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The Fully Designed Mudroom That Will Never Be – Kinda, And How We Got Our Mudroom Back!

A few months ago I got rather trigger happy with doing the fun stuff of a renovation design. We didn’t even have the layout locked down and I was asking ARCIFORM (Anne and Stephyn) to plug in tile colors, lighting fixtures, and even laundry baskets (???). Then once the floorplan changed, whole rooms got scrapped. SCRAPPED! I would say all that time was for nothing, but it’s not because it’s part of the creative process and besides I can use it for blog posts like this. So today you’ll see the very first room that we actually finished designing, that will never exist.

Our Original Plan: The Butler’s Pantry/Mudroom

Our first “final” floor plan with the mudroom and butler’s pantry. We were going to add an additional kitchen door that would be connected to a carport.

Here’s the original kitchen so you can see the cabinetry we originally wanted to keep…

We were going to keep the original kitchen cabinetry and turn that into a big epic butler’s pantry and mudroom situation. We were all SO EXCITED ABOUT IT. Turns out that the best corner of the house deserved to be the actual kitchen but here is what we had come up with.

Here’s what it looked like:

We were going to paint the original cabinetry and beadboard blue (not quite as bright as this – darker and more moody), and we had this awesome herringbone tile picked out for the flooring. If you think it’s weird to have the floor and cabinets a similar color I get that, but we thought it would look very cool (we hadn’t chosen paint colors or anything). We had some inspiration images that showed this tonal look that felt like it really modernized the space. We would keep the original soapstone (are still hoping to repurpose some of it) and keep the sink as a utility sink.

Then we got a little carried away with the dog washing station. It ended up being 3′ wide and blocking all the natural light that we wanted in the living room! Poor Anne and Stephyn spent hours making that thing make sense, even adding a hook where you’d attach the leash so the pup couldn’t move.

We were also going to add an unnecessary rolling ladder that Anne and I were screaming about, while Brian was squeezing his temples in confusion as to WHY we needed it. Hot tip Brian – library ladders are SO FUN.

We had a pretty interior window into the nook, we had designed this walk-through apothecary shelving that would be this amazing experience to walk through to get to the living room. We even chose all the lighting and plumbing!!

Switched Kitchen Location = Now Where Does The Mudroom Go?

When we first ripped apart the floorplan we were devastated to get rid of the mudroom and the breakfast nook. But we realized (thanks to many of you) that we were sacrificing the natural light and the living room to have those two spaces in the best corner of the house.

So we kept the door and a little mudroom drop zone. No dog washing station. No library ladder in a pantry. But big enough

Our original mudroom/Butler’s Pantry became kitchen cabinets & then we needed to find a space for the pantry (which meant we had to sacrifice the mudroom entirely…we thought)

So now we have a pantry through these hopefully vintage doors to the left.

Our New Plan: Laundry/Mudroom

Once we flew up to Portland and walked into our main bedroom we realized how incredibly wide it was. Anne had been saying this for a while but Brian and I were strangely convinced that we wanted to face our bed west. But that all switched once we were there and we took the advice of a few readers and put the mudroom by the backyard. It isn’t the school drop zone, but it is where so much of the in and out traffic to the yard is. The sports court is right there as is the big patch of grass.

the new location!

The only drawback to this (beyond not being the door that our kids go in and out of for school) is that the washer and dryer are on the backside of our bed wall, so we are trying to figure out sound issues with that.

Here’s where we are now. NONE of this has been fully designed – like the cabinetry, flooring, tile, etc are all still up for grabs. But it gives you a good idea what is happening.

Additionally, we’ll have a pocket door so this is perfect for the pups to dry off when they come in from the backyard – containing them in here instead of them running around like crazy pups throughout the house.

We are still tackling all the design but the layout is finalized (I SWEAR) and you can see below that the mudroom/laundry room is its own entrance out back and where we’ll train the kids and pups to exit and enter.

Meanwhile, the house is just sitting there all ready for work. But we got the best corner full of light back being the kitchen and hopefully flooding that light into the dark living room.

Right now we are tackling all the bathroom designs first because the rough plumbing has to go in there before the kitchen faucets, but I can’t WAIT to design this kitchen properly – with pretty cabinetry details and special stone.

Long story short, it’s so easy to get ahead of yourself and start designing before you are done with your layout, but it’s actually super important to go through all these exercises. Most of our ideas for the original mudroom can be transferred into the new mudroom. And while a lot of you might still wish we had a mudroom near the kitchen door for the drop zone, you can’t have a mudroom at every entrance/exit. You have to choose one and we all agree that the back door will get far more use and wear/tear than the kitchen door. And besides, we will design a good drop zone there (bench with hooks and shoe trays). As Anne says all the time “anything can be pretty when designed well” so we’ll make that work and look beautiful. But WE GOT OUR MUDROOM AND OUR LAUNDRY ROOM BACK!!!! Thanks, readers 🙂


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107 thoughts on “The Fully Designed Mudroom That Will Never Be – Kinda, And How We Got Our Mudroom Back!

