In one home, Mr. Rill designed a mudroom/laundry room with spaces for baskets for clean laundry so that each family member could take their laundry upstairs themselves.
“I’ve designed additions for a lot of families who do equestrian activities, so they sometimes want a sink or a drain in the floor to wash off muddy boots,” Mr. Rill said. “Sometimes people want a sink, too, to use for gardening or crafts.”
One more use for the mudroom for some families is for “Costco storage,” a pantry area where bulk items can be kept.
“In one mudroom recently we built a pantry with counter space hidden behind pocket doors, almost like a minikitchen for storing bulk items and things like a food processor,” Mr. Rill said. “This keeps the kitchen more efficient and fancier, which people like when they use the kitchen for entertaining.”
All three designers recommend choosing materials for the mudroom that are durable and easy to clean yet attractive, such as stone or ceramic tile flooring or composite or laminate hardwood flooring.
“Painted wood walls work best because they are easier to clean than drywall,” Ms. Shaut said. “A lot of people also like the look of wainscoting, which is also easy to clean and resistant to dirt.”
Ms. Polgreen said color palettes in the mudroom usually are an extension of nearby rooms, but some homeowners choose to make this their room for playing with color.
“You can add an accent wall in a bright color or allow the kids to decorate their lockers themselves,” Ms. Polgreen said. “Another good option is chalkboard paint, so family members can write notes to each other, or even a stick-on chalkboard or white board that you can find at a craft store. Corkboard works well, too, if you want a place to pin up artwork and schedules.”
Ms. Shaut said a lot of families like to keep their mudroom white so it looks bright and clean, and then have the children personalize their cubbies or lockers with stickers and paint.
“You want a lot of light in the space, especially if the room doesn’t have a window for natural light, but you also need to be careful of hanging lighting because of the possibility of breakage from sports equipment,” Ms. Shaut said. “Recessed lighting or track lighting can work as long as the fixtures are not too big and the ceiling is high enough.”
Mr. Rill recommends using task lighting in several areas in the mudroom such as under cabinets and above the desk.
“Whatever you do, the mudroom is one place in the home where every inch should be designed for the maximum storage space,” Mr. Rill said.
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