Here’s what I love… mudrooms that do the work

Planning for a fabulous functional mudroom?  It’s an old adage but a true one :: form always follows function

So the first step is to decide how many duties you need this room to carry. Does the area double as a laundry room?  Does it act as a circulation hub and have access to other rooms like the powder room, a pantry or the basement stairs?

These days with cell phones, laptops, and music players, families need a centralized area for charging electronics.  Determine if there is space for a ‘drop zone’, where the keys, mail, purses and briefcases settle after a long workday.

Some families choose to place the organization hub in the mudroom as well. Calendars, school newsletter, mail organization can all happen here.

And we can’t forget our furry family members.  Is this where pet supplies and accessories will be kept?  Is there room for a dog bed? The kitty potty?

Most importantly you must be realistic.  Trying to stuff too many tasks into a small space decreases efficiency and you are better off finding an alternate spot in the house to keep the hockey bags, roller blades and out of season outer wear.

The addition of open lockers with hooks for coats has long been a trend, with this easy and casual storage method viewed as a way to encourage children to look after their own things.  The theory of ‘easy access’ is meant to reduce the excuses and therefore increase the compliance.  In theory.

Covering all bases, the addition of closed storage for those less beautiful ‘accoutrements’ that we all need (sunscreen, shoe polish, the rag to wipe the dog’s feet) is important as well: this can be kept behind a doored cabinet, in a drawer, or in coordinating baskets.

Use the vertical space to store out of season, or less frequently used items.  Upper cubbies that may have baskets, or left open to accommodate awkward items maximize square footage in what is generally a modest size space.  Shoe storage is best in combination. A mix of open storage at floor level, and storage in cabinets can generally meet most storage needs.

You can’t find it if you can’t see it.  Ensure the space has enough light, and in the right places.  Hopefully you have a window that affords some natural light, but if not, strategic light placement is even more important.

Seating is always an essential element.  Where else are you supposed to settle while you slip on your stilettos?  Sometimes a bench can be built in, or if space is minimal a small ottoman or bench that also adds a decorative touch can be added.  Careful though.  These have the potential to become an unwanted ‘drop zone’.

Once all the storage needs are met, then its time for the pretty. Smooth and sleek or rustic and timeworn, continue the aesthetic from the rest of your home.

Select durable finishes, active colours, and have a little fun personalizing the space. Add whimsy through family photos, hanging your framed kid’s artwork, or referencing family nicknames when identifying dedicated spaces.  Add a mirror, a fabulous floor mat and you’re set to go.

…Or come home.

the ‘landing pad’

a sweet seat, closed and open storage