30+ Fantastic Mudroom Ideas with Storage Lockers & Benches
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For homes that do not have a front entryway, or one that opens into a carpeted area, a mudroom can be a timesaver.
Is a Mudroom important?
If you have kids, a mudroom is awesome. We have one and love it. Our previous home did not have one, which was okay because it was a large entry hall, but we only had one very young child then. Now we have 2 active kids and the mudroom is great to have. FYI, we live in an area with long, wet winters so we must have all kinds of outdoor wear for our kids and the best place for stashing it all is in the mudroom.
What if you don’t have kids at home?
Obviously, it’s less important and it really depends then on your front entry design. If you have a closet in the front entry area, a mudroom isn’t necessary. However, you probably won’t bemoan having a mudroom even if you don’t have kids at home.
Pros and Cons
- Keeps your foyer clean and welcoming for guests;
- Great storage for outdoor wear: coats, footwear, hats, bags, backpacks, etc.
- Dedicated space for getting ready for the outdoors;
- Often a convenient entry/exit point especially when off the garage;
- If well designed, can withstand outside elements such as water, dirt and snow;
- Added expense (more square footage means more cost);
- Another room to clean;
- If laundry room in the same space, it’s not the greatest location for clean clothes;
- Can be an expensive room if you go all out with custom cabinetry (but this can look fabulous);
- You may not actually use it and so it’s a waste. For example, if it’s off the garage and you don’t park in the garage, you may end up always entering/leaving the home via your main front entry.
- Back and Forth: If you use both front entry and mudroom, you may end up running back and forth retrieving items.
Mudrooms in the past were small if they existed at all. They were typically small nook rooms off the rear or side or garage door with a few hooks that then entered the home.
Not anymore. Like high functioning rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, mudroom sizes have grown considerably for good reason. They are a utility room that serves a helpful purpose.
It’s not uncommon to have mudrooms 100 to 300 square feet. Larger if they’re a combo mudroom/laundry room (which isn’t ideal by the way).
The fact is a well-designed mudroom needs to be fairly large. It needs storage, counterspace is great plus room for several people to get on their outdoor wear. It’s no fun trying two or more kids ready for the outdoors in a crammed space.
Moreover, you want sufficient storage for the loads of outdoor wear you accumulate, especially if you live in a place with rain/cold winters and you have kids. When you have variable weather and kids, you will accumulate a lot of outdoor wear and so you need a place to store it.
Also, you want space for shoes (many pairs) and backpacks and bags.
Finally, you want all this STUFF organized so each child can find it or you can find it without rummaging through a jumble of clothes.
I STRONGLY recommend investing in lockers, one for each member of the family. Our mudroom is long row of hooks with 2 benches and basically it’s a jumble of coats and hats. We would definitely benefit from a mudroom locker system.
The Mudroom Locker
The mudroom locker is a brilliant development for the home. I have no idea who invented the concept, but it’s no surprise it’s now a common feature in new and renovated homes.
The locker is a cubby. It doesn’t lock of course. It’s a row of cubbies, usually wood or manufactured wood, that provides each person in the family their own space for coats, backpacks, bags, hats, gloves and footwear. A well-designed locker includes a bench area as well.
TIP: You definitely want the locker to have the following:
- Large, strong hooks for multiple coats and backpacks
- Shoe storage below;
- A sitting bench; and
- Accessory storage… perhaps above.
The hooks should be accessible by kids which means placing them a bit lower than you would for adults.
Types of Mudrooms
There really aren’t many different types of mudrooms. The mudroom is a simple room; it’s an entry area or room off the secondary home entry such as via the garage, the side of the house or rear of the house.
It’s a utilitarian space; although many are beautifully designed as well.
What makes the mudroom is the storage features you include. That’s what it’s all about. I’d much prefer an ugly space with fabulous storage over a pretty mudroom with insufficient storage.
That said, there are mudrooms that are stand-alone mudrooms and then ones that are a hybrid mudroom and laundry room. If you’re in the enviable position of designing your home or a major renovation, I strongly recommend NOT including a laundry room in the mudroom.
The fact is, mudrooms are aptly named because they get dirty and wet. Laundry rooms are where you clean your clothes. The last thing you want is to produce your home’s clean clothes in a space that’s designed to get dirty.
So, if you can, put the laundry room elsewhere. I like laundry rooms nearby and on the same level as the bedrooms since that’s where dirty clothes are produced and it’s most proximate for returning clean clothes. As an aside, it’s mind-boggling to me that it was only in recent history that laundry rooms started being placed in the bedroom area of the home.
Mudroom Features to Consider
The Locker System: I already discussed this above. It’s a key feature. Check out storage lockers for mudrooms gallery here.
Sink: We have a sink in our mudroom (along with, unfortunately, the laundry room). Even without the laundry room in our mudroom, the sink is very handy to have for dealing with messes.
Shoe Storage: Most of us in today’s society have multiple pairs of footwear that we wear at any given time of the year. Shoe storage for each person is important. It helps keep the floor space clear. You definitely want to incorporate shoe storage in the mudroom.
Counter Space: There’s nothing so relieving as a strong, large surface area to dump bags when you enter the house. If you use the mudroom entrance most often ladened with bags and gear, it’s nice to have counter space to dump it all so you can comfortable remove outdoor wear. If you have the space and budget, add some counterspace to your mudroom.
Laundry hamper: If your laundry room is not in the mudroom, placing a hamper there can be handy so you have a place to deposit wet/dirty clothes immediately without having to tromp through the house with wet/dirty clothes.
The underneath cabinetry can serve as additional storage as well.
Bench: Even if you have lockers with small benches, an additional storage bench can be handy if you have the space. You simply cannot have too many sitting areas and storage areas in a mudroom.
Hooks, hooks and more hooks: Even if you have lockers, you may want to add more sturdy hooks throughout the space. You simply cannot have too many large, strong hooks that can safely hold heavy backpacks and several coats.
Best Flooring options for Mudrooms
The best floor for a mudroom is one that is designed to withstand water, mud and dirt. This includes vinyl and tile. Hence you’ll see many of the above mudroom designs use vinyl, linoleum or tile. Hardwood is okay, but if it gets soaked, you’ll want to wipe it up.
Seriously, don’t get too hung up on floor aesthetics; you want a floor that can withstand water, mud, snow and dirt especially if you have kids.
Colors and Style
You can have both a beautiful and highly functional mudroom. Just look at the amazing designs above. They’re gorgeous, yet functional.
You want the style to mimic your home’s style.
With respect to color, white with wood cabinetry is a popular design, but you can also jazz it up a bit with some color. It’s an informal space, often used extensively by kids, so there’s no reason to add some whimsy to the mudroom.
I Love Mudrooms
Our mudroom has problems, but its off the garage and we use it all the time. While it’s small, includes the laundry area and we don’t have those enviable lockers, it’s still a very handy space since we have young kids. It helps keep our foyer clean for sure and it’s a place we can store much of the outdoor wear for the current season.
=> Click here for 21 mudroom lockers (gallery)
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