Looking at mudroom ideas and planning a remodel—no matter how small or large—might seem like a deep back-burner project, especially if your kitchen cabinets need an overhaul and every shrub in the yard is begging to be pruned. But adding smart details to your entryway might actually save you time and reduce daily stress. And while you're at it, why not give yourself a stylish and well-organized place to store every shoe, umbrella, and set of keys so you never lose your head trying to find them again?
These are the seven decorative elements that every good mudroom (aka a high-traffic area by the front door) needs.
1. Umbrella dilemma
The first thing you want to do with a dripping umbrella when you enter the house is drop it. But try to resist this urge and instead stuff it into a handsome vessel.
"Choose something unexpected like an old crock or an oversized ceramic pitcher," suggests Carole Marcotte, an interior designer with Form & Function, in Raleigh, NC. Just make sure any container you select is tall enough to accommodate umbrellas of various lengths.
If you have enough depth in your mudroom, build in narrow cubbies or a crosshatch rack for umbrella storage, says Mark Lestikow, CEO of Closet Factory Colorado.
2. Writing on the wall
A chalkboard or whiteboard strategically placed on the wall of your mudroom is the perfect solution for alerting your gang about dental appointments, important phone numbers, and any other reminder you need to jot down.
"Post a calendar in this space, too," says Jamie Novak, organizing pro and author of "Keep This Toss That." Use a highlighter or attach neon sticky notes on those days that have a different schedule.
3. Hook 'em
An abundance of hooks in all sizes is a must in any mudroom. Think beyond the standard three-hook hangers you can buy at your favorite home decor store.
"You need lots and lots of hooks for car keys, your work lanyard, dog leashes, shopping bags, backpacks, your purse, jackets, baseball caps, scarves, and more," says Novak.
"You'll also need a hook for the dog's towel when she comes in muddy and wet from her walk," adds Lorena Canals, founder of the eponymous home accessories brand. For the little ones in your house, hang a second row of hooks at kid height.
4. Mirror, mirror
Hang a mirror so you can get a last-minute glance at your mug before heading out the door. Getting a full-length one is even better if you have the space, notes Novak. Get creative with multiple mirrors of varying sizes like the circular ones seen above.
"You're passing through this space multiple times a day; you want it to make you smile," she says.
5. Smart storage
You can't just throw everything on a hook or in a basket and call it a day.
Amy Bell, owner of Red Chair Interiors in Cary, NC, recommends shelves for footwear, rather than baskets or bins.
"Shoes are just easier to put away and retrieve from hard-surface storage, and they tend to look tidier all lined up in a row," she says. You can also add a stash spot for sunglasses, phones, mail, receipts, and small change.
You'll also want to designate a spot for bags, backpacks, and laptop cases so they aren't just plopped on a chair or bench.
"I also like to keep an open shelf in the mudroom for things that need returning, such as library books or the neighbor's lasagna dish," says Bell. Also consider a section in your mudroom for items that can be rotated out seasonally (gloves and scarves in winter; swim goggles, sunscreen, and bug spray in summer).
6. Have a seat
At the very least, place a bench in the mudroom where the family can sit to put on their shoes. Marcotte recommends old locker benches.
"They have an interesting, industrial look, and kids can't beat them up any more than they already are," she says. Or poke around a flea market for a lone church pew and place baskets underneath. If you want to go the built-in route (like the mudroom above), you can design it with pull-out drawers below the bench.
7. Charge it
While hooks and baskets are the mudroom standard, modern families often have a number of outlets with chargers on a rack to hold everyone's phone, says Lestikow. It might seem counterintuitive, but installing this tech station right by the door might encourage kids—and adults—to power down their devices earlier and finish the day face to face.
This article was originally posted/written by Realtor.com