Entryways and mudrooms are very important areas of the home. They need to be super functional, durable, and beautiful enough to welcome you home at the end of a long day. If you’re about to embark on a mudroom renovation like the one we’ve been working on, here are a few things to keep in mind!
I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say that I’m pretty much a mudroom renovation expert at this point. We have several different hard working entryways into this house and we’ve done fairly big renovations to two of them in the past 9 months. I love a pretty entryway as much as the next person (and I definitely think “pretty” is important), but what’s really interested me about this whole process is how much I’ve learned about what really works and what doesn’t.
I wrote a post a few months ago after we finished our back hall mudroom renovation and I let you know all about what I had learned about the features that were really truly useful to us, and the ones that were just kinda duds. This mudroom is off our master bedroom and leads out to the back deck, so it’s used a little differently than a main entryway most of the time, but with our most recent mudroom renovation underway, it actually became the main mudroom for awhile. It was great to see all those new cubbies and storage features really getting tested out!
I thought it would be fun to update you on my thoughts about mudrooms now that we’re working on our big main mudroom area. I applied a lot of what I learned with the back hall mudroom when I was deciding how I wanted this room to function, and then I learned even more! Life’s like that. 🙂
Mudroom Renovation Tip: Horizontal Surfaces Are Best For Families
If you have kids and a lot of backpacks, sports gear, shopping bags, and tiny tractors (anyone else? Just me? OK.) coming in to your house on a daily basis, then designing in as many long, low, horizontal surfaces as possible into your space will be a game changer. Unlike a little bench, you want these horizontal surfaces to be as big as possible and run the whole length of the room if you can make it happen.
These big horizontal surfaces are amazing for sitting on, putting things down on when your arms are full, and for staging things that you’ll be needing the next time you leave the house. If your horizontal surfaces are long enough, you’ll have space for all of these things to happen at the same time without having to be constantly moving things out of the way or temporarily storing things on the floor. It’s just pure practicality. 🙂
We were thrilled to team up with KraftMaid Cabinetry again for this mud room project. You may remember that we worked together with them on the vanity in our master bathroom a few years ago. Not only is that vanity stunningly beautiful, but it’s also been so incredibly functional for keeping all of our stuff organized in the bathroom, and it’s held up perfectly through the last few years of kids and pets bumping around in there. We knew that we would need something incredibly durable for this mudroom, so we didn’t think twice about working with KraftMaid again!
We went for KraftMaid’s super durable painted finish in a color called Greyloft for all the different components of our mudroom cabinetry including the tops for the horizontal surfaces because we know first hand just how durable this finish is. We’ll definitely have some pets sitting up here looking out the windows along with all of the other uses I mentioned earlier, so we want to make sure our mudroom will still look great years from now.
Mudroom Renovation Tip: Closed Storage is Great for Public Areas
We love the cubbies that we built for boots in our back hall mudroom area, and we considered using low cubbies again in this mudroom. We realized though, that everyone who comes into our home will probably be entering in through this mudroom, so we wanted it to look a little more put-together and a little less informal than the back hall mudroom. It’s true that we were pleasantly surprised by how tidy the cubbies in the back hall actually stayed, but you can’t really beat the beauty of a whole row of these beautiful drawers for making a great first impression!
I love the beautiful maple interior of these KraftMaid drawers too. It makes a difference. 🙂
One important note about closed storage: When you put things away in drawers or behind cupboard doors, you tend to get into a bit of an “out of sight, out of mind” situation, so it does take a little more discipline to keep things tidy in there. It’s an amazing luxury to be able to hide all of your clutter completely though, especially in a mudroom where so many odds and ends are kept, so it’s worth the extra little bit of effort to make it work.
Mudroom Renovation Tip: Don’t Overlook Tables and Counter-Like Surfaces
I’ll admit that I often think of tables in entryways as being kind of a luxury. I often think of them as being mostly for decor purposes, but the truth is that they’re actually super useful. Tables (and areas like the slightly higher counter-like spot that we have here) are the place where you’ll put down your keys, your sunglasses, your phone, and all those smaller things that you take with you on a daily basis. It might seem unnecessary to have a spot just for these little items because you could put them down on your lower horizontal surfaces, or just keep them in your pocket. Let’s face it though, that’s how things get lost, broken, or sat on. Planning out just a small area for these smaller things is just good, smart design and really will go a long way to making the space more functional. We worked with our KraftMaid designer to come up with a design that incorporated these different levels of surfaces seamlessly in a way that really worked for the room and for how the room will be used.
Are you as excited to see how this room is going to come together as I am? I can already tell that it’s turning out to be a beautiful space, but I can’t wait to get all of our stuff moved in here and start really using it! We’ve had our little bench and hook area in one corner of the kitchen for about 7 years now and while it’s worked pretty well, it’s definitely getting a little more cramped in there each year as the kids get older and their stuff gets bigger! It’s going to be so nice to spread out in this room now with this super long wall of hooks that wraps around such a large part of the room.
These cabinets from KrafMaid are in a color called “Greyloft” which I absolutely love. Actually, it’s the exact same color that we used for the bathroom vanity and I’ve gotten so many compliments on it both in person and through the magic of the internet, so I just couldn’t resist using it again. It seems like everyone who sees a photo of that bathroom stops to send me an email and ask “What is the name of that color on the cabinets?!”
We went with a slightly less fancy door style this time around, just because it’s a mud room and we wanted it to be a tiny bit more casual and we went with this beautiful dark bronze hardware instead of the polished chrome. The hardware is actually available through KraftMaid as well and it’s called Fordham. The door style we used is called Lincoln.
Hope you enjoyed seeing how things are coming along in the mudroom renovation! I’m really looking forward to sharing how this room turns out once all the details and trim are finished and we’re all moved in!
Thanks so much to KraftMaid for providing the beautiful cabinetry for this project!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.