Making an Entrance – Mudroom Must Haves
Mudrooms are one of the top five remodel trends for 2017. I love the idea that a place created only to store your ugly, muddy things, that’s traditionally been considered unsightly, is now à la mode. The caveat is: mudrooms are relatively novel, so unless you’ve just bought a new house or recently remodeled, you may not have what is typically referred to as the “mudroom”. Fear not; we’re going to get you through this.
With fall jackets soon to be unfurled (always the bearer of bad news) and backpacks at the ready, now is the perfect time to reimagine your mudroom or entryway. I happen to have a mudroom, or what we’ll call a mudroom for this purpose. When we added a new bathroom some six years ago, we also moved and created a more accessible entryway, onto which we tacked the mudroom. It was more dramatic than that, with more hemming and hawing, but you get the gist. So, what’s essential to the mudroom?
Any entryway (dubbed mudroom for our sake here) needs to have something on which to wipe your mud. This is essential. I’ll now profess my love for FLOR tiles. We first purchased them for this space and have since added another set in our kitchen dining area. They are perfect for heavy trafficked areas like this one. The low pile prevents dirt from collecting (and we track in a ton of dirt and salt), as this is our main entryway. If one tile were to stain, it’s easily replaced. I love this option mostly because it feels warmer and is more customizable than many floor mats I’ve seen and though I like the idea of a true runner, my experience has been that most soil easily in these circumstances. It’s not perfect; dirt can collect between the tiles and fall to the floor below. If I were to do it again, I might consider a rug pad for underneath to protect the floor.
A coat closet is fine if you have one but hooks are where it’s at. My kids used to throw their coats on the closet floor and close the door. Well done. Hooks are so easy. If I had closets again, I’d probably tack hooks to the back of the door. They’re just so accessible, so quick. I do tend to take mid-winter inventory though because every jacket, coat, vest, and poncho we own is suddenly vying for a spot on one of eight hooks. This is what you don’t see in the Pinterest pics, nor here either I guess. I put them all away for you. Simpler is better. Besides, let’s be honest, half of those coats don’t get worn except for special occasions and snow squalls. They can live in the hall closet. I’d have dressed these hooks with an array of linen scarves like the other Pinterest posts but I just told you – hooks here are hot, and spoken for.
Seating – a bench or a stool – is super handy in the entryway, assuming you have the space. We wanted to keep the hallway as open as possible, meaning nothing to hamper movement through it; no console table, no bench, no cubbies nestled on the floor. Instead, I used the small spot under the window for a bench seat. Knowing I’d forfeited the cubbies for the clearance, I searched for a seat with storage. This seat, besides being key to getting snowy boots off, is one of the kids’ and dog’s favorite lounging spots in the house. Given the latter, I decided it was worth the $10 material cost to recover my makeshift cushion (plywood and foam combo) in a bright Sunbrella fabric.
What are we storing? Sixteen single mittens of course. We have three boys, each with a collection of hats, scarves, gloves, dirty socks, etc, that end up in the mudroom. Having a basket tucked away in each of these cabinet doors is the perfect solve for their stuff. They won’t find a matching pair of mittens in there but I’ve given them all the tools; the rest is up to them. Truth be told, I probably have the most scarves, hats and gloves of the group and I have no spot here to stash them. The cold, hard truth about the mudroom is that even in all its glory, it may still fall short. I keep my cold weather accessories elsewhere, where I can ensure single gloves don’t go missing.
The real underbelly of the mudroom is the shoe storage. I have seen pics upon pics of good shoe options; none of them has worked for us. Easy – that’s what wins out. I tried shelving shoes in the bench seat first. No go. Kids can’t be bothered. I found this galvanized bin on clearance a few years ago and put it to good use here in the mudroom. Can you live with a bin of shoes heaped in on top of each other? I can. If they’re in a bucket, it means I’m not tripping on them. Win. Hacks only work if they’re utilized. If you create shelves or cabinets for shoes and they end up on the floor, it’s a flop.
That’s all you really need in your mudroom – a place to wipe your feet, hang your coat, remove your shoes (and store them), and tuck your coon cap. Of course, if your space is like mine, most visitors will enter into your mudroom as well. Our front door is reserved exclusively for UPS deliveries and trick or treaters. So, in that case, you’ll want it to be both functional and attractive. Aside from the rug and bench, there’s little in this room to draw your attention. The walls are mostly white beadboard – great for this high traffic area – because they wipe down so easily. I framed and hung some of the boys’ artwork on the long wall. The mudroom is their command center; it seems logical then to pay them tribute here. The crayon garland I strung together in the false hope of creating some back to school buzz.
Mudrooms are a great addition but definitely not necessary. Any entryway can be modified to mimic the mudroom. Your takeaway should be clean, easy and functional (for real real, not Pinterest real). To that end, I must go return the kids’ tattered sweatshirts to their hooks before I’ve been found out.
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