MUD ROOMS, DROP ZONES…AND MESSES….OH MY!
It’s that time of year here in the wet Northwest that we’re all going a little crazy with the weather, and trying to get outside in spite of the rain. And when we come back into the house, we face what seems like a growing mountain of wet coats, shoes, gloves, pocket junk….you name it…right at the entry area. Inevitably this mess creeps into other areas of the house. It can feel like a hopeless battle!
As Seattle Architects all too familiar with this problem, it’s our belief that if you can design a hard-working entry zone that can store all this stuff in a way that functions efficiently, the entire house will benefit and feel neat and organized. So what are the secrets? Here are 5 critical elements:
1. MUD ROOMS NEED SPACE
Allow enough room at the entry to enable someone to remove shoes, coats, look in a mirror to adjust hair or a hat. And space enough for 2 or 3 people to stand comfortably and chat… saying goodbyes before heading out the door. Flooring material here is critical: something that can handle wet shoes and dirt without high maintenance…like tile or linoleum.
2. HORIZONTAL SURFACE(S) BY THE DOOR
A little touch that is all too often forgotten A nice flat space by the entrance and exit to this room is essential to put down keys, mail, a bag of groceries etc.
3. SIT DOWN SPACE IS NOT JUST A LUXURY
A little extra thought here goes along way. Make sure to have a place where you can sit down to take off shoes or boots, or set down shopping bags as you take off coats. This might be a bench, seat, or chair.
4. PICK-UP & GO STORAGE
Make sure to plan to add a cubby niche or drawers for storage of small door-zone items: handbags, keys, sunglasses, flashlights, and other “junk” that accumulates in this area. We also find that a small cubby/shelf that has electrical outlets for devise chargers is very popular; here is where all family members can dock their iPods and cellphones, then grab them on the way out the door!
5. COAT HANGING
Of course the essential element of a good entry area is a coat closet. I don’t think you can ever have enough coat storage space!….and shelves for shoes, boots, hats and scarves.
So depending on the style of your home, the overall question is how formal or casual the design might be for this entry zone. If this zone is your front door where visitors enter the house, you might want to hide much of the items stored here behind closet doors and in drawers, giving the area a more formal feeling.
Ideally, this zone is where you and your family enter the house very time you enter, so if it’s a back door or garage entry, the space could be much less formal than the front entry. It’s design could be more open and casual, with coat hooks, cubbies for back-packs, a ball bin (for kids sports equipment!) etc.
A terrific resource to learn more on this hard-working component of a home is Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big website.
Here are some examples of stylish and functional mud rooms