Monday, May 18, 2009

Mud Rooms

The saying goes…April showers bring May flowers but in Nashville this year it is April and May showers coupled with thunderstorms which hopefully will bring June flowers!  It seems so many areas in the country are experiencing excessive rains and with the late snow in many areas, the mud season is still taking place. Therefore, I think a post on mud rooms is quite appropriate. 

Mud rooms serve as a rear or side entrance to a home usually used by the residents of the home, relatives and close friends. It is a room where the dirt and grime brought in from the outside world is welcome. The floors are water, stain, and slip resistant so “mud” will not harm them.

When designing your mud room, you must first identify how you will use your mud room. Will you want any of the following:

  • Storage area or locker for each member of your household. If so, will you be storing coats, gloves, hats, shoes, boots, briefcase, purse or other? The climate in which you live will dictate what you will be storing.
  • Storage area for sports equipment. If so, will you be storing tennis racquets, bike helmet, biking shoes, ski boots, baseball bats and balls, footballs, basketballs, snow skis, snow shoes, or other?
  • Storage for music instruments  Remember, I live in Nashville, so we cannot forget about guitars!
  • Golfing equipment
  • Hunting gear  Yes, Nashville does have hunters!
  • Fishing gear
  • Storage for horse riding equipment 
  • Gardening hats, gloves, clothing
  • Outgoing mail and outgoing item area
  • Dry cleaning area if you have home pick up and delivery
  • Laundry basket and dirty shoe basket
  • Keys
  • Charge your cell phone in the locker.
  • 5 gallon water dispenser so children do not have to come all the way into the house for a sip of water
  • Bathroom off the mud room
  • Recycle bins
  • Family message center
  • Dog bed area
  • Dog food/item storage   
  • Cat litter box
  • Cat playroom                                                             

To meet the aforementioned needs, which of the following items will you need and what kind of storage do you want to use:

  • Individual lockers or cabinets for each member of the household
  • Cubby holes for each member of the household.
  • Open shelves
  • Drawers
  • Coat hooks for each member of the household
  • Hooks for key, dog leashes
  • Blackboard, bulletin board or wall board for family messages
  • Chair or bench to sit in when removing shoes
  • Cabinet for dog food or cat food
  • Doggy door
  • Area for cat litter box
  • Room or area for cat to play
  • Umbrella stand or hooks
  • Cubby, drawer, or cabinet for beach towel and beach items
  • Bins for separating recyclable items

Another consideration is whether or not you would want a specialty room or closet off of the mud room designated for your hobby such as hunting, fishing, golfing, horse riding, dogs or dog training, cat playroom, or other equipment.

Below are tear sheet photos I have collected as well as photos I have scanned from a couple of books showing different sizes and shapes of mud rooms representing different budgets. Enjoy!



^Photo A The storage area in the mud room shown above is very functional. There are drawers, a bench, hooks for hanging various items and cubby holes with baskets. It looks like the bench is raised up off the floor so shoes might be able to be stored underneath. I would like to have seen one long open shelf instead of just using cubby holes for those extra long items.  The stone or tile floor used is durable although it appears to have white grout which I would avoid in a heavy traffic area as it will be hard to keep it white. I think double hooks instead of pegs would have been more functional and secure for hanging backpacks and other items.


^Photo B In the photo above, there are dividers betwee. n each area creating a locker type feel. Two rows for shoes is a great idea. No bench but you could sit on the shoes shelf or perhaps there is a chair nearby. Same issue as above, no extra long shelf only cubby holes. I do like having adjustable shelves.


^Photo C This one is very compact but very functional. Lockers that are on top of each other, lots of hooks for items, a drawer at the bottom with a wider shelf above.


^Photo D Instead of creating a closet at the end of this hall niche, there is an extra deep shelf, three oversized drawers, and cubby holes below that fit shoes two deep  and hooks for jackets above.  I would like to have seen an open shelf above the hooks. I would have added hooks on the side wall as well for more hanging space. Since the built-in is so deep, in the cubby holes below I would have added a pull out shelf so I could easily reach the shoes in the back.


^Photo E This storage area has lockers with doors.  Inside the locker is an upper shelf, a hanging bar to hang clothes, a shelf below the hanging bar and an area at the bottom for shoes. Appears to be a tile or stone floor in a diamond pattern which is durable.


^Photo F The focus of this mud room is the large window area. There appears to be storage under the long bench, locker doors with another cabinet door above. This person prefers all items to be out of sight. Looks like a slate floor which is durable and non-slick.


^Photo G  Some mud rooms are long and narrow such as this one.  There is a bench with hooks above it for hanging jackets. Open storage under the bench, and an open shelf above the bench. A niche for the dog bed with cabinets above. Note the durable and non-slick floor. There is a door just inside the exterior door. I wonder if it is a powder room or used for special items?


^Photo H These lockers and bench are raised from the floor allowing shoe storage below. There are three generous size shelves in the locker plus a hanging bar for coats and jackets.  Multiple hooks above the bench hold quite a few baseball caps.  The brick on the floor is a herringbone pattern and very durable and non-slick.



^Photo I Another long and narrow mud room. A nice set of windows above the built in cabinet.  There are wide drawers, cubby holes, and cabinet doors are below the counter. At the end of the counter is a bench.


