Mudroom can be home-garage hybrid

Design Line

December 09, 2007|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Tribune Media Services

We're enlarging an attached garage to create a mudroom for our kids' sports equipment and foul-weather gear. It snows a lot where we live. I want this new space, which will connect to the kitchen, to be more a part of the house than the garage. But my husband says the inevitable mess in the mudroom will spill into the kitchen, wrecking its floor and wallpaper, unless the two spaces are strictly separated. What do you think?

Your kids' personal habits and their actual use of the mudroom will probably matter more than the physical location of your house. But since you get a lot of snow, the new space is sure to be literally caked with mud, and that will make a difference in its design.

I'd go with an indoor/outdoor type of carpeting. Besides having practical advantages, it will give the room a welcoming quality -- which is consistent with your aim of integrating the addition with the rest of your home. Your husband might still be right, however. It all depends on whether you have a neat family.

Either way, consider installing drywall and covering it with a vinyl-coated wallpaper.

Storage space is vital in a mudroom, and versatility is a virtue for any storage system. Something like a built-in unit that combines cubbies, open shelves and hanging hooks would be a smart choice. Even a garage-like space with cinder block walls could be domesticated a bit by painting the walls in a warm color and by installing a bright indoor/outdoor carpet.

Rita St. Clair is a Baltimore-based interior designer. Readers with general interior design questions can e-mail her at

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