Midwesterners Are Mad About MudroomsFebruary 26, 2016
The mudroom is undeniably the workhorse of the home throughout the year. But when winter hits in the Midwest, this functional home feature is quickly elevated to superstar status. From corralling coats and boots to keeping winter slush outside rather than in, here are the top three reasons local builders and architects say Midwesterners love their mudrooms more than ever once Old Man Winter comes to stay:
Clutter Catcher and Organizer
During a Midwest winter, when boots, snow pants, hats and gloves can become a daily uniform, a mudroom serves the important purpose of “drop zone” for all extra outerwear. At Greenbrook at Highland Woods, a Meritus Homes community in Elgin, all homes feature an oversized mudroom off the garage, with plenty of space for individual cubbies for each member of the household, as well as bins and hooks to help with organization.
“I’m a father of three myself, so I know how difficult it can be to keep track of everything when kids are hauling snow gear to and from school every day for outdoor recess, or simply getting themselves ready to play in the snow,” said Brian Brunhofer, president of Deerfield-based Meritus Homes. “It’s a huge help to have a designated place for all that gear to be stowed and organized when everyone arrives home from school or comes in from outside, so you’re not running around looking for that misplaced glove or mitten before leaving the house the next day.”
For more information about Greenbrook at Highland Woods, call 630-883-8547 or visit www.MeritusHomeBuilders.com.
Grab and Go Ease – and Storage – for Outwear Wardrobes
For Midwesterners, being winter-ready means owning a variety of outerwear and boots to handle the fluctuations of the season – which can go from sub-zero temperatures to thaw conditions seemingly overnight. According to Elissa Morgante of Evanston-based architecture and interior design firm Morgante Wilson Architects, a well-designed mudroom gives homeowners a place to quickly grab the right coat or boot option to match the weather conditions.
“Living in Chicago you might need a full-length down parka one day and a light jacket the next, so most people have a pretty extensive outerwear wardrobe,” said Morgante. “I love incorporating lots of hooks in a mudroom entry so homeowners can have the coats and jackets they wear most in sight and in easy reach. We also add a closet for coats that aren’t in the regular rotation, but what’s nice is they’re all still in one place so you can quickly look at all your options.”
Specializing in high-end residential design, Morgante Wilson Architects’ portfolio includes innumerable projects nationwide, including an emphasis in the Midwest. For more information and design ideas, visit www.MorganteWilson.com.
Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities, added that having plenty of mudroom storage for winter outerwear is equally valuable for Midwesterners in the off-season.
“Once it warms up, homeowners appreciate having a place to store their collection of cold-weather coats, footwear and accessories until they’re needed the next year,” said Brennan. “That’s why we design our mudrooms with extra storage, including a large closet where bulky winter gear can be packed away to make room for in-season items.”
Foxford is currently offering a custom, quick-delivery home at Tarns of the Moor, a small enclave of elegant homes on 2- to 4-acre lots in Bannockburn. The home includes an expansive mudroom designed to meet the needs of busy families with school-aged children. Complete with individual cubbies as well as large closets, the mudroom ensures every hat, glove, flip flop and rain coat has a place no matter what the season.
For more information on Tarns of The Moore, contact Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group at 847-821-9090 or email@example.com.
Buffer Zone from Slush and Salt
According to Kinzie Builders, one of the top benefits of the mudroom for Midwesterners is the buffer zone it creates from the outside world during winter weather. This space helps keep the main floors clean from what homeowners track in, as well as their pets.
“With a well-placed mudroom, all of the slush, dirt and salt associated with snowy and wet weather stays in the mudroom, as opposed to being tracked throughout the house,” said Andrew Kiener, director of project sales for Kinzie. “This creates a space great for dropping off wet boots or collecting kids’ snow pants, and wiping pets’ paws after they’ve been out in the snow or mud.” Another great option to consider is a heated floor, which helps warm those cold, wet boots, Kiener added.
Kiener noted a mudroom is a top requirement for buyers of semi-custom homes at its Enclave of Heritage Estates community in Lake Barrington, where each customizable floor plan includes a mudroom. “There are so many options to personalize the designated mudroom space in these homes, and our expert designers are on hand to make sure the room meets the buyer’s specific needs and wants – from doggie zones to wet-clothes-only areas.”
For more information on Enclave of Heritage Estates, visit www.enclaveliving.com.