Kitchen designers crave homeowners' opinions and industry trend information to help them anticipate consumer needs. We examined what’s trending in kitchen design in a recent blog post, but there’s more rooms in a home than just the kitchen. After the kitchen and bath and walk-in closet/dressing room, consumers are looking for ways to organize their lives. Let’s look at the “mud room.”
Mud rooms are experiencing a surge in popularity. Home remodelers ask for them and allocate space to them; new homes are building them in.
Remember when the mud room was just that – a mud room? A place for muddy boots, kids’ backpacks and dirty towels to wipe dog paws? That’s in the past. Welcome to the new “mud room.”
With all the “stuff” people have now, today’s mud room has evolved into a place to organize all that “stuff.” The mud room is typically the first space you enter when you walk through the door, usually from the garage, where keys and bags are dropped and jackets taken off.
It serves as a transitional space as people move from the outdoors to the indoors.
The mud room serves an important function, yes, but it's also the welcome a person gets at the end of the day, so the more organized and handsome it is, the better feeling it creates.
On the practical side, the mud room acts as an intermediary between the outside dirt and germs and the clean surfaces inside.
The mud room holds everything from backpacks, outerwear, shoes and boots to sporting equipment and pet leashes, using storage cabinets with deep drawers, cubbies, benches and lots of built-in shelves.
It plays a role in helping families get ready to leave the house in the morning rush. Hooks, cubby cabinets and drawers are great options for kids (and adults) to easily hang and stow away backpacks, lunchboxes and coats.
When designing a mudroom, consider how the mudroom will fit the family’s lifestyle. Taking the time to edit what is needed to store and organize will help in creating an efficient mudroom that makes life a whole lot easier.
Usually keeping the family “stuff” organized is the top priority in mud room design. For others, a mudroom with good storage for a favorite hobby, like golf, is the main objective.
Or maybe a designated spot for all the pet supplies and accessories that are scattered all over the home is needed. If you love your pets but not all the leashes, food containers and treats that overwhelm your home, the mudroom can bring order to the chaos. Hooks are nice for hanging leashes, collars and doggie sweaters, while deep drawers can keep pet toys, extra dry food and pet shampoos out of sight.
Seating is also critical for putting on or removing shoes, boots or skates. Or tying shoes for little ones on the way out the door. Don’t overlook including a bench seat.
One design element everyone agrees on is having a separate space for every family member. That makes mornings much, much easier, so each person can readily find his or her school and work essentials. If sports equipment, bags, and shoes are constantly underfoot in your home, again, give everybody a separate space for such gear. Open wire baskets should be used for storing damp items to prevent mildew.
The mudroom is an ideal space to post the family schedule and important school announcements. A wall mounted chalk board is a good idea for messaging. Chalk board material can be used on the front panels of storage cabinets. Formica now offers a material that can be written on using chalk and then erased.
Cork boards are also good for the family calendar, party invitations and school reminders, etc. They can be used to create a family art gallery.
Mud rooms are designed to keep your home clean from outside dirt, provide additional storage, and keep clutter organized. But that doesn’t mean style is out of the equation. With so many design options, a mud room can be stylish and coordinate with the design theme of other rooms. And still function as a catch-all for wet boots, pet supplies and keys.
Dovetail Marketing is a full-service rep agency whose goal is to match kitchen and bath designers and remodelers with the cabinet manufacturers best suited to their business’ style and clientele. Owner Bob Aungst III represents Brighton Cabinetry, US Cabinet Depot, Holiday Kitchens and StyleCraft.