^Photo J This mud room has an open area with many cubby holes. The wall to the right appears to be a bulletin board type wall with photos and messages. The left wall has hooks for hanging jackets and hats.  There is a narrow ledge below the jackets on the floor that will hold a few shoes. To me that ledge is not really functional. Since the shoes fit on it sideways, I am sure they fall off plus it will not hold very many pairs of shoes. I think I would have preferred to have doors on built-in with cubby holes.



^Photo K  In the photo above you have a bench with drawers below and hooks on which to hang items. I would like to see an open shelf above the hooks. The floor appears to be stone and will be durable. Note there is a hook for the umbrella.


^Photo L  Don’t you just love the look of the coat rack area in this mud room?It has been made to look like a piece of furniture. I love the horizontal boards painted green to match the walls, the large drawer under the bench, the handsome hooks that the jackets and hats are hanging on, the arch with shelf full of hats above. Another durable and non-slick floor. 



^Photo M  This mud room contains a built-in storage place with shelves, cubby holes, hooks, and a bench.  I cannot tell if the bench/shelf area is a light piece of wood or a piece of stone. There is a sink with faucet next to the storage cabinet. Obviously,  this was staged for a photograph as I cannot imagine someone having those bags under the bench positioned at an almost perfect angle.


^Photo N  This mud room is a practical low budget long narrow hallway with a wall shelf with peg hooks below. Shoes line up under the hanging clothes on the floor below.

Do you have a mud room? If so, please leave me a comment and tell me what you like most about your mud room or if you were adding a mud room, what would be important to you. 

Photos K, J used in this post are from Better Homes and Gardens 301 Stylish Storage Ideas book.  Photos B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, N are from Home Storage Idea Book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight.  Photos A, L, M sources are unknown. If you know the source, please contact me and I will add it or delete the photo.


bondgirl said...

Thank you for the great photos!

We are moving our horrid laundry/back hall (AKA room where everyone comes in past my dirty laundry) to the back of the house so we can have better traffic flow and enjoy the view. Seems like we're always saving the view for company and sticking our family areas in the dark.

I'd also put kitty litter box on the checklist. We're building in a spot for it in our new one.

Cote de Texas said...

I have always wanted one of these - a dedicated mud room and a laundry room - I have neither!!!! I feel sorry for myself sometimes!

kimmcl said...

Well as luck would have it, I JUST did a post on my Mudroom of my Dreams Remodel. If you get the chance - stop by my blog and see whatcha think! Take care! Kim

DesignTies said...

Our mud room is nowhere near as big or as well decorated as these ones that you posted!! But it functions well enough for us, which is the main thing :-) And maybe one day, hubby will finish installing the cabinets he started working on two years ago ;-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Anonymous said...

I do not have a mudroom and despeartly would like one since my husband and I have multiple hobbies...I like the idea for spaces for tennis rackets, balls, hats, shoes, keys, dog bed, dog food bin area, various papers/mail, a calendar would be nice. Also, a space for all that "hunting" equipment would be great too!!
Also, as a previous commenter posted to have a spot for a cat litter box that is out of site, but the cat knows about. Currently ours is in a closet which we always keep the door cracked to.
I would prefer though for the washer/dryer to be in a separte area - closer to my bedroom...
Love the blog - great ideas to think about - Joslyn

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Susan, wish I had a mudroom, those are so neat!

Thanks for stopping by my thrifty chandy post. I have had a ball finding those out there.

Michelle Zuniga said...

I love mud rooms! I wish I had one-they are such a needed space for a family! Thanks for visiting my blog! Look forward to hearing from you soon!
Take Care!

Zuniga Interiors

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

Not having a cat, I totally forgot about litter boxes for the mud room and possibly a room for cats to climb on things and swat hanging items. A friend of mine has what appears to be a jungle gym for her cats to play on. For my cat lover friends...please forgive me! I will edit my post and add the cat items!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I don't have a mud room but need one! This will be a great post to reference. Thanks!

J.Covington*Design said...

Mud season... has a nice ring to it! Well, i like it and I think mud rooms are one of the finest features a home can have. I mean, they are equivalent to having an extra large walk in closest as the offical changing station for the world... a great buffer zone and catch all place.

Greast post and images Susan. Also, you should get something in the mail any day now.

Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS said...

This is a fabulous post. You always excel with practical info and perfect images. Bravo, well done and stay dry!

Joanie @ The Bright Side said...

Oh, I love this post. I have always had a thing for a well organized mud room. Unfortunately, at this point I would have to sacrifice my laundry room to have one. And I think I might regret that decision! The next house, right? Hey, I just had an idea. I could knock out the wall between my foyer closet and the laundry room to expand the space for a laundry/mud room. Hmmm....thanks for the inspiration!

Sell House Fast said...

I love the idea of a mud room. It is ideal for people with kids. Thanks for the inspiration on what can be achieved.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Susan....You are SUCH a wealth of great information!!

I am sooo longing for some locker type thingies in our laundry room!!

Adrienne Palmer said...

Hi Susan! Just wanted to let you know Susan and I read your book and we LOVE it! We did a review at -- check it out when you get a chance!

Anonymous said...

I have a side entrance with small mudroom closet on one side and 1/2 bath on other side. I have a rug upon entering. The problem is we are always get our socks wet while getting to our shoes during the rain and winter. Any suggestions

espionaje said...

I always have the idea that the room tells a lot about a person's character and therefore he/she should be really careful in opting for a good one!~ This post just gave me the right ideas.