Sunday, February 6, 2011

Essential Elements of a Mudroom

mud~room: (noun) a vestibule or other area in a house, in which wet and muddy clothes or footwear are removed.

What is a mudroom exactly? The name literally says it all. It's an entryway into your home where you can leave muddy boots and shoes, wet raincoats, snow-covered winter gear and the like without tracking it through the living areas of your house.

But oh - it can be so much more.

To me, a mudroom represents civility, organization, and sanity. A bit much? Perhaps.  But for some reason, I long for one.  Let's look at the essential elements of the ideal mudroom:

1. Low-Maintenance Floors.  Since Mother's Nature's elements will be tracked through the mudroom on the regular, an easy-to-clean floor is a must. I love the idea of using cork, which is a waterproof material (and looks chic as well).

2. A Sturdy Coat Rack or Hooks.  I don't know about you, but we never have enough storage space for coats and other assorted weather gear.  

image credit: Quail Hollow Studios

image credit: Design Sponge

3. Shoe Shelving.  Ah shoes. A favorite subject of mine.  This also means that I have many a pair. Between a growing family of 5 and the DC area weather, we have an endless array of winter boots, rain boots, slippers, sandals, water shoes, and tennis shoes.  I try to keep the collection of shoes on the hallway mat pared down, but inevitably we end up with an unruly pile of footwear. Something like this would be fantastic:

image credit: Williams-Sonoma

4. General Storage.  Umbrellas, hats, mittens, backpacks, dog leashes, market totes - you name it, it needs a place to "sleep" (as my Dad would say).  Options for functional, smart-looking storage are endless.

5. Seating.  A place to sit while you tie your shoes/take off your shoes/put on your booths is a nice touch.  A space-saving choice is to select seating that also provides storage (i.e. a storage bench).

image credit: Ohdeedoh

And there you have it.  The 5 essential elements to making your mudroom as practical and comfortable as you need it to be.  Are there any other elements that are essential to the perfect mudroom?

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