Ah, the mudroom — that place where salt-crusted boots and field trip permission slips live together in harmony. It’s the perfect design solution for corralling outerwear and sports equipment you don’t want to see strewn throughout the house. “Mudrooms are making a huge comeback, everybody wants to have them in their home,” says Dvira Ovadia, principal designer of Dvira Interiors in a recent interview with BuzzTV. “It’s important to have a designated zone where you and your kids can get dressed or hang up your belongings.” Here, she shares her top seven tips on designing a mudroom that’s stylish, yet organized.
1. Opt for a linear layout.
“I like to make my mudrooms linear — seven feet wide and 15 feet long is an ideal size,” explains Ovadia. “This way, you can have banks of 24-inch-deep cabinets on either side and a walkway in between, plus a bench for putting your shoes on.” If that footprint isn’t an option, she suggests installing cabinets on just one side. “It doesn’t take much space to carve out a mudroom. You can create lots of storage with shelves, cabinetry and hooks,” she says.
2. Diversify your storage.
“Cabinets are key because you want to have a space where you can conceal your belongings behind closed doors. For most of us, our mudrooms aren’t neat and tidy all the time,” notes Ovadia. “However, you also want to have open areas where you can easily reach for your coat and put it on.” Accessories like flip-down hooks, file organizers and baskets will help control clutter and save your sanity.
3. Choose durable materials.
“Flooring is super important in a mudroom,” says Ovadia. “If you’re trekking into that space from the outdoors, you want to make sure your flooring is durable.” She recommends using a through-body porcelain tile or slate tile flooring. “You want to avoid light colors because you’re going to be coming in with mud and dirt on your shoes. It’s best to choose tones that are a little bit darker, or patterns that are able to conceal the dirt.”
4. Take advantage of vertical space.
“Whether you’re doing everything custom or you’re shopping at a big-box store for cabinetry, you should really think about height,” says Ovadia. “You want to maximize height even though you might not access it every day.” Store out-of-season clothing on upper shelves and switch it out once the temperature changes. “A mudroom isn’t just for clothes, it’s also for sports equipment,” she adds. “You can use tall cabinets to store hockey sticks, helmets, tennis racquets, baseball gloves…using height is a great way to keep it all organized.”
5. Make it multi-purpose.
“At Dvira Interiors, we’ve designed some fun mudrooms recently. The last one we did was a mudroom with a pet shower,” says Ovadia. “We carved out a little niche for the shower — you want that space to be at least three feet by three feet.” A mudroom can also double as a craft room, home office, secondary pantry or gift wrapping station. “A lot of people, especially if you live in a builder-grade home, have a laundry room that is right outside the garage, and that’s an area you could convert into a laundry room-slash-mudroom,” she suggests.
6. Work with what you have.
“In a condo or apartment, what you really have to ask yourself is, ‘What do I need as soon as I walk through the door?’ It’s important to have a little console table or a wall-mounted shelf where you can drop your keys and mail, and some hooks for hanging up your coat or hat,” says Ovadia. Adding a few special touches, such as an umbrella stand or a funny welcome mat, goes a long way toward making a small space polished and practical.
7. Create a welcoming atmosphere.
Interior design by Dvira Interiors, photo by James Bombales
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that sentiment certainly applies to mudrooms. The entrance of your home should reflect your sense of style and make visitors feel welcome. “In my own mudroom I added some Farrow & Ball wallpaper in the Bumble Bee pattern,” says Ovadia. “The rest of our house is pretty modern, so this was kind of my only opportunity to create a sense of whimsy. It just makes you smile when you walk in!”