A Transition Room – Mudroom

What is a mudroom?

A mudroom is a room which is built into some houses to act as a barrier or a transition between outdoors and indoors. There’s a reason it’s called the mudroom. Kids track it in, along with leaves, pebbles and other yard detritus. After they kick off their shoes and throw coats, hats and gloves onto the accumulating pile, what you get are dirty clothes.

Photo by California ClosetsMore entryway photos

We need also, a place to hang our hat (and coat), wipe our shoes off, clean the dog’s feet and let the umbrella dry out. An effective mud room frequently operates as a home’s main entrance, but it can also be a dumping ground for all the “stuff” you don’t want visitors to see. Mudrooms also double as spaces for chores as diverse as doing laundry and potting plants.

Despite its long list of messy tasks, a well-considered mud room will not only make your home look and work better; it will make your life run more smoothly.

To get the most out of your mudroom, whether you’re adding a new one or reworking the one you already have, carefully consider how you’ll use it and how much square footage you can realistically allocate for it.

Generally, a mudroom has easily cleaned floors made in materials like tile, concrete, or linoleum. In extreme cases (when it is also used as laundry room), a mud room may even have a drain in the floor.

A mud room which doubles as a laundry room is handy, since wet baskets of clothing do not need to be carried through the house to outdoor clotheslines, and soiled or wet clothing can be immediately dumped into a washer without being tracked through the house.
Since a mud room bridges the space between indoors and outdoors, a household without a mud room can easily add one, as it simply requires building an addition onto a home, rather than doing extensive structural work inside the home itself. The finishing materials you choose and extras you add also play a role in how the mudroom looks and functions over the long haul. We need wood sheathing finished with easy-to-clean semi gloss enamel safeguards the inside of the built-in and surrounding walls from dents and dings.

An organized, attractive mudroom will inspire everyone, including grown-ups, to put their things away as soon as they come inside.

Keep your entryways clear of clutter with modular solutions, including deep and sturdy storage lockers and baskets that allow your family to put away their shoes, boots, overcoats, umbrellas, skateboards, hockey bags, dog leashes, inline skates and knapsacks. If there is something there that doesn’t serve a purpose, remove it. Space is at a premium in the mudroom, so make sure you have a rationale for all your choices.

You can also add a bench with storage space for scarves, baseball caps and mittens and where you can sit down and tie your shoes. Umbrella stand. It will probably get wet so something opaque is best.

Create your own wall of “hooks and cubbies” (cubbies = small wooden or plastic storage) without spending a fortune on built-ins.  Even if your entry space is small, hooks and cubbies provide essential storage for a family with growing children.

Utilizing vertical space can transform an otherwise blank wall. Provide enough hooks. Make sure that there is at least one hook per family member (an easy alternative to nagging kids to hang up coats). Strong hooks are also great to get book bags off the floor.

Create a specific area for your pets. In one spot store leashes, waste bags, outside toys, treats, a cloth to wipe paws and winter paw protector or booties.

Check yourself out – add a mirror. Not only does it help make the space appear larger, it is convenient for you to give yourself a once-over before rushing out the door.

Allow lots of natural light in and depending on the room’s size, a few recessed halogens, a small pendant light, or a pair of wall sconces is sufficient.

Durable doormat. Opt for doormats made of rubber, cocoa mat or coir. A cotton mat with non-slip backing can be used with the added bonus of being washable. And consider a longer mat in the wintertime when salt and ice create more mess in your mud room.

Whether a grand foyer or a simple mudroom, entryways need to serve as both a launch pad when we’re leaving and a landing strip when we get home.

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