The 7 Elements of a Perfect Mudroom

Unlike a front entry, seen by all and used by guests, the mudroom is usually a home's secondary entrance. It's one of those rooms that many older homes don't have, and many of us pine for. It's a hardworking space — even the tiniest of mudrooms is helpful for keeping the house clean and organized and the family efficient. Here are some inspiring spaces that showcase the elements of an efficient mudroom.

1. Hooks & Racks: Coats, hats, scarves, umbrellas, they all need somewhere to hang. If you don't have a mudroom and want to start small, you could simply add a row of hooks. You could even do multiple rows to maximize your wall space.

2. Bench: Next on the the mudroom checklist would be a bench. When coming home, the first thing you want to do before entering the rest of your house is sit down and take off your shoes. Make your bench do double-duty by putting a boot tray underneath, or using a bench with a flip-up seat for extra concealed storage.

3. Cubbies or Lockers: The ultimate mudroom feature is a set of open cubbies or lockers. Have one for each member of your family so everyone has their own designated storage space. Provide low storage for shoes, hooks for coats, and high storage for seasonal items.

4. Closet: Even though a mudroom is sort of like one giant closet, providing a designated closet in the room is great for out-of-season wares, sports equipment, utility storage, cleaning supplies, and miscellaneous items you want out of sight.

5. Laundry Machines: Laundry rooms these days are often moving out of the basement and into other more useful areas of the home. The mudroom is one such place — it makes sense to quickly and easily throw dirty clothes and linens directly into the wash without dirtying up the rest of the house.

6. Sink: A utility sink is useful for gardening, cleaning up paint and crafts, or quick washing of clothes. You could even install an oversized sink for hosing off pets.

7. A Tile Floor: Durable and easy to clean, tile is the most sensible flooring option for a mudroom. Bonus points for radiant heat below to make cold days a little warmer.

(Images: 1. Muse Interiors, 2. JS Brown & Co./HGTV, 3. Crystal Kitchen, 4. Rock Paper Hammer, 5. Our Fifth House, 6. Jennifer Worts Design, Inc., 7. Anne Hepfer)

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Rachel is an Chicago-based architect and LEED Accredited Professional. When she's not designing homes, she enjoys spending her free time traveling, gardening, and playing with her french bulldog.

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