Make your mudroom marvelous
January 26, 2017
As a gateway into your home, the mudroom is used for dumping outside layers, thawing out and settling in. This dedicated entrance space helps sort and settle the coming and going of family members, guests and pets.
"Having a functional mudroom is critical in the High Country, and a worthy investment," said Tracey Egolf, founder of Egolf Interiors, Inc., out of Breckenridge. "Our extreme weather results in an abundance of snow, slush, mud, grit and dust that is tracked into the home if not deposited in a mudroom."
Without this room, coming in for landing can create a disaster zone strewn with clothing, footwear and equipment all the time.
Heidi Jarski, co-owner of Mountain Comfort furnishings and design store in Frisco, said that mudrooms can be an extension of your personal style.
"Adding art, wall covering, indoor-outdoor area rugs or some accent paint can add some pop and style to this incredibly useful room," she said.
Keep your mudroom theme consistent with the same style as the rest of your home for a more unified look, Jarski added, and include some accents or greenery to make it as lively as any other room in your home.
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A mudroom needs three essential pieces: a coat rack, a bench and somewhere to keep those wet shoes. Beyond these staples, storage options and decorative elements can make for a more tidy and inviting space.
"Even youngsters can handle hanging jackets up," said Egolf, "and this helps reduce mess and gets clothing up off the floor so it can dry out."
Separate zones in the mudroom can coincide with appropriate function. Jarski said wall hooks, coat racks and cubby spaces help separate the gear, and incorporating a rubber containment mat for boots and shoes helps to keep puddles confined.
"Depending on your space limitations, some mudrooms contain individual lockers to keep each person's gear organized," she said. "We've even seen these individual lockers have their own boot dryers and USB power sources for all the devices."
Karen Wray, design coordinator for Mountain Log Homes & Interiors based in Frisco, said to have enough storage for the small stuff — think gloves, hats, helmets, scarves, etc. This is where cubbies, storage baskets or shelves come in handy.
A lower price option is a baker's rack or stainless steel restaurant shelving, with 'S' hooks and inexpensive baskets set on the shelves, shared Egolf.
"There are many pre-fab options out there that will help organize the chaos of the mudroom," she said. "Just get creative and check out the storage aisles at a nearby big-box store."
Pay attention to small details in the layout of the space, like where you put your hooks.
"Ideally, don't have hooks over a bench so wet coats don't drip on the seat," Wray said.
If it's possible to have a floor sink for washing off muddy paws and boots nearby, Egolf said that is an advantage.
And as much as you love it, all your gear does not need to come inside with you.
"Skis are best left in the garage if that's an option," Wray said. "We also conserve space by putting the laundry together with the mudroom so wet clothing can go right in the dryer, and dirty muddy boots can get cleaned straight away."
The floor in a mudroom needs to be moisture- and muck-friendly, so choose durable surfaces. Wood can scratch and soak up moisture.
"Also, using those rubber shoe trays under a bench can make clean up a breeze, versus mopping," said Wray.
Jarski said the most common floor material they see in mudrooms is tile.
"Because of its versatility and strength, tile makes for a great material in the mudroom area," she said. "You can add some pop of color with patterned concrete tiles, or the ever-popular ceramic reclaimed wood plank look."
Mountain Comfort recently worked on a project using pebble epoxy flooring that Jarski said integrates into a beautiful wood flooring.
Egolf said her favorite flooring options are stained concrete and porcelain tile because they have a lot of options for designs and are easy to clean.
"The heavy texture of natural stone, such as slate, can be more difficult to clean," she shared. "Look for a good non-slip texture. I always add an inexpensive indoor-outdoor area rug outside of the entry and inside to help remove the worst of the slush and muck before tracking it inside."
Also, encourage everyone to slip off their shoes to come into your cozy home by leaving a basket of slippers in the space.
This article previously appeared in Summit County Home magazine.
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