Need a few clever mudroom ideas for the seasons ahead? We all know what a pain it can be to wrestle with muddy boots, puffy coats, and scarves and hats galore, even on a bright day. Fortunately, it is possible to keep everything clean and organized, provided you create the right mudroom environment.
Traditionally found in rural homes, the humble mudroom originated as a practical space to transition between outdoors and in. A dedicated place to remove muddy boots, hang up hats and scarves, dry off wet coats (and wet dogs, for that matter) so your home remains neat, tidy and most importantly, mud-free – hence the name!
These days, cleanliness, organization and storage ideas are more important than ever as we return home after a long ramble – or even a fraught commute.
While its basic premise hasn’t changed, the mudroom has since evolved to encompass all manner of household practicalities; ‘I often see a combination of mudrooms and laundry rooms – some even have a dog-washing station!’, says Beatrice de Jong, Consumer Trends Expert at Opendoor.
On the flip side, they can be fairly unassuming, too. Those without space for a dedicated mudroom can create their own easily enough with carefully positioned furniture, or even just a spare bit of wall.
Whether you have a traditional mudroom that could use an upgrade or are simply looking to create a vignette in your entryway, these organization mudroom ideas boast both style and practicality.
Mudroom ideas that ooze practicality and style
1. Put the walls to work
Transform your mudroom walls into a colorful oversized note pad to ensure every family member gets the memo.
Whether you use it to track your to-do list, or let the kids get creative, it’s a clever way of combining function and fun with minimal effort involved. Or alternatively why not learn how to create a chalkboard wall?
2. Choose practical - but stylish – finishes and furnishings
If your mudroom is one that lives up to its name, dirt-disguising finishes are something to think about. A wood paneling design and brick flooring are tough alternatives to wallpaper and paint.
Consider using ‘well loved’ furniture such as a garden table or an old bench so you’re not obsessing about wear and tear.
Hang up a rustic mirror for a last-minute check before you head out of the door.
3. Bring the outdoors in
Don’t resign your mudroom to a life behind (solid) doors. Opt for glass ones instead and carry your kitchen idea through for the perfect balance of form and function.
If the space leads out onto the garden, consider installing glass doors to make a feature out of the garden views and break down the barrier between indoors and out… that’s what a mudroom is all about, after all.
4. Make your mudroom multifunctional
Mudroom, meet laundry room. This combo as seen in this setup created by Autumn Stankovsky for FLOOR360 is becoming increasingly popular – why trudge through the house with muddy clothes when you can throw them straight in the washer? It just makes sense. Just take a look at these laundry room ideas for more inspiration.
The requirements for both are fairly similar: warm, well ventilated, good storage, hanging space… The list goes on.
Combing the two not only makes your life easier, it could increase your home’s desirability too; ‘if a homeowner is considering adding a mudroom, I’d recommend making it a multi-functional space; these types of rooms are only gaining popularity amongst home buyers’, says Jason Gelios.
5. Let the floor do the talking
Resilient, hardwearing and easy to clean, patterned floor tiles are a great choice for flooring in mudrooms.
Not only are they great dirt disguisers, but they’re also a great way of injecting pattern and personality, particularly if you’ve opted for an understated color scheme.
‘We went with a soft blue and white scheme reminiscent of water to counter the chaos that ensues with a busy family!’, say Erin McCarthy & Mindy Turitz, founders of MERINDA Studio.
Brick or natural stone flooring are also popular choices, particularly for those after a more rustic vibe.
6. Add a utility sink
Whether it’s used for scrubbing freshly picked veggies, filling vases for freshly picked flowers or filling up buckets of water to wash down the dog, a utility sink can be a handy addition to a mudroom.
‘We carved out a nook for a mudroom in the garage of this home to create a little buffering zone between outdoors and in’, says designer Shannon Eddings.
‘To make it as stylish as it is functional, we added a vintage hanging lantern that we found at an antique store for around $100 and a beautiful backsplash.’
7. Opt for an all-in-one
If you don’t have a dedicated mudroom, using a custom-made unit to contain all your storage essentials is a space-saving solution – a great small kitchen storage idea.
From cubbies up top to wall-mounted pegs and a built-in bench, you’ve got a complete mudroom with just one piece of furniture.
A freestanding unit works equally well, and can be a more affordable option, too.
8. Install a closet mudroom
Lacking in space? Or maybe you just want to shut the door on your clutter. Either way, transforming a pre-existing cabinet into a mini mudroom could be the solution for you.
Take advantage of the space you do have and create storage from floor to ceiling. Little boxes and baskets are practical and make for a cute display when the doors are open. Out of reach shelves are perfect for storing seasonal clothing or anything that you don’t need day to day – a genius closet organization idea.
