This inclement weather has us contemplating the importance of mudrooms in the Seattle area. As architects we always help our clients organize and simplify their lives by designing functional and beautiful solutions for living, dining, working, sleeping, and bathing. In addition to all those spaces we also design for an important but often unglamorous space to make a smooth transition from outside, and visa versa. Commonly called a mudroom, we also like to call that space the dropzone. And a dropzone encompasses so much and should be a beautiful welcoming space too.
Think about it. When you come into your home, you rarely do so empty handed, or in the case of Pacific Northwest living, without shoes or a jacket. A dropzone gives you a place to leave all that in one place. And, just like when you arrive, it is all still there, right where you left it, to put items back on and gather easily as you leave. Having a mudroom, or dropzone that is organized, dry, and easily accessible is a key feature to an exceptional, thoughtfully designed home.
Let’s breakdown what a mudroom/dropzone is for and what all this space needs. Since it is the place most often entered first in the home, it becomes the location where the backpacks and workout bags are dropped. It’s the place where the keys and sunglasses are parked and handheld devices can recharge. Sometimes the mail is sorted and other times it is where we drag a package into the home to open sometime later.
Another use for the mudroom is a staging area for items leaving the house. Often we need an area out of sight and away from underfoot, where garbage and recycling awaits the next person going out, or items to be returned (either by shipping or dropping off) can live until they are ready to go. This mudroom/dropzone is an important hub in the daily routine of our lives. If well thought out, all of this activity happens in a relatively small and efficient space.
So, what do you need in a mudroom? We have designed several and each are specific to the owner’s personalities. In this mudroom there are hooks for coats, cubbies for individual items, closed drawers for things you may only need seasonally and a baskets for mail, all combined in a relatively small footprint.
In this DADU entry, the dropzone became integral to the entryway and stairs leading up to the main floor. It provides a comfortable and roomy place to sit and put on shoes out of the way of the main traffic flow.
In this thoughtful project the mudroom flooring was carefully considered. While the majority of the home is a beautiful, warm hardwood, the mudroom has a slate tile which is bombproof, for moisture and muck constantly being tracked in.
Smaller but just as important in residential architecture are the simpler dropzones created just inside the entryways. These small foyer like spaces are a bit more formal than a mudroom but still provide that all important location of a landing spot for you and your guests when they arrive. A simple place to stash your purse, keys and phone is always needed as well as providing a visual welcome into your home for a piece of art that reflects your personality.
In addition to the benefit of leaving backpacks purses and keys at a central location near the door, leaving off our shoes is one of the most health conscious moves you can make in your own home. Not only are you not tracking in pollutants and other bacteria on your shoes, you will have to clean the house less often and your floor coverings will last longer, thus saving you lots of money. Your shoes will last longer, too!
Give us a call if you like us to take a look and see where we could incorporate these ideas into your own home!