As a transition space between the inside of a home and the outdoors, a mudroom is a welcome asset to a home. Not only does it serve as a spot to leave muddy shoes and wet coats, but it can be used as the perfect space for pets, laundry and keeping the family organized for daily activities.
Design Ideas and Finishes for a Mudroom
Whether you are building a home or remodeling, there are some early decisions when designing a mudroom that will make it easier to keep clean and organized in the years ahead.
Begin with the flooring. Skip the beautiful carpet or polished wood floors and choose something durable like brick, stone or ceramic tile. If you are on a budget, vinyl is a great choice and offers multiple options in color and design. Remember that shoes may be wet; so select a textured flooring to prevent slipping accidents.
Carefully plan plumbing and wiring to accommodate any appliances or extras that you want in the space. Adding a washer and dryer to a mudroom is convenient for handling wet, dirty clothes. A laundry sink is perfect for washing pets, gardening chores, and soaking stinky sports uniforms. Depending on your flooring finish, a central floor drain and hose bibs will make cleaning a breeze.
Pay attention to lighting and install both overhead and task lighting. If the mudroom will be the main entry and exit for the family, include plenty of outlets in the design for charging phones and electrical devices.
Once you have the infrastructure down, think about how your family plans to use the space. If you have children, create shelves and storage areas they can reach and use. As you design, emphasize storage solutions like hooks for hanging, bins for sports equipment, racks for shoes, and shelves for supplies. An important element for the mudroom is a spot to sit down as family members put on and take off shoes.
Tips to Keep Your Mudroom Clean and Organized
- Even if you have installed very durable flooring in the mudroom, always place a mat on the inside and outside of the entry door. These mats will catch much of the dirt and keep it out of your mudroom and home. Most outside mats can be hosed off and indoor mats can be tossed in the washer. Always choose an indoor mat with a non-skid backing to prevent accidents.
- Create an indoor drip tray for wet, snowy boots and umbrellas. You can purchase these or make your own with a metal rack and plastic catch basin for drips.
- Even with an outdoor mat, add a boot scraper outside next to the door in snowy or muddy areas and encourage its use!
- Have plenty of hooks or a drying rack for wet outer garments. Be sure there is room for each coat as well as hats, gloves, and scarves. Racks can be wall-mounted and flattened when not in use. These are great for drying delicate items if the mudroom also serves as the laundry room.
- Rather than a shoe bin, add shoe racks that allow air to circulate around damp shoes. Label sections for each family member.
- To take advantage of every bit of space, create shelving from floor to ceiling. These can be inexpensive shelves and the addition of coordinating bins and baskets can add a creative touch. Store out-of-season items up high.
- Create a secure storage spot for cleaning and laundry supplies that will be out of reach of children and pets.
- Don't forget to set aside a spot for sealed pet food storage, food and water bins, and hooks for leashes if the family includes a pet.
- To keep each family member organized, create and assign a personal area. These can be modular units, built-ins or simply designated shelf and hanging spaces. This will make getting out of the house easier each morning.
- The mudroom is the perfect spot for a family organization center with a calendar and magazine holders or folders for sorting incoming mail, permission slips, and homework. The calendar should be updated and checked daily by everyone in the family.
- At least seasonally, give the mudroom a thorough cleaning. Take everything out and do a toss, sort, and donate. Move out-of-season clothes, sports equipment, and toys to the top storage spots on shelves. Check the mudroom for any mold and mildew from excess moisture and clean everything well.
- While the mudroom is empty, update wall paint and do any repairs that will take you into the next season.