Guest Picks: Make the Family Mudroom Work
A place to sit and put on/take off shoes is essential in a mudroom. The wood and steel materials in this industrial bench would hold up well for adults and kids alike. I'd use baskets or add a board along the bottom for extra storage space.
Use magnetic boards to keep track of greeting cards, family photos, fabric and paint swatches, memorabilia and other inspiring items.
In the ideal mudroom, each family member has his or her own hook for keeping outerwear and bags off the floor. A double hook gives each person twice the hanging capability. Keep only everyday items in plain view, and store unused or out-of-season accessories in a closet.
Add funky vintage letters to designate each wall hook for specific family members. This way, everyone knows where their stuff goes.
Add color with accessories like this midcentury modern umbrella holder. Shh, don't tell anyone it's really a trash can!
Add a floor mirror to the mudroom for quick once-overs before heading out the door. The natural wood lends a warm touch while the reflective mirror goes a long way in making smaller mudrooms appear larger. I'd hang a dry-erase marker from the mirror to jot down reminders and encouraging messages to my hubby and kids.
A dark gray porcelain floor tile would ground the mudroom and withstand all that a busy family would throw its way. Go for large tiles with medium to dark grout and small grout lines to make cleaning a cinch.
I choose indoor/outdoor rugs for mudrooms. They're durable, easy to clean and have a low profile that doesn't impede the frequent opening and closing of doors. With a patterned rug, dirt and debris are less visible. I like the chevron print of this one to bring in some pattern.
Stay on time with a quirky wall clock. Hang it near the door in clear view.
What about covering one small wall with cork tiles? It could act as a message center, inspiration board and sound buffer against tiled floors.
Have fun with the details! Buy or DIY creative pushpins to display kids' art on the cork wall.
Not only does the mudroom itself need to stand up to all that a family can throw at it, but the lighting must be durable too. My advice is to consider outdoor lighting for a mudroom. Fixtures that have a protective frame around the light bulb are a good idea just in case rough play or runaway balls make their way inside.
To corral loose items like gloves, sunglasses, newspapers, magazines and sports equipment, I'd incorporate one or more of these felt baskets. Sit them on the floor or a bench for easy access.
Don't forget the pillows! I prefer outdoor pillow covers in the mudroom — just throw them in the wash when needed. Switch them out with the seasons for a whole new look at an easy price.
Mix and match prints and colors for a one-of-a-kind look.
Here's one more great outdoor pillow option — just because I love pillows.
For ingoing and outgoing mail, I like this modern envelope-esque letter sorter. It does double duty as a key rack, so no one is searching for misplaced keys on busy mornings.
When snow and rain hit, add a rubber boot tray to the mudroom to keep dirty shoes from tracking mud and water throughout the house.
Give each school-aged child their own basket to keep homework, journals, library books and teacher communications organized. Hang them near their personal hooks for optimum usage.