Specialty Features for Mudrooms
Specialty features can make your mudroom more user-friendly and save you time as you head out the door. Here are some ideas for adding more convenience to your life.
Great for family reminders and school schedules, a central message board can help keep everyone up to date on the latest news. Message boards with chalkboard or magnetic paint, cork boards with pushpins and electronic message boards are some of the options.
"I think chalkboards are great for people who like the schoolhouse feel but they're not the most practical," says designer Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt of Marsh & Clark Design.
The mess of chalk can be a deal breaker for some, while others don't like the loose pins required with a cork board. No matter the message board you choose, Fillbrandt says make sure to consider your audience and place the board at an appropriate height (for example, not high if the message board is used mostly by the kids).
If your family has electronic devices, you can add a charging station inside a mudroom cabinet or drawer, have one that slides in and out on a shelf, or include one in a cubby hole or built into the wall. But if your mudroom is not heated or far away from your main living space, you might be better off choosing another spot.
"I don't think a mudroom is the right location for a charging station," says Fillbrandt. "Our clients are bringing their mobile devices into the house and we're putting them in bedrooms or a study space."
Piles of daily mail often take up counter space in the kitchen, so designating storage for mail in your mudroom makes sense. You can use slots built into a cabinet or wall-mounted files.
"You want something that contains the mail," says designer Denna McLaughlin of City Studios. "For one client, we had a basket for the junk mail and another for bills, so she knew what mail was most urgent. It's also a good idea to have a basket just for catalogs and magazines and include a recyclable container where you store your mail, so you can eliminate older mail or unwanted catalogs."
To avoid lost keys, create a designated spot to store them. The mudroom is the perfect place for family members to deposit keys when they return home and grab them as they head out the door. You can choose a wall-mounted key storage box, key rack or simple hooks to keep your keys stored properly and within easy reach.
"I love hanging key storage," says Fillbrandt. "We do both open and closed cabinets for keys and hooks with labels. Having a labeled master set of keys is a great idea. Just avoid having a key drawer. Key rings open up and you end up with random unlabeled keys."
You can even use a belt rack with labels above each hook to store keys. "Hang it under your message board," says McLaughlin. "They’re all related and should be close together."