Adapted from Domain.com.au.
Come winter, there is one room every homeowner wishes they had.
Mudrooms are where all the mess that comes with wet weather gets left behind, putting an end to the frustration of melting boots or the drip trail of a wet jacket.
Most common in the colder climates of Canada, the US, and across Europe, mudrooms are now becoming a common feature in new homes, particularly with big families and those living in climates with four distinct seasons.
Amelia Lee from Undercover Architect says that while the mudroom can come in many different formats, it is generally defined as a space that isolates the mess.
“It’s that airlocked space between cold outside and warm interiors where everyone can come in and take off their coats, boots and anything that might be dirty and wet, pop it all down and close doors behind them and then move into the warmth of the house without losing the heat from inside,” she says.
Mudrooms are commonly found at a side entry or just inside the internal entry of the garage so that clothing can be removed before continuing inside the house.
They are usually positioned near the laundry with some featuring two-way drawers to connect the two rooms. This way, dirty or wet clothes don’t need to be carried from room to room and can be immediately whisked out of sight.
Mudrooms also serve as decluttering spaces, particularly for children’s school and sports belongings, says Lee.
“These are about saving your sanity at those busy moments or arriving and leaving home when you never know where anything got put down,” she says.
“They are particularly good for families who might have sporty kids that are arriving home with rugby, soccer, footy or swimming gear or if one of the adults in the family has a job that’s mainly outside.
“It’s all about helping your family keep routines for where they keep things.”
A mudroom may be as simple as a small space in the laundry where there’s room for a bench seat and some hooks on the wall behind it. Or they can be a dedicated room with cubicles and individual storage units set up for each person in the family.
Sarah Nolen, interior designer from Bird Black Design, says there are four things every mudroom needs:
Separation for each person
“Individualising the space is a good starter,” she says.
“It gives ownership for children as well so they don’t dump things wherever. They know they have their own special place to put their shoes, hang up their school bag and it keeps it clean without you having to do anything.”
Decide how many items need to be stored and work backwards from there. Ensure hooks can handle the weight of big coats, especially when they are wet, and baskets or cabinetry is spacious enough for tall boots as well as sports and school bags. A place to store brollies may be a nice touch too.
A bench seat
A stand-alone bench seat or one that is integrated into cabinetry is a mudroom essential.
“Incorporate a bench seat so that kids can sit down on and put shoes on, take them off so they’re not standing up doing it,” Nolen says.
Mudrooms are wear and tear central. Opt for hardwood timber bench seats and choose tiles or floorboards over carpet.