Mudroom Blues

Our kids are nicely seated back at their desks at school, the leaves are turning from green to gold and Canadian families go back inside to escape the chill that has returned to the air. There is no better time to consider the anarchy of the mudroom: shoes continually piled in disarray, coats strewn about, backpacks blocking doorways and various sports gear causing neck-breaking tripping hazards. Although mudrooms provide only a brief transition between outside and in, they are very busy places in any family. Illogically, most mudrooms are of tiny configuration, forgotten, messy and disorganized spaces, (that are nonetheless capable of causing embarrassment if the door is accidentally left ajar when a guest walks by on the way to the carefully cleaned powder room!)

Plan a mudroom well and you will be glad, maybe even delighted, to leave the door wide open. Whether you are a family of 2 small children with parents or a family of one child, three dogs, and 2 avid mountain climbers, it is important to plan storage for all members of the family and to utilize every square inch of this usually small space. Bring storage cabinets full height to the ceiling where off-season items can be stored out of the way. Closed storage such as drawers and cabinets with doors are great for hiding the many items the mudroom cultivates, such as hats, gloves, pucks or baseballs. Open and accessible storage is a must if you want things hung up or put away by returning school children and busy adults alike. The easier the access, the more likely it will be put in place. Hang coat hooks at two heights: one for children and one for adults. Shoe cubes hidden in the bottom of a closet rarely get used; instead, use horizontal shelves that are immediately within reach of the entry door and fit any shoe size.

Think about the views into your mudroom from the interior spaces. Keep the shoe shelves out of the view of the wandering guest while keeping them handy for incoming family members. Give individual cubbies or drawers to each family member. This way items are not mixed up and more easily found by the teen running out the door to lessons or practices. In some cases, depending on space, you may even be able to plan for specialized storage such as a sports locker or a puppy station. The average mudroom does not have to be average! Although you must think about using finishes that are hardwearing, you can bring a little whimsy or style to a mudroom of any size. Add message boards, an invigorating colour on the walls or even a barn door on the entry in the hall. A mudroom can become fully functional, tidy, and yes, even stylish, if carefully planned. If in doubt, call a designer for expert advice!

Lara Hontzias Interior Design


Despite the small size of this mudroom, it is well thought out and uses every inch of storage possible!

C/O HGTV on Pinterest

Fun and practical storage idea. Get those backpacks off the floor!

C/O The on Pinterest

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