You’re in the middle of the morning rush and child #2 can’t find his shoes while child #1 is searching frantically for her jacket. It’s the reality of many families’ morning routine and the reason so many new homes have re-purposed the mudroom as the organizational center of the home. If you’re building or remodeling your home and considering what exactly you need in this sanity-saving space, keep reading.
Think about the use
How do you envision using your mudroom? Will it be a dual-purpose room combined with your laundry room? Will your pets call this room their own? Do you have children who will need to store sports equipment here? A mudroom can be many things to many people, but unless you have a large amount of space it will likely not be able to hold everything for everyone. Know what you must have and want out of this space.
Start with seating and storage
Most mudrooms are used for taking off shoes and coats. Make it more comfortable for your family by providing a small bench just inside the door. Storage can vary from shelves to full on cabinets. If you’re storing cleaning supplies like mops or brooms or sports equipment, you may want some full-length cabinets so all your supplies fit. For small items that tend to clutter a home, use baskets or bins to keep the area looking neat. Open hanging hooks may also make it more likely that your family actually hangs up their coats instead of dropping them in the floor. Just make sure they are hung where even the youngest of your family can reach them.
Make it functional
If the room will share space with your laundry room consider a utility sink, counter space and a built in ironing board. The extra space will make cleaning up extra dirty clothes and folding them an easier task. You may also create a landing pad for all the “extras” your family will need as they head out the door. Signed homework, your car keys and lunchboxes can sit at the ready on convenient counter space near the door.
Charge it up
Tired of all those charging cords all over the kitchen counter? Create a charging station within your cabinetry. No one will have to wonder where they placed their cell phone and you might just get in a full conversation with your teen while her device is charging in another room. If you’re a fan of the chalkboard paint craze, paint a section of wall with chalkboard paint and use it for messages about schedules, to-dos and chores--all without cluttering up the rest of the house.
Let there be light
While you’re considering the functionality of the room, don’t forget about the lighting. A combination of natural lighting plus room light can make getting the stain out of Billy’s soccer uniform a little easier. It’ll also make checking your appearance one last time before you head out the door a little more accurate.
Reflect a minute
Speaking of checking your appearance, consider hanging a mirror in the entry so you can get in one last look before greeting the world. It doesn’t have to be full-length but it never hurts to make sure you don’t have anything in your teeth from breakfast or that your cow-lick isn’t acting up.
The word mudroom is pretty literal. On rainy days your family will slog into the house through this entrance. If you choose to relocate Puff’s litter box to the mudroom or Max’s dog bed here, you’ll have extra traffic from family members who don’t know the welcome mat is for wiping their feet. Choose durable flooring like tile or laminate that’s easy to clean. You may also want to consider durable paint that’s easy to wash or tiling part of the way up the wall.
With the right accessories, including cabinetry, countertops, sinks and faucets, what was once the dirtiest room in the house could have a clean style that fits with the rest of your home design. So start dreaming! What would you love to see in your mudroom?