Mud rooms. Just the name conjures up images of dirt, rain soaked clothes and shoes, muddy boots, melting snow and the worst that weather can throw at you.
But your mud room doesn’t have to look like it has been hit by a tornado. With a little creative decorating and organizing, your mud room can become a welcoming haven when you and your family come in the door. These tips and suggestions will turn the messiest room in your house to one you won’t want to hide from guests.
From the Ground Up
When cleaning your house, the best way to make your work easier is to start at the top and work your way down so the very last step is vacuuming the room. When decorating or redecorating, however, you want to work from the floor up so as your room takes on a personality, you can ensure all aspects of the space coordinate.
The paint you will choose will be the final step (even though the painting itself doesn’t have to be) and will be a color that complements the flooring, furniture and window treatments.
What’s Under Your Feet
When choosing flooring for a mud room remodel, you want it to be durable and able to withstand a lot of traffic and water. You don’t want flooring that will get stained from melting snow or a carpeted floor that will hold moisture and possibly create mildew or mold issues.
Hardwood and tile are the obvious choices. Tile may be the easiest to clean, but if you might have sports equipment, such as baseball bats or hockey sticks, that could fall and crack the tile, you might want to consider hardwood. You’ll also want to make sure whatever you choose will coordinate with any other flooring that connects to it by a doorway or hallway.
If you do want long-lasting, water-resistant tile, but love the look of wood, consider a wood look tile. There are also many “green” options for flooring, including sustainable wood (bamboo), cork flooring, reclaimed wood, recycled rubber and many other options. Regardless of which option you choose for flooring, be sure to seal it well so any water or dirt doesn’t stain it or the grout.
Have a Seat
You’ve done it. Balanced on one foot while trying to put a boot on, or take one off, and if you didn’t fall that time, there have been others where you have. One of the worst things to explain to the doctors at the emergency room is how you managed to a) break your tailbone or b) break your wrist trying to catch yourself from falling.
Make it easier on yourself and your family by putting in comfortable seating so everyone can sit down when putting on or taking off boots and shoes.
Seating in a mud room can be as simple as a bench that doubles as a storage area, or something built in and cushioned. You may also choose to put in open lockers with hooks for coats as well as baskets and drawers for seasonal clothing.
Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function?
While a mud room is a great place to sit down and put on or take off boots and shoes, it is also a one-stop room for catching the worst of the outdoors before it makes its way throughout the rest of the house. For that reason, many have been built just off the laundry room or near a half or three-quarters bathroom. When re-decorating your mud room, consider its proximity to a laundry room or bathroom and tie the two of them together in coordinated colors.
Okay, be honest now. Who in your family gets the dirtiest? Do they perhaps have four legs? While the true inventor of mud rooms remains a mystery, there is a high probability that they had a dog. Or three. Don’t forget your own Fido when redecorating your mud room, even if all you do is add a feeding station.
Tying It All Together
You’ve picked your flooring — you’ve decided on hardwood, but now you aren’t sure what color to paint the walls to tie it all together. Fortunately, you have some options since paint can be mixed to match any color in the rainbow and then some. Here are a couple suggestions that might make it easier.
Dark flooring can make a room look smaller and cozier, and it may even show less dirt. You will want to consider the natural and artificial lighting in your mud room, though, to ensure the room doesn’t seem overly dark.
Especially with dark flooring, you don’t want the walls to be very dark, too. Otherwise, the room will feel like a cave. Gray is a good neutral color that can have several undertones, and it will be easy to bring in other accent colors such as silvers, greens, blues and shades of pink.
Crown molding is another option for adding pizazz to your space. It can make a room feel elegant and can be painted in a complementary or contrasting color to the walls. You might also consider painting the ceiling a shade lighter than the walls.
No matter what flooring, furniture or wall color you choose, don’t let a small room limit your imagination. Your mud room doesn’t have to be … well, muddy. It can be a functional and stylish space to clean up.