The Makings of a Mudroom

Wednesday January 20, 2016 - 1:01 pm

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The mudroom. Such a plain old, dirty name of a room, but, done right, it's a space that can transform chaos into organized bliss. Mudrooms come in every size — from small entries with a few strategic hooks to large, dedicated rooms complete with lockers, laundry and pantry storage. But they share a common goal: to organize, centralize, simplify and declutter.
Here are a few tips and tricks to create a functional and practical mudroom or entryway for your home.

Planning is job 1
Determine the details of your project before getting your hammer out. The more thought and consideration you put into the plan, the happier you will be with the outcome, says designer Michelle Major of Foxglove Design Inc. Here are some questions to get you thinking about the specifics of how you want to use your mudroom or entranceway and what you need to make it work for you.


WHO…
… will be using this space? Adults, children or both? Your pets?

WHAT…
… will you be storing in your mudroom? Coats? Shoes? Backpacks? Cleaning supplies? Sports equipment? Pantry items? Ironing board?  
… challenges do these items present? Children can't reach high shelves. Tall boots don't fit on small shelves. Hockey sticks and pads are bulky. Keys, phones and other small stuff are easily lost.
… is the budget?

WHERE…
… is the laundry going to be? Can it go somewhere else in the home? Can it be stacked or moved to a closet to save space? Where will you store supplies, and sort and fold your laundry?
… will you stash everyday items like mail, keys, coats and hand bags?
… will you sit to put on your shoes?
… will your family calendar and daily reminders go? In the mudroom or elsewhere in the home?


HOW…
… will you organize your stuff? Built-in cabinets and closets or hooks? Shelves, cubbies and drawers? Lockers or a repurposed dresser? Benches and baskets?
... will you add a little fun to this otherwise functional space? Colourful area rugs? Framed kids' art or family pictures? A chalk or bulletin board for reminders and friendly messages?


Take some advice from the experts

Contractors Darren Wright and Jay Moore of Do It Wright Renos, offer practical suggestions for this practical space:

1. Pick durable finishes. The mudroom is a high-traffic area and has to stand up to snow, rain, dirt, mud and      
    familiies.
2. Use a washable and durable paint so surfaces can be cleaned easily. Stay away from ultra-light colours that will   
    show fingerprints and dirt.
3. Go with porcelain tile on the floor; unlike hardwood, will hold up against sand, salt and scratches.
4. Real wood cabinetry will hold up better to wear and tear than laminate or plastic and can always be repainted if
    needed. If water is a concern, mount cabinets on the wall, off the floor.


Mudroom #1
This large mudroom with its recently added entrance offers practical storage solutions for a family of five—individual cubbies, large drawers and a deep closet for cleaning appliances and hockey bags.

Contractor/design:
Do It Wright Renos

Mudroom #2

Contemporary built-in cabinets keep this mudroom neat and clean. A modern stainless steel sink and countertop make this a functional space for doing laundry.

Design:
Spruce Street Projects
Contractor: Penryn Construction
Cabinets: Home Hardware, Aurora