April Showers Doesn’t Have to Mean Footprints In Your Foyer
The mudroom, side-entrance or garage-entrance is a common room found in many homes around the world and usually acts as a secondary entrance to a home. If you’ve ever visited a cottage, farm or beach house, you know these rooms are essential to keeping the rest of the house clean and functional and are often used more than the front door.
What makes these spaces so important and useful? Well, they commonly incorporate open and easily used storage for shoes, sandals, boots, umbrellas, coats, and all the other accoutrements that come with living in a climate that changes from season to season, and often what feels like, day to day.
By not carrying the formality that front foyers tend to insist on, the mud room is able to ensure it meets its users functional requirements first. These rooms have also ducked the trend of open concept living and are usually fully enclosed behind doors. And lets be honest; the idea of being able to come home from a busy day and dump everything into a room that can’t be seen from the rest of the house appeals to all of us, sometimes. In this way, the mud-room is the room sized equivalent to the infamous “junk drawer.”
Keeping coats, and sweaters, shoes, etc., organized is a lot of work. Especially if you’re the neat-freak in the family and it lands on your shoulders. Being able to simply close a door and effectively hide or ignore the mess is one of the huge benefits to these spaces.
With this in mind, here are two examples where we were able to incorporate the best that mudrooms have to offer into condo living.
Creating A Passage From Public to Private Space.
My first trick is to encourage you to think of your condo Lobby as the front door, and your suite door as the secondary door. By visualizing your condo lobby as the first passage from public to private space, you are able to reprioritize your actual foyer for living space! You still need to consider easily accessible storage for your belongs, but as shown in the example below, rather then thinking of the den and foyer as two separate spaces, redesign them to be one room. Use a pocket door to enclose the “service spaces.” The door to the closet and laundry are removed and built-in cabinetry is used in its place. A doorway added between the den and dining space creats a visual divide. The revised floor plan can now accommodate a TV room, office or lounge space. By successfully reframing the foyer from what would have felt like a transitional space (from public to private) to a fully private space, it can now be used as the dining room if you wanted to reprioritize the current living/dining as one large living space.
Borrow Space to Create Space
In our second example we borrowed some space from an adjacent walk-in-closet to create an extra deep closet at the entrance that you can actually walk into. This effectively created a mini mud-room right at the front door that you can “hide” the items you don’t want on display all the time!
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
It’s an old adage that still holds true. Planning for your belongings and ensuring the storage solution in your condo home promote easy grab-and-go are key if you want to create a space that is easy to maintain. Where possible make yourself a mini-mudroom!
Director, Design Services
Jim believes in ignoring the rules and creating spaces that are personal and tailored to the client. His design style leans toward layered, saturated spaces with an identifiable history. His pro-tip: In small, open concept spaces, make the kitchen as seamless and integrated as possible.