This time of year, the weather can run amuck, so let’s talk about the one room of the house designed to fair such unruly climate shifts: The Mudroom. Most homes in Los Angeles, (where I live), are sans this little nook dedicated to kicking off muddy rain boots and thawing out winter jackets, which is a shame because I am oddly obsessed with mudrooms. Well, chicly designed mudrooms, that is. These secondary entries have gotten a bad wrap as in the past, they were usually clad in cheap leftover materials from the laundry room or basement–think lackluster linoleum and beige Formica. Seems that the mentality has been mudrooms are a completely utlitarian part of the house so why should they look cute? So wrong! These spaces are usually off the garage, have direct access to the exterior and are right off a kitchen. In other words, in plain sight. Doesn’t it deserve some love and attention?
I am all for function in this area, but it can also be a stylish moment that upon disrobing from the outside world, makes you smile. After all, it is the first part of your home you are going to walk into. If you are lucky enough to have your very own mudroom, I am insanely jealous, and if you don’t, you can still pull together a bench or chair, some decorative hooks, a cool umbrella stand, and a durable graphic rug to create an East Coast version of your very own!
Here are some must haves for a well designed (and great looking) mudroom.
The main purpose of this space is to take off your shoes so as not to track mud and gunk through the house. (Wow, I sound like my mother.) A built-in bench seat with a cushion and shoe storage below is ideal, but if that is too custom for you, find a vintage windsor bench or a carved chair. Splurge on having a seat cushion made for it in outdoor fabric so it’s more durable.
This is an obvious one, but a crucial key to an organized mudroom is hooks. Double hooks to hang your slicker and scarf on are even better. Install big ones and install a lot.
Again, I love a good area rug! They belong in every single room and space of your house in my opinion, especially the mudroom. The trick here is to get a durable indoor/outdoor rug. The rug will keep you from slipping across your floors when it rains. Just make sure you have a rug pad underneath, and since it is made for the outdoors, it is super easy to clean.
I know some of you are reeling from the suggestion of installing paneling, “How can you be serious? That is so 70′s den!” Not when you use beadboard as wainscotting on your mudroom walls. Get a tongue and groove beadboard, or even just planks painted with a semi-gloss finish, and your walls will be so thankful. And it cleans up so easily! It doesn’t have to look stuffy or uptight–a lot of modern-style mudrooms use simple wide planks and look stunning. Run it full height or to about 54″, install your hooks directly on to it and your drywall will no longer be tarnished with water drips.
Install shelving or a stand alone wardrobe to stash your gloves, hats, bags, bicycle helmets, ( or whatever), to keep a neat and organized space. Throw shoes on the bottom shelf to get them out of the way, have a few baskets for the smaller items and your pathway from the garage to your home is easily de-cluttered.
And for more fantastic mudroom inspirations, check out my Pinterest board.
 Wisteria Kilim Bench  Dash and Albert Beckham Stripe Denim Rug  Jonathan Adler Lacquer Umbrella Stand  Home Depot Beadboard Panel  West Elm Whitewashed Wood & Metal Shelves  Restoration Hardware Mason Hook  West Elm Braided Console Basket
This month, Move LifeStyle is exploring the good and bad sides of life’s downpours. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you’ve gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton