New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 09:01 AM

Best Size for a Mudroom and Drop Zone:

If you're able to plan ahead, try to keep your mudroom at least 5 feet wide. This will allow space for a standard hallway (3 feet wide) and a spacious bench and/or row of cabinets or lockers (2 feet wide).  If a hallway is tight, however, a 4' width can work - plan for a 12" wide Drop Zone, with 12" depth base cubbies instead of a bench.  

While there is no "standard size" for a mudroom, you can still determine the room dimensions and features that work best for your family routines.

Here are some examples of Raleigh custom homes with a mudroom and drop zone storage:

Use the questions below to reveal your ideal mudroom design, including the best flooring, storage, layout, and location. 

Mudroom Design Questions

What should you include in your mudroom? Answer these questions to find out:

(And then click through our full ideabook of mudroom photos, here.)

1. Who is the mudroom for?

Is the mudroom for you, kids, pets, or guests?

If your next home will be built for retirement (or your kids are older and more independent), your mudroom can focus on ways to stay connected with a mail, key, and message center – complete with device recharging station. Here's a design to consider:

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

Black chalkboard paint turns this mudroom into a family message center.

On the other wall (see a photo here), a corner bench is great for removing shoes. The storage cubbies are perfect for daily use. The private door - with second staircase access - allows easier movement for older kids, relatives, and guests. Here is a view of this mudroom floor plan:

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

Compare this mudroom to another designed for young kids. What differences do you see?

This kids' mudroom includes more storage cubbies (low down where they can reach) and coat hooks that are a little lower (designed for jackets and school backpacks - to make morning routines easier!)

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

This third mudroom is designed for pets - with a dog shower and house.

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

Design Tip: No matter who will use the mudroom, the flooring should be durable and easy to maintain. Your mudroom will become the center of dirt, mud, water, paw prints, and finger prints, and other messes. Materials like tile or vinyl, rather than hardwood, tend to stand up to water exposure.

2. How often will you use the space?

Are you considering mudroom spaces for daily routines, weekly chores, or long-term storage?

One reason to include a mudroom is to create a space dedicated to all home entry and exit activities. You'll want to include some sort of bench or seat (with storage below). Typically, this also means locating the mudroom entrance near the garage, so the room can serve as a buffer space between the car and home.

A daily-use mudroom may or may not be located the same space as the laundry. (The mudroom pictured here is the closest entrance from the detached garage.)

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

In many two story house plans, the laundry room is placed upstairs near all bedrooms while the mudroom remains downstairs.

In one story or downstairs master house plans, the mudroom may or may not be connected to the laundry.

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

In this example, the mudroom serves as a central point between the garage, laundry room, walk in pantry, and kitchen. The mudroom - designed for daily use - will need to stay tidy given its constant visibility to you and your guests.

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips 

Another reason to include a mudroom is for long-term storage space for things like coats, boots, umbrellas, and sports equipment. If you're leaning towards trying to organize oversized equipment, also consider adding a few feet of width or even a "workshop" area to the garage or unfinished walk-in attic space.

3. Do you need an dedicated mudroom?

Or will a hallway drop zone storage system meet your needs?

Remember that your mudroom should work for you. House plans often use drop zones and mudroom style storage systems as a way to take advantage of un- or under-used hallway space.

While you may need to keep the space more tidy in a hallway than in a room with a door that can hide the area, you won't "waste" any sq ft in your home.

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

In this example, the mudroom is actually a hallway leading from the garage to main living areas.

Best Designs for Mudrooms | Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips


Best Mudroom Bench, Storage, and Dimension Designs:

 When looking for floor plans with a mudroom, keep in mind these three important questions:

1. Who is the mudroom for, yourself, kids, pets, or guests?

2. How often will you use the space - every day, weekly, or long-term?

3. Will a hallway, rather than dedicated room, do the trick?




What is most important to you, inside your Raleigh new home? Discuss, design, and decide what your next home should look like, with tens of thousands of floor plans to choose from. Contact Stanton Homes at 919-278-8070 or visit to learn more about building an NC custom home - with the help of an interior design expert throughout the selection process.


Tags: mud rooms, mudroom drop zone, mudroom storage, raleigh new homes, mudroom floor plans, raleigh custom home builder, mudroom storage ideas

Outdoor Living, Home Offices, Mudrooms, In-law Suites Top 4 Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

What do Outdoor Living Areas, Home Offices, Mudrooms and In-law Suites have in common?

According to the latest Home Design Trends survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the demand for special function rooms - and specialty design features - is on the rise.

AIA's survey results reflect changing lifestyles and family structures: more people are working from home, combining family living spaces with a multi-generational home plan, and planning ahead with aging in place design.

Outdoor living areas

Outdoor living spaces are the most popular special function room, according to AIA's most recent survey.

Outdoor Living Spaces

In North Carolina, "indoor-outdoor" areas are a top request - including specialty sun rooms, outdoor living rooms, screen porches with a fireplace, and morning decks off the master suite. 

Get 7 tips on how to design your outdoor living space, here.


Multi-generational quarters

According to Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, AIA chief economist, "Many households want to ensure that their homes can support the needs of aging parents who may be staying for an extended period of time and other visitors with accessibility needs."

Modern au pair and in-law suites can fill these needs - whether designed into a full basement with kitchenette or as an enlarged guest suite quarters.

Multi-Generational Home Plans | In Law Suite

High-demand aging in place design and accesssible living features include: ramps and elevators, first-floor bedrooms, on-grade home entry, and easy-to-use features.

10 Stanton Home tours with a first floor guest bedroom

Home offices

While many Raleigh new homes are incorporating a full size home office - typically ranging in size from a 10'x10' to 14'x14' room - we're also seeing rising requests for a pocket office plan.

Dedicated offices offer a way to work from home - outfitted with built-in storage and high speed internet connections.

Home Office | Floor Plans with a Home Office

See 8 home plans with a pocket office.


Large laundry rooms and mudrooms are very popular in new home designs, especially as a transition area between the garage and home space.

From drop zones and locker systems to tile flooring, sinks, and folding counter tops, a mudroom offers all the storage and utility space you'll need.

Mudroom Designs | Homes with a Mudroom

See the top 5 mudroom designs, here.


Exercise rooms are back on homebuyers' radar, with a small uptick in demand.

This exercise room - from a version of The Avontstone Manor - includes a large mirror, a must-have for workout enthusiasts.

Exercise Rooms | Homes with an Exercise Room

Home Automation and Sustainability

AIA's survey also released the post popular home automation and sustainability features. Here are some of their results: 

Popular home automation features: home security systems, wireless telecommunications systems, long-range electrical controls, smart-home systems, automated lighting controls, and central (distributed) audio/video controls. 

Home systems that promote sustainability: energy management systems, solar panels, electric docking stations for cars, and geothermal heating/cooling heat pumps.

Popular sustainable home products: LED lighting, energy efficient products like spray foam insulation, tankless water heaters, Energy Star–rated appliances, water-saving devices, and reclaimed or salvaged materials.

Read the full AIA survey results here.

Let us know the special features you're looking for in your next home.  You can also work with our design team to create a brand new plan with everything just the way you want it. Request floor plan ideas here.

Tags: outdoor living, home design trends, au pair suites, home offices, mudroom floor plans