During the colder seasons, our decorating and home-making missions move inside. And sometimes, being trapped indoors all winter can make you feel like your whole house needs a redesign, but that isn’t always the best move.
If you are feeling frustrated with your inside decor and can’t seem to banish encroaching clutter, turning your attention to this often-forgotten space is key. It can help soothe your decor nerves until your outdoor furniture becomes front and center once again.
This space goes by many names. Some call it a mud room, others simply refer to it as the entryway or front hallway. Founder and CEO of Apartment Therapy, Maxwell Ryan, calls this area the landing strip, and he dubs it the most important room in your home.
This space becomes especially important during the winter months when our houses get cluttered with wet boots, soggy gloves, and mountains of holiday cards. So, if you’re jonesing to redesign, this is a great place to start.
Here are a few mud room ideas to make one of the most important rooms in your home stand out this season.
1. Determine Where Your Landing Strip Should Be
For a lot of homes, the entryway is pretty obvious, but for others finding the right space for your landing strip is difficult.
Ryan describes the landing strip as the space where the outside world gets filtered before you come inside. It’s where all your extraneous items like coats, keys and mail go before you fully enter the home.
For houses with two often-used entrances, determining this space is challenging. Some people use their front door as well as their garage or side door. If that’s the case, where do you put the landing strip?
Remember that this area is the filter between the outside and inside of your home. If you don’t want to build two landing stip areas, which is totally fine, choose the entrance that gets the most stuff dragged through it. When you come home with coats and scarves or mail, which entrance do you usually walk through?
The most important thing is to have one place where you put your keys. Having a landing strip in your home is to help you stay organized and leave the house with ease, and that purpose is defeated if you’re running between entryways to find your keys every day.
2. Five Items Needed to Complete the Space
Ryan outlines five key elements you need to complete your landing stip. You might already have an entryway area, but do you have all these pieces there? If not, would adding them add value to that space?
Here is what Ryan suggests.
Doormat – The doormat keeps the outside, outside. Dirt, leaves and snow should all be wiped off and left at the door. This becomes especially important during winter when salt used to melt ice can easily be tracked into your home and dirty the floors.
Coat Hooks – Whether these are hidden inside a closet or out in the open, having hooks to hang your coat, purse or dog leash is essential. Coats easily take up valuable closet space and get wet from snow and rain, so you want to keep them far away from your bedroom closet.
Side Table – A side table goes in the landing strip to keep clutter off other places like kitchen counters and dining room tables. This space should be small; just big enough to hold your keys and a mail organizer. If it’s too big, you’ll end up stashing other stuff there and making the clutter worse, instead of better.
Waste Basket – Somehow, that walk from the doorway to the recycling bin feels extra long when we get home from work. Save yourself the steps and keep a waste basket in your landing strip so you can instantly toss junk mail instead of creating a stack of papers you meant to throw away weeks ago.
Mirror – This isn’t an essential, but once you put a mirror in your landing strip area, you’ll never want to live without it. It’s good to double check your appearance before you leave the house and guests will appreciate a quick look before the dinner party.
Other items you may want to include in your landing strip are a shoe rack, lamp, or storage bins or drawers. Just make sure this space doesn’t become a doorway-sized junk drawer by designing it with just enough room for the essentials, and no more.
3. Design with Summer in Mind
The front door is not the only portal your home has to the outside. When the weather starts to warm up, the door to your backyard might get used more often than your entryway!
This landing strip serves the same purpose, keeping the outside from coming in, but may need some different design elements. This space could be a backdoor or the door to the garage, so think about the items that will be coming in those doors.
Although coat hooks and a doormat are still important, you may want to trade out the side table and wastebasket for a more robust storage system that can handle sports equipment and gardening tools.
It’s also important to consider your outdoor design. The landing strip can be the place where your outdoor and indoor designs mingle to create a seamless transition between the two spaces. Find creative ways to tie in design elements from both, like a colorful vase or patterned lamp that links the two areas together.
We know you miss your backyard furniture, but summer will be here before you know it! Choose to spend this time wisely by amping up those indoor spaces that will help you be better prepared when the seasons do change.