Can a room, designated for dirt, be beautiful? A paradox we happily play with by reconsidering the mudroom, a space essential to transitions, both seasonal—with climatic flux making slush an ever-present reality in our alpine clime—and situational for the adventurous lifestyles our clients often lead. As such, designing such a highly-trafficked area requires a balance of form and function mixed with finesse. After the core components of the design are dialed, we look for ways to infuse aesthetics, whether through layering color, texture and/or artwork. So to help you map your mudroom, we offer key elements to consider as well as forays to introduce for fun amid the function.
Above all, a mudroom must offer abundant storage. From racks for shoes and cubbies for gear to hooks for jackets and hats, the more storage, the merrier. To encourage tidiness, add baskets in nooks (we love these square nesting baskets, available in natural or black) and consider segmenting separate bays for each family member. Built-in storage, a benefit of a new build or extensive remodel, allows for cohesively-designed solutions, however sourced fixtures—like vintage lockers or antique coat racks—can add character.
Building on the built-in or freestanding split, a bench is an essential component of mudroom, whether included as a banked seat within a wall of storage or ordered as standalone seating. No matter the context, a cushioned bench creates a welcoming landing pad for disrobing and de-booting. For beautiful functionality, we recommend the benches from our Signature 22 collection, namely the Olivia Bench (a blocky oak base topped in our favorite Tibetan lambswool) or the Parker Bench (with its indestructible metal form and upholstered cushion). For vintage sophistication, consider sourcing a showpiece like the Danish Shell Settee Bench, a teak masterpiece.
To start, filter flooring options for durability: a soft hardwood will only be a headache amid so much stomping. Consider instead bulletproof materials like ceramic tile or slate/stone. Patterned flooring, such as Moroccan-inspired cement tiles, can add pop while distracting from dirt. Or layer in color and texture in the form of washable woven rugs or indestructible cowhides.
Beyond places to put your stuff, consider elements that would make your mudroom a truly catchall space. Like a deep basin sink or hidden bins for recycling. And as durable as they are, mudrooms can also double as flex spaces for kids art activities (if outfitted with a couple of pint-sized tables and chairs) or for wintry horticultural projects (add a rustic potting hutch to perform such duties). Brainstorm possibilities and outfit accordingly.
Once you’ve figured out the programmatic elements of the space, express yourself in layers: accent a bench with a bright wool/linen-blend or graceful cactus silk pillow; install a Karen Bezuidenhout cowboy scene in homage to all the memories that begin and end in the mudroom; fold an alpaca blanket within a bin so that warmth is at the ready; paint the backs of storage bays a lush hue or even splice in graphic wallpaper. Find the moments where whimsy can surface and smile.