Help me with the mudroom layout please

tammyteOctober 31, 2012

We will have a closet in the foyer for guests' coats and such. The entry from the garage is what I need help with. I originally had a large WIC off the hall but I think it might work better if it was a large hallway area with a closet.(?)

We have 5 kids and live in the midwest so we need lightweight jackets, heavy coats, couple shoes each, get the idea. The cabinet I have there is for a drop zone. I was wanting a spot for charging electronics and maybe a wall calendar too. The cabinet would be seen from the main hall near the front door. Should I move it? Maybe move the wall to the left and have everything behind the wall?

Also, should I put an exterior door on the right side and possibly nix the door into the garage?

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enter your bath from the hallway (so your guests don't have to go into the mudroom to get to the door). Then, move your garage door to the right a little, so you can put a closet along the bathroom wall.--you enter the space a little more centrally and then you can use both sides.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I would have a door from the outside enter into the mudroom and nix the door from outside into the garage.

I actually like having the mudroom visible from the other rooms with one caveat --- I would add doors to all your cubbies.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:56PM
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I second Kirkhall's suggestion to move the bathroom door to the hall. I would swap the vanity to the other wall then the pocket door to the toilet area will open in to the center.

The outside door is a question you have to answer based on how and where you live. We are building on a farm and the hubby and kids are constantly outside, so it did not make sense for them to go through the garage. However, we do have a garage door, too. Our mudroom entrance is our friends and family entrance as well.

I like the idea of moving the closet to behind the bath then having lockers down each side of the hallway. With 5 kids, I would have the lockers open but somewhat divided, so each kid and adult would have their own space. If you put doors on, I doubt they will use them that much. If you do lockers on each side of the mudroom facing each other, you could always put the drop on the end towards the hall, so the "insides" of the cubbies are somewhat hidden.

I am thinking of having a shallow shelf near the top of everyone's locker with an outlet so they can all charge things in their area as the electronic devices are likely to multiply. I may also put a 9-12" shelf in my drop zone just under my upper cabinets for charging other "family-owned" things... camera, ipad, etc.

I would leave room open under the lockers for a basket of shoes for each person.

I have been thinking about my drop zone lately, and my wishlist includes a pullout or tilt-out trash/recycling to take care of junk mail, car trash, etc, room for the answering machine/phone, drawer for pens, stamps, chapstick, gum, etc, hooks for keys, mail slots on the uppers to separate paperwork or filing drawer. Perhaps that gives you a few ideas. Good luck planning!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Thanks! These are all great ideas to think about.

As for the bathroom door moving, I'm not sure. Wouldn't it be odd to have the bathroom door open to the living and near the kitchen? I'm just unsure about that.

I'm *hoping* that friends and family will use the front door. LOL I'm trying to keep that at the forefront of my mind when figuring out house placement on the property.

We will be in the country and the kids are in and out So it would make sense to have the door in the mudroom. That might help keep the middle of the room clear of clutter if they actually have to walk through it.

If I put the door there would I still keep the door going out from the kitchen on that same exterior wall? It's about 16' down from there. There is another door across from the kitchen door in question that would go out to a patio (possibly screened in) that would access our grill. So it's not like there wouldn't be another exterior door. I don't want to get too many doors. We have a lot of doors in our house now and the kids are constantly in and out all the different doors. It bugs me because I will go out to call them in and they will have come in another door. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Here's another question. Should I put a door going into the garage from the front porch?

We have never had a large front porch but I assume we would need to access a broom and possibly carry chairs or cushions in for bad weather. Maybe other things I'm not thinking of. I just don't want it to look bad though being at the front of the house. If it makes any difference the drive would be coming up from the right side and guests would pull up to the front door from the right.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:24PM
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I tried moving the door to the bathroom and it does seem to work fine! I think I had it that way before when I had it as a half bath and the toilet wasn't as far back. With it being this way it doesn't seem as bad. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:41PM
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Glad it works! Post it up (revised, on this thread, wider angle) so we can verify sight lines for you.
An alternative placement would be to put the door on the left side, where you have the closet (hall closet?) and move the closet to the hallway facing the kitchen/LR.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:40AM
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I would like to see your entire plan to comment on door placement and site lines. I don't think I have seen it on another thread.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:49AM
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For best traffic, you need a way into the garage from outside that doesn't involve opening the large doors ... and you need a way into the house from the garage that doesn't involve going outside. We have no exterior door into the garage and it's an ongoing annoyance.

