyard.

— S.P., Charlottetown, PEI

A. A mudroom is all about organization, so try not to skimp on space when planning it out. Since the entrance is off your backyard, the activities you enjoy doing there will play an important role in defining your storage needs. Do you like to garden? Do you entertain outdoors? An interior designer can help you determine what kind of storage you require and come up with an efficient layout for a mudroom/laundry room space. Your designer can also help tie the room’s décor in with the rest of your home and assist you in finding a good cabinet maker.

For any mudroom/laundry room design, be sure to select flooring that is sturdy, non-skid, easy to clean and that hides dirt. Keep the space bright and inviting, with lots of good multi-directional and task lighting, and as much natural light as possible.

Here are a few ideas you may want to include in your mudroom/laundry room:

  • Consider building a closet with sliding doors to house a stacked washer and dryer that can be hidden when not in use. Be sure to incorporate a good-sized counter or table surface for folding laundry, as well as wall-mounted shelving for holding laundry supplies.
  • A built-in bench for donning shoes and boots, with drawers beneath for mittens, gloves, footwear or other seasonal items will keep clutter at bay.
  • Hooks over the bench can hold everyday jackets and coats for easy access while a closed closet can house seldom-used outdoor gear, umbrellas, etc.
  • If gardening is your hobby, consider installing a potting sink. Combined with a wall-mounted faucet, a potting sink is useful for watering plants, filling buckets and rinsing pots. Storage cabinets below can house tools, containers, fertilizers and other gardening must-haves.
  • A mudroom can also double as a home office: Create a home management area with a custom-built desk, cabinets and cork board.
  • Consider adding a walk-in pantry for storing dry goods and extra dishes.
  • If you have pets, a low-traffic corner can become a designated feeding area for your furry friends. Pull-out pantries are ideal for holding large quantities of dry pet food. Baskets can keep toys, brushes and other pet essentials tucked away, while wall-mounted hooks can hold leashes.
  • Create a recycling centre for sorting and storing your recyclables: keep blue bins out of sight inside a large covered custom-built box that when closed, can also double as a bench.