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American Homeowners Association



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.

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