Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Mudroom Revival

 Mudroom: noun

 ~ a small area where people leave their dirty or wet clothing and shoes when they enter a house

As she entered her house through the side door from the garage, she carefully removed her face mask, placing it on the console table.  Having rolled the gloves off her hands - the left then the right - she turned and tossed them into the wastebasket under the table.  Turning, she sat down on the cool, smooth wood of the bench, leaning back against the wall and let out a great sigh. Now for my shoes, she thought. It had been an extremely long day. 

As we continue to manoeuvre through our new normal – the result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – entering our homes has now become a process for so many of us.  Hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves, shoes.  Are you thinking about the entryway into your home any differently?  We definitely are!

Having a space when you enter and exit your home, to transition into and from the outdoors, can provide the ideal drop zone – think masks, shoes, backpacks, or a place to keep that pump bottle of sanitizer so you can rub some on before leaving. Mudroom spaces have grown in popularity in the last few years, and COVID may be just what the trend needed to boost it into a must-have for the home. Mudrooms are designed to help to keep your home organized and clean, with racks for shoes, hooks for jackets, a place for your keys and now, storage for masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, mudrooms can keep the rest of the house looking decluttered and orderly. If you’re envisioning your own home and realizing that you don’t have a designated room to dedicate to all things “mudroom-ish”, don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips for organizing today’s chaos in any space.  

What do you need?  

The next time you leave to go out or come home after running errands, try to make some mental notes.  

  • Are you looking for a mirror to make that final check? 
  • Are you looking for the time?  
  • Are you looking for a place to drop your keys? 
  • Are you looking for someplace to put your shoes? 
  • Do you need to sanitize immediately or dispose of your PPE upon re-entry to your home? 

These mental notes will help direct you towards any furniture or accessories that you may need. For example, a mirror or a clock.  Or perhaps a console table with drawers and a set of hooks hung above it with a shoe tray and garbage can beneath it.

Just because you don’t have an actual mudroom doesn't mean that you can't have a practical space.  A shelf with a basket or two and a space for your bottle of hand sanitizer, a couple of hooks on the wall, and a small bench, so you can sit down and take your shoes off, will do the trick.  And if you have children at home, soon you will be back to keeping track of all their activities and where they need to be when. If you have a dedicated mudroom space, this is a great place to add a corkboard, chalkboard, or wall calendar to keep track of your family’s comings and goings.

Helpful tip – create a “leaving the house checklist” to display here to ensure that you never leave home without your handy sanitizer, mask, and of course, your phone and keys.

Mudroom options are endless but it’s important to ensure that they meet your needs.  In general, there are two key overarching accomplishments for this space.

1. Easy to maintain

2. Functional


Let’s talk easy to maintain

Durable tiles or luxury vinyl are a couple of examples of very practical flooring choices for this space as they can handle the high traffic, dirt, mud, and potential moisture (think rainwater or snow) easily with a quick sweep or mop. Add a durable floor mat to help trap dirt as it comes through the door for a practically indestructible floor that can withstand whatever your family throws at it.

Now for the function

Storage is king in a mudroom space

  • Hooks for a purse, reusable shopping bags, an umbrella or your keys. If there are kids in the house, hang some hooks at a kid-friendly height to make it easier for them to hang up their own things. 
  • A mat and/or boot tray to place your shoes (for a busy house, the bigger the mat the better for accommodating everyone as they come and go).
  • Shelves for a box of reusable masks or a lantern with a flameless candle to add a nice glow.
  • A “dropping zone” is always great in a mudroom, whether it be a bowl or basket, this is a great place to store miscellaneous items that you need to keep handy as you enter and exit the house
  • Add bins or baskets to create personalized storage for each family member. And don’t forget your furry friend - you can keep his/her leash hung up and toys in a basket as well!

Seating

No mudroom space is really complete without a bench
or some sort of seating for removing your shoes after a long day. Select something that fits the space well, from an extra dining to chair to a full-size bench, you want to be sure to select something that will not impede the overall flow or block doorways. For some additional storage (especially in the colder months) consider a bench with a flip-up seat or built-in shelves for shoes and baskets. 

And finally, let’s talk about style.

Just because your mudroom space is practical and durable doesn’t mean that it can’t do double-duty and also be an attractive part of your home! Keeping the design style consistent with the rest of your home creates both continuity and flow. Personalize with a few photographs or a piece of art and add a splash of colour through some plants or other d├ęcor to make your mudroom feel a bit more inviting.  

None of us can predict how things will change when we get through the COVID-19 pandemic but we are certain that we will all still be looking for ways to create more organized, efficient and practical ways to both work and live in the spaces that we have.