It’s the unglamorous workhorse of your home, forever accepting any function, wet coat or snow-covered boot you toss its way. Years ago, the lowly mudroom was an afterthought of log home design. Now everything has changed.
Mudroom as Entryway
While your Aunt Maude will always use the front door, the mudroom has become the unofficial entryway to the home for family, close friends and other people in the know. Simple reason: It’s conveniently located between the garage and the main living space.
One crucial element that helps mudrooms serve as entries is an easy-to-clean floor, typically vinyl or tile. A few other ways to make a mudroom a more welcoming entryway include wire boot brushes for scraping soles, an in-wall heater for drying off and warming up and a mirror for a quick check before heading out the door.
Mudroom as Storage Center
Considering the average size of a mudroom has increased considerably, it only makes sense that the room’s use as a storage area has grown as well. And when it comes to creative storage solutions for this space, the possibilities are endless.
Cabinetry. Today’s mudroom often has a full set of upper and lower cabinets, complete with a countertop, just like the kitchen.
Clothes Storage. To corral any dirty or winter clothes that make their way into the mudroom, use baskets for each member of the family and hooks for hanging coats, jackets and other clothing.
Sporting Goods. The final component of any mudroom storage area is a pantry-style closet for sports equipment, which also can house everything from old clothes to holiday decorations.
Mudroom as Office Space
Considering that many mudrooms now have a full set of cabinets with countertops, it only makes sense that this becomes usable workspace. “This can be a perfect area for sorting mail and paying bills,” says Brian Breit, sales manager and structural engineer for Wilderness Log Homes in Plymouth, Wisconsin. “Other home owners incorporate an entire computer center into their mudrooms and use it as their actual office.”
Mudroom as Living Space
If comfort is part of the criteria for spending lots of time in a room, why not this multipurpose space? “I often see home owners adding phones, computers, small televisions, radios and even refrigerators to their mudrooms,” says Brian. “At parties, the extra countertop in the mudroom is a great place to store the extra food and drinks that won’t fit well on the kitchen counter.”
A mudroom may be one of the most practical rooms in the home, but there are, of course, still opportunities to add a little luster to this modest space.
One example: Why not make a mudroom the entryway to your own private country club? “One client built his own private par 3 golf course,” says Brian. “So naturally, the access to the locker rooms and the course itself was through the mudroom!”
Read the full story in the December 2005 issue of Log Home Living.
Photo by Cindy Thiede