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3 Elements That Make A Good Mudroom Design

Are you working on redesigning a mudroom? There are always a lot of considerations that go into a redesign. A mudroom is very unique in its purpose, and it’s important to get this design right for the whole family. Here are three (okay, maybe four) things that go into a good mudroom design.

mudroom with hooks and hats and jackets

Add Adequate Storage

What I mean here is, TONS.  As much as you can allocate.  I’ve seen mudrooms in 5,000 square foot houses with one 18” cubby per kid.  Can your child really organize 4 jackets, 4 sweatshirts, 3 backpacks, all their sporting equipment, and 8 pairs of shoes in this sized cubby?  My boys cannot.  Be realistic about how much stuff each family member has, even if it seems excessive.  I can remember growing up we had an enormous mudroom, with room to organize everything. It wasn’t glamorous, but boy was it efficient.  I had a childhood friend whose family built a fabulous new house and allocated about 4 feet for the mudroom — I can still remember squeezing past those hooks piled high with coats and would shake my head in disbelief!  SO what is adequate space for your family?  If you can afford the space, it is great to have a separate hook for each kid’s backpack, their winter jacket(s), and then their lighter-weight jackets.  We also keep sweatshirts in the mudroom, so that’s another hook for each kid.  Winter scarves are on their own hook as well — you get the picture.  Lots of hooks.  I prefer big, robust harness-style hooks, and for kids, they should be at kid height.  Adults can hang their coats on another, higher tier above the kid’s hooks.

Function Over Form

You want storage options that will get USED. I like to follow up with friends who have redone their mudroom and ask them how they are functioning.  I often hear that “the stuff is still ending up on the floor!”  For storage to get used, it needs to be easy, efficient, and accessible.  If you live in a family of boys as I do, you may have to be more realistic about convenient storage in the mudroom  This means putting the hooks for kids’ backpacks at kid height — you can move them later, as they grow.  Use bins for shoes, not shelves.  My mother used to use Rubbermaid dish tubs for shoes but nowadays, there are so many more great options out there.  I tend to source vintage bins from flea markets.

Robust Mudroom Materials

Your shelves, bins, flooring, and rugs should all be designed to take a beating and to be scrub-able!  I love metal bins in the mudroom for shoes.  Woven bins are nice and lightweight for hats, scarves, and gloves.  I prefer an indoor/outdoor rug in the mudroom with a pattern that will disguise dirt — you really do want people to wipe their feet on this rug, so make sure it’s something that can be washed.  Flooring should be tough and scrub-able and NON-SLIP!  But be careful excessive texture, as with some natural slates, will be very hard to clean — trust me, I made this mistake once.  I like to use ceramic tiles with some texture in a medium grey color — not too dark, not too light.  

Plus one more…

Location, Location, Location

Put the mudroom where you first enter the house.  If you are renovating, the location of the mudroom should be a BIG priority when planning your layout — not an afterthought.  This sounds so obvious, but I have this conversation with nearly every homeowner when I plan their kitchen, and it’s remarkable how many haven’t thought about a mudroom at all.  I guarantee it will be used more than any other room in the house (other than the kitchen…).  If you live in a suburban location, then plan an efficient flow from the car to the mudroom and into the house, and make sure the family follows that path!