Spring has arrived, and whether that means rain or more snow (will winter ever end?), there will be mud. Mudrooms have their roots in rural living, back when country roads weren’t paved and everyone — not just farmers — came home dragging dirt on their heels. At the time, a mudroom was a simple, small vestibule area off of the kitchen. Around the 1980s, home designers gave new life and prominence to the mudroom as a much larger and organized space between the kitchen and attached garage.
Your family’s lifestyle plays the biggest role in deciding if you should include a mudroom in your new home and how big it should be. Do you have a dog or two? Love camping, gardening and other outdoor activities? Do you have kids involved in multiple sports that require a lot of bulky (and possibly muddy) equipment? Then a mudroom is just the thing to keep clutter and dirt from spilling into your living spaces.
Here are some features to consider for a high-performing and good looking mudroom:
Cubbies and Hooks
Make it easy for every family member to put their coats, bags, shoes and other belongings away by building in open cubbies with hooks and shelving, and a bench to perch on while removing boots and other gear. Removable boot trays can be kept under the bench to protect the floor and make cleanup easier. Consider built-in storage with doors for any sports equipment or odds and ends that you’d like to hide.
Ceramic tile is one of the best flooring materials for a mudroom because it’s easy to clean and stands up to abuse. Brick, concrete, slate and vinyl also offer and attractive look that won’t be bothered by dripping umbrellas, mud and grass clippings. You might want to steer clear of hardwood or laminate floors.
Shoes aren’t the only thing that can come home muddy. If you really want to stop outside dirt at the door, install a laundry room adjacent to or as part of your mudroom. Wet and muddy socks and outerwear can go right into the laundry basket or washing machine. At the very least, consider including a utility sink in your mudroom design for scrubbing up hands, boots, or dog paws.
Mirrors and Personal Touches
Hang a mirror in the space if you like to check your look before you leave home. And even though mudrooms are all about functionality, you can really have fun decorating the space with kid-made art or funky wallpaper. Everyone can use some inspiration to keep their things put away.
Do you have ideas about a mudroom space in your new home? Bring us your photos and other inspiration — we’d love to make it happen!