You know what’s heading our way? About five months of Southeastern PA Slush. It’s that delightful mix of cold rain/snow that turns roads into Slip n’ Slides and backyards into muddy mush. In other words, it’s Mudroom Time.

Those of you with mudrooms can skip this blog and move on to thoughts of other things, like the wonderfulness of a screened porch on a hot summer day. Everyone else should read on while we sing the praises of the hardest working room in the house.

Mudrooms, or their equivalent, have probably been around since some fastidious Cro-Magnon made visiting Neanderthals wipe their feet before entering the cave. Because, you know, Neanderthals.

The mudrooms we’re building today are a bit more elevated. We’ve incorporated everything from lockers and cubbies to sinks and full-on dog-washing stations. Some clients open their mudrooms to the kitchen or family room, while others prefer to close them off from the rest of the house. But one thing’s for sure: we’re integrating a mudroom into most of the first-floor renovations we do.

Along the way, our clients have come to appreciate a well-designed mudroom. Here are some aspects to consider if you’re thinking about adding one:

Get the entry right. The whole idea of a mudroom is to isolate the dirt/mud/water that’s dragged in every time someone in the family comes in from outside. (Mudrooms are usually for family use, as opposed to a more formal entry for guests.) While entering through a garage makes sense in many houses, in others we’ve added a yard entry or built the mudroom as an addition to place it properly.

Make it functional. Mudrooms need to work efficiently. Many of our clients have made great use of vertical “lockers” to hold coats and longer items along with a bench to sit on while removing shoes or boots. A shelf to drop packages and groceries onto is a must, as is a basket or bin to organize odds and ends.

Use tough, easy-to-clean flooring. This might seem obvious, but a mudroom is only as good as its floor. Tile, stone, or vinyl are great choices for a mudroom floor. You want to be able to get it wet and dirty without feeling guilty, and then clean it up easily.

Cram as much utility into it as you can. If there’s enough room, a small sink comes in handy more often than you’d think. We’ve also installed washers and dryers, ice makers, wine fridges, pantries, and the aforementioned dog-washing station.

Show off some craftsmanship. Some of the nicest work we’ve done is reflected in the cabinetry, moldings, hardware, and overall design of mudrooms. Fine finishes help the mudroom fit seamlessly into the overall style of the house. In the photo at the top of the page, for example, we tucked a mudroom behind a stone wall in a colonial home in Wynnewood. The crown molding and shelving match the style used throughout the house.

Ready to add or retrofit a mudroom? Give us a shout!


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