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Living Space: Give your mudroom a winter makeover

By Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency
LIFE HOME-FLOORPLAN 2 KC
CHRIS OBERHOLTZ - CHRIS OBERHOLTZ - MCT
Creating storage off the floor is a key way to keep the mudroom from becoming awash in shoes and boots.

It’s one of the hardest-working rooms in the house. The mudroom gets a lot of traffic but not a lot of respect. Why not give this workhorse space some TLC this winter and see how much more useful it becomes?

Add storage

Creating storage off the floor is a key way to keep the mudroom from becoming awash in shoes and boots. Because you need seating anyway, look for a bench with drawers or a cabinet on bun feet. Add a chaise chair cushion for comfort.

If you have small children, don’t overlook their height. Place hooks for coats and backpacks within reach and they’ll be more inclined to use them. Plus, you’ll get double the storage for coats, scarves and purses.

For even more storage, create a simple bench out of a flat piece of lumber and leave space underneath for shoes. Add a small piece of molding across the front at the bottom to frame it out and keep shoes corralled neatly so they don’t spill out into the room.

Bin there, done that

Small items tossed willy-nilly can quickly clutter up a mudroom. Add a bin where you can toss magazines and letters when you come in the door. Mount a second bin on the wall to hold caps, earmuffs, gloves and mittens.

Another option is to install some shelving above coat hooks, then add bins atop the shelves. Still another choice is to add bins on the vertical. A stacking row of shelves can easily hold baskets or bins so you can grab scarves, gloves and hats quickly and keep the items you use most often within easy reach.

Make it pretty

Just because it’s strictly utilitarian doesn’t mean your mudroom has to be ugly. Add some bead board wainscoting to the walls, an attractive pendant light and a colorful rug to catch dirt and slush before it gets tracked into the house. A big bold poster can liven up the space, and make sure there’s plenty of lighting so you can find what you need easily.

Despite your best efforts, if the mud room remains chaotic and unsightly, consider adding a sliding door to hide the mess.

Make it useful

A mudroom with a place for everything and everything in its place will help keep the whole family more organized. That’s why it’s important to think about the little things that will make your mud room really work. Make sure that in addition to places for coats and scarves, you also include spots to stash keys, sunglasses, umbrellas, baseball caps and other small gear. These simple touches can mean the difference between getting out the door fast and facing the day unprepared.

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