  1. Could you swap the positions of the sink and washer/dryer in the mudroom? Then they wouldn’t be against your wall. But anyway, I seem to remember you’ve got quite a few washer/dryers in the house, so maybe you could just not put those ones on overnight?
    I’m so glad you didn’t do the old layout and the new kitchen will be so lovely with the light streaming in! I do wonder whether you should swap the family room into the corner where the main bathroom is to get natural light into the family room, or nobody will want to use it during the day? I’d put the bathroom where the closet is and the closet where the powder room is and rejig the mudroom to include a powder room (plus dog washing station!). Plus then when the door is open between the family room and the living room the light pours through into the living room, rather than now, when it’s closed off entirely. Sorry to be suggesting another change and you may be so over changing the floor plan by now!

    1. I still think swapping the family room to a spare room upstairs and moving the guest bedroom downstairs could be a great fit for your family. The powder room downstairs could easily be upgraded to a full bath that would keep the upstairs bath just for your kids.

    2. I’m fine with the layout of the rooms and everything, but I do agree that if they are worried about sound issues swapping the sink with the washer & dyer is a good idea. The biggest sound issue is going to come from the physical parts of the wall picking up vibrations directly from the appliances, once you get them off that wall having sound travel through the air of the laundry room before it gets to the wall will be a much smaller issue (if one at all). Additionally, over the sink they could put a mirror, painting, or large photograph that has acoustic muffling material mounted to the back of the frame. Hooks or shelves over the low bench that also backs onto the shared wall could be kept full of textiles (coats, mittens, swimsuits, towels, linen napkins, doilies, whatever) that will also muffle sound. [I would suggest keeping the liquid-filled bottles of detergent and softener, etc. out there as well because they do muffle sound – but I know there’s no way Emily will have all that on display! I don’t blame her either, visual clutter drives me batty.]

    3. This is such a great idea! Also, I feel like a small under-cabinet or in-drawer fridge and icemaker would be really smart in this room. Being right off the deck it would be SO nice to have quick access without having to trek all the way to the kitchen.

  2. This is amazing! I am so happy that you figured out a wet dog containment zone while keeping the sunshine in the kitchen.
    Also, I am entirely stealing the paneling idea on the side of the washer/dryer.

    1. also stealing! you can add more insulation around the outside of the washer/dryer and hide it with a cabinet-like surround for even more sound reduction.

  3. I know you don’t want any more suggestions and the floorplan is final but wouldn’t it make more sense to put the mudroom where the ensuite is, move the bedroom down where the mudroom is now and tuck the bathroom where the bedroom is? Just another (unsolicited) suggestion! You definitely made the right call on the previous mudroom – a combo pantry/dig washing station is a bit confusing. Very excited to see how this all turns out!

    1. They’ve said that the part of the yard that is for playing and gathering is to the right of the house (when you look at the floor plan) and that very little traffic comes in from ANY other side of the house. I think I remember that the animal pens will be where the “top” of the floor plan is, and you naturally go around the house to enter because there is already some natural landscaping/lay of the land and paths that exist. They want their home to be intuitive for guest and child use, keeping the mudroom where it’s at now makes the most sense for that.

      Moving the bedroom to where the mudroom now is would mean windows between their bedroom and the deck/play area, or sacrificing the windows on that wall. Windows in that situation would be less than ideal for most of us in healthy adult relationships. And sacrificing the windows is not an option since having lots of windows in the main bedroom is a goal (and a long time dream for, I think, Emily?). Are compromises happening? Sure, they do in every situation and no one has the perfect floor plan. But, more and more, this floor plan is fitting into the lay of the land and the lifestyle they want to develop in this home – this floor plan is the solution for their particular goals, not the goals the rest of us might have.

    2. They also have said that they prefer a little more privacy for their primary bedroom and don’t love the idea of it backing up to their majorly trafficked backyard so I think they prefer a buffer there.

      1. I love the idea of moving the closet below the bedroom, where the mudroom is in this iteration. Keeping bedroom position as is. And putting the mudroom where the bathroom is. Wow that’s confusing! I love love love the doors and mini porch from the mudroom, imagine that light streaming into the family room and you could add more of those interior windows and doors. Just love it all soo much. When can I move in?

  4. So exciting! I’m putting in a plea to not paint those vintage cabinets – unless the wood is in unsalvageable condition / not what it looks like in pictures, it is irreplaceable and insanely gorgeous!

