April 14, 2013

Mudrooms that ooze charm

A buffer space between your home and the outside world can be just as fabulous as it is functional.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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One side of this Scarborough mudroom, designed and constructed by Caleb Johnson Architects + Builders, is filled with winter gear and has plenty of room for shoes, coats, boots and more. Tile and wood make the space both attractive and practical.

Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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The mudroom has a door leading in from the outside. The rest of the home is accessible from a set of stairs.

Additional Photos Below

For larger shoes, try using baskets inside of a larger cubby system. And, by adding rocks to any old plastic boot tray, you'll create a place that allows wet shoes to drain and dry.

• HIT THE FLOOR -- Clean and durable flooring is of "paramount importance" to a good, functional mudroom, says Rusty Partridge of Black Dog Timberworks in Hartford. Slate tiles or concrete would be good, and would allow you to install under-floor heating mats, Partridge said.

Bruce Leland of Long Cove Builders in Harpswell suggests looking at high-pressure laminate flooring too, as many laminates today are made to look like tile or stone.

• HEAT THINGS UP -- Mudrooms are often under-heated, said Partridge, so wet coats and boots won't dry. Consider a wall-mounted radiant heater to add some warmth. Your mudroom floor might stay dryer and cleaner if you have a place to stomp boots outside.

Consider adding a little roof overhang, over your mudroom door, to create a place to kick off snow and mud a little before entering the mudroom, Partridge says.

Leland says that if possible, make your mudroom act as an airlock with a door between it and the rest of the house, which will help lower energy costs in the rest of the house.

• GADGETS GALORE -- If you shop around, you'll see lots of gadgets that might help the style and function of your mudroom, including benches with storage underneath and all sorts of storage items.

One very interesting techno mudroom gadget, suggested by professional organizer Sandy Imondi of Brewer, is a boot dryer from L.L. Bean. One large stationary electric boot dryer is listed on the company's website as selling for $49.95. You plop the boot on top of the dryer -- which looks like a big metal pipe and uses "thermal convection heating" -- and take it off when it's dry.

• HOOK ME UP -- Dawna Hall of Organize ME in Portland says you can never have too many hooks in your mudroom. Hooks keep things off the floor and allow you to easily find a wide array of things, from school bags and dog leashes to hats and sports equipment.

Some of these things might get buried in a cubby or a bin, but if they're on a hook, they're easier to see. Plus, you can hang hooks at different levels for different-sized members of your family.

And by the way, Hall recommends metal hooks, because they seem to be sturdier and more durable than wooden peg hooks.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:



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Additional Photos

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Dedicated storage for gear and outerwear defines the space.

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A view from the second floor of Christopher Michael Martell’s Scarborough mudroom, which was designed and built by Caleb Johnson Architects + Builders.

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Gordon Chibroski

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