How to Create a Functional Mudroom

Do you have a good Mudroom?

A poor or nonexistent mudroom seem to be a matter of frustration for many of the new clients I meet with. They come home from the stresses of the day, with the thoughts of relaxation, but instead they feel edgy because of the disorganization that greets them.

Functional Mudroom

A well designed mudroom with a place for everything is a helpful buffer zone which allows an orderly exit and reentry.

How do you begin?
Start the process by thinking about each of these areas:

What gets dumped by the door: boots, coats, backpacks, sporting gear, keys, phones, mail?

Which items can be organized as a grouping and which items should be organized by family members? If you need more structure, build in large cubbies with hooks and shelves for each member of the family to keep things straight.

What type of storage will it need for each item? Will you need built-in cubbies and bins? Or will a simple shelf and a row of pegs over a bench with boot storage below work?

How much space will you need? If space or budget is a problem a chest of drawers or trunk for mittens and hats, with a small bench and storage hooks, is a simple and inexpensive option. However, if you have many coats, this option can quickly become disorganized.

Functional Mudroom

 What areas in the home are possibilities? This can be the biggest challenge, if there is not a designated space for a mudroom.A furniture-grade storage unit mounted alongside stairs turns a front foyer into a mini mudroom. Add cabinet doors and you can hide your mudroom anywhere, front or back hall, basement, or even an enclosed porch.

Consider access to garage and outdoors: A useful mudroom design is one that makes it the “collection point” for several entries into the house. If possible having two doors, one to an attached garage and one that leads directly outdoors are advantageous since it’s more efficient.

Mudrooms Must-Haves

Functional Mudroom
Mudroom designed by Jennifer Jelinek
  1. Open hooks for airing out damp outerwear (be sure to get super sturdy wall hooks)
  2. Shelves with Metal bins, fabric-lined baskets, and/or color-coded boxes for corralling accessories
  3. Closed Cabinets for rarely used items, like binoculars
  4. Stable seating for pulling footwear on and off and to provide a safe toehold for reaching upper cabinets
  5. Resilient surfaces that dirt can’t hurt

Mudroom designs can be customized any way you choose–whatever works best for you.

Often you need to bring in professionals to help you design the perfect mudroom. If you are looking at re-configuring the space by moving walls, you may need a designer or contractor referral, if not a great closet company like The Closet Factory is a fabulous choice.

A Client Story: Mudroom to Solve all of Their Woes

Two frustrated clients presented Polly, from The Denver Closet Factory with several storage issues for a home that had reached its maximum storage capacity.

  • Hall closets were overcrowded
  • The Master closet was packed tight with clothes and shoes
  • The laundry room had very limited space.
The homeowners wanted:

to create custom-built mudroom organization for extra storage because, as they put it, “Our house has a 2 ¼ car garage and because we don’t own ¼ of a car, I think we should capture that useless tandem space and turn it into a mudroom!”

Functional Mudroom
It was up to Closet Factory designer Polly Lestikow to design an attractive but functional space that would solve all the client’s storage issues.  A new, insulated mudroom with textured walls, sealed floors and a new door into the garage was soon added to their home.
Functional Mudroom
Closed shelving and drawers were installed in the mudroom for brooms, mops and cleaning supplies, which maximized and increased the useable space in the laundry room. Open shelving was installed with white wicker baskets to serve as place to store miscellaneous items in an attractive and organized manner. A small workbench with tool storage was also installed, replacing the falling apart, years-old inherited workbench. Polly even created space for a small beverage refrigerator, which freed up valuable real estate in the kitchen refrigerator.
Functional Mudroom
In the mudroom design, Polly designed custom-built storage areas in light-grey melamine with long bar handles to store extra coats and shoes as well as bins for hats, gloves, and scarves, thus freeing space in the hall and master closets. Closed shelving and drawers were installed in the mudroom for brooms, mops and cleaning supplies, which maximized and increased the useable space in the laundry room.

Ultimately, the clients were thrilled with Polly’s mudroom ideas and her design addressed all of the client’s needs. Polly worked closely with them to create an organized space that sends them off to productive days with a smile and welcomes them home to peace and tranquility with open arms. The clients were so pleased that they told Polly, “We love the mudroom so much that our next project will be beautifying the master closet!”

See more great mudroom ideas in their gallery or during your free design consultation 


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