      1. Most of it will not be used in the main house. Emily has said before that anything that can’t be used in the main house will be kept for use in the old house that will be her shooting studio and office, or in what is now a hugely long shed that will be Brian’s videography studio and office. *IF* something can’t be used either of those places, it’s getting donated to something like Rehabitat or sold to an architectural salvage company so someone else can use it. Plans have been scrapped, usable materiel is not being scrapped.

  5. Very creative and necessary solution. I don’t think you’ll need to worry about the noise level of the washer and dryer as who gets up at 4 in the morning to do laundry!

    1. That was my thought, too. I start laundry after my daughter goes to bed often, but if you do a quick 45 minute wash cycle and 45-1 hour dry cycle, it’s always done before I go to bed so wouldn’t worry about the noise too much!

      1. I often put the laundry in late at night and set the washer to start it an hour before I get up so I can toss the laundry in the dryer in the morning.

  6. i can’t wait to see how this turns out. my question, i’m probably missing something, but, are you saving/keeping those gorgeous kitchen cabinets and black soapstone counter? they’re so beautiful and my eco-heart is really hoping you’re not getting rid of those!

  7. Love the iterations. And it’s a good back and forth between layout and design. What’s hard for me is getting too committed to a design and then not correcting layout because I HAVE to have a thing. I appreciate your ability to be both enthusiastic and flexible. Currently I’m mourning the dog washing station, which is DIVINE. I’m curious about finishes for that? Tile? Shower lining stuff? How much would just the station cost? Do you need filters or plumping features because of all the hair? How do you calculate size and height for the floor since you may have different pets over time? This could be a whole post I think. As someone who occasionally puts her plants in the shower I wonder if this station has other purpose too?

    1. Ooh or can you put it in covers outdoor or garage? In temperate climes only obviously. Are there structural reasons to have it near laundry? Like plumbing? Did you consider a wall mounter dryer like the retail dog washers often have? See. LOTS of QUESTIONS in additonal,to how to make it pretty without spending too much.

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  10. Our laundry room shares a wall with our bedroom and I will say the laundry is LOUD! That only got done once at night lol. It really isn’t a big issue, we just don’t put clothes in the wash/dryer then go to bed. I think it will be fine!

    1. And dryer fires are a REAL thing. Nobody should ever run a dryer when they aren’t home or are asleep.

      1. Dryer fires are very real, and mostly preventable. The Fuller Brush Company still exists and sells brushes for cleaning out your dry vent. There are many other companies selling “fuller-type” brushes for the same purpose, anyone can afford to get one.

  11. I love that the floor plans keep getting tweaked to get better and better. You said it’s final, BUT it does seem like if you are willing to make the primary bedroom smaller that you could shift everything to the right on the drawing and get the mud room in closer to the kitchen. Like move the family room over and put the mud room right behind the stove wall. But then that would mess up the entry to the family room, and maybe it’s not worth it just to save you from walking a few extra feet from where you enter the kitchen. And the view from the yard does make good sense of that mud room placement. Also, I don’t know if I’m forgetting how things were oriented, but it seems to me you could have kept those amazing original kitchen cabinets and just opened up the walls to the family room. If you had to add more cabinetry uniting them with paint might have worked. I think it would be so cool to feature the originals because they are truly so stunning. Unpainted or painted.

  12. I think it makes a lot of sense now. And I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful. I am curious though about cost of the design. I’m assuming that architects charge hourly? (I’ve never used one, so I’m just guessing), so all the small details that you added in the early stages is dollars spent. I understand the need to work with several floorplans, designs etc to get your perfect space – but my mind goes to asking how financially prudent was it to spend time/money on small details that should have come much later on in the design process?

    1. In my experience outside the Boston area all architects charge hourly, and yes, as is appropriate to their skills and expertise, it is pricey. However, Emily has a platform that her team might value, and they may be working on a fixed cost structure. For most people, your cost would multiply exponentially if you were going through this process paying by billable hours, which is everything the architect does for you, from drawings, to emails with questions, to in person or phone meetings. We used an architect for a kitchen remodel and she honored her original estimate, which was $10k for reworking a kitchen/laundry/family room and doing kitchen cabinet layout, but said she spent much more time than anticipated and our designs only changed once and the tweak wasn’t a full overhaul by any means…

      1. Our architect billed the same flat rate, as quoted. We made a couple of minor changes mid process which bumped us to the bottom of his queue but the cost didn’t change. This only cost us abut an extra week of time, no biggie.

