Now that the kids are back in school, organization of bookbags, coats and sports equipment can be an absolute challenge for busy families. Professional interior designer Leslie Hart-Davidson from Hart-Davidson Designs is here to show us some great ways to trick-out a mudroom space without spending a fortune.
Hallmarks of a High-End Mudroom
If you're building a new home and can dedicate significant square footage to organization in the mudroom, it's a great investment. Here are the typical features found in a high-end mudroom:
• dedicated square footage
• built-in units
• personalized individual cubbies with bench seating
• tons open and closed storage
• crown molding
• functional lighting
Not everyone has the space or the budget for a high-end mudroom, but everyone deserves a highly functioning mudroom space. Before you pick up a hammer or start buying supplies, take some time to plan by doing these 4 things:
1. Watch how the current space is used and list what works and what doesn't
2. Measure all items that will need to be housed in the new space: backpacks, equipment, coats, shoes, etc.
3. User test the design by having the little ones pretend to reach for items or sit on a similar sized bench
4. Have a family meeting to discuss the new system and the expectations for use
There are several ways that a mudroom space can be achieved when you don't want to break the bank by using the space of hallways and existing closets and fitting them with one of three types of components:
Inexpensive Ikea cabinetry mounted in a retrofitted closet with the original door removed can make a big impact with a small budget. Adding beadboard, wallpaper or even a mirror backing will add to the custom feel of the space.
If permanently attaching cabinetry isn't an option, think about a freestanding unit sold in catalogs and stores. This allows flexibility for moving the piece if the location becomes inconvenient. Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs and similar companies have many styles and finishes available.
If you're after a less conventional and more customizable look, then have fun using creative hooks, crates and upholstered benches to achieve the same function. An old door or wide shutters mounted to the wall with attached hooks can be a great functional yet fabulous conversation piece in an entryway.
An organized life is a happy life.
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