Simple and Smart
Designed by DuVäl Reynolds in a new build by Jefferson Homes, this McLean mudroom is located conveniently off the garage of the house, with additional access to the front porch.
“Because it would be one of the homeowners’ first experiences coming into the home, I wanted to create impact and function at the same time,” says Reynolds. “My objective was to give the mudroom visual interest while still offering the assorted functions of shelving, hanging, seating, and shoe storage.”
Finished in crisp white paint and with a tongue-in-groove feature wall, this multifunctional mudroom is simply designed yet highly efficient. Open compartmentalized space beneath a linear bench provides individual cubbies for muddy, wet, or athletic shoes, and a row of hooks above are good for jackets, caps, or bags.
Spanish ceramic tile added fun to the floors, with its tone-on-tone pattern complementing the built-in’s clean lines. “The tile has a vintage, industrial vibe, with intrinsic imperfections,” says Reynolds of the scuffs and pockmarks. “It creates warmth and makes the space inviting.”
Because mudrooms are catchall spaces that can be cordoned off from other high-traffic areas, it’s easy to neglect their aesthetic design, but as Reynolds says, “with thoughtful planning, they can be both functional and visually pleasing.”
It’s hard to imagine a farmhouse in The Plains without a functioning mudroom, yet that was the case when interior designer Anne Marie Hauer, founder of Choux Designs, purchased this 1901 home with husband Steve to raise their family. In 2015 they turned to Clites Architects to create an addition, including a much-needed mudroom.
Situated off the side porch, the new space is unfussy–a sturdy built-in bench, with open storage beneath, and an adjacent wall of hooks.
“Aside from the kitchen, the mudroom is the most essential room in our house, a command center for every moving part of our family, she says, referencing the tweens (Garren and Callie) and two dogs. “It’s our everyday entrance, the landing zone for all the essentials, with wall hooks for coats, backpacks, leashes, and keys, and lidded basket storage for waht would otherwise become an unsightly pile of shoes.”
Across from the hook wall is a replumbed slop sink as well as a double-door closet containing a stacked washer and dryer.
“We use that sink to tackle the many pairs of muddy paws and boots,” says Hauer. “Whether we have just come in from a riding lesson, tending to our garden, or feeding our flock of chickens and ducks, we have plenty of room for our dirty gears to be cleaned and stored.”
The Right Blend
When designing this mudroom for an active Arlington family with four kids, the marriage of form and function was paramount for interior designer Lori Anderson Wier of Anderson Wier Studio. “It was important the space feel unified to the rest of the house, as it’s visible through a cased opening,” says Wier of the mudroom done in collaboration with Jenkins Restorations.
Slate floors are practical and riff on the kitchen’s palette, which features black counters, plus similar white Shaker-style cabinetry.
“Having four distinct sections—one for each child—was a necessity, as was the integrated bench, which does double duty as a place to unload bags and kick off shoes,” says Wier. “With the exception of the large base drawers, the storage is entirely open, balancing aesthetics and practicality.”
Wier’s preference for simple hooks is a nod to pure function. She incorporated them at different levels below the individual cubbies, offering what she calls “equal access to kids as they grow.” Easy-to-wipe beadboard wainscoting runs up two-thirds of the mudroom’s walls, topped in 4-inch flat trim that holds hooks for hanging longer outerwear and other items.
“Done right, a mudroom can transform the way we experience our homes,” says Wier, “helping us stay organized and streamlining the process of getting in and out the door.”
“I chose darker paint that would hide the daily wear and tear of a hardworking mudroom—the scuffs and dirt,” says interior designer Julie Riggin of Julie Kay Design Studio. She opted to paint this Del Ray mudroom gray, and for contrast, she added bold black pulls on the Shaker-style cabinets.
The cabinetry encompasses a clever row of closed storage across the ceiling line, as well as a tall integrated cabinet, where mail, keys, or sunglasses can be popped into a basket. “That counter also serves as a charging station and tech drop zone for phones, iPads, tablets, etc.,” says Riggin of the handy built-in feature for the homeowners, a busy family of four, including two children ages 4 and 7 years old.
In collaboration with Morris Construction, Riggin opted for doorless overhead cubbies with baskets, plus open compartmentalized storage beneath a sturdy bench. “We did a shiplap backdrop for textural interest and a layer of depth,” she says of the hook wall.
The mudroom sits at the side entrance to the bungalow and has a paved path leading up to it so the kids can cycle up and bring in their bikes. “Mudrooms are always great if you can work them into your floor plan or renovation,” says Riggin. “They go a long way to keeping the home free of mess and clutter.”
With a trifecta of access from this home’s side entrance, car garage, and rear garden, this Alexandria mudroom is well used, without sacrificing style.
“‘Keep it simple and chic’ was our motto,” says interior designer Kelly Schuler of Madigan Schuler, which collaborated with GTM Architects and Ilex Construction on the project. The space was unusual: narrow, but with 11-foot-high ceilings. “We did a faux-linen wall finish in a parchment color and added black horizontal stripes to break up the wall height,” says Schuler.
The home’s backyard is large, with a swimming pool. With two older kids and a couple of dogs, the outdoors—and by default, the mudroom—are well used.
As such, the mudroom boasts all the customary features, but it also has a block of linear open shelves, which are stacked with rolled swim towels, baskets of sunscreen, and other easy-to-grab necessities. There’s even a double doggy water bowl below for laps on the go.
“By listening to the clients’ needs—this mudroom stores pool items, not backpacks—we kept clutter to a minimum, but the space also looks nice when friends come over,” says Schuler. “Of course, it’s super-durable, too.”
The built-in is backed in beadboard that’s easily wiped clean, and the floors are a textured brick, hiding nicks and dirt.