    2. As an architect, I will say that there are all different types of fee structures – there is no “standard” and the same architect will bill differently depending on the specifics of the project – for instance, design/build with a developer will not be billed the same as an open-ended renovation of an existing space with unknown conditions. Part of an architect’s expertise is the understanding of the various contract and fee structures. I don’t think it is prudent to start talking about specifics of finishes before you’ve sorted out the layout, so I hope Arciform is either billing hourly or that they allotted time for that work up front. A lot of clients want to jump to something more “tangible” to them, which is totally understandable, but in order to not waste anyone’s time or money it’s important for design professionals to direct the design process. That’s not to say you can’t have ideas about materiality – many designs are driven by concepts involving the material palette – but it doesn’t mean you should picking out specific fixtures or tiles and taking the time to render them before you have the schematics of the space figured out. In the case of a lump sum contract, you can add Additional Services during the process as a separate legal agreement and pay the architect an additional fee.

  13. Super excited about the plans! One caveat…if it were my kids trained to go in and out of the mudroom door instead of more convenient doors like from the deck into the living room/kitchen, it wouldn’t last. Just wondering if it’s realistic to base your design on that? Just saying because I have the same kind of set up and family still comes in and out off back porch, tracking in everything instead of where I’d prefer! And honestly I catch myself doing same because it’s just more convenient.

    1. They’ve said that people already were using the door for most traffic that the mudroom is now at. In the earlier floor plans, they were going to have to “train” everyone. They have actually just done what you are suggesting.

  14. looks like very good solutions to many of your dilemmas. I am glad the bedroom has shrunk to more reasonable size and you are making better use of all the square footage. I’m still wondering about the main closet placement. Is that corridor on the south side to let in light? Just use light tubes in the closet; they are amazing! I am wondering – as another reader pointed out in an earlier version of the flooplan — whether you are going to find it really annoying having to walk around to get anything out of the closet!?! You know grab a different pair of shoes or a sweater or whatever. It just seems like there is still waisted space there and I am not sure what the current layout of main bath and closet it trying to optimize or achieve. Though very nice with this layout that the washer/dryer doesn’t have to be in your closet!

  15. Great post, and loved the flow of ideas! What did you decide to do with those stunning original kitchen cabinets? Are you going to put them in the little victorian house? Can’t wait to see that part of the blog as well when you get to that part of the property!

  16. I’d raise the large kitchen window that is adjacent and to the right of the kitchen exterior door up just a smidge. Then add a bench seat with a hinged top. They can throw their backpacks in there and other misc stuff. Not in place of your lovely mudroom, just in addition as a quick stash spot.

  17. Lovely! Really excited to read along; thanks for bringing us along with you!
    I’m wondering if you could use the existing cabinetry in the new kitchen? Perhaps you could keep the existing bank of cabinets and design it to be a moodier English style kitchen (warm wood, black soapstone) with a seating niche at the end where it meets the exterior wall (as in the original mudroom design). And then the rest of the new kitchen could contrast it with a more modern style (painted cabinets, lighter countertops). It’d be great to have a separate prep sink too.
    Definitely a challenging approach, but it could certainly pay off!

  18. Every time I see this I am so glad you didn’t leave the kitchen where it was as it would have eaten up the living room until your whole life was KITCHEN uppercase all the way. While that’s true with small children it is really NOT fun with older children, teenagers, and adult children.

  19. What time are you doing laundry that it being near the bed would matter at all? I might put towels in the dryer before going to bed, but anything else usually gets folded after it finishes, and so it’s not as though I’m trying to sleep when the washing machine is going, either. My laundry room is just outside the main bedroom, and it has never once been a problem (and has always been a convenience).

  20. To mitigate mechanical/plumbing sound transfer between rooms you can install two layers of quietrock drywall (with acoustic caulk in between to absorb sound vibrations) and use rock wool insulation for all interior walls. During a remodel I used quietrock for all bathroom walls, along with 1.75″ solid doors, and it not only reduced bathroom sounds but also noticeably improved the acoustics throughout the house. Insulating all of the interior walls was not something my contractor deemed necessary (in LA) but I’m so happy with how quiet and serene this house is now. I wish I had used quietrock on every wall but it’s more expensive, though even a single layer is noticeably quieter, highly recommend for bathrooms and bedrooms.

    1. Another vote for quietrock! We had it installed on the ceiling of our basement when we finished it, and it helped a ton with sound transfer and the acoustics down there.
      Emily could also consider using cast iron piping for the plumbing in the mudroom, which, while more expensive, is definitely quieter.

  21. Does this mean you went with the covered porch as well?

    I love it in the images above and I think it will be such a great gathering place for your family! Beautiful!

  22. This makes so much sense to me! I can’t wait to see the materials you are going with and all of it really. It’s going to be amazing! I’m still hoping for the dog washing station! The design in the scrapped mudroom looked great but sooo expensive! Also, it would be a pain to keep clean. A simple slatted wood area in a covered spot with a place to tether the dogs and a warm water sprayer is all you need. then you could bring them inside to fully dry. You’ll thank me for this as your dogs will be muddy every time they go out in the winter!

