A transitional space from the garage to the rest of our home, so often, builders design in small inefficient mudroom/laundry rooms with barely enough space for the washer and dryer, let alone a place for storage and clean up.

Kathy recently worte this blog for her website and to keep it all in the family, I'm just going to tag on to her fabulous ideas on putting together your must have list for mudroom needs, wants, and desires. By no means is this the end all be-all mudroom list but it is a good way to get you thinking about this much needed and well used space in your own home.

Don't Scrimp on Size

According to HomeStyleChoices.com, the mudroom is the place to give yourself as much room as you need, within your space and budget constraints. Stated another way: “Whether you're remodeling or building new, don't let the mudroom be the on the "save" side of the 'splurge-and-save' equation.” Plan enough room to take off the snow boots, coats, gloves, hats, scarves, and all the other winter gear we’re sporting today!

Easily Maintained Floors and Walls

Mudroom flooring should be durable and easily maintained because it'll see dirt, mud, water, possibly some snow, paw prints, and the list goes on. The best surfaces are tile (remember, porcelain is hard and durable but can be slippery when wet) or lino. Wood or laminate aren’t a good choice because of the potential for problems due to standing water and ground in grit. Walls are best protected by a treatment such as wainscot ing or something similar that covers a portion of the wall height. This takes the punishment better than a painted drywall surface which dents and nicks more easily. Easily-cleaned surfaces and paints work well in these situations to fight off the grime.

Plenty of Light

Depending on your specific plans a mudroom can serve many purposes, including doubling as a laundry room. Make sure the lighting design works best for the size of your mudroom as well as the other tasks that you're going to perform there. Don't forget natural light in addition to artificial lighting by incorporating windows wherever possible in the mudroom's design.

A Place to Sit

Whether it's a standalone bench or a built-in, having a place to sit is a main mudroom element that shouldn't be left out. Trying to remove shoes or boots while standing up isn't convenient or comfortable.

Access to Garage and Outdoors

A convenient mudroom design is one that makes it the "collection point" for several entries into the house. Having two doors, one to an attached garage and one that leads directly outdoors depends on your home's layout and design but it's advantageous since it's more efficient.

Ample Storage Space

We never seem to have enough storage space in our homes! One of the reasons for having a mudroom in the first place is to stash away the things like coats, boots, umbrellas, sports equipment and other paraphernalia. Cabinets, storage benches, cubbies, baskets and lockers are all tools of the trade for helping to store these items.

A Privacy Door

A door that can close off the mudroom from the rest of the house works well when you want to hide a cluttered (or smelly) mudroom from the adjacent room. Consider pocket doors that slide into the wall, swing-doors if you have the space, or decorated glass doors . Just remember that even if you have a lot of mudroom storage space, there will probably be times when it's a mess!

A Space for Cleaning Supplies

A mudroom is a good place to store the various cleaning implements for your home, including the vacuum cleaner. These items can be stored in a coat closet in the mudroom, a separate smaller closet made just for this purpose or a nook somewhere that will keep them out of the way but handy.

A Space for Hanging Clothes to Dry

If your mudroom is doubling as a laundry room, it’s a good idea to incorporate a station for hanging wet clothes to dry. This station can be portable but does need to have good ventilation.

Plenty of Hooks and Cubbies

Hooks and cubbies make it easy for family members to quickly hang their jacket or backpack, rather than dumping them on the floor.

Don't Forget Fido

If you have a dog that needs washing now and then, a place in the mudroom where you can soap down and rinse the messy member of you family is pretty handy. There are plenty of great products on the market that make pet maintenance a breeze with home showers.

Chargers Anyone?

We’re a technology driven society! Clean off the kitchen counter and give you family a place to hock up phones, iPads, etc. in the mudroom. 
Space For A Recycling Center
Going green, embrace your environmentally friendly side with bins for recycling. Just make sure they have covers to help keep odors at a minimum.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Sounds silly, but it is the last place you'll be in your home each day before you step out to meet the world.

Honey, I can't find my Keys

(Yes, that goes for wives as well!): 
Again, let’s clean off the kitchen counter by having a spot to keep the car keys helps avoid losing them since you now have a designated spot for them. This same spot could include a message center with chalkboard panels.

Island and Countertop Space

Another purpose for a small section of cabinet-top countertop space or even a small island is for folding laundry. If your mudroom will double as a laundry room you'll want to have some space for sorting and folding.

While this isn’t a complete list, Kathy and I hope it gets you thinking about this important space in your home. If you’re ready to throw up your hands and pack your snow boots because you can't stand the mud on the kitchen floor, give us a call – the first visit is on the house!