I’m not one of those people that doesn’t allow shoes in the house. I do live in a city, and I am certain of this, all manner of unmentionables are tracked into my home on the bottom of my shoes. This is something that I have chosen not to give myself over to considering in depth. It will only lead to another phobia, or anxious obsession, which frankly I have no time for. It’s likely to cause more damage than the germs I trek in. We have to build our immune systems some way, and this feels as good a way as any.
I do draw the line when it comes to rain and melting snow, and nobody, and I mean no—-body, enjoys tripping over someone else’s shoes when all they wanted was to have a nice cup of tea and read a book for a half hour. Am I right?
Shoes, hats, coats, bags, tennis rackets, balls, don’t think I couldn’t go on and on, because I certainly could, deserve a place, as close to the outdoors as possible. A relatively new invention – think 1950’s suburban living, and the advent of loads of free time and space – mudrooms don’t in fact have to be a whole room. A simple transitional space between garage and main living space – outdoors and in, will do. The general intent is to keep these wet, sometimes stinky, often dirty items, out of view for guests and people like me that can’t stand the sight of them, guest or no guest, and from my beautifully curated interiors – or yours as the case may be.
My challenge today is taking a small hallway closet and converting it into a mud room, or a mud space, you know what I mean. It does have doors on either end of the corridor, so in my book it qualifies as a room. If you aren’t careful, I’ll have it designated as a bedroom. Narrow it may be, but it’s got a window and a closet with a door, and with the price of square footage, I could get creative if this home didn’t already have so many bedrooms.
A mudroom ideally would have a tile floor or a material that was easy to clean, flagstones, vinyl flooring, concrete, but when you are making due, we work with what we have. Hard wood isn’t a terrible material because it cleans pretty easily, and nowadays you can find some pretty amazing indoor outdoor carpets that can take the elements with a smile on their face.
There are a number of prefabricated storage/bench and hanging systems intended for mudrooms. I like them quite a lot. Having a custom built bench and shelving will cost you much more, but will likely adapt to the quirkiest of spaces and/or desires. I offer up and even simpler alternative for those that are seeking utility, rather than conformance with some predetermined notion of what constitutes a “real” mudroom. A beautiful bench, some great hooks, a simple shelf, and some storage containers, maybe a little paint – et voila, the elements remain on the right side of the door.