Having a door into the mudroom from outside makes sense, too.

Imagine these situations:
1 - You are working in the back yard, digging in the dirt, and need something from the trunk of the car ... what's the best route for you. How many doors and rooms do you want to pass through?

2 - You are in your robe and slippers, sipping hot chocolate and watching the blizzards and remember you need something from the car ... do you want to go outside?

3 - Your kids are playing in the back yard in the mud and one of them has to pee. Through how many doors and what route do you want that child to use?

If you put doors on the cubbies they will end up being less useful. One of the reasons they work so well is that the child can put things in there without opening doors or drawers.

I would use a pocket door into the bathroom from the mudroom. (Unlike some, I don't consider the sight of jackets and boots a shameful ans shocking thing that guests must not be exposed to). You will have more children dashing through the mudroom to get to the toilet than you have guests strolling in there.

Remove that closet. Put one more door into the mudroom ... in the center of the wall to the right. Use the space on the top and bottom walls for storage and cubbies. Fill the walls with cabinets and cubbies.

Don't waste much space on chargers and charging stations ... they are all shifting to USB charging and you can install outlets with those built-in.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:52AM
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Huh? Is there a study that I don't know about that shows that kids won't use a cubby if there is a door on it? I have a hard time believing that a kid (I have 2 BTW) won't take 0.5 second to open the door and another 0.5 second to close the door. We are putting in cubbies in our mudroom and they will definitely have doors.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:29AM
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General rule of thumb, if you minimize the number of doors into your house, you cut down on cleaning.

Why? Because when people (especially children) walk into the house, they track in dirt on their feet. You should have a really good rug (consider the LL Bean water hog entry mats) at every door, and make sure it's a good, long mat that'll force people to walk 5-6 steps on it; that'll take a great deal of the dirt off the shoes, meaning that it'll never reach your house -- it's stealth cleaning, passive cleaning, my favorite kind. If you have only 2 entrances, ALL that dirt is confined to 2 entrances; in contrast, if you have 4 entrances, you have a smaller amount of dirt . . . in 4 different places. Since vaccuming isn't really more work for a dirty rug vs. a dirty-dirty-dirty rug, most of us would rather vaccum 2 really dirty rugs rather than 4 barely-dirty rugs.

However, your situation is different. You're looking at multiple doors in the same small area. So you'd have only one dirty-dirty-dirty rug. I'd be sure to plan a floor in this area that matches "your dirt"; for me, that'd mean red clay.

Do be careful about doors that "open across one another". My daughter has this problem in her bedroom: If the closet door is open and someone opens the bedroom door, they collide. And the result is that both doors show scars.

I'm ambivalent about moving the bathroom door. While I think it's better opening from the hallway, I wouldn't like a view of the toilet from the kitchen (especially if there's an eating area beyond that we can't see). I think I'd keep it where it is.

Doors on cubbies compeltely defeats the purpose. Cubbies work becauses they make things easy for kids. If you put doors on them, you're going to have piles of things outside the cubbies. However, a coat that's hanging inside a cubby isn't messy -- I see no problem with that being visible to guests.

I don't really go for the idea of charging stations in the cubbies -- I think it's a waste of money. Teens especially aren't going to leave their phones to charge in a remote corner of the house -- they're going to want their things to charge in their bedrooms, where they're nearby and they can hear when they have a call. I'd plan a charging area at arm's reach (rather than near the floor) in the area where you expect a desk or nightstand would be placed.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Wow. Great insight from everyone! I'm sorry I thought I posted a pic of the new arrangement. I'll add it here.