    1. Muddy in the winter -AND spring AND fall!!! I know it isn’t really the MOST important detail in context of ALLLL the other details you’ve considered except -if you don’t have even just an outside warm water tap to rinse your pups as suggested above, the mud (even dried mud!) will obscure all of the beauty achieved through those oft and well considered details.
      PS. I only read partially through the comments so if you’ve replied to a reader comment to say ‘there is a washing station outside not shown in this post’ then please ignore my ‘as a Portlander -ohmygod pleeeeease make sure you keep SOME kind of dog washing station!’ panic ; ).

    2. Outside hot water tap is also great for hosing off the kids or feet after playing in the yard or garden or even for washing your car in PNW cooler weather, a total luxury for small cost/labor.

    3. I totally agree! I missed seeing the dog wash station – something I would deem essential, especially with two dogs! I love the idea if you could incorporate a covered exterior station on the mudroom porch to hose off dogs (and kids) BEFORE they even enter the mudroom. That would keep that space so much tidier, especially since this is also your laundry room! Who wants a muddy/dirty floor and then put your clean cloth there!??

  23. Will you walk through the mudroom when you enter the house from the garage? Or is it more for the kids and dogs coming in from play? I think you will miss having a dog wash. Sure you can’t squeeze one in there?

  24. Mudroom/laundry in the back will be for the win! I have one right down the hall from our entry from the garage and I hate that I see it every time I come home. Laundry is in there jeering and staring at me when I walk thru the door. It isnt right that inanimate objects can have that much sass. I wish I could put a mudroom and planting room at the back by the backyard.
    It would get so much more use.

  25. Re: Not what this post is about /but I’m so excited for more sunroom content. I think that’s going to be such a nice space. I’m also intrigued about plans for the primary-bedroom closet. A collab with The Home Edit for that closet would be really cool 😉

  26. The only drawback to this (beyond not being the door that our kids go in and out of for school)….”
    Not being the door that the kids go in and out for school would be non-starters for me. What good is that mudroom then if that will not be the primary entrance (primary for the residents not guests) to the house? And the door that they will go in and out of – what will be there to catch the dirt before they get tracked into the house. We are a no-shoes house so having a place right by where we enter to leave our shoes is important (of course, your situation may be different).

    We also have a mudroom-laundry room combination and I hate that I really need to be careful not to drop any wet clothes when moving from washer to the dryer.

    1. Exactly! Our mudroom is situated by our garage door (attached garage). So you walk in through the attached garage and take 2 steps to the left for the mudroom or two steps to the right for a powder room. When designing our current house (17 years ago) our draftsperson immediately placed the mudroom by this entrance for functionality. We also have an exit/entrance to the backyard from the mudroom that we mainly use taking out the trash or when we have been working in the yard and are coming in to wash up or when the kids were younger and were outside playing. Our lifestyle is way more ‘on the go’ than staying home so we did what made sense for us and put the mudroom near the door that we will enter and exit 90% of the time.

      1. unrelated – I am super stoked that you used the term “draftsperson” !!

    2. But the entrance coming back to school might not be used often. In the mountain home they use the entrance off the family room. They’ll get most dirty coming home drom their bck yard/farm. They’ll have a coat and shoe drop zone off the front. Most families have just that and it is enough.

  27. Such a beautiful house, and I can’t wait to watch this unfold.
    Having said that, we designed our dream house 15 years ago with a big mudroom and side entrance for the kids to use. The side door NEVER gets used, despite our best efforts to “train” them otherwise. And when the kids get older, they won’t use the yard entrance as much as they do when they’re young because they’ll be driving and coming in and out of that entrance, not using the yard as much. Unless there’s a serious drop zone by the garage, I think you’ll have a clutter management issue. I made a few big mistakes with our house, but that kid entrance was one of the biggest ones.
    Good luck! Can’t wait to see it!

  28. I like this! I haven’t thought of our laundry room as a mudroom, but it is very similar to your set up here – on the side of the house. When we were working on the blueprints my mom insisted we change our laundry room window to an exterior door and that was the best decision! Our dog goes in/out there, we also have a pocket door to corral him while we dry him off. It’s nice to be able to go directly into the laundry room when we’re dirty. When I go to water my gardens I go through there. We haven’t done this yet (this is our first summer in the house) but one of the big reasons my mom so strongly recommended the door right off the laundry room was so we could easily go out to hang dry clothes. I’m not quite there yet, but maybe someday! 🙂

  29. now that you’ve opened up the space I really would love to see you keep the original cabinets and counter and sink, in the place that they are. And then add to it with the island and stove etc. And could you put the mudroom/bathroom/dog wash/laundry in that long stretch of space where the family room/primary bathroom is? Entrance in one door to carport and entrance from other door to backyard? Then have a small guest room downstairs and move the primary bath/closet to where the mud room is planned for? And move the family room upstairs? For tv viewing with family and kids play room? Just some ideas

  30. If you have the room, bump the stud width to 6″ in the wall between your bedroom and laundry then insulate with mineral wool. Use 5/8″ sheetrock, for sure, and double it up on both sides even! to make sure you minimize the sounds from the washing machine. I have found that the mineral wool makes every room sound like a recording studio and is soo so cozy. If you double up the sheetrock you will need to add extenders to the electrical switch boxes but this gives you the freedom to keep your awesome design as-is just by bulking up one wall.

