The mudroom/entrance hall is the first space you see when you enter the home, and sets the tone for what’s to come. Let’s start with your last question first. Since your entrance, laundry and kitchen sit open to each other and are therefore all viewed together, they should complement each other. You can do this with colour as well as style. You don’t say in your letter, but since yours is an older home I’m going to assume you have traditional elements. I would take advantage of this nostalgic mood and decorate with a combination of flea market finds, wood pieces old or new, and some clever innovation.
I discovered a family mud room designed with imagination in a new book called Junk Beautiful by Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer, Douglas E. Smith photographer, Taunten Press publisher. The space is fun, full of character and packed with practical solutions that you can adapt to suit your family needs. The main component for a successful entrance way is storage that’s easy and accessible. If the area doesn’t have a built in clothes closet, which is often the case in older homes, then look for an alternative. Shop or scavenge for gently-used dressers and cabinets that can be freshened up. This old cabinet found at a yard sale has been reconfigured to maximize on space. Layers of custom shelves were built under the cabinet to store high boots and shoes. The cabinet has been divided up for girls and boys, a trick that might stop some squabbling. Line up plenty of hooks to keep the floor clear. Hooks can be store bought, or keep your eye out for old handles and hardware that make a unique alternative. In your laundry area add an aged wooden cabinet or shelves above the machines. Match up the sink and any counter space with what you have in the kitchen.
To maintain a good flow, paint the walls throughout the entrance and kitchen the same colour. Add crown moulding, heighten the baseboards, and even lay down the same floor – cork is durable and comfortable. These details will ensure that the mudroom is well integrated into the rest of your home.