You may think a mudroom is more about function than form: a place to toss your wet boots, coats, backpacks, and umbrellas. But it’s often the first space you see when you walk into a house, so beyond just a space-saving utilitarian room, it’s also a great way to make a first impression.
We asked Danielle Steele, Lead Designer for Marks-Woods Construction Services, Allie Mann, Senior Designer for Case Architects & Remodelers, and Jessica Parker Wachtel, LEED AP Senior Associate for GTM Architects, for their thoughts on the latest trends in mudrooms, from custom storage components and geometric tile to benches and countertops. Get inspired to get organized in a stylish way with their savvy tips and design suggestions:
What are some trends you have seen lately with mudrooms?
“We’re seeing clients willing to go a little more bold here–saturated cabinet colors such as dark navy or hunter green paired with a fun encaustic tile, or sometimes even a wall covering,” Steele says. “Barn doors or French pocket doors are also popular.” Mann believes mudrooms offer a great opportunity to take a chance with color and funky light fixtures, while Parker Wachtel has seen clients even adorn floors with fun tile patterns. On the more practical side, Mann says that additional pantry storage, desks for studying or working and sinks (especially in the covid-era) have all been on the upswing.
What are the main benefits of a mudroom vs. using the space for something else?
“The multi-functional mudroom is a drop zone for everyone coming and going, as well as a charging station for electronics,” Mann says. It’s a convenient spot to store everything you need in one place, as opposed to having it scattered about the house in hallways and bedrooms, meaning the family can start the day on a calm note instead of a frazzled one. And think beyond hanging coats and jackets: you can also store pantry items, paper goods, or pet food.
What are some tips for maximizing the space of small mudrooms?
If space is a concern, Parker Wachtel suggests installing lots of hooks and baskets for extra storage. If your budget allows it, Steele is a fan of custom cabinetry which can be tailored to the needs of every member of the family, from the high school athlete to the dancer to the golfer. “Utilize your vertical space and height, if you only have one wall, try working to create a bench seat with storage above and below,” Mann says. “Add hooks to hanging coats and sweaters, and maybe a floating shelf for bins or baskets or to serve as a ledge for electronics.”
What are some nice-to-haves if you are fortunate to have a large space for a mudroom?
A built-in utility sink for soaking clothes or cutting flowers, countertop frontage, closet for out-of-season items, bank of windows for natural light, or even a dog-washing station are all useful aspects of a working mudroom. If you install the latter, Mann suggests adding a door to access the yard, as well as a feeding station and sleeping area.
What items or brands do you recommend?
“We often use Elfa, Container Store, or The Home Edit,” Steele says. “For a more playful or whimsical-looking space, I love incorporating decorative hardware from Anthropologie, CB2, or other retailers. “The ginger pivoting robe hook is nice to use in a cubby application as it’s 3 hooks in 1,” Mann recommends. “Store hats, mittens, and masks in easy baskets like these from Wayfair, and similar products are easily found at World Market or Home Goods and don’t have to break the bank.”
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