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Photos: Whit Preston

Mudrooms are a popular request, and this hardworking example in Texas Hill Country offers some useful ideas. It’s all about function: low-to-no-maintenance materials, storage, and a place where you can shake the dirt, drop the stuff, and kick off your shoes.

The floor is unstained sealed concrete; it can handle mud, water, and boot heels with ease. There’s a recessed integral basin for rinsing off with a removable ipe platform. Lift out the durable platform, and the space is large enough to wash a hefty Labrador. “We looked at different off-the-shelf basins made of cast iron,” says architect Gary Furman, principal of Furman & Keil, “but they were very expensive.” The integral basin here, a depression with a drain in the concrete floor, was formed while pouring the concrete slab. The adjacent cabinets and backsplash are clad in galvanized metal, so they, too, can get wet. There’s plenty of storage as well—cubbies and hooks for each member of this family of four.

Likely your buyer’s profile doesn’t include ranching and burros as with this Texas home, but that’s where decorative hooks, baskets, and a great paint color come in, transforming an informal entrance to a warm, welcoming area. The space prompted more interest than Furman could have imagined. “The mudroom is at the function end of the house, and I’m surprised at how many people have responded to it,” he says. “It’s a popular event.”

Project: Flaming Goat Ranch, Dripping Springs, Texas

Architect:Furman + Keil Architects, Austin, Texas

Builder:Schatz Homes, Spicewood, Texas

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Austin, TX.