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Style Watch

A mudroom makeover

A North End home gets a utilitarian, but oh, so handsome, mudroom with storage space galore.

“Because the home has very little storage area, this mudroom needs to double as the ultimate flex space,” says architect Treff LaFleche.

Peter Vanderwarker

“Because the home has very little storage area, this mudroom needs to double as the ultimate flex space,” says architect Treff LaFleche.

Extra storage space in the mudroom.

Peter Vanderwarker

Extra storage space in the mudroom.

“MUDROOMS ARE ALMOST AS IMPORTANT as kitchens,” says Treff LaFleche, principal architect at Cambridge-based LDa Architecture & Interiors. When the owners of this North End town house contacted LaFleche, the home lacked a place “where you could drop all of your stuff,” he says. Together with project architect Matt Simitis, LaFleche re-imagined the home’s entry with a handsome new stairway leading to a downstairs mudroom. (They removed the old basement stairway at the back of the house.) The new mudroom has plenty of storage tailored to the homeowners’ needs — and subtle elegance, too.

1 >A SCULPTURAL GLASS SCREEN was designed to engage visitors while providing separation from the home’s entry above. It also allows daylight to filter into the mudroom from the main-floor window.

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2 >STEEL ELEMENTS bring an industrial feel to the stairway, while railing made of jatoba wood adds warmth.

3 >GRANITE TREADS on the stairs have historical precedent. “A lot of the front stoops in the North End are made of granite, so we brought that idea into the house,” says Simitis.

4 >MAHOGANY STRIPS fitted with hooks and mounted on an ash-paneled wall provide a place to hang jackets and gear. The millwork was completed by Newton-based Tradern Fine Woodworking.

5 >A SPACIOUS ISLAND topped with concrete inset with flecks of copper serves as both a drop-off point and as a workstation for potting plants and other projects.

6 >CHARCOAL DYE with a clear finish coats the concrete-slab floor, giving it an interesting textural appearance.

7 >A STAINLESS-STEEL SINK and countertop provide a place to clean up.

8 >COMPARTMENTALIZED SLIDING SHELVES are handy for storing shoes. Other cabinets contain a multitude of items, from skis to umbrellas — there’s even a gift-wrapping station that tucks neatly away.

9 >ROOMY REFRIGERATOR and freezer drawers were the result of thoughtful conversations with the homeowners, says LaFleche. “They wanted to have a place to store a Thanksgiving turkey.”

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