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

Credit: Randy O’Rourke

Credit: 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.


Credit: Randy O’Rourke

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.