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Six Design Tips for Your Mudroom

Log and timber home buyers are introducing rustic elegance to the humble yet functional mud room.

Today’s log and timber home buyers are introducing rustic elegance to the humble yet functional mud room.

The humble mudroom. What its name lacks in charm, it more than makes up for in functionality.

In fact, many of today’s log and timber home buyers are adding a touch of elegance to what was once a strictly utilitarian space.

As this ever-so-useful space has increased in popularity, so too has its decorating possibilities and design elements.  That’s why the members of the Log and Timber Homes Council put together these six design tips to help home buyers like you when designing their dream home.

1) How Much Do You Want to Spend on Your Mudroom?

If there’s a common theme in building your dream home, every material and labor decision you make always comes back to how it’s going to effect your budget.

Keep in mind mudrooms don’t need to be a large portion of your budget or your square footage. You can opt to create this functional space within a simple hallway equipped with cubbyholes, hooks and pegs for coats and hats, and a bench for changing muddy shoes and storage.

If you envision something more lavish, perhaps devoting an entire room to all your mudroom features, you will have to account for that in your budget.  With upscale log and timber homes, the mud room can be equipped with a raft of features. These can include:

  • Laundry facilities
  • Lockers for storage of outdoor gear (think  helmets, skies, snowshoes, mountain bikes, etc)
  • Work bench for tuning all your toys
  • Half bath or full bath
  • Potting sink for the green thumb in your family
  • Recycling and refuse storage
  • Charging stations for all your electronics

Design your mudroom with amenities that fit your lifestyle. A mountain resort retreat would have different needs in a mudroom than a log and timber home buyer with a cattle ranch to run.

2) Determine Location

But before you decide on all those delightful amenities, you will have to decide on a location for your mudroom. Typically it is space between the great outdoors and the interior of your log and timber home.

Most log and timber home designers agree  there are two main locations. The most common is the entry point from the garage or the breezeway from an unattached garage. One can take off muddy boots and store your gear before entering the rest of the home.

Another option, especially if you’re building on a slope with a walk out basement, is to have the mudroom in the basement, keeping the upstairs neat and tidy.

3) Create Drop Zones For Keys and Laptops

If you’re the type of person that drives yourself crazy misplacing car keys, wallet and cell phone, now’s your chance to corral them. The mudroom can be an excellent place to organize these items with their own space to drop them when arriving home.

Designers call such functionality “drop zones,” and yours should include space for your keys and wallet, but also backpacks, purses, briefcases and laptops.  Some home buyers take a step further and include charging stations for all their electronic devices.

Other buyers have added places for incoming and outgoing mail, recycling bins and garbage compactors.

4) Cabinetry and Countertops

Since storage is the main function of the mudroom, standard kitchen cabinets can serve well in this role. This is especially true if you’re opting to include a washer and dryer in your mudroom. Cabinets for storing cleaning supplies and counter tops for folding will go a long way to keeping your mudroom organized. These counter top spaces are also helpful for a landing space for groceries, after shopping.

If you’re budget’s tight, one doesn’t have to invest in new cabinetry for this utilitarian room. Buy second hand from recycling centers and save big. Then dress those cabinets up with some new hardware and no one will be the wiser.

Same goes for countertops, if you’re trying to save money. Granite tile will look nearly as fancy as your granite counter tops in your kitchen, at a fraction of the cost.

5) Lighting Strategy

Since this space is devoted to tasks, make sure there’s plenty of lighting. Because logs absorb light rather than reflect it as with drywall, you will need roughly twice the lumens of conventional construction.

So plan ahead with plenty of lighting for this space. If possible with your design, bring in natural day light with solar tubes or skylights.

Designers warn to have on/off switches at both exits and entrances to your mudroom, if it’s a hallway or through-room traffic pattern. This will enable you to turn off and on your electrical lighting whether you are coming or going. It will save you innumerable steps in daily living.

6) Trendiest Trend in Mudrooms? Doggie Shower

Log and timber home owners love their pets. And what better way to show it than to devote a small shower in the mudroom for washing off muddy paws.

It make sense when you start running the numbers. Say you’ve got three fur babies. With two walks a day, that’s 24 muddy paws to deal with each rainy day?

Make you and your dogs lives easier, by adding a dog washing station with handheld shower.  Everyone will bark with joy!