22 Mudroom Storage and Decorating Ideas

Don't let your mudroom become a chaotic catchall for shoes and winter gear. Check out designers' top tips for keeping your entry room organized, efficient and, most of all, well decorated.
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Photo By: Design by Sarah Richardson

Photo By: Design by Jane Frederick

Photo By: Design by Sarah Richardson

Photo By: Design by Solomon+Bauer+Giambastiani Architects; photography by Bradley M. Jones

Photo By: Courtesy of Emily Fisher of Rock Paper Hammer; Photo by Andrew Hyslop

Photo By: Design by Traci Zeller

Photo By: Design by Jeffrey Brown, Monica Miller and Stefanie Ciak of J.S. Brown & Co.

Photo By: Crystal Kitchen Center

Photo By: Courtesy of Susan Teare

Photo By: Design by Solomon+Bauer+Giambastiani Architects; photography by Bradley M. Jones

Photo By: Courtesy of Kristin Salazar

Photo By: Design by Monica Miller of J.S. Brown & Co.

Photo By: Design by Jeffrey Brown and Stefanie Ciak of J.S. Brown & Co.

Design With Kids in Mind

When designing a mudroom, think of how your children will use the space. Jeffrey S. Brown, president of J.S. Brown & Co., says, "Most parents tell us their children do better with open areas because they are more likely to hang their coat on a hook than to open a closet door and pull down a hanger." In this situation, low-hanging hooks are the best option. Kids can easily hang their bags and coats on rows of hooks and kick off their shoes below. Designer Sarah Richardson's walk-through mudroom is the perfect example of a low-maintenance entry with kids in mind.

A Mudroom Must-Have

Most mudrooms are considered narrow walk-through hallways off the kitchen or laundry room. But, if space permits, there is one design element almost every mudroom should have: a bench. Jeffrey S. Brown says, "I almost always include a shallow bench area, which is helpful for taking off boots or setting down a briefcase or shopping bag. Bench seating should be open to the floor, allowing for someone to sit down and put their shoes underneath when they come inside." DIY Network's Blog Cabin 2012 features an open entryway mudroom with foyer benches suited to house shoes and accessories underneath, and even offers a standalone closet with a storage shelf and hanging rack.

Just As Stylish As the Rest

Designer Jane Frederick was sure not to leave "style" out of the equation when creating this traditional walk-through mudroom. Rather than designing a sterile space with a utility room feel, Jane incorporates rustic, lodge-inspired elements from the rest of the home into the mudroom. She uses wooden case goods, artwork and accessories to style the space and make it feel just as warm as the rest of the home, even though it serves as a functional mudroom.

Tucked Away

Some homes simply require a small entryway with a quick place to tuck shoes and coats away without the use of a formal storage unit. Designer Sarah Richardson stores winter gear in a brick-red closet with an antique bench nearby and a full-length mirror right by the door for last-minute outfit checks.

Create a Room That Flows

This rustic, cottage-style mudroom is a true indoor/outdoor breezeway that flows from one room to the next. In room-to-room mudroom pathways, be sure to incorporate elements from both indoor and outdoor surroundings to create a successful movement. Architect Don Giambastiani of Solomon+Bauer+Giambastiani Architects says, "Mudrooms are usually the transition between the interior and exterior, so choose materials, both functionally and visually, based on the overall design of the home and landscape." Here, stone floors and walls pull in outdoor elements that also coordinate with the rest of the interior.

Multipurpose at Its Best

Busy, active families with children often need more than just a few shelves in a mudroom when it comes to storing coats, shoes, backpacks and sporting equipment. Architect Emily Fisher of Rock Paper Hammer turns an 8-by-20-foot space into a multifunctional laundry room/mudroom located just outside the kitchen. When designing this mudroom, Emily keeps the needs of this busy family in mind and creates a transitional storage unit. "This area usually takes the form of built-in cubbies — open lockers for each family member with plenty of hooks, spaces above for bins to hold smaller items and shoe storage below with a small bench above," she says.

Determine Your Mudroom's Functionality

Much like choosing the function of a spare room, a mudroom should be well thought out and have an ultimate purpose in the home. According to Susan Howell of Howell Custom Building Group, the homeowner should first make a list of everything they plan on storing in the mudroom and how they want it to look and flow with the rest of the home. "Do they want this to be just a 'utility' entrance for family members and pets, or will this be the primary entry/exit to the home? If so, it needs to maintain a neater, more elegant appearance," she says. "Will the room serve different uses in different seasons — for example, if they have a pool, will they be storing towels and pool toys here in the summer? Will they want to store boots and hockey attire here in the winter?" In HGTV Dream Home 2011, the mudroom features floor-to-ceiling, locker-style cabinetry that stores ski equipment and other winter gear. When the family steps off the slopes, they can clean up in a mudroom built to stand up to harsh wear and tear.

Efficient, Family-Friendly Storage

To ensure a mudroom stays organized and clutter-free, make the space functional and efficient for everyone. Designer JoLynn Johnson of Crystal Kitchen Center says, "Coat hooks are much easier than hangers for storing outerwear, plus you can hang backpacks and purses from them, too. Double up and have two rows of hooks for longer coats on the top and shorter on the bottom, even." Like in this mudroom, JoLynn suggests using cubbies if you have the space. "Everyone in the family can have their own cubby to organize their things. Add outlets for charging phones, iPods or computers instead of letting these items clutter up the kitchen countertop."

Closed Off and Clutter-Free

A closed-off mudroom is the best option for those that don't care to have a guest-ready space at all times. In this traditional home, designers Jeffrey S. Brown, Monica Miller and Stefanie Ciak of J.S. Brown & Co. create a separate mudroom located just off the kitchen and entryway. It features all the elements of a traditional mudroom — like shelves, hooks and drawers — but uses a sliding, reclaimed-wood barn door to keep everything stylishly concealed.

Three Rooms in One

Upon entering HGTV's Green Home 2012, one would never guess that this tiny space houses an entryway, mudroom and a laundry room. That's right — designer Linda Woodrum is sure to keep clutter at bay with stylish storage systems that cleverly deceive the eye. On the right, a handcrafted peg rail provides a quick and easy spot to hang coats, hats and handbags on the way in. On the left, locker-style cabinetry with industrial-chic charm hides a front-loading washer/dryer unit, cleaning supplies and other accessories.

So Much Storage, So Little Space

"Mudrooms are typically small in square footage, so make the most of the space by going vertical," JoLynn Johnson says. "Add shelves where bins and baskets can be placed for easy access. Smaller items like hats, gloves and scarves can be stored in the bins." This traditional mudroom offers all the storage amenities of a spacious room compacted into one unit. Storage shelves, baskets, hooks, bench seating and convenient floor storage all help keep mudroom contents tidy and within reach.

On-the-Go Hallway Storage

What do homeowners ask for most often in their mudroom? Susan Howell says most people want a bench, a charging station and a place with individual cubbies for each child to hang their jackets and store their schoolwork. "They want a place where work items are left when entering or leaving the house, but not necessarily a place that's part of the home life," she says.

A Space for Your Needs

Your mudroom doesn't necessarily need to be an expansive storage unit with shelves, cubbies and drawers. Susan Howell says the essentials of a mudroom should be entirely based on the needs of the homeowner. Smaller families with teenagers may only require a small bench and hooks for hanging coats. "What is really essential in a mudroom is knowing the demands of the mudroom before it's even built, so that whatever is essential to the homeowner's family is present in the final product," she says.

Create Storage With Repurposed Furniture

You can turn virtually any traditional entryway into a makeshift mudroom by utilizing your DIY skills. First, take an old dresser and dress it up with a fresh coat of paint. Then, use picture frames and chalkboard paint and add them to the center of each drawer front; these will serve as name plates, so each family member will have a designated place to properly store their winter gear and accessories. The case good itself will serve as an attractive piece of furniture in the foyer and take up minimal space.

Glam It Up

Designer Rebekah Zaveloff wanted this cottage-style mudroom to feel like the rest of the home rather than a cold, garage-like extension. Coordinating with the rest of the interior's feel, she reuses old doors, builds new ones and adds in custom-matched cabinetry. Behind custom pocket doors is a front-loading washer/dryer unit, preventing the room from feeling like a pure laundry room. Carrera marble countertops, stainless steel shelves and green penny-tile flooring add a vintage feel with a touch of unexpected glam to one of the home's most hard-working spaces. "Don't treat your mudroom like an afterthought," Rebekah says. "We spend a ton of time in these spaces, so treat them like you'd treat your living room."

Don't Forget the Ambiance

Ambiance is a crucial element within a home, and a mudroom shouldn't be forgotten. Don Giambastiani says there are two elements of a mudroom that are ideal for both function and atmosphere: seating and lighting. "If there is room, a seating element is usually helpful both for function and ambiance. This can be a built-in or a piece of furniture, depending on the dimension of the space," he says. "And don't forget good lighting. Try several sources, if possible, to provide additional function and mood."

Double the Function

The designers at Fiorella Design use the narrow room adjacent to the front door as a mudroom and home office. Since the space is purely functional, they choose a modern design with an all-white palette and minimal decor. The design seems suited for its purpose and makes the room look and feel more organized.

Incorporate Personal Style

Don't be afraid to integrate your home's style and personality into your mudroom design. Design blogger Kristin Salazar designs her mudroom as a direct reflection of her home's shabby chic charm, while still using it as a functional entry storage spot. Rather than wasting wall space, Kristin adds a small shelf to house charming decorative accents.

Account for Pets

If you're sharing your home with furry friends, then a mudroom is the perfect place to set up and store pet's belongings. Make sure you choose tile or beadboard wainscoting, as these materials handle messes better than drywall. Jeffrey S. Brown also suggests choosing porcelain tile in a medium to dark color, because it's durable and easy to clean. This pet-friendly mudroom features a space for cleaning wet pets, housing food and water dishes, and storing food, accessories, dog crates or litter boxes. "A large utility sink can be helpful for refilling dishes or cleaning muddy paws, as can towel bars or towel hooks," Jeffrey says.

Make Dead Space Valuable

Missing a mudroom? Turn an awkward corner or downstairs dead space into valuable entryway storage. The designers at Fiorella Design transform this corner into a makeshift mudroom by adding an L-shaped floor-to-ceiling storage unit. A combination of cubbies, baskets, hooks, bench seating and pullout drawers create the perfect combination of storage to organize everything from scarves to schoolbooks.

Ample Storage

If you expect your mudroom to stay neat, opt for open, more modern storage solutions. But if you think you need to contain all the clutter behind closed doors, then floor-to-ceiling cabinetry may be the best option for you. In this traditional mudroom design, designers Jeffrey S. Brown and Stefanie Ciak of J.S. Brown & Co. combine open cubbies and locker-style storage with closed cabinets. Now there's an option for those miscellaneous items that simply don't have a place of their own.

Mix Up Storage Elements

This custom-designed laundry room also doubles as a mudroom with wall-to-wall cabinetry, ideal for storing everything from coats to cleaning supplies. Don Giambastiani suggests mixing up mudroom storage options to create a more unique look. "Provide a mixture of accessible storage in the form of drawers, cubbies and open shelves," he says. "Cubbies and drawers offer a bit more organization, but open shelves can also house baskets or other containers which help to organize while adding some character." Design by Shane Inman

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