If you live in the country, a place to clean off the outside dirt before entering the house is essential. Whether you call it a mudroom or think of it as a fancier boot room, if you value a clean home, it's a fundamental - but often overlooked - part of any family home.
Here are five key questions to consider when designing your space.
How Will You Use It?
Not all families' needs are the same. Think about what your family - kids, pets, and adults alike - do outdoors. Do you enjoy gardening in the backyard? Do the kids play particular outdoor sports? Are you hikers or daily dog-walkers?
Consider the outdoor environment, too. Is the area around the back door muddy and filled with greenery? Or is it comprised of hardscaping and cleaner outdoor entertainment spaces? What do you tend to carry into the house? Do you go outside for certain daily tasks, like taking the garbage out or carrying firewood? Will you use the space during the day or more at night?
Questions like these will help you identify exactly what you need the mudroom to accomplish for your family.
What Needs Storage?
Storage is a key part of any mudroom. But don't just plop down a bunch of standard cabinets and hope for the best. Once you've assessed your family's needs, you can design storage that actually fits those requirements and keeps things from being strewn around the room.
If you use a lot of winter coats and boots, for instance, you may need wider closets or clothes racks. If sports equipment will be stored here, make specialty hanging or cabinet storage for the gear. Will you be doing some light gardening? Create a workstation with open storage for tools and pots. The more specific you are about storage, the more it will keep your life organized.
Can You Clean It Easily?
This space is designed to get dirty. It, in effect, takes the bullet of dirtiness to save the rest of the house. But this means that it needs to be sturdy and easy to clean. Choose hard flooring materials that will stand up to harsh use and debris without staining or pitting easily. Choose similar materials for countertops.
Most mudrooms also benefit from having a drain in the floor and a large sink. This way, you can clean up the room, the kids, and your pets easily, then drain extra mud or water away from the house.
Are Pets a Part of It?
Some homeowners use the mudroom to help keep pet dirt out of the house as well. You could simply include additional space for a kennel, feeding station, or a dog bed.
Or you could add a pet grooming station to keep the rest of the house clean. A pet grooming station could include a protected shower-like stall with a small spray hose and a few grooming supplies like a blow dryer and towels.
How Does It Connect to the House?
Don't forget to consider the aesthetics and comfort of the home. Homes in cold climates do well to include an interior door leading from the mudroom to the main areas of the house. This prevents unnecessary heat loss or drafts and saves energy bills.
Think, too, about how the room will look next to the rooms all around it. You don't need to make it an exact replica of adjoining rooms, but complementary decor will make things look harmonious. Look for similar wood grains, wall color palettes, and decorative accents.
No matter the size and makeup of your family, a properly planned mudroom can make a big difference in keeping things calm and clean throughout your house. For more assistance creating the right design for your space, talk to the interior design experts at Julie Williams Design today.