Where Form Meets Function: Palmer's Mudroom

Photo credit:  KET Photography

Photo credit: KET Photography

A high-traffic, multi-functional room

My greatest achievement since moving into our current home was stopping my husband Patrick from spreading his change everywhere. Anyone else have that problem in their lives? Quarters on your bathroom sink. Pennies strewn across the kitchen counter. Dimes tucked between the sofa cushions. Sound familiar, anyone?

Personally, I keep my change in a coin pouch in my purse and maybe in my car cupholders for easy access while in the drive thru. However, after living with my husband for nearly a decade, I know that most people do not in fact use a coin pouch. Thus, I had lived with change spread everywhere in my house for nearly a decade–until we moved into our second home.

In our second home, we were lucky enough to have a mudroom right off of our garage. This is my first time to ever have a mudroom and I've got to tell you, it's my favorite room in the house. Why? Because it's so freaking functional.

This is a high-traffic area that works to keep the rest of our house under control. When laying out the space, I let function lead the way. I thought long and hard about how we actually lived and how this room could best support us through the mundane of the day to day.

My goals were to make the mudroom: 

1. relevant: identify what we do on a daily basis

2. functional: create systems to organize these tasks and make them easier

3.  pretty: aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to be in

functional organized entry
Photo credit:  KET Photography

Photo credit: KET Photography

home organization

Upon entering the through the side door, this table (that my father-in-law built for us as a bar in our old home) greets you. This table is pretty, but also serves several functions: 1) we toss our mail into the wooden tray organizer (the mailbox is right outside this door), 2) we sort mail and sometimes pay bills standing at this table, 3) we keep our keys, garage doors openers and other various items in the leather catch-all (by Dust Bowl Dry Goods).

To the left of this table is a filing cabinet where anything worth keeping is filed. At first, I thought we should put the filing cabinet in my husband's office space because duh, filing cabinets go in offices, but then I realized most things we file come from the mail. And if we're bringing in and sorting our mail in the mudroom, it makes way more sense to have the filing system nearby. The recycling bin is also in this room, so mail rarely makes it past this space. In the door. Sorted. Read. Filed or recycled. Done. No random paper floating throughout the house anymore.

On top of the filing cabinet is the solution to Patrick's change issue (Or really maybe it was my change issue!). One of his mom's antique crocks acts as a change collector. It's strategically located so when he walks into the door, he sets down his keys and empties his pockets of the day's change. The coins are finally contained. Woohoo! And if a few strays show up, we can easily toss them in while cleaning up because they have a place to go.

mudroom hangers
coat storage entryway

The least attractive, yet most functional wall in the mudroom houses the cats' litter box, the recycling bin, laundry bin and trashcan. Above these most useful bins are hooks for our coats and bags and a shelf for the diaper bag and other random things like car sun visors. Patrick installed the shelving unit using pipe and unfinished lumber from Home Depot. It's nice to have all of our unsightly, yet necessary items together in one space.

Photo credit:  KET Photography

Photo credit: KET Photography

gallery wall entryway
mudroom bench ticking
landscape gallery wall

Beneath my landscape gallery wall is our bench. The bench is made of three old military crates–two positioned horizontally, one vertically. We store shoes and a basket for winter gear during the cold months in the cubbies. On top of the vertical crate, we store our cat's food and water dishes so the dog can't reach them. My mom, Janie, sewed the long bench cushion with navy ticking fabric. We sit on the bench to put on our shoes before we go out into the world. It's so nice to have a pretty, comfy place to leave from and come home to.

wintering plants

Lastly, there are plants galore in the mudroom! Especially during the winter when the outdoor plants vacation in here. It's a nice way to bring beauty and interest to such a high-traffic, functional space. Thanks, plants. 

Relevant, check. Functional, check. Pretty, check. I feel like I achieved my three goals for this multi-purpose space. My secret fourth goal is to save up enough of Patrick's change to buy myself a little something something.

warm entry way
The mudroom is also a nice place for budding friendships.

The mudroom is also a nice place for budding friendships.

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