Mudroom Essentials

If you don’t already have a mudroom or an otherwise dedicated and well-equipped entrance area, then you know the pain of rain and snow; wet coats, muddy boots and bags galore, piling up, clogging your hallways and spilling into your living areas. On the flip side, having a well-organized mudroom is life changing, offering a place for everything coming in and out of the home. 

While this utilitarian space has very specific practical demands, the mudroom also has to make the right aesthetic impression as a main entry point into the home.

As a designer and mom to three small children, I know firsthand that a little forethought can go a long way to making your home equally functional and fabulous. Here are some of my favourite ways to turn this “transitional space” into a statement of style.

My clients’ ears always perk up at the mention of “custom.” Eyes glitter at the possibility of a room outfitted to meet their specific needs. For a catch-all like the mudroom, custom storage will go a long way to adding the function you need and the style you want.

A custom storage system truly maximizes every inch of space, and there are some innovative products to meet your every need. Think pull-out shoe racks, specialty drawers for keys and electronic devices, and adjustable shelves and rods that can change to meet your family’s evolving needs. Keep in mind that a custom storage system is the more expensive option, but, in my professional opinion, it’s worth the spend.

If you’re looking for a lower-budget option, there are some great modular storage products available at your big-box retailer that let you customize your system to meet your needs. These cabinets and shelves only come in standard sizes, but if you’re handy and have the tools (and patience), you can assemble and re-jig them to create your own custom storage area.

Whether you’re planning to go custom or off-the-shelf, consider your practical needs and those of your household. Do you have kids? Do they have sports equipment? Backpacks? What about pets? A good way to evaluate your needs is to look at your current system, which perhaps isn’t performing to its full potential, and determine what you’ll need to cull the clutter and make it work. This may include open or closed shelving, racks, hooks, baskets, or something entirely different.

Of course, style should also be a consideration. Take a cue from the rest of your home when determining the aesthetic direction of your mudroom. What is the prevailing style of your living areas and kitchen? Whether they’re modern, traditional or something in between, echo that vibe in your mudroom to create aesthetic continuity. Your mudroom should feel like it’s part of the living areas, not an afterthought. Consider colour, texture and the right lighting, and be sure to incorporate some accessories. Art, a mirror and a rug underfoot can add the character and visual interest that utilitarian areas of the home often lack, such as a mudroom, laundry area or basement.

Organization is the key to every well-functioning and aesthetically-pleasing home. It’s also the secret to a smooth day, despite how busy life often gets. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that home is so much more than just a place we retire to at the end of the day. It’s where we live, work and play; we gather with loved ones and sometimes relax and enjoy some alone time. “Home” is what you make it, and with some planning and a little professional help, it can be the best place in the whole world.

Kate Davidson is the founder and principal designer of Kate + Co Design. For more than a decade, the multidisciplinary interior design firm has been providing complete residential and commercial design services throughout North America. Kate + Co is known for creating luxurious livable interiors. | @katecodesigninc