After buying a 1920s bungalow in Newton, Mass., architect Todd Sloane and his wife, Elizabeth, considered replacing the narrow porch entry off the kitchen with a mudroom addition, but property setbacks wouldn’t allow it, and neither would their modest budget. Instead, they put their money into a family room addition and simply enclosed half the back porch, turning it into a mini-mudroom. When you get right down to it, a smaller mudroom does everything a larger one would have done, only better, because it doesn’t take up the whole porch and thus cut off the kitchen from the backyard.

Before After
Randy O'Rourke
Randy O'Rourke
The small mudroom preserves half the porch as a covered entry area. Fully enclosing the porch would have eliminated the covered entry and also boxed in the kitchen. Even the white-painted board that capped the former half-wall of the porch remains; it’s visible just below the paired mudroom windows, embedded in the mudroom wall. A window to the kitchen is located where the door used to be.

The enclosed mudroom still feels a lot like the open porch it replaced, thanks to ample windows.

The porch’s beadboard ceiling and clapboard siding were left in place and simply painted white.

A baseboard heater fits neatly under the bench, where it warms shoes as well as the mudroom.

Randy OíRourke

Freeing Up the kitchen

The old entry hall took up kitchen space and was often blocked by the powder room door. Turning half the back porch into a mudroom and moving the powder room farther inside not only improved the entry process but also gave space back to the kitchen.