What is a mudroom?
An American term, a mudroom is traditionally a home’s casual secondary entrance and a dedicated space to remove (muddy) boots, coats and wet clothing before entering the main house. It’s intended to provide storage and ensure the main areas of the home stay clean and tidy.
According to Home Beautiful, “a mud room is the hard-working skivvy behind the scenes. Usually sited at the back or side of the house or off the garage, this repository for daily detritus keeps smelly boots, school bags and wet brollies out from underfoot.”
House Rules judge Drew Heath says that he is welcoming the return of the mudroom to Australian homes.
“Banished from floor plans during the minimalist 1960s, it’s becoming the new must-have. A mudroom is a great practical element of any family home", he says, "helping the kids to keep the dirt, sand or mess at the door.”
While most homes in Australia don’t have a dedicated room just for coats and bags, a mudroom ‘space’ can be created at the front door.
Adding a mudroom to your home
According to interior designer Emma Blomfield, if you're adding a mudroom to your home you'll “need to ensure you have adequate space allocated in your new build or reno.
“More is more when it comes to storage so don't skimp on storage space and ensure you have somewhere to sit,” she says.
What should a good mudroom include?
No mudroom is complete without a bench or some sort of seating to sit and remove shoes.
Apartment Therapy suggests that you make your bench “do double-duty by putting a boot tray underneath, or using a bench with a flip-up seat for extra concealed storage.”
Depending on the size and layout of your space, you will need to add various items of furniture to create a mudroom. Items to consider include a bench, cubbies or lockers, a shoe cabinet and a closet for coats and out-of-season items.
According to interior designer Emma Blomfield, “it's important that all the items used in a mudroom are practical AND durable.”
Ensure that everything that comes in and out of the home has a place. Adding a storage box or basket for each member of the family is one way to stay organised.
Emma also suggests that as well “as hooks for rain jackets or overcoats, cubby holes could be used for shoe storage and “drawers or doors for miscellaneous items like soccer balls and tennis racquets.”
You’ll need overhead lighting as well as task lighting in your mudroom. According to Emma Blomfield, “you can have a bit of fun” with lighting and “hang a pretty pendant to offset all of the built in joinery that isn't particularly decorative or some fancy looking wall sconces on the walls.”
Hard flooring is preferable to carpet in a mudroom, as it’s a high traffic area. Emma Blomfield suggests that you have durable flooring “like polished concrete or floorboards to withstand the daily use.”
7 inspiring mudroom design ideas
1. It's all about storage
Storage reigns supreme in this practical mudroom design. As well as hooks for handbags, scarves, coats and jackets, there are plenty of cubby holes for stashing shoes, boots and school bags. Pull-out baskets are handy for keeping smaller items organised. A long bench seat is perfect for a large family.
2. It’s all in the layout
Hardwearing tiles are a practical choice of flooring in this mudroom. A closed closet keeps everything out of sight and creates a streamlined effect. Seasonal items and equipment can be stored in overhead cupboards.
3. Mudroom laundry room
This mudroom is combined with a laundry. According to Home Beautiful, a “combined mud room and laundry is a logical pairing, allowing grubby sports kit to be flung directly in the washing machine or sink.
“Make use of organisational gadgets like pull-out laundry baskets, broom and mop rails and wall-mounted ironing boards. A large sink with a retractable spray tap is a super-useful feature, so muddy boots and shoes can be hosed off, dog bowls can be rinsed and refilled, and house plants can be soaked without cluttering up the kitchen.”
4. The bare bones
A mudroom has been created in this hallway of this home, allowing space to dump items as you come in and out of the house. Ensure you have the bare bones for a mudroom area, including hooks on the wall and a bench seat for sitting down to put on shoes. Shoes can be stashed neatly under the bench.
5. Consistent style
Just because a mudroom is practical, it doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Keep the style of your mudroom consistent with your home. In this space, natural timber and woven materials bring the outside in, while cushions and scarves create softness.
6. A splash of colour
A custom-fitted space creates a seamless effect in the home. In this mudroom, a bench is built into the wall with pull-out drawers for shoes underneath. Overhead shelves are perfect for storing sports equipment that isn’t used every day. Don’t be afraid to use bold colour to enhance this area of the home.
7. Sensible flooring
Stone pavers make a stylish and durable floor in this mudroom. Overhead racks and hooks keep coats and sporting equipment neat and tidy, while an upholstered cushion adds softness and comfort to the bench.
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