Mudroom Perfection: No More Clutter By the Door

Learn how to put together a savvy mudroom that's hardworking and good-looking.
Alice Welsh Doyle

We spend a lot of time going in and out of our homes, so creating a functional and attractive transition space is well worth it. Before this mudroom addition, Kelly and Joe Armes's kitchen table and floor were always cluttered with backpacks and sporting equipment from their children, John and Annie. Now each family member has his or her own locker unit for drop-off and storage--one great idea in a space full of them. Follow Dallas designer Cindy Zelazny-Rodenhaver's tips to mudroom perfection.

Pick simple furnishings.
You don't need a lot of furniture in a high-traffic space. A sturdy bench to sit and take off your shoes and a small table to drop off keys or mail will do the job.

Choose hardworking flooring.
A mudroom floor sees a lot of action, so select a material that doesn't show dirt and is durable and easy to maintain. Try slate or inexpensive ceramic tile in darker shades. (Use a matching grout instead of traditional white or cream.)

Built-ins are key.
A wall of storage that can be closed off from view is ideal. Locker-style closets with drawers underneath keep any family organized. Cabinets above the lockers store less-used seasonal items.

Let in the light.
Glass panes in the back door make the room cheerful and bright and allow views out to the yard, or, for the Armeses, their pool. Because people will also be using the entrance at night, be sure to include recessed lights as well.

Select a clean-up spot.
If space permits, include a small bath. Kids (and pets) can shower after sports or outdoor activities, and adults can wash up after gardening. Include cabinets for more storage.

Sources:
Page 174-176: Interior design by Cindy Zelazny-Rodenhaver, Interiors, Ltd., Dallas, (214) 373-1031.

"Mudroom Perfection: No More Clutter By the Door" is from the October 2005 issue of Southern Living.