The mudroom is the gateway between the outside elements and the inside of your home. It’s the best place to corral wet and muddy items, and it can prevent you and your family from tracking in dirt and rainwater. Whether your home has a traditional mudroom or just a designated area inside the door, these 10 elements will help you get the most out of this space.
1. A Boot Tray
A boot tray is essential to any mudroom. It’s where you store muddy boots, wet umbrellas and dirty shoes as soon as you come in the door. Boot trays are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, but for a unique dash of style, try making your own with river rocks.
2. Multifunctional Seating
In addition to being decorative, seating adds functionality to your entryway. No matter how big your space is, chances are the doorway is a bottleneck. A small chair or bench encourages kids to move away from the door to put their shoes on. And if you need to make the most out of a small space inside your front door, a storage bench serves as a great place to stash shoes or out-of-season items. Choose a style that works for your entryway’s size and aesthetic; you can use just about anything from a reclaimed church pew to a park bench.
3. Heavy-Duty Hooks
Hooks offer a fast, convenient way to stash away coats, hats and bags as soon as you walk in. Hang hooks at different levels to accommodate items of various lengths. If you have children, you can also encourage them to be responsible for their things with hooks they can reach.
4. Wall-Mounted Storage
Vertical storage is critical for small spaces, so add shelves and cabinets for a storage solution that won’t crowd your floor. Rotate out-of-season items onto the highest shelves to make the current season’s things most accessible as you rush out the door.
5. Storage Containers
Use baskets, bins, boxes or even cubbies to wrangle smaller items — such as hats, mittens, sports equipment and shoes — then store them out of the way. If you’re displaying the baskets on open shelves, choose styles that add a splash of color or texture to the room.
6. A Message Board
Message boards are a busy family’s lifeline, so plan for one! Having a spot where you can leave and receive reminders, notes and phone numbers is an easy way to keep everyone on track. A decorative chalkboard adds a stylish yet functional flair to your mudroom.
7. A Mail Station
According to the EPA, more than four million tons of junk mail are produced annually. Chances are, you have junk mail piling up somewhere in your house. Keep the clutter to a minimum by providing a place to sort and store your mail before it even gets inside. A wall-mounted mail sorter lets you organize mail by type, while a recycling bin underneath makes it easy to purge the junk right away.
8. A Mirror
A mirror is a fantastic statement piece that pulls the room together — plus, it gives you a chance to give yourself a once-over before you head out the door. Funky frames and fun shapes elevate a standard mirror and give your room a lot of style.
9. A Wall Clock
While you can always check the time on your phone (or your watch), a large wall clock is a great way to keep the whole family (especially the kids) on track. And if you’re running late, you can quickly and easily glance at the time. Find a clock that matches your mudroom’s style for a decorative touch.
10. Tile Flooring
Finally, water can damage wood floors, and mud can stain carpet. The last thing you should be worried about is tracking mud and water into your mudroom — after all, that’s really what the mudroom is for. Instead, opt for tile floors that can withstand the elements. If your door opens up into a living area, tiling a small section around the door can also help you create a visual distinction between the entryway and the rest of the room.
A mudroom is a must-have in any home, so start planning! If your house doesn’t have a dedicated mudroom, then it’s worth the time to clear some space around the interior doorway. It’ll go a long way to keeping your family organized and the inside of your home spick-and-span.
Serena Miller is an Atlanta real estate agent for Owners.com, where the process of buying and selling your home is made simple. When she’s not working tirelessly for her clients, Serena tries new restaurants and travels with her two adult daughters. She also takes care of her home by tackling home improvement projects like tiling and painting.