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In praise of the mud room


Published: 05/03/2013

by Kimberley Seldon

Recently, I was able to indulge my domestic fantasy of designing the perfect mud room when long-time clients asked me

to create a stylish and functional one for their family. With approximately 48 square feet to consider, I approached the design of the mud room in the same way you might approach the design of a kitchen – dividing it into efficient work zones.


Zone 1: Entrance and storage

An effective mud room frequently operates as a home’s main entrance, but it can also be a dumping ground for all the
stuff you don’t want visitors to see. When that happens, you have an inefficient eyesore instead of a well-functioning utility space.


Instead, dedicate space to deposit coats, jackets, shoes, boots and heavy school backpacks. If budget allows, design a
custom wall unit, perhaps with tongue and groove panelling, to define the main storage area. Built-in seating provides additional storage and a perch for changing into boots or shoes. Concealed hanging holds clothing that is used
occasionally, while open hooks (6-9 inches apart) provide easy access to frequently used items. For children, secure hooks about 36 inches above the floor; for adults increase the height of the hooks to 60 inches.


Choose slip-resistant and indestructible flooring, such as slate, honed tile, cork or vinyl, and include an area carpet
to grab mud and dirt before it gets into the house.


Zone 2: The workstation

If space allows, a built-in or free-standing desk acts as ‘command central’ to the busy head of the household.
A desk area is a perfect spot to corral the detritus of family life – birthday party invitations and social engagements, soccer games and dance lessons, and doctor appointments.


Provide storage for paper and pens and use hanging files for important documents. A fabric-covered bulletin board
introduces colour and style into the utilitarian space.


For a tiny mud room

A modest four feet of wall space can allow for a mud room where none exists. Provide compact storage for boots, hats,
gloves and backpacks when children are in residence. Seniors require a firm bench and crisp lighting to assist with changing shoes. Dog owners appreciate easy-to-clean surfaces and storage space for brushes and leashes.


If the mud room area is part of a larger space such as the kitchen, a change of flooring can indicate where the mudroom
begins and ends.  


Need a professional interior designer? Kimberley Seldon Design Group offers

consultations and full design-build services to meet your specific needs.


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