Small-Space Mudroom Solutions
Prioritize your daily needs and make the most of the space you have when room is tight.
Clutter goes a long way, especially in a small space. Though small spaces force us to think a bit more creatively, the good news is that a little foresight, planning and careful editing can go a long way toward making a tiny space solve a lot of problems.
A tiny but efficient mudroom can help you feel prepared for whatever the day may hold. "It's a transitional space," says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger of Just Organized. "You can pare it down to just those things that go in and out of a home."
Tiny Tips That Make a Big Difference
Think about your own habits and those you want to foster. Even if your space is tight, a couple of creative tricks can solve a lot of issues.
Add grab-and-go storage
Designate a spot for the inevitable bags and jackets. "Families can create a ‘drop zone’ in any small space by pairing a storage bench and wall hooks," says interior designer Traci Zeller.
"Functionality comes first," says interior designer Molly Quinn. "It’s really helpful to stand in the space and go about your daily routine so you can figure out where you want to hang your keys, where you want to put on and take off shoes." Accordion-style wall hooks, a small coat rack or a vintage hall tree can corral bags, hats and jackets. Include a stool and tuck a basket nearby or underneath for necessities.
Make it one of a kind
If you need something more tailored, have built-in cabinetry made to fit. "Because I needed to use every inch of space in our own mudroom and I wanted everyone to have their own spot, I had a locker unit custom-made in the limited space we had," says Zeller.
A small horizontal space can yield great opportunities for storage if you have vertical tiers of storage. The lower the tier, the more immediate need for the item; the higher, the more occasional. "If you place out-of-season items in bins up high, they're still there and at hand when you need them," says Ginny Snook Scott of California Closets.
A mudroom doesn't have to be located at the back or front of a home. An old side entry was converted into this welcoming mudroom with both open and closed storage solutions by TerraCotta Properties. Photography by Jeff Herr
Hooks and Benches
This accessible, family-friendly mudroom by Pierce Lamb Architects features plenty of hooks for caps and a handy built-in bench. Upper storage cabinets and beadboard paneling add character to the space. Photography by Kathy Tarantola
Athletes in the family can quickly grab gear or change uniforms in this streamlined mudroom by LDa Architecture & Interiors. Large drawers under the built-in bench store items away and help the space maintain a clean look. Photography by Kathy Tarantola
This smart mudroom by Ron Brenner Architects is located in a hall between the kitchen and garage. The mudroom cabinetry was crafted into a divider wall that disguises the laundry room on the other side. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Consider the needs of your pets. This pet-friendly mudroom by TerraCotta Properties includes a pullout lower drawer that offers customized space for food and water bowls. Photography by Jeff Herr
Pantry + Mudroom Combo
If you love to cook, try including pantry storage with your mudroom. This handy storage system from EasyClosets offers storage for mudroom essentials along with open shelves for dry pastas, extra mugs and cookbooks.
This user-friendly unit combines all the essentials of good mudroom storage: open shelves, closed cabinets, hooks for hanging coats or pet leashes, and a storage bench. An open niche under the lower cabinets can be used for shoes or pet bowls. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid
Warm and Inviting
Small details can add style to a mudroom. A roomy mudroom in this Cape Cod-style home designed by Ron Brenner Architects features rich walnut storage solutions and serves as the family entry, ideally located off the kitchen and adjacent powder room. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Location, Location, Location
The right location makes all the difference for a mudroom. This user-friendly space for an active family of four is located between a side entry carport and an open-plan kitchen. Design by TerraCotta Properties; photography by Jeff Herr
A Place for Everything
Created to be an integrated feature of a full kitchen remodel, this smart mudroom/laundry room combination offers a series of hidden storage solutions for an active family. Storage for pet food and accessories was also included. Design by TerraCotta Properties; photography by Jeff Herr
When your mudroom is open to an adjacent space, take design cues from existing decor. Hanging, open and closed storage for this mudroom are all located inside a single stylish unit. Photo courtesy of EasyClosets
Formal to Functional
A sleek new mudroom and storage area is a key component of the more-welcoming formal entry in this renovated Boston townhouse designed by LDa Architecture & Interiors. The mudroom details complement the home's rich finishes.Photography by Peter Vanderwarker
Sometimes a simple niche creates just the storage you need. Architect Ron Brenner added a window to this upgraded mudroom that sits between the garage and main living area of this Arts & Crafts home. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Choose multipurpose elements
Add in diminutive furnishings that can serve a variety of needs. Tuck in a storage ottoman, small chest or trunk for seating and stock it with water bottles or snacks, sunscreen, office supplies or whatever you need on a regular basis. A portable stool or chair may work for quick shoe changes — and you can easily drag it outside when guests gather on the porch.
Hang a mirror
Mirrors multiply light and visually expand a space. Hang a small mirror for that last-minute check before heading out the door — it can even serve as a memo board with the addition of a dry-erase marker for jotting quick reminders.