The once-lowly mudroom has earned a place among the big three of remodeling projects.

A space to ease the transition from outside to inside, to organize boots, mittens and scarves, and to keep grunge at bay is the most requested home improvement, after kitchens and bathrooms, say Twin Cities designers and contractors.

"Our clients tell us they love their home and neighborhood but they can't stand the mess of coats and backpacks and want help," said Ron Sonnek of Sicora Home Design in St. Louis Park.

But modern mudrooms are much more than a couple of coat hooks and a storage cabinet. To be efficient, organized spaces, mudrooms are getting bigger and offering multiple functions: a "drop zone" for keys and groceries; storage for coats, boots and sports equipment; built-in benches to make taking shoes on and off easier; even stations to charge electronics. Many have heated floors and are designed to match the architectural style of the home.

Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619