Anyone who's ever rifled through a deep drawer in the dark can attest that lighting can make or break a space. Because the mudroom is such a hard-working part of the house, a careful lighting plan can go a long way toward making this space work for you.
"Mudroom lighting needs to be functional first," says interior designer Molly Quinn. "Just make sure you have an adequate number of lights and wattage for the space." Because mudrooms are transitional areas, the light from doors, windows and overhead fixtures, also known as ambient lighting, will generally fulfill a lot of the requirements for this space. You will, however, still need to think about layering in differing types of lighting, including task lighting and accent lighting.
Lighting for mudrooms will depend primarily on where the mudroom is located, what sort of general illumination is present, and how functional or decorative the space is intended to be. A mudroom that serves as a utility room and is home to tasks like laundry and bill paying will have a different set of needs than a small nook in an apartment that's primarily decorative. But no matter the location, the lighting of the space does create a mood, and because the mudroom is integral to our functioning both inside and outside, it's important to set the right tone and make the space as inviting as possible.
"It's nice to have pendants or flush-mount fixtures as opposed to recessed lighting," says Quinn, who notes that a lot of a room's defining personality comes from the light fixtures. "Since a mudroom consists mainly of hard surfaces, you have to make the most of opportunities to introduce a bit of personality and patina, and that's why choosing light fixtures and hardware should be considered along with the cabinets, flooring and finishes, not as an afterthought." Light fixtures set the mood, whether that’s one of efficiency or welcome.
"Lighting should be cheerful and bright but functional," says architect Mandy Brown, who adds that you’ll probably want a mix of both ambient and task lighting. Natural light from a nearby window, a door's glass panes or fanlights, or a skylight is a valued bonus — but a bright ceiling fixture of some sort is a minimum. And keep in mind that overhead lighting casts shadows on equipment or surfaces tucked under cabinetry, so you'll need to factor in under-cabinet lighting or a nice lamp for any tabletops, countertops or appliances that could be rendered useless in the dark.
Consider your view both entering and exiting the mudroom. What do you wish to spotlight? This can be as simple as a hook with a set of keys or as sentimental as a piece of artwork or an inspirational quote to arm you for your day. This is where accent lighting can direct your eye to the important things that matter to you.
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