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Four Ways to Up the Style of Your Mudroom

While we all dream of a house with no clutter and no mess, the reality is, we all have stuff. The backpacks, shoes, coats, umbrellas, hats and totes have to go somewhere. But a well-planned and stylish mudroom can help us all to make that “drop” area of our home a bit more organized with more room and less mud. Here are four entryways that you’ll love coming home to.

Colorful Catch-all

This side-entrance mudroom had to seamlessly blend with the clients’ new kitchen and provide critical storage space for shoes, coats and bags. Malka Helft, founder and designer at full-service interior design firm Think Chic Interiors, designed two benches with storage underneath as well as a small coat closet to maximize storage. A textured porcelain tile floor hides dirt well, is easy to clean and prevents slipping when the family enters with wet shoes. Helft chose a vivid green paint that mirrored the surrounding trees to create a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces. “To add a touch of whimsy that matched the homeowner’s desired happy tone, we incorporated playful hot air balloon wallpaper by Schumacher, says Helft. “It’s crucial to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics.” She frequently chooses a stone or porcelain floor for entryways. For those who want to store hats, gloves and other things, she suggests a console with drawers or a statement chest. “We strive to find creative solutions that allow for organized storage of everyday essentials without sacrificing style,” adds Helft.

Antique Modern Entry

Nancy Davilman, principal designer at ND Interiors in Stamford, CT, knew she had to preserve the antique windows in this 100-year-old home when she designed a renovated kitchen and mudroom space for her clients. “We only had a little bit of space for the mudroom and needed to maximize every inch we had to work with,” she says. “Our goal for this project was to update and modernize each space while still respecting the fact that this is an antique home.” She chose a hexagon black tile to unite the mudroom and kitchen. “You need to have great flooring,” says Davilman. “It has to be able to withstand a lot of use and still look great and not look dirty every time someone walks on it.”

She framed the antique window with cubbies and a built-in counter and cabinet to provide the family with needed storage space. Storage is key, says Davilman. She always sits down with clients beforehand to find out what their individual needs are and builds storage to suit it. This cubby area has room for jackets and shoes, but also a seat. “It gives a spot to sit and put shoes on,” says Davilman. “I love to make a functional space look beautiful.”

Functional Farmhouse

The homeowners of this modern farmhouse have two young children and a spacious mudroom but the coat closet was difficult for the kids to access and there was no place to put anything down, like backpacks and winter gear. They also said the space lacked character and they wanted something that reflected their modern style. Erin Coren at Curated Nest in Greenwich, CT, designed this mudroom with neutrals and texture to give it a modern farmhouse feel. The black and white floors become the focal point in this mostly white space. Lockers and a built-in bench with batten board detail provide practical and beautiful storage options the whole family can reach. “We were inspired by a traditional Moroccan star pattern, which we incorporated into the porcelain tile on the floor,” says Coren. “Bringing a global pattern to the space offers an unexpected element, which came together beautifully with a textural rug and light fixture.”

Coren says particularly in cold-weather climates like the Northeast, tile is a great option for mudrooms because it withstands the elements, cleans up easily and can add a visual design element. “You know shoes will literally track in mud, dirt and snow, and floors need to be able to stand up to that,” says Coren. 

Creative Crossroad

Like most mudrooms, this space is a pass-through from the kitchen to the powder room and to the outside. “Mudrooms need to do double duty as one of the principal workhorse rooms of the house,” says Ryan Salvatore, principal designer at Burr Salvatore Architects in Darien, CT, and NYC. This space affords plenty of storage space. “Mudrooms are a great place to take risks with finishes and décor,” says Salvatore. “Yes, they absolutely need to be durable, but they don’t need to be staid. The mudroom is the inner sanctum, so why not have some fun with pattern, texture, or color?” This mudroom features two rows of mini lockers where everyone in the family can store their things. It ties seamlessly to the adjoining bath and kitchen with a herringbone floor and shiplap walls, giving it a fun and stylish camp vibe. “We really were just trying to eke out as much utility of the space as possible,” adds Salvatore. “The client did a masterful job of decorating it and introducing a bit of whimsy with the wall-mounted paper roll.” 

The key to a functional mudroom, says Salvatore is accessibility. “It needs to be easy to use,” he says. “If there are too many doors people throw their stuff on the floor. If the shoe storage is inaccessible, the stores will stay out in the aisles. It needs to be user friendly. Also, it should be warm and inviting as the introduction to the spaces that lie beyond.”

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