If you're not familiar with the term mudroom it may simply be a matter of location. Those living in the northeastern or midwestern part of the United States are more likely to have heard of mudrooms or perhaps have one in their home. A mudroom can be a foyer, entryway, enclosed porch, or utility room, typically located in the back of the house, where shoes and outerwear (coats, jackets, scarves, gloves, and hats) are stored. Mudrooms were designed as a transitional area between the indoors and outdoors. Wet or soiled clothing and shoes are taken off here in an effort to keep the inside of the home clean and dry. The room also acts as a space to store portable items like bags, purses, satchels, and backpacks.
Affordable mudroom furnishings
Mudroom furnishings like storage benches, cabinets, and coat racks can be found at home decor stores. However, these items don't come cheap. A better option for a budget-friendly mudroom would be do-it-yourself furnishings made from items you have on hand or bargains that can be found at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and the occasional dumpster rescue.
DIY storage benches
Repurpose old furniture to create functional furnishings for your mudroom. If your space is very limited, you can use an old hollow ottoman as a storage bench. You can also make a storage bench out of salvaged furniture parts, scrap lumber, and any other building materials you happen to have. Take a look at some of these clever ideas for inspiration:
- Pallet shoe storage bench
- Cabinet shoe storage bench
- DIY shoe storage bench
- Salvaged door storage bench
Old door coat racks
Old salvaged doors can be very useful for making do-it-yourself furnishings, such as coat racks. There are several ways to do this. Choose a door with recessed panels for the best look. With one technique, coat hooks are installed across the door horizontally. Install as many as you think you need, just remember to keep the hooks spaced evenly. Add decorative embellishments inside the recessed panels and then mount the door on the wall. You can also design your coat rack with the door standing vertically. Attach a piece of wood to the bottom of the door to act as the base. Attach two pieces of wood to each side of the door, so that you can install a small shelf across the top. Install coat hooks a few inches below the shelf and add a small piece of crown molding on the top. Sand everything down, add a couple coats of paint, and you have an attractive homemade coat rack.
Cubbies and shelves
Make convenient storage spaces for shoes, mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves by repurposing other furniture such as an old bookcase or hutch. Turn old shoeboxes into decorative containers by covering them with contact paper. Contact paper is similar to wallpaper and you can use it to decorate practically any type of storage container. You can also use it to decorate the shelves of the bookcase or hutch you may use to hold your containers. If you or a family member is handy at woodworking, you can create individual cubbies inside of the bookcase or hutch by attaching vertical pieces of wood at equally spaced intervals on each shelf.
Include easy-to-clean, durable flooring
Don't overlook the flooring in your mudroom. One of the main purposes of the room is to keep mud and dirt from being tracked indoors. Excessive moisture can also be a problem, especially in areas that receive heavy snow in the winter. Although hardwood floors are very durable and easy to clean, frequent puddles of water tracked in by snow-covered boots and shoes may eventually absorb into the wood and cause problems over time. A ceramic tile, concrete, or stone floor would be the best option. However, an easy and affordable alternative would be vinyl flooring. Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring is very easy to install and can mimic the look of hardwood, ceramic tile, or natural stone. This type of flooring is surprisingly durable and easy to clean. It may not last a lifetime, however, it will also be simple and affordable to replace.
Michelle Radcliff has been in the home furnishings business since 2006 and is completing coursework to become a certified interior decorator. Michelle writes professionally on home improvement, interior design, and home decorating.