  31. Not sure if this was resolved, and not the topic of this post, but it occurs to me that those beautiful “old” cabinets might be able to be made into the wood island you were searching for a while back. You wouldn’t have the problem of them not having good cabinet functionallity and they are so so pretty.

  32. Worried about the laundry room having large windows and a long hallway view?? Unless you don’t have much laundry for this pair downstairs? Otherwise any hang-to-dry items or lay-on-top of dryer items (my panties do not go in the dryer!) it will be out for everyone to see. I keep all my laundry soaps etc in cabinets out of view but I am very glad I have a door on my laundry room!

  33. Much better!
    Except no dog washing spot. So …. install an oversized sink in the mudroom and a hook on the wall aaaaand, you gave a dog washing spot (rather than station). 🐾🐕🐕🐾
    You’ll use the oversized sink for more things than you could imagine and as long as you keep one hand (or elbow, even) on the dog being washed, it stops them shaking!
    I have a large laundry sink set-up and this is exactly what I do. After Rosie’s washed, I wrap her in a big ol’ towel and carry her outside to shake and I towel-dry her off. (Your dogs are an okay size to pick up, so no problem.)😁

    1. Oh, and I have a shower head sprayer thingo there too, specifically for washing the scruffy!

  34. great decision to open up that wall to take advantage of the best light. can’t wait to see it when it’s done.
    apologies if i missed it, but have you decided on countertop material yet? i found your last countertop post to be so informative and would love to hear your thinking on this kitchen.

  35. I agree with the others that this mudroom in its current spot won’t get used. 🙁 I know you said this is final, but… what if you put the mudroom where the family room is? Then you could even add an exterior door on the other side next to the kitchen, with a walkway to the driveway, so it really COULD be where kids come in and out all the time, especially if you make sure you park where that would be convenient. Our entry cuts straight through our house and I love it! You could have the TV room where the bathroom currently is and the bathroom where the mudroom is.

  36. Someone pour Anne at Arciform a stiff drink.
    (unless you are trolling us – I keep hoping to see that you are saving $ and a lot of unnecessary landfill waste and just use the original layout of original part of house, which made so much sense and would be so liveable – are all these changes really worth all this grief and expense, will it be that much better? Or better at all?)

  37. Everyone designing or redesigning their house/space should watch the film, “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” with Cary Grant & Myrna Loy. Lol. It puts so much into perspective.
    Best of luck with your dream house.💋

  38. As a loyal longtime reader, I hate to admit this but my excitement over these “farmhouse” posts has steadily been replaced with head scratching confusion. It feels as though it is being designed with a checklist of statement “features” rather than a family home thoughtfully designed for form and function around the existing footprint. It seems a bit forced, like you are working against the house rather than leaning into its natural flow. Having to be “trained” to use a certain entrance, just so you can designate a mud room around it is one example and seems like a decision you will come to regret.

      1. You are brave for putting these posts for everyone to comment on, so I will add that I too do not understanding the flow of the house. I don’t understand why the mudroom is on the opposite side of the entrance to the house. You come and go on the kitchen side- not through the side yard. I also do not see how you access the family room. And I still think the big table in the sunroom is very far from the kitchen. It feels like so much has been worked around having the primary bedroom on the main floor, and maybe that wing should really be the kitchen/ family room area with the front part of the house being more formal living space, and the primary room upstairs with the other bedrooms.

  39. I love this and think it’s great! The only suggestion I have, as the owner of 8 house dogs and the world’s most amazing mudroom, is to do a dutch door instead of pocket. If they can see y’all while they are in there drying off they will be less likely to scratch at the door. Plus you can see them to keep an eye on them. Dutch doors are the most underutilized great things in home design. 😉

