Planning a Mudroom
Mudrooms have a plain name, but they can be a key space that makes your entire home more attractive and productive. When designed properly, mudrooms give you that user-friendly space for storage of items for the daily commute, hobbies, pets or sports. They also create a buffer zone from the world outside and keep your floors free from mud and other debris. Mudrooms bring order to a messy house and your daily schedule.
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.
"As our lives are more complicated and busy, mudrooms have become even more important," says architect Deborah Pierce of Pierce Lamb Architects and author of the book The Accessible Home. "They're a catchall for the stuff that gets in the way, a space to safeguard clothes, a way to keep entrances uncluttered, and to make your home cleaner and safer."
For those reasons and more, mudrooms are useful in different types of climates. From keeping out snow and dirt to sand and allergens, mudrooms give you that transitional space as you move from the outdoors to the interior of your home.
"The sheer amount of stuff in our climate is overwhelming — the boots, the gloves, the coats," says architect Ron Brenner of Ron Brenner Architects. “You just have to think about what you need and want the space to be. A Midwestern farmhouse mudroom will have different priorities than a mudroom in a retirement home in Scottsdale, Ariz."
From a simple bench with hooks above to a large mudroom with extras like a potting bench or charging station, mudrooms come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Take the time to access your personal needs, think about your budget, incorporate the right storage solutions, and create the mudroom that works for your family and lifestyle.