a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Jun, 2011

Reno post #10 – mud room design

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

We are waiting for our architect to come back to us with revised plans. I hope to have something this week. He will be showing us a floorplan that’s based upon what I uploaded in post #007, along with a plan for the upper floor, which I’m also excited about.

In our last meeting we had a big discussion about the mudroom.  (You will need to look at post #007 to know what I’m getting at here.)

I know I’ve written about this before, but a proper entryway has been the bane of our existence here, ever since day one. Our current front entrance is tiny and it is totally non-functional for four people plus one dog, especially in the wintertime. (Don’t even talk to me about coat and boot storage.) Hence our desire for rear entry and a mud room, which you saw in the previous post.

In the new plan, we stop using the front entrance, and switch to a side entrance instead. Guests may continue to use the front door. :)

I didn’t realize this until we sat down to talk about it, but the architect had assumed open closets (!) in this area, but we talked about it AT LENGTH (or maybe it was just me, insisting, a lot). In conclusion, I don’t want to see messy piles of coats. Ever. Again.

Although this area is small it needs:

A few coat hooks and a good-sized wardrobe that can hide all of our jackets, footwear, other accessories (gloves, purses, umbrellas etc.). Instead of something custom-built I’ve been looking at Ikea’s PAX system. They are BIG. And the insides are highly customizable. And I like that they come with an option for sliding doors and a mirror. Space saving! You can cram more in there than something like this… which I don’t think is realistic at all.

A bench, with room underneath for wet boots.

And, let’s face it, the mudroom is the place where stuff gets dumped. That’s why I am also hoping we can squeeze in some kind of mail centre in the form of open shelving (with taller spaces in between) for places to put mail, bookbags, a bowl for keys etc. (Maybe this? With a few inset baskets?) Another thing that would be helpful; a garbage and paper recycling bin RIGHT THERE, so things can be disposed of right away. I’m so tired of travelling and misplaced pizza day forms.

What about flooring? I want something that is easily moppable and low-maintainance. At first I thought that stamped concrete would be interesting (I’ve seen some really gorgeous examples of heated concrete floors in a mudroom), but apparently it needs a month to cure and I’m having trouble finding a photo of something I really like.*

*Sidebar – man oh man. It is just me, or do many many businesses need to seriously upgrade their websites and photo galleries? Don’t they know this is how I shop?

Linoleum is where I think I’m heading right now. It’s pretty eco-friendly as far as floors go and is supposed to be reallyl durable in high-traffic areas. According to the Armstrong website, linoleum flooring is “made from natural materials like linseed oil, recycled wood flour, cork dust and limestone. Linoleum is naturally anti-bacterial and biodegradable.” This appeals to me. The trick is to make it not look too institutional. What about a checkerboard pattern like this one? Or maybe a deep red? What about cork? A dark cork floor might be interesting too.

What would you do? I’m still on the lookout for ideas!

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19 Responses to "Reno post #10 – mud room design"

1 | Carrie

June 26th, 2011 at 12:54 pm


We have red and cream checkerboard Marmoleum in our mudroom and I *LOVE* it. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

2 | betsy mae

June 26th, 2011 at 6:48 pm


I have no idea how expensive or durable it is, but I love the tile that looks like barn board. I don’t like tile very much but when I saw the barn board look and feel I fell in love. When we renovate (will that day ever come??) I want flooring that is easy to clean, can withstand large dogs, high traffic, and abuse, and feels warm. But this is you! I can’t contribute because I haven’t looked around at flooring options! I am eager to see what others have to say!

3 | Fiona

June 26th, 2011 at 9:14 pm


Having just completed a large renovation, we were lucky to have a designer who worked for our contractor. She pointed us toward suppliers/tradespeople/craftsmen we never knew about because they don’t have a big presence on the web. So if you can find a good designer who has done lots of the type of work you are looking for, I think you will find it easier to find the people/products you want. And it saves a whole lot of time.

4 | Alison p-h

June 26th, 2011 at 10:21 pm


Whatever you do it will look great. I would LOVE to have a mudroom. Thanks for sharing your process!

