I never knew how much I would love having a mudroom until we moved to our current home. I didn’t have a mudroom as a “must have” as we were house shopping, but I am super glad we got one.
Like all mudrooms, ours is definitely a high traffic area in our house. It connects the garage to our kitchen and also has a half bath/laundry room connected to it. In addition, we have a back staircase that connects the mudroom area to the guest area and office (above the garage).
So, it’s a space that we see every day, multiple times a day. It’s fundamentally a utilitarian space, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look good. At the same time, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money decorating the space. Would I love to have a mudroom like those in newly constructed homes – with all the beautiful built-ins? Absolutely. But, that’s not in the budget, and you have to prioritize, right? As much as it’s used, it’s obviously not an area where we congregate for long like the kitchen or family room.
That being said, I think there are a few things that are useful to think about in a mudroom. Here’s my list:
- Storage – yes, we do have a small closet in the mudroom, but it’s not enough to house off-season and current items for a family of four. So, I picked up a mid-century piece from Craigslist, had it professionally lacquered, and replaced the knobs with ones from Anthropologie. It houses hats, junk drawer items, extra purses, etc. It’s not very organized at the moment, so no pictures of the inside, ha!
- Lighting – I always like to include a lamp in addition to overhead lighting, so I found this Ralph Lauren lamp at HomeGoods and like to turn it on in the evenings (without the overhead on).
- A mirror – pretty obvious, for checks before walking out the door. You do it too, right?
- A rug – to soften the floor for little bottoms putting on shoes. This rug in particular also helps to hide dirt (which is a constant, given that it’s a mudroom).
- A bench – a good spot to sit and put on shoes before heading out. Though I’m generally the type to wear shoes inside throughout the house (I know, it’s not good to do, but I’m so used to it), so I don’t use it all that much.
- Hooks – for hanging items. In this picture, I have my purse hanging on the hook, but these hooks are really for the kids to hang their school bags and coats on once school starts.
- A shoe basket – I know it’s not pictured above, but I usually have a wicker shoe basket (that is currently overflowing, which is why I pulled it out for the shot) under the bench. It’s not my favorite thing, but it sure is handy. My kids keep their daily shoes in it, and Greg has been known to have a pair (or five) in it as well. Here’s what works for us:
- Organizer system – for keys, mail, magazines, etc.
- Art – I know it’s just a mudroom, but make it pretty! Hang something that will make you smile, especially since you’ll pass by it so often. I bought the large picture at Crossroads Art in Richmond.
- Something green – for me, a plant (or two) is a must for every room!
- Architectural interest, if possible – we did add the board and batten in this room to help liven it up a bit. Wallpaper could also work.
Okay, that’s my round-up of mudroom must-haves. Am I missing anything? What works for your family?
Thanks for reading!