Put Some Style and Imagination in Your Floor Plan’s Mud Room
“Walk from the gravel path to the back patio… take off your shoes, school bags on the bench, get your sandals from the rack before going into the house.”
My nephews heard this over and over when they were little kids – until it became second nature to them. It got to the point where they even instructed guests on the drill. To this day, this exercise is repeated in the rear patio, which has served as an informal mud room for the family.
By definition, a mud room is a room, an entryway, or a corner in the home that is the transition point from the outdoors to the indoors. In a number of home plans, the mud room is situated in the back of the house or in the area between the house and the garage – areas deemed to be the best locations to shed all the dirt and paraphernalia before entering the main house.
Top 3 Reasons Include a Mud Room in Your Home Plan
In 2016, a mud room is almost always on a homeowner’s “wish” list. Whether you live in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the Eastern seaboard, or beach country where you have to contend with rain, snowstorms, sand, and beach debris, a mud room is an important addition to the design of a house plan.
Here are a mud room’s obvious benefits:
1. Order and Organization
Tired of all the bags, books, magazines, shoes, and coats thrown all over the floor? Any small corner will work if your home is not big enough to accommodate a formal mud room. How about a bench in the entry hall as a drop-off spot? Provide baskets for shoes, waste cans for umbrellas, and hooks for coats, keys, purses, and backpacks. In no time, you have fashioned a rudimentary mud room – and tidied up the clutter.
This built-in bench along the hallway serves as a “mud room” for a two-story, four-bedroom country home. There are open shelves on the top and bottom for shoes, hooks for keys and jackets, and a runner to confine dirt and grime away from the main living area of the floor plan (Plan # 153-1904).
2. Clean Space
An organized space is a big plus. But the main purpose of a mud room in a floor plan is to keep dirt and grime from getting inside the home. A room that you can reach from the garage, the back entry, or the laundry room (located on the way into the living area) goes a long way into maintaining clean floors. Even if the “mud room” is a space in the entrance hallway of a home plan, it’s easier to clean just that area instead of the entire house when muddy shoes and wet rainwear are dropped all over the place.
Need additional storage space? A mud room outfitted with open shelves, cabinets, bins, and hooks will solve that problem. Seasonal items – hats, gloves, scarves – can be placed in bins and stored on shelves or underneath the mud-room bench. An even better option is a full-scale mud room complete with closets where the family can hang winter coats and rain gear – and keep summer needs like beach towels, sandals, and other essentials.
All of these advantages of having a mud room in a floor plan are giving homeowners the push to add one – or at least to find a corner of the home to turn into a makeshift mud-room space.
4 Great Ideas to Get Creative with Your Mud Room
The simplest, most functional area designated as the mud room can be transformed into a stylish, fun, and well-decorated space. A splash of bright paint, plants, colorful tiles, picture frames, curtains, and artisan-crafted baskets and bins will make that corner of your home more than just a “dumping” ground for clutter.
What would have been an empty space next to the staircase of a two-story, five-bedroom European-style home plan is now occupied by built-in shelves with hooks and bins for sports gear, shoes, and boots. A planter and dark-brown bins add a touch of color and complement the natural tones of the staircase (Plan # 142-1134).
Add patterned floor tiles and colorful pillows to the bench that complement your color scheme to make the mud room more interesting.
This functional hallway mud room in a European style country home (Plan # 142-1068) can look like more homey with colorful pillows and perhaps patterned tiles on the floor.
2. The Mud Room as Interior Garden
Potted flowers and plants are appealing touches, and they and make the room brighter and fresher.
A few flower blooms will make this well-designed laundry room / mud room in a six-bedroom Country home even more attractive (Plan # 163-1047).
3. Color It Bright
A splash of vibrant paint – and perhaps picture frames – will transform the mud room from a pass-through station into a real room.
4. Make a Sink Work
Let’s not forget that the mud room is also a functional space. Installing a sink makes it convenient for family members – especially kids – to wash up after being outdoors.
Here to Stay – with a Storied Past
While the modern mud room has ignited the home décor and architectural industries in recent years, the original idea has been around for quite some time. Think farms and ranches, and early mud rooms as “clean-up stations.” They featured sinks for washing up and getting rid of hay and dust from the stables and barn, a bin for dirty clothes, and mats to wipe muddy shoes. After all, who wants dirt and grime in a clean house?
Since those early days in the farm and country, the mud room has gone from a simple corner in the home – mainly used for cleaning up – into something bigger and more versatile. Today, a mudroom is most often a utility/storage room that includes the washer and dryer. In other homes, it serves as a garden room, mail/message center, food-water corner for pets, work station, and a makeshift home office.
This one-story, three-bedroom Country home with European touches (top) features an open floor layout, a rear porch, an outdoor patio, and a mud room, located in the hallway outside the Great Room. The floor plan (bottom) shows the mud room’s location and easy access from the two-car garage (Plan # 142-1068).
With all of the creative things you can do with the mud room, it may soon change from a merely functional space in the home to your favorite room!