9. Create a makeshift mudroom
Not all mudrooms have to be fancy. A simple bench with basket storage underneath and a few wall-mounted hooks can do the job – and it's one of our favorite entryway ideas.
We love the contrasting paint shades in this entryway too; such a great way of adding interest to a neutral scheme – pops of color on doors, cabinets and furniture are much easier to update than revamping entire rooms, too.
10. Add interest with wallpaper
There’s nothing like a charming wallpaper idea to elevate a space, and a patterned design is a great way to visually expand a space. Make the most of an awkward nook by installing a bench with built-in cubbies underneath.
11. Add a personal touch
A well-worn denim jacket you’ve had for years perhaps, or a much-loved summer holiday hat… Display them alongside other personal treasures and relish the happy memories when you walk through the room.
Corkboards aren’t just for reminders and invites either; pin up photos, prints and anything else that inspires you.
12. Make it suitable for all seasons
Come rain or shine (or snow), a mudroom needs to suit every season. ‘In winter, a mudroom is ground central for skis, boards, boots and more, while in the summer, bicycle and hiking gear takes over’, says the designers at Hunter Carson Design.
Consider including hardworking elements that transition between seasons, such as bicycle racks that double up as ski storage, or welly holders durable enough to take on heavy ski boots when necessary.
13. Be playful with color
Just because a mudroom is a hardworking space doesn’t mean you have to compromise on design.
‘Have fun with the space – use striking colors and artwork to keep the eye focused on the design elements of the room as opposed to the practical storage essentials’, says designer Andrea Schumacher. Take a look at these kitchen color schemes for inspiration.
Choose a rug that’s sturdy enough to withstand heavy footfall – seagrass and sisal are good and compliment a rustic vibe, while a wool rug brings luxe feel. Top tip – choose a bright or busy pattern that hides dirt to save you getting the hoover out!
14. Give everyone some space – including the dog!
Locker style storage is great for a family mudroom. Open sections work well, but if you prefer to have doors, opt for perforated fronts to let everything inside breathe and dry out properly, there’s nothing worse than putting on a damp raincoat first thing in the morning!
Assign everybody their own ‘locker’ and add name labels to baskets with handles that you can pull out for speedy access to smaller items. You can even create a dedicated snoozing space for your furry friend in a similar style, complete with comfy pet bed.
15. Make it pet-friendly
A mudroom offers an opportunity to express yourself with bold designs you might not use in other rooms in the house – yes, dog-themed wallpaper, we’re talking about you.
These built-in pet bowls are a great idea, or alternatively, invest in stylish jars which you can leave out on show to decant pet treats and food into, then store the not-so-pretty packaging behind closed doors. Don’t forget hooks to hang up leads and collars, too. You could even integrate an automatic pet feeder so your furry friends can help themselves throughout the day.
16. …and kid-friendly!
If you’ve got little ones in the family, adjust your storage to help them – and you – out.
‘Kids are forever kicking off their shoes, so invest in baskets rather than open shelves to save you always lining them up neatly’, recommends expert organizer Michelle Vig, Founder of Neat Little Nest.
Place hooks within reach so they can hang their own coats and designate low cubbies for water bottles and school bags.
17. Stay organized
The busier the household, the harder it is to keep track of what everyone’s doing. The mudroom can act as a great central point for family organization with just a few simple adjustments.
Hang magazine folders by the front door to keep on top of mail, invites and homework. Assign one to each family member – individual key hooks are handy, too. If you’re installing drawers from scratch, consider adding concealed charging stations for iPads, phones and smart watches. And keep power banks handy to throw in your purse or their school bag for when you and your family are on the move.
18. Choose on-trend dark shades…
A coat of dark paint ensures coats and bags blend into the wall and prevents those inevitable scuffs from standing out – not to mention it looks super stylish.
Keep floors clear of coat racks and built-ins and take advantage of wall space with suspended shelves and a series of hooks. Peruse these dark interior design ideas for inspiration.
19. … Or keep it classic with a neutral scheme
Alternatively, a light color scheme creates a sense of roominess, particularly in mini mudrooms. A crisp, white scheme won’t date and offers a blank canvas to introduce pops of color as trends change.
Large windows that can be left (safely) open are great for ventilation – you are housing wet coats and boots after all! If the space is fully enclosed, maybe think about investing in an extractor fan or a great dehumidifier to stop any mustiness.
20. Stack up shoes in style
Combine old and new by incorporating quirky vintage touches into your mudroom.
Designer Shauna Speet has created a shoe storage idea by adding rustic wooden shelving into newly-built units; a clever idea that not only looks good but is super practical too – a bit of wear and tear only adds to their charm!
