DESIGN THE PERFECT MUDROOM
Do you love mudrooms? I do. It's amazing how much you can store in a space 6 feet wide by 16 inches deep!
I'm going to show you how to design the perfect mudroom. The basics don't change but the variations are endless, which makes it so much fun to design them.
Don't overlook the benefits of adding electricity to your mudroom wall - plugs can be used to charge phones and tablets, and lighting can highlight displayed artwork or just make sure you grab the right coat!
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The elements of a MUDROOM:
I believe seating is essential for a useful mudroom. It is just so much easier to put on and take off shoes and boots when seated. It's also a welcoming gesture for your guests, especially if you want them to remove muddy or snowy boots, or just dirty shoes, when they enter your house.
- Typical bench height is 17"-19".
- Bench depth is 16"-21".
- Pillows and a slanted back add comfort.
Note: If you do ask guests to remove their shoes, be sure to have a variety of sizes of slippers available for them near the entry.
Raising the floor under the bench by a few inches will help keep any shoes stored there cleaner. It also looks more 'finished'. You can always use a boot tray as an alternative.
This is the main function of the mudroom, am I right? The key is to understand what you will store in this area and design accordingly. Is it for kids backpacks, long coats, or a hat collection?
These decisions all influence hook placement. Longer items will need higher hooks, whereas if you want young kids to be able to help themselves the hooks must be lower.
Cubby size and shelf height also depends on what is going to be kept in them. If you want to store tall boots you will need more clearance than for shoes or sandals. If you will be using storage baskets you may want to find a basket that fits before building your cubbies or shelves.
- Shelves and hooks are the basics.
- Separate into cubbies so each family member can have their own space.
- Add doors and drawers for a neater look.
- Real metal lockers can add a bit of whimsey to your design.
Another important decision - do you want your storage hidden? Doors and drawers add expense and difficulty to the project but can be well worth it if you want your mudroom to look neat and clean all the time.
A mudroom needs durable materials. Porcelain or stone tile floors are ideal (with radiant heating if you live in a cold area), although solid hardwood or LVP (luxury vinyl plank) are also fine choices.
The wall should have something stronger than satin paint on it. This can be beadboard, shiplap, another wainscotting, or wallpaper. If you choose not to use one of these materials, do use glossy paint - it's easier to clean than satin, eggshell, or matte.
Shiplap - Originally used as exterior cladding on outbuildings, more recently made synonomous with the Farmhouse look by Joanna Gaines . Real shiplap is strong, flexible, nearly watertight, expensive, and not at all necessary when used indoors. Just rip some plywood into 6" or 8" widths and attach to the wall with a nickel spacer between the boards.
Wainscoting- Available in raised panel, flat panel (Board and Batten), and beadboard. Originally used in actual farmhouses, it now gives a traditional look to homes. Beadboard gives a slightly more country feel.
Reclaimed Wood - This gives a rustic, barn-like feel to your project. You can use old fence boards, distressed palettes, or even buy an easy peel-and-stick option!
Wallpaper - Wallpaper is a great choice for an area with high traffic, such as an entryway, mudroom, or laundry room. It also works well in powder rooms where the small space can take a bold pattern.
The irony, of course, is that the durability of wallpaper often outlasts the popularity of it's style.
Choose your wallpaper carefully and be sure you really love it. You can always go with a textural paper in a neutral color. There is no need to make a bold statement with wallpaper, just as white subway tile is a fine backsplash and real hardwood floors are always a good choice. Classic has lasting power.
MAKE IT YOURS
Personalize your mudroom and you will love using it even more! Here are 3 styles for some inspiration. Mix it up to design the perfect mudroom for you.
Keep it fresh and fun
Coastal or Nautical Style is all about keeping things light and bright. Think whitewashed, bleached wood, woven seagrass or rattan, reflective glass and shiny chrome or nickel finishes. Any shade of blue or aqua works, and rope details are perfect.
Stripes, especially in blue and white, work because they remind us of the famous French sailor tops. Red and yellow accents are also great, as these primary colors are often used in marine flags.
Go for texture over color
Scandi or Scandinavian Style is ALSO all about keeping things light and bright - but with an emphasis on natural materials. Think green plants, rough wood with a light finish, and anything woven. Adding black accents keeps things grounded. Paint colors should be light and cool. You can add a bit of color with very pale pastels.
It's all in the details
Traditional style is all about custom, bespoke details. You can get away with using a wide range of colors and patterns as long as you have the best materials and the finest craftsmanship. Think layering - add height changes, extra molding, and little details like piping at the edges of cushions.
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