It’s that time of year again, when temperatures drop and the snow starts falling. It creates a breathtaking winter wonderland, as long as you’re viewing it through the window from inside your home. That same, beautiful snow quickly becomes slush and before you know it, boots are left in a puddle by the door and wet coats are draped over banisters and chairs.
Cue the highly coveted mudroom, a transitional area in the home that has become a hub for families. As more homes are remodeled to allow for clutter-free, open floor plans, homeowners are seeking a designated drop zone for multipurpose storage and organization. Mudrooms allow you to shed your outerwear and provide a space for backpacks, purses, and the even the latest Amazon boxes, without trekking dirt through the rest of the house.
Where Should I Place the Mudroom?
Mudrooms function best when they’re placed near the home’s most used private entryway. Typically, this is the area closest to the garage entrance or a high-traffic, exterior door.
In new homes, the mudroom has become standard in architectural home design. It’s almost always located between the garage and a living space, acting as a buffer between the home and the outdoors.
Remodeling a Home
When remodeling an existing home for our clients, we are often asked to add a mudroom. Since first floor laundry rooms were commonly placed near the garage, it can be a perfect location for a mudroom. Stacking a full-sized, front load washer and dryer can allow for enough space to add needed storage. When a home can accommodate moving the laundry room to the second floor, the first floor can become the ideal mudroom with plumbing available for a sink or bathroom. If you don’t have a first floor laundry, there are likely other ways to add a mudroom in your home, and those options will be specific to your layout and your needs.
No matter where the mudroom is located in your home, there are a few key elements you’ll need.
Rugged, Waterproof Flooring
Porcelain tile is a great choice when you need durable, waterproof flooring. It’s now possible to find patterns and designs that emulate a true stone or wood floor, without the typical concerns for durability and maintenance. Opting for a heated floor system below the tile is a pleasant way to come in from the cold and also helps boots dry faster.
When choosing the look for your mudroom cabinets, have fun with the design or add a little color. No matter what you choose, you want the cabinetry to be durable and functional in order to last for many years. Choosing cabinetry with a high quality finish is a step in the right direction. More and more, we are seeing high-pressure, textured laminates enter our market and create a clean modern look, while still maintaining the appearance of a wood surface. These laminates are easy to wipe down and are naturally more resistant to scratching.
Custom storage lockers can be designed to make the most of every available inch in your space. Most mudrooms use closed or open lockers to meet their family’s needs. While open lockers make for easy and quick access, closed lockers create a cleaner, more clutter-free look. Whichever is right for you, lockers should incorporate shelves for shoes and a series of hooks for jackets and backpacks. Drawers are also a handy addition to lower areas for easy access to your winter hats and gloves, or additional shoe storage. When the space allows, having a locker for each family member will keep everyone better organized. When creating custom storage, there are endless options. An Abruzzo designer will walk you through the planning process.
A bench is a multiuse essential of any mudroom. It can provide a space to sit while putting on your shoes, or set a backpack or briefcase as you come in after a long day. Utilize the area underneath the bench by tucking shoes or boots out of the way, or add a bed for your pet to lounge while you’re away.
Be cautious not to let these areas get too cluttered. Consider adding some counter space to your mudroom, where you can collect packages and mail, as well as create a charging station for all those electronics.
Several clients have found that combining the functions of their mudroom with other needs works well for their home’s layout and their daily routines.
As you enter your mudroom, you can place your coat on a hook and drop your mail and bills on a desk. This combination is also helpful for our crafty, artistic clients.
Since we’re trying to keep dirt from entering the rest of the home, let’s also include muddy paws. A dog-washing area can come in handy, not just for man’s best friend, but also for washing dirty feet. A mudroom can be a convenient location for food and water bowls, cages, or litter boxes.
Dirty shoes? Dirty clothes? Let’s keep it in one area. Sweaty or muddy clothes can go right into the laundry.
If your mudroom is located off the kitchen, a mudroom-pantry is a helpful combo, or you may just need some extra storage for those large, bulk items from Costco.
A mudroom connected to a full bath is a great option for homeowners with pools, large pets, teens coming home frompractice, or for clients who love to garden.
Mudrooms are incredibly versatile and can eliminate a great deal of frustration by allowing access to everything you need, and can hide the things you really don’t want to see.