About ten years ago I bought a house that had a dedicated mudroom, and now I’m hooked. After that I kept asking myself “how did I survive all these years without a mudroom?!?” If you have children then a mudroom is an absolute must. Every morning on my way to work I drive by a bus stop with about 50 kids standing around – and those kids are carrying huge, full backpacks. One morning I saw a little girl dragging a wheeled book bag behind her – the bag was literally bigger than she was! All of that stuff needs to go somewhere, and a mudroom is the perfect place. If you have a mudroom and/or children then you know what I’m talking about.
Mudrooms Are Not Just for Mud – Mudroom Basics
You don’t need to live in a muddy or wet climate to reap the benefits of a mudroom. A typical mudroom will have some sort of durable floor surface that’s easy to clean, a bench for putting on and taking off shoes, hooks for hanging coats, bags, backpacks and other child related paraphernalia, and maybe a shelf or two. And it’s a good idea if it’s the first room you enter from the garage or other parking area. I like mudrooms because they’re staging areas for all that stuff that might otherwise get lost in the rest of the house, like your keys or handbag – no running around in the morning frantically looking for where you laid your keys down and no tripping over the backpack your child dumped on the floor when he came home from school. Before my mudroom enlightenment my son and I had many arguments about where his things belonged. A mudroom, or even just a mudroom bench will give you a place to keep all that stuff organized.
Whenever I renovate a house I’m always looking for somewhere to squeeze in a mudroom or, at least, a mudroom bench. I’ve become mudroom obsessed! If there’s a laundry room off the garage then that’s usually where the mudroom ends up, and why not? If you’re going to come into the house all muddy and dirty, or smelly from after school sports, then you’ll want a place to wash those clothes too, right? So, do you enter your house through your laundry room? Is there a blank wall in there just begging for a bench and some hooks? You don’t need a lot of space for the bench, they’re usually only about 12 to 16 inches deep. In one of the photos above I squeezed a mudroom into the alcove left by the fireplace on the other side, there’s still plenty of room left to do the laundry.
No “Room” for a Mudroom?
You don’t need a dedicated mudroom or even a laundry room off the garage or informal entrance. Sadly, I had to move to another state leaving my beloved mudroom behind. In my new house we entered directly into the kitchen from the garage – no mudroom. This would not do! I had to find a place for a mud bench. Luckily there was a wall right inside the garage entrance that didn’t have anything on it, I could put it there! I wanted my bench to match my kitchen cabinets since it was really part of the kitchen, so I ordered an unfinished pine cubby bench and hanging cubby shelf. I assembled them, mounted them to the wall, trimmed it out with bead board and base cap, painted it to match my cabinets, added some hooks and voila! A mudroom! Well, a mud bench anyway. My husband even put puck lights under the cubbies, so we could see our coats at night I guess. Even my dogs got their own cubby!
No room inside? How about putting it in the garage, on the wall near the exit from the house? Who says it has to be in the house. No garage? What about putting a mud bench on one of the walls in the front entry or foyer? Isn’t that what those old fashioned coat trees were anyway?
Mudrooms on a Budget. It Doesn’t Need to be Pricey
As I mentioned above, I crafted a mud bench from an unfinished pine bench and wall mounted cubbies. And I’ve seen tutorials on the web with instruction on how to build one from Ikea storage pieces, not unlike our amazing Ikea built-in storage masterpiece. If you can build a box then you can build a mud bench, paint it out, add some hooks and you’ll have a place to store all that stuff that until now ended up strewn around the house. So, what are you waiting for? Scope out a site for your “mudroom” and start building – or have someone else start building for you, you’ll be great you did.