The Mudroom is back.
Growing up in rural America I remember everyone's home had a Mudroom. My friend's homes, large or small, had one. My Aunts & Uncles homes had them. And all my Grandparents homes had one. The Farm House my father remodeled in the early 70's had a large one, so it seemed since I was little. It was on the side of the home pointed toward the farm & it had multiple uses. Muddy boots, coats, my Pop's farm filthy clothes, & Mom's garden shoes, gloves & tools were the primary inhabitants. But what I remember most were the Beagle dog beds, the duckling boxes, & incubated hatching chicken eggs that filled the room almost every Winter. That 8'X8' space was just as important as the Kitchen in our home. It wasn't the heart of the home but it was certainly the artery.
In the 80's when I started designing homes for clients I remember quite a few times including a Mudroom in the Floor Plan only to have it deleted later to cut cost & square feet. Clients often said it was a waste of space & had little to no use for it. It made sense at the time. These were clients & homes that were in developments & towns. No one was coming home with muddy boots. No one had farm duties & animals to tend to & then coming in filthy & stinky. No one had animals to bring in from the cold. The Mudroom along with the Formal Living Room was becoming extinct. The Garage & even the Laundry Room were enough to take over Mudroom duties & then some.
In the 90's & even into the early 2000's home owners had all but forgotten or had never even heard the term, "Mudroom." I designed hundreds of homes those decades & maybe two had a true Mudroom. The Garage & the Back or Side Porch just emptied right into the home. Home living in those decades could still have used one, but it was an idea that was for "Farm Living." To compensate for the loss & fill in the need, the Laundry Room started moving towards the Garage & Kitchen in my Floor Plans. Clients started needing more closet space in the back of the house for coats, boots, & now backpacks. There were a hybrid of combinations in these plans, all subject to the client's needs. Mom's were begging for a place to "declutter" the Kitchen & Kid's Bedrooms. You see, the muddy boots of old were now muddy soccer shoes. The one coat for every family member was now multiple coats for every occasion. Pop's farm filthy clothes were now lawn mowing attire. And Mom's garden tools were now baseball bats, soccer balls, & all kinds for sports equipment. "Where do we put all this STUFF!", I remember one client asking her husband during a design meeting.
TAH-DAH!! The Mudroom is back. Around 2010 I remember designing the first true comeback of the Mudroom in my career in The Tackett1. Mrs. Tackett was adamant there was to be a place to throw all these modern day cluttering, yet useful, necessities. Coming in from the Garage is now a large space with built-in lockers, overhead storage, a built-in bench with storage below, & even a walk-in closet to store even more items as they transform Winter wear to Summer wear & sporting equipment. Mrs. Tackett even suggested that her husband's Office be right off the Mudroom as a convenience to how he worked. From there this much needed space in today's families has evolved & become a mainstay & prerequisite in the planning of new homes. Even recently I did a remodel/addition to an 1980's home & a Mudroom was on the wish-list. No matter the size of the home, even for young couples & empty nesters, the Mudroom is back & here to stay in home planning.
Today's Mudroom may hold & house different cargo than it's predecessors, but the function is still the same. They come in many shapes & sizes. They come with many different components & styles. With Pinterest & Houzz, along with Google & other search engines you'll see the possibilities are endless. Mudrooms are even morphing in with Laundry Rooms, creating huge multipurpose spaces. I had one client do this & named the space, "Mom's Office." It included a built-in desk & even a window seat for her as well. Clients have even asked for the spaces to include custom built-in Kennels, Dog Beds & raised Dog Showers. This space is now a necessity to our modern day living. So whether you're designing your next home or looking to buy your next home, make sure it has a Mudroom. They say a Kitchen alone can sell a home. Well now the Mudroom can seal the deal.