With the housing market still limping back from the brink, most people are continuing to renovate and improve their existing homes rather than purchase new ones. This means re-purposing old space to suit new needs, and adding on rooms to accommodate growing families. According to a 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey, one room that is increasing in popularity is the so-called “mud room.”
Mud rooms come in many forms, but they usually have a few main features in common with a living room. One, they always connect directly to the outside, and two, they always feature designs that maximize storage space. There’s virtually no limit to what one can do with a mud room, but the best ones are well-planned, well-designed and well-thought out.
If you’re thinking of adding a mud room to your house or turning an existing space into a mud room, here are a few ideas that you and your family will love.
A good mud room is all about storage – a place for the family to drop their coats, backpacks, boots and other accoutrements when they come home. The problem is that too many of these items end up on the floor instead of being placed in their designated spots. This may turn your mud room from a time and space saver into an endless cleaning project.
The addition of cabinets will not only beautify the space, but will help encourage your family to store everything in its proper place.
Cubbies are like cabinets, but they keep your mud room looking spacious and open and not like your second kitchen. Also, cubbies are ideal for storing wet articles like boots and winter jackets, as their open fronts keep mold from forming in cracks and seals. Even better, if you ever decide to re-purpose your mudroom, cubbies will be much easier to utilize for other purposes or to disassemble altogether.
Shelves and Baskets
A combination of shelves and baskets will give your mud room a classic, homely look while providing plenty of storage for clothes, jackets and other outdoor items. Baskets are easily accessible, easy to clean and maintain and inexpensive to replace in the event of loss or damage. Best of all, you can keep your family’s items completely out of sight when expecting guests.
Rugs and carpet can be disastrous for a mud room. When your family comes home from a day out in the rain or snow, it will be virtually impossible to prevent the carpet from getting damp – and eventually moldy. To save yourself this headache, consider installing hardwood or waterproof tile in your mudroom. Both are easy to clean, and you won’t have to worry about excess moisture during winters.
Families with serious outdoor hobbies like hunting or fishing should consider even more functional flooring in their mud room. In such cases, there’s just no beating vaulted tile. A slight slope in the floor will keep puddles from forming and allow for faster evaporation. And even if moisture does find a spot to gather, cleanup is only a quick squeegee away.
Another feature that many families are installing in their mudroom is an open or windowed ceiling. Natural light will keep the space bright and clean-looking as well as allow sun to dry wet clothes and shoes. And if an open ceiling isn’t feasible due to the design of your house, you can get the exact same effect by installing large greenhouse windows.
One practical feature that many families forget to include in their mud rooms are benches. Whether bare, padded, wooden or plastic, benches are easy to clean, look great and they’ll help make sure your family always has a place to suit up before heading outside.
Nothing is more practical than combining your mud room with your laundry room. The addition of a washer and dryer will not only keep you from having to carry wet or dirty clothes around your clean house, but it will also keep two huge appliances from taking up much needed space.
No matter which direction you pursue with your new mud room, you’re guaranteed to have a cleaner, happier and a well-organized home that both your family and visitors will appreciate. While creating a mud room isn’t necessarily an inexpensive endeavour, its well worth it for the peace of mind you’ll get from having a designated place for everything in the house.