    1. I thought the same thing. Ifthey can see their humans, they’re calmer and happier.

    2. Was coming here to say the mudroom interior door is such an opportunity for a darling dutch door!

  40. Hello Emily and team!!! I get the feeling that you are stuck and want to get over the floor plan to get to the fun stuff, but pleas don’t give up yet and don’t give in. Maybe you need fresh eyes on the floor plan, maybe you need to spent a few days (and nights) there. Eg if you put the mud room right next to the wall where your stove is, you can have 2 exits covered ( 1 from the kitchen and 1 from the deck) and kill 2birds with 1 stone (as they say). Also the entry from the porch could rotate 90o the the left wall, because I remember reading about a carport and have that covered. The main entrance could be from where you nor have the deck and with the help of some landscaping, you could have a very interesting and innovative solution. Yours is the only blog I read every day (and care to comment). Sending good vibes to all of you

    1. Also if the kitchen has the best light why don’t you give some to the family room instead of the main bath

  41. Emily – I’m not going to weigh in on any floor plan changes, however I am going to address the “dog washing station” from the perspective of someone who had two big fluffy dogs in similar weather to Portland. We lived right on Puget Sound in the very heart of the PNW. I think you’re going to be JUST FINE with NO dog wash! Our dogs had a dog door from outside into our mudroom. We just kept the door into the rest of the house closed when the dogs were outside. They could come and go as they pleased into the mudroom. They stayed in the mudroom until they were dry. We always had beds for them in the mudroom and plenty of microfiber towels. We NEVER had mud in the house. It just dropped of of them as plain ol’ dirt when they were dry. They dried a lot faster then you might think because it was super rare for them to get SOAKING wet. It just doesn’t rain that hard up there very often. Just be sure you have a spot in the mudroom to charge a stick vacuum cause it will get dirty. But dry dirt is so much easier to deal with than mud. Just my two cents…

  42. Love watching the progress on your new home. As an interior designer I was troubled by the layout of your master bedroom. Neither of the design options proposed so far have the bed facing the entry to the bedroom. When I saw your first floorplan in my mind I saw the bed on the opposite wall. Putting the bed on the window wall would work too. Both options would minimize the problem of the laundry against the headboard wall. If you select the window wall for the bed there are a large number of design options available for the opposite wall. And, I would add windows to the wall opposite the room entry now that the other windows will be blocked by the wonderful mudroom you are designing. Love the new placement for the mudroom.

  43. How do you go from the family room into the kitchen? I feel very dense for not being able to understand this!

  44. Wait, what? No dogwashing station? And you have two big(ger) dogs? If you can find a way to work one in, I would strongly suggest it. I have two large dogs and we put in a dog washing station – no regrets at all. In addition to using it to clean up my muddy dogs, I have: washed veggies from the garden, washed huge oven racks, washed my kids feet and my own after coming in from gardening… Ours is floor level, but it doesn’t bother my back to wash the dogs in there. Plus, I don’t have to lift them in. When we aren’t using it to wash muddy paws, we put the dog beds in it and the dogs lounge in there. I think if there is an opportunity to put one in you should do it.

  45. My 2 cents. I am not remembering the other post about where they park, I think it is off of the kitchen. If that is the case all the “things” that come in the house will come in through the kitchen and not the mudroom. That is a long way to walk to get to the mudroom. I assume that is where shoes and backpacks will be stored. Highly recommend taking of shoes in the house.

    We don’t have a dog washing station, I use my walk in shower. I simply tell him it’s time for a shower and he walks in. I know you are concerned with them being wet but you could wrap them in a towel and bring them in.

    Also 2nd the dutch door idea.

  46. Can the bed go on the closet wall so it’s not on the washer wall?

    Can the deck and mudroom landing become a connected L shape deck? The two entrances seem so separate. But with landscaping at those pretty three windows separate entrances might be pretty and won’t seem too annoying.

  47. You know best how you would like to live, so make that as your priority when floor planning. For me, after havingt he perspective of living through teen age and young adult (move back home between transitions) years, I would not want my bedroom to be anywhere near a a garage or entrance (late or unexpected departures and arrivals), family room (friends! friends! friends!) powder room, or mudroom/laundry room. I can still see the muddy clothes, fishing gear, scuba gear, and all other accoutrements that come home from school and camp though our outdoor entrance (which was a mudroom/laundry room off garage). If I were moving into your farmhouse with young kids, with what I know now, I would make the entire first floor addition a family wing. I would consider planning for kids bedrooms where you have your primary ensuite, with easy access to a coat/ mudroom/ laundry room, kitchen, family room, powder room. I can imagine kids coming in and through the mudroom, hallway, family room and kitchen (they and their friends will be big on eating – even in the middle of the night on sleepovers) And I would want to be upstairs, private and quiet, maybe with a TV/audio/library room for hubby and me and a guest room. Then the front of the house, downstairs would be primarily used for adult dinners and evenings. I would have the kitchen flow through to both the family room and the adult living room for convenience. After kids were up and out, I might move downstairs to your original ensuite location and let the visiting adult kids have the upstairs. But then, that’s just me.

