The mud room
While the front entrance is the public face of your home, ideally kept pristine and stylish, a mud room is the hard-working skivvy behind the scenes. Usually sited at the back or side of the house or off the garage, this repository for daily detritus keeps smelly boots, school bags and wet brollies out from underfoot. If a dedicated room just for coats and shoes seems too great a luxury for the average space-challenged home, read on. Done right, a mud room can perform multiple functions, and with a lockable door between this versatile zone and the rest of your home, it can add an extra level of security as well as convenience.
While a mud room’s function is to filter the disarray, it needn’t be messy. The secret is planning. A separate compartment for each family member is a great way to keep everything tidy and to encourage kids to be responsible for their belongings. Include a bench seat, sturdy coat hooks for each person, and storage for shoes underneath in pigeonholes or drawers.
In the wash
A combined mud room and laundry is a logical pairing, allowing grubby sports kit to be flung directly in the washing machine or sink. Practical material choices are important, but needn’t be super-expensive. High-quality laminates are great for laundries because they wear well, are moisture resistant and come in a range of colours. Make use of organisational gadgets like pull-out laundry baskets, broom and mop rails and wall-mounted ironing boards. A large sink with a retractable spray tap is a super-useful feature, so muddy boots and shoes can be hosed off, dog bowls can be rinsed and refilled, and house plants can be soaked without cluttering up the kitchen.
If you run a business from home or shop online regularly, planning safe delivery is a must. This is where new smart home technology comes in, allowing you to create a parcel delivery point with a secure door from the mud room into the rest of the house, and remote access locks fitted to the outer door. Lockwood’s smart door locks can be operated remotely via your smartphone or tablet, so when your courier arrives, you can let them in, wherever you are.
Style and substance
A mud room might be a practical zone, but there’s no reason why it can’t be pretty, too. In fact, as the last space you walk through when leaving the house and the first one that greets you on your return, it deserves some extra love. Opt for durable flooring, darker hues are great to disguise dirt. Choose tough materials such as vinyl, stone or tiles. Choose a colour palette to complement the rest of the house for a seamless effect, but don’t be afraid to splash out on bold wallpaper or a striking colour. Opt for vinyl wallpaper, which will withstand moisture and can be wiped clean.