Design Lesson

Design lesson: Organizing the mud room

Design lesson: Organizing the mud room Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson

Design lesson: Organizing the mud room

About this time every year, when summer is fading and the cooler weather looms, I begin to lament the lack of a proper mud room in my own home. Recently, I was able to indulge my domestic fantasy when long-time clients asked me to create a stylish and functional mud room for their family. With approximately 48 square feet to consider, I approached the design of their mud room in the same way one might approach the design of a kitchen -- by dividing it into efficient work zones. Think about these zones to get the most out of your space.

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, not a well-functioning utility area. Instead, dedicate space to deposit coats, jackets, shoes, boots and heavy school backpacks, as we did here.

• A custom wall unit with tongue-and-groove panelling defines the storage space and provides a place to keep clothing that's only used occasionally.

• Hooks (spaced six to nine inches apart) allow easy access to frequently needed items. For children, secure them about 36 inches above the floor; for adults, about 60 inches.

• Built-in seating provides additional storage and a perch for changing into boots or shoes.

• Slate, honed tile, cork or vinyl flooring is slip resistant and indestructible. And don't forget an area carpet to grab mud or dirt before it gets into the house. This compact workstation is an extension of the mud room, situated a couple of steps higher than the entrance. It revolves around a built-in desk that acts as "command central" to a busy mother of two.


Image courtesy of Ted Yarwood.

 

Zone 2: Workstation

This compact workstation is an extension of the mud room, situated a couple of steps higher than the entrance. It revolves around a built-in desk that acts as "command central" to a busy mother of two.

• The small window lets in light and offers a place for daydreaming -- or for pestering Mom when she's on the phone. A three-inch box cushion in a lively plaid is accented with green-and-white toile and check fabrics on the cushions.

• A fabric-covered bulletin board is an efficient way to corral the detritus of family life -- birthday party invitations, soccer and dance lesson schedules, and doctor's appointments. This one underscores the green-and-cream colour scheme inspired by the adjacent garden.

• There's storage for paper and pens, and hanging file drawers for important documents.


Image courtesy of Ted Yarwood.
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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Organizing the mud room