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Once the feature of 1800’s farm and manor houses, the mudroom was originally designed as a place for the farmer or farm hand to clean up before entering the home.  

By the turn of the century, many mudrooms were eliminated to make space for electricity and indoor plumbing,.  Fast forward to the mid-20th century, and mudrooms were all but gone as homeowners opted instead for features like attached garages.  In the 1980’s mudrooms made a comeback, and for active households today, they have become the ultimate headquarters for home organization. 

Home builders today are designing mudrooms in all shapes and sizes, with the best designs complementing the specific lifestyle of the owners.  For example, active households have lots of toys, gardeners have lots of tools, and pet owners appreciate having leashes and collars at their disposal for easy dog walks.    Mudroom with Chalkboard

 Some of the best features of today’s mudroom might include furniture-style cabinetry, a cushioned bench, and beaded board walls with hooks and shelves.  The clever homeowner in this home opted to use chalkboard paint on the doors of each of these cabinets, with baskets for shoes underneath.

 If laundry facilities aren’t near your mudroom, large baskets under a bench can serve the purpose for transporting muddy clothes, kid’s snow suits and towels that were used to wipe down the wet dog.  Key racks, mirrors, umbrella stands and hampers can turn even the smallest mudroom into a hard-working household’s best friend. 

 Here are some other features of well-designed mudrooms:

  • Easily maintained floors & walls. Use wainscoting on the walls to protect wallboard from nicks & dents.  It adds architectural charm AND function.  Tile, linoleum & vinyl floors will stand up to muddy shoes & wet dogs.
  • A place to sit.  Boots are much easier to remove when sitting rather than standing.
  • Space to hang clothes to dry.  Wet jackets and snow suits will take longer to dry and will smell in a closed closet.  Having the luxury of open space to hang these items will be well worth the sacrifice of space. 
  •  Privacy door. In addition to having access to the outdoors and/or garage, the best mudrooms also have an interior door so that the clutter is out of sight from the primary living rooms in the home.  The goal of every mudroom is that it’s a collection point–but there’s no need to look at it from your kitchen table!
  • Recharging station. Instead of taking up valuable space on your kitchen counters, working a recharging station into the design of your mudroom means even your hand-held electronic devices have a designated place.  Maybe you’ll never have to hear “I’ve lost my cellphone” again!

About Brad Rozansky

Licensed for 35 years in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Recognized among the Top Real Estate Teams in the United States by The Wall Street Journal from 2008 to the present. Now working with our second generation of home buyers and sellers!


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