Most people appreciate the simple yet important functionality of a mudroom. A graceful transition zone between outdoors and inside, a mudroom provides storage for shoes, hats, boots, coats, etc., while preventing mud from being tracked indoors. It’s a bit of a Wine Country feature—a beautiful, practical room combining the rustic outdoors lifestyle we love here with great Napa-inspired design. To be functional, however, a mudroom needs to be both adaptable and hardy, while still maintaining an aesthetic standard that matches the rest of your home. Create a practical yet fun mudroom with these tips from Annadel Builders Inc.

  • Establishing function – The first step to creating a mudroom you’ll love is determining the purposes you want it to serve. Traditionally, mudrooms serve as a second entryway to the home where dirty shoes and clothing can be discarded without tracking mud inside the house. At the very least, you’ll [rpnanly expect your mudroom to fill this capacity. However, the function of your mudroom need not be limited to a glorified laundry bin. Instead, consider the aesthetic and practical purposes you’d like to see this space fill, then design a plan that incorporates them. For instance, let’s say you’re lacking easy, accessible storage for your gym equipment. You’d like to be able to tuck your gym bag out of sight while at home, but in someplace where you can easily grab it on the go. Or, maybe you’d like to work in your Sonoma garden without then tracking mud throughout the house. A sturdy storage area for garden accessories could be a welcome addition. To meet this function, your mudroom design should incorporate spacious storage containers, drawers, or baskets that are easily accessible and at least somewhat discreet. Starting with this type of basic functionality in mind, although simplistic, prevents the hassle of having to reverse engineer everything. 
  • Flooring – Here’s an area where you definitely want to keep the function of the room in mind! Choose durable, easy-to-maintain surfaces. Popular options include slate, porcelain tiles, or sturdy hardwood. Definitely avoid carpeting, matte finishes, or anything prone to being slick. Although we don’t get much snow in Marin and Napa, we get plenty of rain! Make sure to include a good-sized mat to protect the floor from muddy shoes.
  • Storage – If you have the space, you can’t go wrong with extra storage. Start with a list of all the things you’d like to have storage for and work through the list from highest to lowest priority. For hanging jackets, scarves, car keys, etc., install wall hooks, and for muddy boots install built-in cubbies or tuck heavy-duty plastic trays underneath a bench. A good mudroom can utilize very limited space and manage to incorporate wall-hooks, a built-in bench with cubbies, overhead baskets, and more for maximum storage capacity. 
  • Seating – Seating is another important feature that you’ll want to consider including. You can get fancy, with built-in benches or lockers, or keep it simple, with a re-salvaged garage sale chair or bench, but the basic purpose remains the same: a comfortable place to sit while putting on or removing shoes. A simple yet impactful luxury, seating is a good idea to include if you can manage.
  • Message board – A fun idea is to include a message board in your mudroom design. You could easily create a magnet board using magnetic paint, or a chalkboard with chalkboard paint. Brighten a loved one’s day with a quick note, use it as a life-size calendar, or create a difficult-to-ignore to-do list.
  • Walls – Here’s an area where you can incorporate a bit of aesthetic taste into functionality. Have a little fun with the design. Choose bright paint or wallpaper to spruce up a small space; for example, cheerful yellow walls contrasted with a dark hued door.