Maybe you think that the term “mudroom” sounds, well, a little dirty. It’s more pleasant than “decontamination room” — don’t you think? A mudroom is a necessity for keeping your house clean and organized and for reducing toxins in your living areas. After all, your home is your personal ecosystem.
In a study last year, researchers from the University of Houston found that 40 percent of samples taken from entrance steps were contaminated antibiotic-resistant C.difficile bacteria strains. A University of Arizona study of shoe soles resulted in finding an average of nearly a half million units of bacteria such as E. coli and meningococcal on a single shoe. How does a smorgasbord of dangerous bacteria end up on our shoes? We walk through public spaces that contain bird droppings, dog waste, germs from restroom floors, debris from other people’s shoes (and who knows where they’ve been), —just to name a few sources.
Add other toxins to the mix like those from contaminated soil and other outdoor surfaces: pesticides, fungal toxins, coal tar from driveways, gasoline, and air pollution residue. These toxins persist in the air in the form of dust, which is inhaled and absorbed by our skin as it settles on the floor and furniture. Chemicals stay in the air and on surfaces longer in our homes than they do outdoors, where the sun and rain help break down pesticide residues. Okay, enough about the scary stuff!
Historically, mudrooms originated in rural settings where roads were unpaved and often muddy. Mudrooms were usually just a small space in the back entryway and next to the kitchen of a farmhouse or manor. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the mudroom grew larger and became a mainstream dedicated space. The trend for “clean living” continues today!
Mudrooms are one of the top features that homeowners request. Reports on new product innovation from the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and NAHB’s International Builder Show (IBS) are packed with the latest trends and products for healthful homes.
When planning a mudroom in your home, consider all of the things need to store including shoes, coats and winter accessories, umbrellas, gardening and outdoor gear, and out-the-door essentials. And a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, of course! Don’t forget to include electrical outlets.
The detailing, materials, and finishes of built-ins should match those in the main house but in a more durable, simple, and informal way. Most importantly, they should be easy to clean and maintain.
Elements of an efficient and family-friendly mudroom:
Hooks & Racks: Coats, hats, scarves, backpacks, keys, and umbrellas all need somewhere to hang. Multiple rows can maximize your wall space.
Bench: It’s a must-have — a comfortable place to sit down and take off your shoes. Make your bench do double-duty by putting a boot tray underneath, or using a bench with a flip-up seat for extra concealed storage.
Cubbies or Lockers: The ultimate mudroom feature is a set of cubbies or lockers. Assign a designated storage space for each member of your family. Vertical spaces can include low storage for shoes, mid-level hooks for coats, and upper areas for seasonal items.
Closet: Even though a mudroom is kind of like one giant closet, there are miscellaneous items that can be stored out of sight to streamline the room. Seasonal things like holiday decor, sports equipment, and outerwear can be kept dust-free in a closet.
Sink: A utility sink is useful for gardening, cleaning up paint and crafts, or a quick application of stain treatment for mud splatters on your pants. An oversized sink is handy for hosing off pets.
Tile Floor: Durable and easy to clean, tile is the most sensible flooring option for a mudroom. Add radiant heat below to make cold days a little warmer.
If you’re interested in adding a mudroom to your home or if you have another project in mind, please Request a Free Consultation or call us at 812-479-5850. Make Plans with Popham!