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Mudrooms for Harmony at Home

No longer simply a spot for wet boots and coats, these spaces are both functional and beautiful  

Almost every trip in or out of a house involves baggage: coats, purses, packages, shoes, books, backpacks, sports equipment. The list can stretch on endlessly. A dedicated space between the back door and the rest of the house has become almost a necessity to contain the essentials that accompany busy lifestyles.

Although defined as places for shedding wet or dirty footwear and clothing, mudrooms have evolved to handle much more. Regardless of size or style, a good mudroom has what it takes to stand up to rugged use, including tile floors, wood-paneled walls, and sturdy cabinetry incorporating storage features every bit as diverse as the items that need storing, from hooks and pegs to cabinets, drawers, and cubbies. The high-traffic spaces pictured here illustrate how pretty and practical can unite to ensure that each family member gets off to an organized start every morning and is welcomed home to a well-ordered haven at the end of the day.

Taking it to the top

Floor-to-ceiling storage for each family member lets this Vermont mudroom stay well organized even during ski season. A specially designed cabinet keeps skis and snowboards handy while cabinets above the cubbies hold infrequently used items within reach but out of sight. A sturdy wraparound bench doubles as a step to access upper cabinets. Several of the open cubbies have electrical outlets in the back to provide storage and recharging space for iPods and cell phones. Designed and built by Peregrine/Design Build, South Burlington, Vt. Photos by Susan Teare.

Back-door blues

This colorful mudroom addition to a stately older home brings the house up to date without sacrificing its period charm. Plenty of shelves and a double row of pegs skillfully incorporated into the wainscot paneling keep essentials ready to go at a moment’s notice. Perfectly integrated into the surrounding trim, a curved window seat is an ideal perch for tying shoes or parking a backpack before walking out the door. Designed by Amory Architects, Boston, Mass. Built by S+H Construction, Cambridge, Mass. Photo by Adrian Catalano Photography.

From chaos to calm

What had once been an awkward catchall space leading from garage to kitchen was reconfigured to become a practical, well-organized mudroom. Extrawide cubbies hold coats, bags, and sports equipment while under-bench storage accommodates the family’s collection of sneakers and boots. Thanks to a bright, bold color scheme, plenty of natural light, and a bench that’s also a window seat, this mudroom is a place to hang out as well as hang up. Architect: Patricia Warren, Woodbridge, Conn. Builder: Norback Builders. Photo by Maggie Cole.
BeforeBefore
AfterAfter

Four-legged family members need mudrooms, too

No need to drag Fido through the house to the master bath after he’s rolled through a mud puddle. A tiled pet shower is right inside this mudroom’s door, complete with a tall curb and a long hose. This alcove is also ideal for rinsing off muddy boots or for letting snow-covered outerwear dry. A bulletin board, a bench with storage below, and heavy-duty coat hooks maximize versatility. Designed by Larry Crouse. Built by Graham Contracting, Wayland, Mass. Photos by Roe A. Osborn.
From Fine Homebuilding196 , pp. 86-87
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