MAINTAINING A HOME
Why every busy household needs a mud room
19 August 2020
Mud rooms have been popular in American and British country homes for decades — but now they’re gaining traction in Australia, too. Here are a few tips on creating one of your own.
Ask any organisation expert or compulsive cleaner — the secret to keeping a neat and tidy house is to give everything a home of its own.
Enter the mud room, a dedicated space that acts as a catch-all for muddy boots, jackets, umbrellas, hats, bags and school backpacks. Ideally, it’s a transition zone between the outdoors and the indoors, providing a sense of “store and order” and saving the house from being awash with dirt and everything else everyone dumps in the dining room.
Read on to learn more about this growing home trend.
While the hard-working space is gaining momentum in Australian home design, the mud room originated in farmhouses and manors in the UK and the US. “It’s a small room typically off the back or side of a house in more rural settings,” says interior designer Alix Helps of Alix Helps Interiors. “It serves as a midway point between the great outdoors and the well-kept home interior where muddy boots and coats could be removed and stored out of sight. Modern mud rooms have evolved to become the absolute workhorse of a family home and we’ve certainly embraced them here in Australia.”
The ultimate tidy room
“Creating a designated home for the storage of boots, coats, bags, packages, dog leads and other associated 'family life' paraphernalia means the actual entryway to the home is left clean, tidy and uncluttered,” explains Helps. A well-designed mud room gives every member of the family their own storage space, whether it’s for school bags, sports equipment or otherwise. If the storage sell isn’t cutting it for you, it’s worth considering the value it may add to your home. “While great joinery design provides storage and organisation opportunities, it’s also proved to be a great drawcard for home buyers if you’re looking to sell in the future.”
Customise the space
Like any home improvement project, the first step is to ask yourself what you actually need from this space. Do you have a house full of children coming in and out all day long? A four-legged friend that keeps you on your toes? “The key inclusions would be bench seating, storage for individual family members’ coats and bags, and perhaps even a dog wash to keep the furry family members in tip-top condition,” says Helps. “Because this is a space where mud, sand and water will be brought in from outside, avoid timber or marble floors. Instead, opt for more practical finishes like a porcelain tiled floor.”
While it depends on the layout of your home, the mud room should be the first point of contact when you’re coming in from the great outdoors. “We tend to incorporate a mud room into a larger laundry space, providing there’s another entry from outside to the house,” says Helps. This way you can keep your front entrance perfectly tidy for visitors — and dirty clothes can go straight into the wash. “If space or floorplan doesn’t allow, a scaled-down version can be incorporated into an entryway,” she adds. Think doorless built-ins with stylish wall hooks, or a custom bench seat with storage underneath.
Plan your budget
Whether your mud room requires a lot of work or a little can depend on your space. If it’s a lot, you’ll want to make sure you can get it done without breaking the bank. Luckily, we have a free and easy budget planner that can help!
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