August and back-to-school time almost feels like a second chance to start good habits (or drop bad ones!) and finally make good on that promise to get -- and stay! -- organized. In a busy household, there is no space better suited to helping us with that than a mudroom. Meant to be the transition from outdoor to indoor life, they hold shoes, bulky outerwear, backpacks, endless amounts of sports gear, pet accessories, and often overflow storage for pantry goods or small appliances. The jobs for a mudroom can seem endless but with careful assessment of your needs, we can create a space where everything has a home. Read on to see some favorites from our portfolio, plus storage and organization tips that are useful whether you have a dedicated room or just a landing zone and a few hooks on the wall.
If you need to store lots of loose items that won't fit in a bin or cannot be hung on a hook, the best option might be open cubbies. Each family member gets a dedicated spot with hooks for jackets and bags while lightweight but sturdy bins hold shoes below. Including a spot to sit down and remove shoes is a not-so-subtle hint that they should be taken off before heading further into the house.
In this space, we were inspired by the classic boot rooms of the English countryside and included brick floors laid in a herringbone which are both pretty and indestructible! The gray cabinetry feels consistent with the rest of the traditional home and the modern art adds a bit of color and fun.
This space is one of my all-time favorites (am I allowed to say that?!) thanks to the stunning architectural details. The coffered ceiling is the perfect medium wood tone and the arched doorway and oval window are almost too charming for a mudroom (don't worry, the rest of the house is filled with darling details, too). We went pretty classic with a slate floor tile laid in a herringbone pattern, and kept the storage behind closed doors so as not to distract from the lovely details.
I know it might seem silly to some to use such pretty details in a utilitarian space, but it think it is just the opposite! We create our homes for our families to live and thrive in, and even the most useful spots can be beautiful, too. Plus, a smaller space like a laundry or mudroom is a perfect place to take a design risk like a bold color palette, whimsical wallpaper, or a funky lighting selection.
Here's a peek at a project we just had photographed and I can't wait for you to see! This house is filled with deep, moody blues and greens, so we carried that palette into the combination mudroom-laundry space. The lockers wrap around the corner so we could preserve the light from the existing window, and the bright white walls keep the space from feeling too dark. The homeowner (who happens to be one of my best friends from college) wanted to include a desk so we built in a spot to keep everything they might need to run a busy household. Because a room like this has so many hard surfaces, we balanced it out with lots of texture with the desk chair, big baskets, and one of the most beautiful vintage rugs we have ever sourced.
We took in the underused third bay of a garage and converted it to mudroom and butler's pantry to gain much-needed organizational space for this busy family, without adding to the existing footprint of the home. Previously, they'd just had a row of hooks on a wall as a drop zone, so this custom white oak cabinetry was a big upgrade. The clients wanted to obscure as much as possible, but it's never a good idea to store stinky sports equipment behind closed doors, so we compromised and added a wire panel to the cabinet doors for ventilation. We chose wire baskets for the same reason, but this see-through option also makes it easy for the younger kids to find their spot. The graphic pattern on the cement tile is a whimsical touch, but will also camouflage dirt.
These clients favored a slightly preppy, decidedly beachy aesthetic, which we achieved in the mudroom with classic shelf brackets and brick flooring (clearly a favorite material in such a hard-working room) paired with big baskets and fun textiles. The space is tight, so we took the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Open cubbies on the bottom are ideal for pairs of shoes, and each family member got a labeled basket above for smaller items like hats and gloves. The closed cabinets at the top can store any number of items that need to be on hand but not easily accessed. We applied board-and-batten paneling between the hooks to bring some architectural detail, but on a practical note, it's more durable than sheetrock, and this area is definitely meant to take a beating and still look pretty.
ICYMI: More of our family-friendly design tips.