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What Is A Mudroom And Do You Need One?

By Laura Anderson

Until recently, mudrooms were mostly considered an American trend, with US-based interiors blogs and social media obsessing over these small but exceptionally functional spaces.

Usually found between an entry point and the interior rooms of a house, mudrooms are a buffer zone and containment area for dirt, damp and, as the name suggests, mud! They’re also a place to store household and pet-related gear like bags, jackets, scarves, umbrellas, shoes and leads.

The fact is, a mudroom can be used for whatever purpose you choose and can accommodate a whole range of everyday household activities. Examples include charging stations for devices, dog-washing facilities, and storing sports equipment.

A boom in popularity Down Under has meant that mudrooms are now finding their way into Australian homes in greater numbers.

Tony Been, managing director at leading home renovation and design platform Houzz, notes that Australians’ enthusiasm for mudrooms has increased dramatically in recent times and believes that our unpredictable weather patterns could be driving local interest.

“One interesting trend we saw at the start of the year in Australia was a 64 per cent surge in searches on Houzz for mudrooms, compared to the same period the previous year,” he says. “We linked that with the wet weather events of la nina and realised people were looking for storage solutions for all their rain gear.”

Michelle Hart of Bask Interiors believes that our increasingly busy family lives are making a mudroom or “drop zone” a logical choice for modern interiors. “As long as mudrooms serve the purpose of storing household items and facilitating a smooth transition to and from the house, they can be as elaborate or as simple as you want,” she points out.

“All you need is a practical spot to sit and take off shoes, drawers or baskets to place items in for easy access, and wall hooks to hang coats, bags, hats, or dog leads.”

Designing a mudroom

Hamptons-inspired mudrooms are popping up all over Instagram and Pinterest, featuring decorative joinery in bleached timber tones accented by deep blue, aqua, navy or green decor.

But mudrooms can also be minimalist or scandi-inspired, with cleaner lines that work well in modern Australian country or coastal homes.

Aimee McKechnie of Curated + Made is the designer behind The Shore at Gerringong, on the NSW south coast. The property’s mudroom flows from the laundry and fits perfectly with the holiday home’s stylishly pared-back interior scheme.

McKechnie says that a main entrance is an ideal spot for a mudroom. “This could actually be the back door or laundry area; it doesn’t need to be the front entry. The aim is to make it super simple for members of the household to walk in and easily hang or put away their things so that mess is kept to a minimum.”

“Functionality is important, but it’s always nice to usher guests into calm rather than chaos,” she adds. As such, “If the mudroom is also your front entry, it requires built-in joinery to hide the clutter.”

How to transform an existing space into a mudroom

Many new builds are adopting this trend and incorporating mudrooms into their floor plans.

For existing homes, if you’re renovating or have space in your current layout, adding a mudroom can be as simple as repurposing a wardrobe or investing in some basic shelving, hooks and storage items.

Hart recently helped clients create a simple mudroom with a free-standing bench design. It included baskets underneath to house shoes and wall hooks above to hang coats or bags from.
“They had a dead space underneath the staircase opposite an entry point from the garage – it was the perfect spot to set up as a mudroom,” she says.

McKechnie agrees that it’s possible to create a mudroom zone even if you’re tight on space.

“A simple row of hooks on the wall with a shoe rack placed underneath will transform the space into a really functional area. One by one-and-a-half metres will provide you with enough room to hang jackets, bags and hats for a family. If you can squeeze in a trunk with built-in storage that will hide the shoes and double as a spot to sit, all the better.”


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