I tried adding a bench. Not sure I like it there. I put a wall on the end of the drop zone. Not sure about that either. The extra closet for kitchen overflow is where I was thinking I could put things like large crock pots, turkey roaster and such. I don't know if I will need that space or not. I still need to go through the kitchen and figure all that out.

Which way should the door to the coat closet (to the left of the garage entry) swing? Which way should the garage entry swing?

What do you all think about putting an exterior door to the garage entering from the front porch? Overkill?

I'll add a pic of the full plan next.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Here's the entire main level.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I highly recommend you moving the existing garage door over to the right 3-4 feet. YOU WILL have a shoe conglomeration in the hallway in front of the door. Kids will not come in and turn right to take off shoes, they just take them off as they come in. Also you will get tons of debris tracked into the kitchen and left hall to family room. I recommend hooks and possible an open below bench with drawer which will be a catchall for "things". Mostlikely they will have more than one pair of shoes in the mud area, like mine. It is a pain to sweep and being able to kick the shoes under the bench helps alot!. Also, that closet is pretty tiny for 7 family members. Maybe make it larger or delete it and put cubbies for things? I have three and put in the above and drawers for books, ipods, legos, stuff etc as they come in. I also made a shelf for me, ie keys, return library, receipts etc to keep it out of the kitchen. I also would make above the hook cabients for storage of whatever. costco TP, towels, boots, winter items etc. It looks like you could have enough space for a"locker/hook" area per child if you move the door to the right. I would butt it up to other door in corner to not lose wall space.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Hi TammyTE -

First, I have to admit I didn't read every single post above! But, when I saw "mudroom", I had to share my layout! :) First, you have a pretty big space and I think you could do a lot with it! Second, we didn't have a mudroom before our new build (been in the new house a month), and I have to say, this is my favorite space :)

I marked the doors/walkways in the pic, so hopefully that helps some. But, in general, we did one huge wall of built-in for backpacks, shoes, etc. Shelves above hooks on the back, bench seat and open underneath to kick shoes off easily. I also added a sink (mostly for my husband when he's working outside, etc), an extra fridge (mostly for waters, gatorades, and beer, of course!) We also had space to put an island where we can store tons of stuff (first aid, cold medicine, gloves, whatever) and space on top for just junk I don't want in the kitchen! I could go on and on about my's the greatest thing ever..haha!

Also, below the pic is a link to pics of our new place...the mudroom shots are in there as well (brick floors, sage green cabinetry)...scroll about 1/2 down the most recent post and you'll see them.

Maybe this will give you some ideas bc you have a huge space as well!

Here is a link that might be useful: fox meadow

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I'd consider moving the wall of the mudroom to be even with the wall of the garage. You already have a jog there in the exterior; it might actually be cheaper to just have one jog (from kitchen to mudroom/garage wall) than the two you have now, and it would give you more space in the mudroom.

As my kids have grown, they're stuff is bigger and we all have multiple pairs of shoes that stay in the mudroom. We usually put our regular shoes back in our BR closets, but for many pairs (rain/snow boots, football cleats, etc.) those stay in the mudroom until they're put away for the season. Then with DS's football gear and basketballs; DD's tennis stuff; plus stuff for the dog, we use every inch of our mudroom and we only have 2 kids. So, I'm a big advocate of making your mudroom as big as possible, especially with 5 kids.

If you are working with a builder, ask him/her about extra costs of moving out that mudroom wall. Might surprise you that the cost is negligible or even saves you money, even though you're getting more room.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:52PM
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I'll have to ask the builder if moving the wall flush with the garage would be more cost effective. Good idea.

Andi-Nice mudroom! The rest of your home is beautiful as well. :)

Okay, so move the door to the right. Hmm I was thinking I should try to keep it as far left as possible to maximize space on the right side. I totally see what you are saying though. Do you think it would help to have the door swing the other way?