5 | coffee with julie

June 27th, 2011 at 9:30 am


We did tile in our mudroom. Easy to mop and looks and feels nice under foot.

6 | James

June 27th, 2011 at 12:52 pm


Lino is making a big comeback. Almost sorry I ripped out the 80-year-old stuff in our house… almost. A nice, unobtrusive mudroom/family entrance might be the best investment you can make for your sanity.

7 | Annie

June 27th, 2011 at 3:45 pm


I would highly recommend flooring that hides the dirt… Before we reno-ed our kitchen/mudroom, it had a white tile floor. WHITE! All we saw was dirt, dog hair, sand, etc… Now we have a tile that is almost TOO good at hiding all of the above mentioned nasties (and more!).

We actually extended our kitchen into the mudroom and put in a baking centre and pantry. When the counter-top is tidied, it is a great extra workspace. I LOVE it! But, we did not finish the actual mudroom portion of the reno because we needed more time to know how to best create storage options… Now that our daughter is heading off to school in September, we know we need more catch-all storage (“message centre” with bulletin board, key storage, cell phone charger/storage, etc…) and easy access for growing children to put their own stuff away. I will be interested to see what you do – maybe soon we can finish our mudroom!

8 | Carrie C

June 28th, 2011 at 11:27 am


Cork is beautiful, but probably not the most practical for an area that will need to be mopped a lot. Depending on the supplier, a lot of cork flooring is made like laminate floors, with a core of MDF, which doesn’t always stand up to moisture. Marmoleum, natural linoleum (not vinyl) or tile would be a more durable choice. If you put down tile, insist on a top quality grout sealer, which will make cleaning much easier.

9 | Stefania

June 28th, 2011 at 12:20 pm


I didn’t realize that cork is not that durable. I’ve seen it used as a kitchen floor and liked it. I assumed it would be great for a high traffic area.

10 | Carrie C

June 28th, 2011 at 1:41 pm


It’s quite soft, as far as floor coverings go. It looks amazing, but for a busy family with pets and sports equipment, cork is not really practical. I would put it into the office in a heartbeat though.

11 | andrea

June 28th, 2011 at 2:10 pm


Thanks all! I think I’m pretty sold on the lino/marmoleum idea for the mudroom. Now to find tile that hides the dirt, but not too much dirt. :)

Here’s an idea too… wouldn’t it be nice to have a wee broomcloset in there… somewhere to keep the mop? And what about a Zen boot tray like this one, but a bit bigger.

12 | Carrie C

June 28th, 2011 at 4:16 pm


Are you putting in a central vac system when you do the reno? If you do, then ask about a vac pan. You sweep the dirt right into the automatic dust pan. Then all you would have to do us have the broom on a hook in one of the closets. Easy cleanup!

13 | Stefania

June 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am


Colours that hide dirt well are beige. Colours that show dirt are white, grey and black. Something with texture helps as well. We had a textured blue tile in our last kitchen and it was great.

14 | LO

July 2nd, 2011 at 4:37 pm


I would do slate (well I did:) or a textured stone tile. It NEVER shows dirt, is not slippery and good for puppies:) Stone grey is always a nice colour. I would not do a vinyl-been there and done that.
So excited to follow along!

15 | LO

July 2nd, 2011 at 4:39 pm


cork leaves dents in floor where furniture stays so you must be careful

17 | Reno post #17 - is it butterflies or some deep-seated anxiety? >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 4th, 2011 at 10:34 am


[…] that post a while back about the mud room? After our meeting we decided to stop at the Kanata Home Depot to see what kind of floor coverings […]

18 | Reno post #34 - more about the mudroom >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 18th, 2012 at 11:17 am


[…] written about the mudroom powder here before, as well as the organization of the mudroom itself. My original ideas haven’t changed too much and it’s so cool to see the sketches that […]

19 | Fishbowl Reno post #54: The Mudroom is finished! Well, almost. >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 20th, 2013 at 1:12 pm


[…] down you can read back to these posts: Reno post #007 – a small unveiling and several big thoughts Reno post #10 – mud room design Reno post #34 – more about the […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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