  48. Looks great! For us a “mudroom” is really about having a spot for all our wet / muddy outdoor gear to dry out and be stored – this one looks like it fits the bill perfectly for that (and love that it’s combined with a laundry!). If that’s how you’re using it, it really doesn’t need to be by the main entrance door at all, just by a door so you can access it from the outside like you’ve got. If you have a few hooks and a spot for everyday shoes by the main door you’ll be fine.

  49. I wouldn’t do any better (in fact, far worse) with this kind of scrutiny but wow…. things are starting a get a little CRAZY up in this house. We don’t get a lot of rain in Colorado but we do get snow and we definitely have a mud season but having a mudroom coming from the back yard and not from the main entry from the drive or walk home from school and activities?? Our dogs track in their fair share of mud but it’s just a quick wipe of the floor with a damp towel and it’s gone… It’s the shoes and boots and sports equipment that gets really cumbersome and messy.

    Anyway, I guess go on with your bad selves, Hendersons. It’s just such a shame you’re changing your minds so much and seemingly rushing the process. I imagine there is some sponsorship reason why it has to go this way but it’s a shame. Hopefully you’re having more fun than it seems like you are.

    Also RIP that BEAUTIFUL existing kitchen.

  50. one point- are the dogs going to shake off in the mudroom all over those pretty glass doors?

  51. Shoes are so dirty – I would leave some open spaces at floor level to put wire baskets with trays underneath. You don’t want smelly, muddy shoes closed in drawers. Our cabinetmaker incorrectly swapped 2 benches and left our mud room without any open storage and all the kids shoes are on a shoe tree, as a result. Drives me nuts.

    Keep those pantry cabinets as they are!! Gorgeous!!

  52. I am confused. Isn’t the driveway on the other side of the house near the kitchen? If so, everyone and everything will have to come in through the living room entrance? I really think you need a door from driveway to kitchen. Are you going to carry groceries etc thru living/dining to kitchen? If the mudroom will only be used when kids are playing outside, that it a big mistake! Need the mudroom to be where you will be coming and going from each day! The new placement makes zero sense to me!

  53. Hi! I’m sorry to add another suggestion at this point! But if you’re willing to sacrifice square footage in the bedroom area, why not keep the mudroom where it was in the first place (in the left corner of the house, but maybe in a straight rectangle shape) and shift the kitchen and family room a little bit to the right? With this you could even have the breakfast nook in the upper left corner of the (now) family room, which apparently has great natural light. Or instead creating a similar banquette seating by the barbecue area window. Anyway, I’m sure it will be awesome either way and I can’t wait to see how it will turn out! (By the way, I loved loved the idea of having the mudroom cabinets and floor in that same rich blue!)

  54. I don’t think I fully understand the point of enormous lavish butler’s pantries. Aren’t they just an acknowledgement that open plan kitchens don’t really work? I get a small walk-in pantry or even a scullery but it feels like people now have their show kitchen and then have another kitchen out the back and it feels excessive and OTT and kind of wasteful to me. I’m glad you chucked that idea.

  55. Hello Emily, it was fun reading this post and putting down my thoughts about what i would do if I stayed there. I really hope you see my comment.

  56. I am kind of sad that you won’t have the walk through apothecary cabinet doorwag. But the changes make so much sense that I can’t be too sad about it.

  57. I know you mentioned using the existing kitchen cabinets in one of the other buildings on the property, but have you considered using them in the mudroom space instead of the more modern cabinetry? They are so lovely, I’d want to see them every day in the house if I lived there.

  58. Add me to the list of: please don’t give up, don’t rush this for a photo shoot: the floor plan just isn’t quite right yet. I know you’re feeling so many different pressures, and maybe your pockets are deep enough to fix some of the issues later, but this ain’t quite it yet, fam.

    Also on a related note, would love to see a roundup of ideas/advice from parents who have traveled the entire kid journey about how their needs and spaces change as they get older.

    1. My main concern is that you have a *major* traffic route through the one small door by the banquette. That is the only indoor way to get to the powder room and mudroom, and it is going to become a bottleneck. Think of people sitting around the table after dinner, chairs pushed back a bit and enjoying some wine and how conspicuous and awkward it is going to be to ask people to please move their chair so they can squeeze around and through a door to the bathroom. Or kids coming in and out, in and out, as they grab snacks to take back to the family room, how irritating that will be to the people at the banquette table. For a house that large, to have such a small and semi-blocked door, with no other indoor routes to important areas, doesn’t make any sense.

      That door needs to go back to being a double or even triple-wide doors, maybe something clever that you can close 1/3, 2/3 or fully when the occasions change, but flexible. For example, if you’re having a big festive gathering, it’s open all the way for maximum flow. Kids are having a movie while you talk with adults, it’s closed 2/3 of the way or fully. And another place for the table.

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