Constructing Dreams: The Purposeful Mudroom

Every household needs a transitional room between the outdoors and indoors to contain the items that essentially clutter the home.  In your house, it may be defined as a menagerie of footwear and coats, sports equipment, and a means to clean muddy or wet paws.  The popularity of such an essential room has increased in the last two decades. Initially designed as a second entryway into the home, and often located in the back or side of the house, mudrooms today have expanded to large rooms with ample storage to accentuate a neat and organized system for the arrival home of each member of the household. No matter the size of the room or area, this hidden room can be designed to foster both aesthetics and functionality.  It simply needs access to an exterior door.

Benefits of a Mudroom

It can be tiring to clean up the entrance to the home every time the family, pets, or visitors walk through the threshold. Think of a location which could contain a bench and baskets for shoes, low hooks for coats, pegs for key chains and dog leashes and, quite possibly, horizontal open shelving to hold various accessories for each member of your family. Imagine knowing a coat, a pair of shoes, or a set of keys are nicely contained in one location, the mudroom.  With the improved organization, time is not spent looking in multiple rooms to find a specific item.

The Family Pet

On rainy days, towels may be strewn across the floor; water droplets sprayed on furniture and walls each time the family dog enters the home. One solution is to have an area that could contain a sink or deep well to hold wet or dirty items.  A more elaborate concept would include a location to wash off feet, and especially paws.

An Ideal Location

A mudroom already exists in your home without the need for construction.  Consider the logistics.

  • If you have a large kitchen, part of the room can be easily converted. A partition may assist to conceal this defined area of your home.  For new construction, you may want to consider adding a wall for privacy and separation.
  • A garage can offer a convenient location for a mudroom as long as it is an entrance for the entire family.
  • Access through a storage, utility, or laundry room can especially appease the need for a mudroom. While dirty clothes can be easily removed, it also may offer enough space for shoes or potentially a sink or deep well.
  • Other rooms to consider for mudrooms may be a sunroom or basement.

Plan a Multi-Functioning Room

The key to a mudroom is personalizing it to your family’s needs. By making a room multi-functional, you can integrate a myriad of purposes both inside and out.  Here are a few ideas that you can make use of in your mudroom.

  • Select a floor which is easy to clean and maintain, such as stone, tile, or vinyl. A rug or floor mat at the threshold can absorb water or dirt before stepping inside.
  • The walls will need a layer of protection against scrapes and dirt. Consider adding bead board or wainscoting.
  • Ventilation is an important aspect to prevent mildew from forming; therefore, a fan can control the humidity and maintain the room at a comfortable level.
  • Would a message board assist the family? Reminders of important phone numbers and listing who has appointments, practices, or classes after school may be a great help.
  • A small mirror is an added touch instead of wondering, “I hope I look okay!”
  • Consider what would assist the family the most, such as a bench, hooks, a separate location for keys, and what types of storage, baskets or open shelving are most useful.

Mudrooms can be beautiful, accommodating rooms, despite the fact that they are unseen by visitors.  Your mudroom can be designed with your needs in mind.

Next Month:  Making the Most out of a Master Bedroom and Bathroom



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