Mention the word “mudroom” to folks from southern states and you’ll be greeted with a puzzled stare. It’s a room unique to homes in cold and damp regions and one that most residents of those areas take for granted, yet wouldn’t dream of living without.
Mudroom design runs the gamut from lavish to bare-bones. One thing they all have in common, however, is that they get dirty. That’s the point, though, right? A storage area for umbrellas, snow gear and wet, grimy shoes is naturally going to become a bit of a mess.
Whether you lack a mudroom or need to spruce up the one you have, autumn is the ideal season to get to work preparing for winter’s arctic blast.
If you’ll be creating a mudroom you’ll need to locate it strategically, and many experts say to keep it out-of-sight of guests. The latter depends, however, on the aesthetics of the room. If you’ll be going all-out on the decorating, go ahead and let your guests gaze upon your fabulous mudroom as they enter through the front.
When there’s just no room inside the home, consider using the garage, or, as one new-home trend suggests, combine the utility and mudroom together. Imagine having the messiness confined to an area where the soiled items can be tossed directly into the washer instead of having to lug everything through the house to the laundry room.
The best place, however, at least according to the designers at HGTV, is near whichever door to the house that you use the most.
Make it Efficient
Efficiency and durability are the watchwords when it comes to considering your mudroom DIY project. The room takes a beating and you’ll want to ensure it cleans up easily.
Start by replacing carpet in the mudroom with anything but. Choose a product that is durable but that also cleans up easily and is slip-resistant. Anything you would choose for a kitchen will work well here.
Walls need to stand up to dirt and grime as well, so when you’re thinking about what to do with them, keep durability in mind. Distressed wood on walls that will eventually become distressed, flat paint, beadboard or wainscoting are all suitable. Consider vinyl wallpaper as well. Not only will it add a pop of color or a pattern to the room but, if caught early, grime should sponge right off.
If you have no other piece of furniture in your mudroom, you must have a bench or stools for the family to sit on to remove their boots and shoes. Choose one with a flip-seat for boot storage or slip a boot tray underneath the bench. Of course roomier mudrooms present us with more options, such as the various shoe and boot racks available.
Lockers, shelves, hooks and racks will provide a place to set and hang wet hats, scarves, coats and umbrellas.
Sure our southern neighbors may not need mudrooms, but it’s only because they miss out on all the fun winter offers.