Create A Garden Room: It’s a Natural Choice

Turn a common mudroom into a glorious and natural garden room.

Treat yourself to a garden room devoted to potting plants, growing seedlings, and bringing the sights and smells of the good earth indoors.

A garden room is also a little something extra that can help market your home. Here's how to create a natural retreat.

Garden Room Must-Haves

Sink: If you already have a laundry hookup or your intended garden room shares a wall with a kitchen or half bath, you can easily add a deep sink for rinsing off garden vegetables and cleaning muddy trowels. (If not, forget the sink, which will be crazy expensive to plumb.)

A stand-alone stainless steel sink from a kitchen supply store is a workhorse ($250 to $1,400), but a plastic tub ($80) will do, too. Installation typically costs $200 to $350 if tapping into existing plumbing; $800 to $900 if your plumber has to open up walls to access pipes. 

Countertops: When it comes to garden rooms, the more counter space, the better. Place counters next to the sink for easy cleanup after repotting plants. Stainless steel is best, because it won’t rust and you won’t care about scratches, which only make stainless look more interesting. Cost: $100 to $200, installed. If your budget is tight, use an old wood table that a few more scars won’t hurt.

Storage: Throw up some cabinets in your new garden room; you can get deals at Habitat for Humanity ReStore Resale Outlets ($45 for a single cabinet). Rescue school lockers from a yard sale, or stack and anchor fruit crates to a wall (you may be able to liberate free crates from a grocery dumpster). A forged iron curtain rod with some large J hooks is a great place to hang baskets for less than $100.

Light: Your seedlings and hanging plants will love natural light. Replace wood doors with swinging all-glass doors, which you can price online or at home centers. Take down window treatments to maximize light.

Flooring: Choose a surface in your garden room that won’t show dirt and is easy to clean. Vinyl sheets ($8-$10/sq. yd.) are best. Ceramic tile (typically $1-$10/sq. ft.) is sturdy. To hide dirt, use darker tiles and grout. Also, make sure you periodically reseal grout lines to keep out dirt.


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Caralee Adams

Caralee Adams , a veteran journalist, has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Fitness, and The Wall Street Journal.