April showers don't just bring May flowers, it also brings dirt, mud, messy boots, and wet raincoats into your home. There is nothing worse than coming home, taking off your boots and coat and having no place to put them. Or having the kids run to their rooms after getting home and tracking dirt and mud through the hallway. 

Becoming more and more popular, mudrooms are a great way to relieve the other areas of your home from having to endure the more wet and messy seasons. Whether is a small space, part of your entryway or a whole separate room, we have got you covered with our mudroom "must haves".

1. Easily maintained walls and floors

Mudroom flooring should be durable and easily maintained because it'll see dirt, mud, water, possibly some snow, paw prints, and the list goes on. Good candidates are tile (porcelain is very good -- hard and durable), linoleum and vinyl. The latter two are effective because they're easily cleaned. Wood or laminate wouldn't be a good choice because of the high potential for problems due to standing water. The grit that comes into your home can also do a number on the wood and laminate floors too.

Walls are best protected by a treatment such as wainscoting or something similar that covers a portion of the wall height. This takes the punishment better than a painted drywall surface which dents and nicks more easily. People naturally tend to lean one hand against the wall when removing shoes which ultimately leaves a trail of handprints on the wall. Easily cleaned surfaces and paints work well in these situations to fight off the grime.

2. Create a space to sit

Whether it's a standalone bench or a built-in, having a place to sit is a main mudroom element that shouldn't be left out. Trying to remove shoes or boots while standing up isn't convenient or comfortable.

3. Easy access to the garage or outdoors

A convenient mudroom design is one that makes it the "collection point" for several entries into the house. Having two doors, one to an attached garage and one that leads directly outdoors depends on your home's layout and design but it's advantageous since it's more efficient.

4. Everyone needs their own space

Cubbies make it easy for everyone in the family to find their things, and more importantly, to know where to put them away. Label overhead bins with names or initials, and there's no question where the kids should put their shoes, coats, and backpacks. Make sure hooks are where kids can reach them if you expect them to hang up their coats.

5. Recharging station

If you or your family is hooked up with the latest smartphones, tablets and other gizmos, consider a location in the mudroom where you can recharge these items. You'll need electrical access with several outlets and a small countertop space to make this effective. It's particularly handy because it gets these items off the kitchen countertop which is prime real estate that you can probably put to better use.

6. Radiant floor heating

Tile flooring is a great choice for mudroom floors but it can be cold, particularly in Minnesota climates. Radiant floor heating works well with tile, helping keep the mudroom and the floor cozy. It also can help to dry wet boots and shoes along with those wet socks that get left there too.

7. Get Hooked

This might seem obvious to some but for others who like a tidier mudroom, hooks might be an afterthought. But they're a great way to actually keep a mudroom tidy, particularly if you have kids. Hooks make it easy for them to quickly hang their jacket or backpack, rather than dumping them on the floor. 

8. Message center and place for keys

Having a spot to keep the car keys helps avoid losing them since you now have a designated spot for them. A small countertop or cabinet space or a series of hooks on the wall is all that's needed.

This could be the same spot for having a message center too. That's because the mudroom is usually the first place you see when you enter your home and the last space you're in before you leave. There are even interior doors with chalkboard panels that make a great spot for leaving messages. You could use one of these doors in the entryway from the mudroom into the rest of your home.

9. A Space For Brooms, Mops & The Vacuum Cleaner

A mudroom is a good place to store the various cleaning implements for your home, including the vacuum cleaner. These items can be stored in a coat closet in the mudroom, a separate smaller closet made just for this purpose or a nook somewhere that will keep them out of the way but handy.

10. No room? Transform a closet

Consider turning a cluttered closet into a mini-mudroom. Remove the door and fit the space with shallow cubbies at the back of the closet and a bench that extends to the front. Add hooks to the back wall, and baskets and buckets for added storage. Mount magnetic dry-erase boards on the side walls to create a message center and a place to hang keys. Make the space extra special by adding a pop of color with wallpaper or paint inside the closet.

Sources cited: http://www.home-style-choices.com/mudroom-ideas.html

http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/country-homes/13-magnificent-mudroom-ideas/?page=8

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