Mudroom Layout Options and Ideas
The type of space your mudroom occupies will determine your possibilities. Here are some common types of layouts and considerations.
Location, Location, Location
"It's practical to consider the mudroom as a transition zone between a garage and the main house," says interior designer Molly Quinn. "And since people frequently use their back entrances as their main entrance/exit, it's helpful to consider what areas guests will walk through before arriving at their destination." For a tailored mudroom with plenty of storage, Quinn included a wool Oushak runner, which she says is naturally durable. Photo courtesy of Molly Quinn Design
No more hunting around for items in the back of a dense shelf. A pretty space for hats, scarves and bags is made even more functional by the cabinet that slides out to reveal an organization system complete with hooks and wire shelving for easy access to cleaning supplies and household tools. Photo courtesy of Houseplans.co; photography by Bob Greenspan
A wall unit by California Closets includes lots of cubbies and even rods for hanging jackets and coats. "Look at the space as a blank palette," advises Ginny Snook Scott of California Closets. "And consider it not only from left to right, but from floor to ceiling. You’ll find a lot of storage space by going up as high as possible."
An easy solution is to park a wall unit near an entry, keeping guesswork to a minimum. If possible, factor in a cubby for each family member and some drawers or baskets to keep some things out of view. Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
Equipment Drop Zone
As anyone who lives near a beach can attest, transitional zones are a necessity for trapping the residuals of fun in the sun. A sand-room unit includes a spot for the surfboard and plenty of beach towels. Photo courtesy of California Closets
A Mudroom Wall for All
A custom mudroom wall includes a cubby and locker for each family member. "Because I needed to use every inch of the space and I wanted everyone to have their own spot, I had this locker unit custom-made," says interior designer Traci Zeller. "That way I could give each person the largest and deepest locker possible in the limited space we had. Going the custom route was the best option and rather comparable in price to a prefabricated unit." Design by Traci Zeller; photography by Dustin Peck Photography
No need to grab a stepstool. Stairway cubbies can be fitted at the right height for children; the top surface can be used for display or decorative baskets, bins or bags. Photo courtesy of California Closets
Mail Filing System
This mudroom's desk makes the space even more practical, with mail slots, drawers and shelving. The black-painted wall behind the desk makes a subtle distinction between this contemplative space and the rest of the hard-working mudroom. Photo courtesy of Houseplans.co; photography by Bob Greenspan
Double-Duty Craft Room
This mudroom doubles as a craft room, where a dropped counter at desk height accommodates a sewing machine. Though doors and drawers hide wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and scissors, countertops are the perfect place for wrapping gifts. Coordinating materials used in the room differentiate spaces for different tasks: white for tasks and crafts, polished wood for household storage, olive green for personal things. Photo courtesy of Houseplans.co; photography by Bob Greenspan
Room for Seasonal Items
"We advise people to rotate their gear with the season," says Scott. "You can move items from one area to another, placing out-of-season items up high or behind cabinet doors so they’re still really easy to find." A wall unit makes the most of vertical and horizontal space. Photo courtesy of California Closets
Using antique accents and earthy materials, HGTV host Sarah Richardson designed a stylish entryway that maintains the welcoming character of a century-old farmhouse. To add a touch of charm into your mudroom, skip the custom storage systems and incorporate sentimental furnishings.
Photo courtesy of Traci Zeller
If you have one wall, you'll need to think creatively about designing an organizational system that incorporates a lot of needs. It's like a puzzle. You'll need to add up how many people will use the space, what they typically carry in and out, how much space you have, and how many things should be displayed vs. hidden behind doors or in baskets. "At our house, I have a carpet runner and two rows of hooks,” says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger. "The top hooks include a shelf for my husband to empty his pockets, and the bottom row is the perfect height for kids to hang backpacks."
If you want to include a bit more structure, maybe a piece of furniture, a bench or a wall unit, consider the traffic around the wall. Is it in a hallway or a large room? Are there doorways near it, or windows, and how deep is the space? For a narrow passage, you may be limited to a shallow unit that won't block passersby. In a larger space, you might be able to incorporate a hefty bank of shelving and cabinetry with partitions for each person.
With a well-thought out system inside, a closet can be a good spot to corral all the shoes, jackets, umbrellas, dog leashes and backpacks that get shuffled about.
Small decorative touches make a big impact here once you incorporate shelving, hooks and easily accessible storage.
Toss in a bin for shoes, and hang clear vinyl pockets on the door for organizing small necessities like gloves, scarves, sunglasses, shopping totes, water bottles, maybe even mail and office supplies.
The key is to pick a closet near the door you enter and make it attractive enough that you’ll actually use it as you intended, advises Betz-Essinger.
If you have an entire room, consider yourself lucky. You won't necessarily need to maximize efficiency here, you're only limited by the amount of functions you want to fit into the space.
Look around the room and consider your basic needs. Can you incorporate places for everyday necessities as well as a spot for laundry, household gadgets and supplies? If you have lots of space, can you designate areas for family calendars and bills, pet care and supplies, or maybe even crafts and hobbies like floral arranging, sewing or gift wrapping?
"I like to have a place for everything to go behind closed doors so surfaces can be easily cleaned and larger projects can be done without first finding a place to put the items that you have been storing on the counter or floor to make room," advises designer Eric Schnell of Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc.
Whether petite or cavernous, utility rooms are where the hard work gets done. Often outfitted with a washer and dryer, maybe even a sink, this is a space that can take advantage of storage, with loads of shelving, cabinetry and countertops to take into account.
In addition to personal items that you'll need to grab on your way out the door, this room is home to all sorts of household goods and supplies, so you'll want to consider the best ways to incorporate a variety of functions and needs.
Active families may find they're also able to store soccer balls, skateboards, or even a bike or other sports equipment.