What about the ext. door in the kitchen? Keep it or no?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 4:24PM
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You are still walling off places with doors that don't allow full access to the insides.

This is a utility area.

1 - The "kitchen overflow" closet would be better as a full height full width cupboard about 18 inches deep across that whole wall (deep as your widest skillet or appliance) with cabinet-style doors that let you get straight access to the contents. Adjustable shelves. Paint grade cabinetry.

That also gets rid of the door clash.

2 - That coat closet also has unreachable areas, and the wall between garage and mudroom is unused.

Remove closet.
Put cubbies along lower wall so it's the first thing they see as they come in or go out.

Have shoe-removal bench on bathroom wall.

That washer? near the garage entry will be a magnet for cultter ... be warned.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Lazygardens - Thanks! That's an extra fridge in the garage.

The empty wall was just because I wasn't sure what to do. I would love the entire room to be shelves and cabinets! Cost is also a factor and my builder said it was cheaper to do closets vs. cabinets. Maybe I should try to find cabinets to fill that space on my own when I can find a good deal.

That's a good idea to put shoes on the bath wall.

My dh is pretty tall, maybe I could put shelves over the exterior door on the right for his hats?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Just to chime in quickly on a few things...from a mom of now 6 boys...

We had 6 beautifully lined up cubbies in our previous home...each with their own charging area...nice thought...waste of time & money in our experience. As the kids get older they charge things everywhere, but there! Even DH, he would say, "I'm on-call and need to be able to hear it."

Have to agree about the doors and a large family. Not so much that they won't be abe to use the doors, but more for other reasons. The mud room cubbies take abuse, especially from a bunch of boys. They swing open, push too many things in, can get in each others way...need repaired, need cleaned, etc.!!! Coats and backpacks do not IMHO look messy when hung on hooks at all. I like having a basket/drawer for each to house their hats/gloves and another for little odds and ends (that can look messy).

Best wishes on an amazing new home for your family!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:54AM
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It may be cheaper to do closets instead of cabinets, but open shelving installed later is cheapest of all.

I'd leave it empty for a while and use temp solutions like bookcases. Then you can DIY some stuff or look for cabinet bargains from Craigslist or a salvage yard.

Then paint them with a good bathroom grade enamel. It's not good economics to put show house grade materials all areas of the house.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:22PM
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It looks like you're making progress!

I had a couple thoughts. One: right now we have a door between our mudroom and the rest of the house, and I think it saves us a lot of money in lost heat when people go in and out of the garage. It sort of acts as an airlock to keep heat in during the winter. If you do move the mudroom wall to be even with the garage, that might be something for you to consider. I think it would have to be instead of the wall at the end of the dropzone. I wouldn't worry about a charging station in the mudroom. I don't even like to keep my cell phone in there, because I miss too many calls that way.

I would absolutely want a man door from the garage to the front porch. I think it would be incredibly useful for the cost.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:00PM
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You guys are so helpful! I think it might be best to wait and add some things later but I would like to at least get good door placement with a possible plan in mind.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:20PM
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An outside the box idea:

Move your lockers out into the garage. You have the space on the wall . . . Make a locker for each child, and let them leave their muddy shoes and heavy coats in the garage.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:50PM
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I don't know what part of the Midwest Tammy's in, but I wouldn't want to make my kids take their coats and boots off in the garage. It gets too cold here for that. Going out into the below zero garage to put on your frozen stuff might be okay for a grownup, but not for little ones, IMO.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Our current home does not have a mudroom and we keep everything in the garage for most of the year. The exception is winter. It is just too cold out there! So I keep a big rubbermaid tote next to our dining table (which is right by the garage entrance) and we pile all the coats in it. If they are wet we hang them on our dining chairs. Nice huh? LOL

Our laundry is also in the garage. Frozen laundry is not fun. Neither is rancid, stinky laundry that sat in the washer for a bit in 90*+ heat.

So, yes, a mudroom and laundry area are both high on my priority list! :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:37PM
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