I have a new client that I’m working with who is desperately seeking a reorganized, functional, and inviting mudroom. With mudrooms on my mind, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share some ideas and useful tips to create a properly functioning space. The foyer or mudroom of any home is the first place you enter and the last place you leave. It’s the dropping ground for shoes, pocketbooks, bookbags, hats, gloves, scarves, and the list goes on and on and on… In many households there is the constant struggle and back-and-forth-banter of keeping it clean,”pretty”, and PRACTICAL!
Let’s tour some mudrooms to get an idea of what works (and what doesn’t)…
I thought this mudroom would be great to start with because it encompasses all the needs for an entry / departure space (and it looks so good). In any foyer or mudroom, it’s a must to have a space for all the coats and winter wares. In this home, there are plenty of hooks on the beadboard back, and lots of closed cabinetry that are most likely filled with baskets for all the “stuff”… ie: hats, scarves, mittens, etc. Having a place to sit for putting on and taking off your shoes is a great addition to your entry space. This bench allows for even more area underneath and is complete with pull-out drawers and shoe cubbies (that are double deep, for two layers of shoes – BONUS)!
And there’s more – Next to the bench, are larger closed cabinets, which could be useful for bookbags, tennis bags, and larger coats. And, of course, you need a spot for your pup – alittle bed under the bench is so cute! Lastly, this well designed mudroom is complete with a central command center – You know how I love my CCC! Since this space is the point of entrance and departure, a designated place for notes, invitations, and a family calendar is such a great way to keep everyone organized and going to the right place, at the right time, on the right day.
Another mudroom that is beautiful and practical. Setting up a “locker” type system where each member of the family has a cubby, is a wonderful way to keep everyone’s wares in their own place. Each person has their own hooks for coats and each person has their own basket for accessories. Perfectly Practical!
As much as I’m attracted to this bright and inviting mudroom, it really isn’t useful! Yes, it has a bench AND a few hooks, but that’s about it. The contrasting stained mantel against the fresh, crisp white is gorgeous, but there is no practical side to the space. I couldn’t imagine my son traipsing into this mudroom with his marvel superheros bookbag and bright yellow rain coat. Would this mudroom work for your family?
Another beautiful space, but that’s just it… it’s beautiful, but not so much functional. Maybe because it’s “staged” it looks so perfect and pretty, but the reality is that it’ll rarely stay this way. Yes, it does have a bench… and Yes it does have shelves above and drawers below, but what about the endless amounts of scarves, hats, mittens, etc. – where would they go? Maybe they have a closet across from this beauty – wishful thinking. I do have to admit though, I’m loving the file organizers. Again, one for each member of the family keeps everyone in check.
Not all of us have mudrooms with this much space (myself included), but this has beauty and function mixed together just right!!! With two benches, two rows of shoe storage, and cabinets galore, NO ONE should be disorganized in this house. Plus the floor is to die for – how gorgeous is the herringbone brick pattern and it’s amazing durability for all the muddy, rainy boots?!
Some of us aren’t lucky enough to have a mudroom that big and honestly is it really even needed? Not all mudroom spaces are huge areas. Actually in most homes, the space is minimal. If it’s layed out well and properly used, it can even function better than a larger space. Beth recently added board and batten to her first floor, which included the mudroom area. The area into her mudroom is quite small, but she’s made wonderful use of the space by adding hooks at different levels (higher for the adults and lower for the kids), a shelf on top for decor, and a small ottoman that duals for seating and storage.
Who cares about practical when entering into this space, it’s just so colorful and stylish. What a way to be welcomed home!
Built-ins can be costly and there are other solutions to creating a useful mudroom space without breaking the bank! A space like this in the image above can be put together for less than $50. A painted bench similar to the style shown, can be found at Ikea or Target for about $20-$30. Above the bench, is a simple coat hook and below are metal bins with polaroid pics of all the family member. This mudroom is inexpensive to create, yet completely practical. It shows that with a little thought and planning, your mudroom can absolutely be an inviting and useful place!
Unfortunately for me, I don’t have a mudroom. I have a foyer that can also be entered into from the garage. I really like the flow, but it doesn’t leave for much storage area, and is quite tight with the washer and dryer also in the same space. I did a quick floor plan sketch so you can see how it looks. Last year (for my anniversary present) we added shelving to the coat closet, so now it’s a dual pantry / coat closet – see this post for details. I am constantly trying to keep the washer and dryer area organized since it’s the only path to the garage – see this post for details. If only I had 4 more feet… I would be in heaven – O, well, there’s more to worry about in life than get upset about space. You can see more of my foyer in the posts when I stenciled the walls and re-glazed a family hand-me-down.
My one major goal for this space is the flooring – I’m thinking I need to give you a ‘before’ tour to reveal more, so stay tuned!
Do you have a mudroom or only a single entry point into your home (like me)? How do you keep your family organized with all the winter wares, bags, and shoes? Do you desire built-ins similar to the images above or are you someone who likes to keep things simple and minimal? I’d love to hear about your space.
If you want to see more magnificent mudrooms, check out my Mudroom Pinterest Page.