Why a Mud Room is Beautiful
It's not a pretty sight. Whether an entry, kitchen or hallway, every home
has a major thoroughfare where dirt, sand, snow, or leaves get tracked into
the house and ground into the floor. Coats get draped over chairs and muddy
boots get tossed aside. But there is a solution to the chaos called a mud
room. If you're willing to invest some time and money in a small-scale
remodeling project, a mud room spells relief from all that dirty traffic that
normally invades your living spaces.
Build it and they will come. Located at or near the entry, it's a
transitional space between indoors and outdoors that absorbs the flotsam and
jetsam of daily life. It's a perfect storage space for outdoor clothing,
sporting equipment, a broom closet, or anything your imagination can conjure.
What are the essential mud room ingredients? Start with a flooring material
that's fairly impervious to dirt. Wood is probably not a good idea since
dirt gets into the grain. Consider tiles or a rugged indoor-outdoor carpet.
Another good idea is to place a rubber-backed, non-slip floor mat that people
can use to wipe off grit and mud.
Adapt your design to the space available. A porch can be enclosed, or a
hallway or walkout basement reconfigured to provide a mud room. Some mud
rooms are open-air porch spaces that enable the family to set packages or
items down before fiddling with a door key. Utilize space saving ideas to
maximize storage room and to keep clutter out of the house. For example, a
storage bench is perfect for putting on or removing boots, sandals or the
season's appropriate footwear. Use the bin to store footwear when not in
use, or toys, sporting equipment, bike helmets, strollers, and the like.
Other features to consider include closets, shelves and cubbies. Store your
recyclable materials in the closet, rather than clutter up the kitchen, or
keep brooms, mops and vacuum cleaner there. Cubbies are perfect places for
keys, mail, gloves or other small personal items. It's not a bad idea to
install a sink for washing off or even a half-bath if water supply lines and
sewer lines are accessible. That way your kids can come in for a drink or
bathroom break without tracking mud or sand into the house. Install a
baseboard heater for welcome comfort in winter, and hang wet gloves or
clothes on a rack nearby to dry.