Mudrooms & Message Centers
"The triumph of anything is a matter of organization." -Kurt Vonnegut
The Mudroom has become one of the most important spaces in the home, next to the kitchen of course! With today’s busy lifestyles, people are always on the go, even in secondary vacation homes. Mudrooms offer family members a place to dress for the outdoors, store daily-use items like backpacks, purses, wallets, keys, cell phones, brief cases and pet supplies. It also can double as a laundry room, craft or hobby room, or even a small in-home office nook.
The first thing to consider in the Mudroom is storage. Busy families should incorporate lockers or a specific place for each resident to have their own belongings. Drawers below or cabinets above the lockers can hold items such as hats, mittens and scarves. You may also incorporate a walk-in coat closet that keeps outdoor apparel organized and hidden. This also becomes a huge time saver when hurrying off to work or school, or when you head outside for play. When conjoined with your laundry space, make sure to reserve space for built-in cabinets to store clothes and a folding center. This will help to hide the clutter and mess that can occur in a laundry room.
A mudroom should feel inviting but also functional and organized. This can be achieved in the finishes you choose – flooring, wall treatments, lighting, cabinetry and décor will all add to the overall design and look of the room. Even though this is a “working space,” doesn’t mean it has to look that way.
Since this room can serve as a multi- functional and busy space, ensure it still feels balanced and relates to the rest of the home. Select finishes that will hide traffic/dirt but incorporate a fun rug or unique hooks, a handcrafted natural-edge bench, bold light fixture(s), unique storage baskets or bins, or a statement piece of art.
Be sure to make this space your own. Do you have kids and/or pets? Incorporate built-in wall frames, photo ledges or a framed bulletin board that allows for new family photos or homemade artwork to be changed out regularly. Besides utilitarian lighting, add a fixture that speaks to you, makes a statement, and makes this feel like a secondary foyer. For most families, this space is just as important (if not more) than the main foyer. Really want to amp it up? In colder climates, add built-in areas for heated boot dryers, mitten warmers, etc. In warmer temps, leave room for extra towels, walking shoes or bug repellent. You can also incorporate a built-in kennel next to the back door for your pet!
Many people also incorporate an art/homework/hobby space in the mudroom for both themselves and the kids. Do you sew or do scrapbooking? Do your kids love to do art projects? Do you need a space to store wrapping paper? Set up a table and implement designated storage space for all necessary supplies to keep things clean and organized amidst all the fun!
Message Centers are also incorporated in many of our Mudrooms. In today’s modern age, we possess many keys, bags and electronic devices with no place to stow them. Designing a specific space in the mudroom for these items is essential to daily organization. First, think about what you own and how you use it, and what you anticipate your family’s needs to be in the future. Electronic placement is crucial, so plan ahead and always add a few more outlets than you think you may need. You can even hide outlets in or under cabinets or in drawers. You can add storage for your keys; keep a drawer for your briefcase, purse, laptop and/or iPad; add built-in slots or designate a drawer or basket for incoming and outgoing mail; conceal a paper shredder or trash can; implement a cork and/or dry-erase board. The sky is the limit here, so really think through your needs and be creative.
A mudroom is full of endless possibilities. Try to plan the most organized and functional space and you will be sure it’s one of the most used and valued spaces of your home.