A small vintage bench completes the look and can be neatly tucked away when not in use.
21. Create locker storage
Mudroom lockers are great for an array of reasons. First, they allow every member of the family to have their own designated space. They also typically combine concealed and exposed storage so you can stash clutter (like mismatched hats and gloves) while displaying those cute Bean boots you saved up for. Finally, the style you choose for your mudroom lockers will set set the tone for the rest of your home.
For a farmhouse feel, opt for an all-white color palette with natural wood accents. Handy? You can build your own, like Brooke and Henry at Plank and Pillow. You'll need to build a base with shoe compartments, add locker dividers, and install an attractive backing. Brooke and Henry went all-in on modern farmhouse style and opted for vertical shiplap.
If that sounds like more than you can handle, don't worry. There are plenty of pre-built options handmade on Etsy, like this Williamsburg storage unit. The result looks like custom built-in millwork with a much lighter price tag.
For more of an industrial look, you can opt for actual school lockers. These can be found on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, or at your local resale/salvage shop. Go with the natural, aged look or spray paint them in a high-gloss finish for modern style. Whatever you choose, make sure you have an extra set of hands for the install, as vintage lockers are very heavy. Take a look at our how to spray paint furniture no matter the material.
22. Add An Open Closet
For smaller spaces where a comprehensive locker unit doesn't make sense, a simple open closet will do the same trick (and you can add cute storage baskets to conceal clutter). You can purchase a pre-made closet system like this one from Wayfair, or, you can up-cycle and existing coat closet.
Swap your heavy door for lighter bifold doors, or remove the door entirely for a built-in look. Then, paint or wallpaper the closet interior to complement your home's aesthetic. From there, you can add an extra shelf on the bottom third of the closet to hold baskets for winter accessories. Underneath, include a stylish boot tray.
Maximize the layout of your closet by hanging corner shelving and extra side shelves like Sammy on State did for this dramatic makeover.
23. Designate A Place For Feet Wiping
As its name suggests, the most important role of the mudroom is to keep dirt and mud from being tracked through the rest of the house.
Make sure to place a large indoor doormat, or an entryway rug indoors to encourage proper feet wiping. Like this clever entry layout, be sure to station a handy bench nearby where your family can have a seat and remove their shoes — and even stash them underneath before proceeding through the rest of the house.
24. Don't Forget The Boot Tray
Whether stationed next to the door or placed under your entry bench, a boot tray is key to catching the mess from melting snow stuck to the bottom of your shoes.
Be sure to chose a universal, multi-surface formula like Rust-Oleum or paint that is specially formulated for plastic. Check that your surface is clean and dry, and then spray. It instantly personalizes the look, and you won't feel guilty getting it dirty (its intended purpose), since you didn't spend a whole lot.
25. Hang It Up
Most importantly, you want to keep things organized and off the floor with plenty of hooks and ways to hang your belongings – a clever hallway storage idea. This chic Industrial Entryway Mirror is perfect for hanging keys and small purses, and it even has an attached shelf for your wallet or mail.
Create a customized vignette by hanging hooks and mirrors an a corner of your entryway or mudroom. Position them along with a freestanding coat rack, shelving with baskets for hats and gloves, and a bench to sit and remove shoes.
Will a mudroom add value?
Whether in a rural or city setting, the practical benefits a mudroom brings to family life means they’re always in style. And very desirable as a result.
When it comes to selling your home, there’s nothing like a cluttered entrance hall to cancel out curb appeal; ‘an organized mudroom will appeal to a large pool of buyers, which in turn could fetch you a higher price’, says award-winning Realtor, Jason Gelios, from It's all about the Real Estate.
What should be in a mudroom and how can I make it look nice?
Now, we know what you’re thinking. How can a space that’s essentially designed to house clutter and mess ever look good? Trust us, it can be done!
‘The first thing to do is decide how you will use the space and what’s going to live in it – skipping this step can quickly lead to your mudroom becoming a dumping ground’, says professional organizer Michele Vig, founder of Neat Little Nest.
Start with your basics. Seating, hooks or peg rails for bags and hats, shoe and boot storage are all must-haves, then move on to handy extras. ‘These will depend on your specific needs’, says Michele.
Sporty families might invest in storage for bikes, skis and kit, while dog owners could consider built-in beds or a sink for rinsing muddy paws, for example.
Ultimately, a good-looking mudroom is a well-organised one. The designers at Retreat agree; ‘it’s all about finding beautiful ways to stow away mess; woven baskets, statement hooks and cork boards for example, then you can get creative with prints, greenery and flowers.’
Want to learn how to make a cork board wall? We've got your covered with our easy guide.
Additional words by Ann Loynd Burton.