Making A Case for the Mudroom

Mudroom design with a washing machine and storage

For families that live in modern cookie cutter developments, it’s not uncommon to find a mudroom absent from their home’s design, an often long-forgotten tribute to a bygone era. But where did the mudroom go and should we expect to see it resurface in the years to come?

As the saying goes, “desperation breeds innovation.” And in a world where pandemics are the new “normal,” we often find ourselves wondering how to ease the stress of everyday life and embrace a less germ-ridden version of today. We’ve started taking our shoes off at the door, using hand sanitizer in every store we visit, and standing further apart in line but what does this new normal look like when it comes to the home?

Glad you asked! Let’s talk mudrooms.

What is a mudroom?

A mudroom is an architectural term made popular in the 1950s for a less formal, transitional entryway where family members could enter the home between the garage and the main living area, or perhaps a familial, rear entry on homes that boast acreage, drop their belongings, remove dirty outwear and shoes, and enter the home without the typical trappings of everyday life. The purpose of the mudroom evolved over time, beginning and ending with hygienic necessity, but the glorified Pinterest catalogs of today want you to believe the purpose aligns more with fantastical ornamentation than practicality, leading to designers removing this feature from homes throughout the past few decades.

What makes a good mudroom?

Prepare your space to accept messiness and to provide an opportunity to leave that grime behind before entering a habitable space. What goes in a mudroom? This honestly all comes down to personal preference but optimizing your cleaning routine, and likewise containing the trappings of the outside world, is the name of the game. A seating area to remove outer clothing, easily sanitized floors, and a washer and dryer are a good start in the design with many pushing the envelope through doggy doors, locker systems, pet food/water, and storage for outer garments.

The bottom line is that the mudroom design should support the ability for the room to get messy but to also be cleaned out efficiently if necessary, whether through a full tile design with floor drains or easily mopped luxury vinyl alternatives. A wash basin, or slosh sink, is another great addition for cleaning those stained clothes without tracking the debris throughout the home. Even running tile halfway up a wall from the floor is another great way to provide a less-porous surface for potential organisms to reside.

Other things to consider

What are some of the other things you can consider in mudroom design? Consider a 3/4 bath in or off the mudroom to go directly into cleaning before entering the home on those particularly dirty days and pocket doors to keep the mess away from prying, guest eyes. A storage cabinet to keep cleaning materials close at hand is also not a bad idea. Remember that this is the place where cleaning and sanitization happens, so make sure it’s a place that can handle the constant grime and can be easily cleaned.

Have a particularly thoughtful mudroom design? Share it with us for an opportunity to be featured on our blog and to share your learnings with the rest of the herd! /J

Interested in bringing back more old trends into your home? Read https://vigeoconstruction.com/old-house-trends-you-want-to-bring-back/.

Check out our 1950s craftsman bungalow renovation here https://vigeoconstruction.com/craftsman-bungalow-renovation-boulder-co/