10 Things You Never Knew You Needed In Your Mudroom

You'll be dreaming of mudrooms tonight. #sorrynotsorry

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If you're an apartment dweller, then your "mudroom" may consist of a patch of tile at the entrance of your living room with a pile up of shoes. But some envy-worthy homeowners have entire secondary entryways full of creative storage potential — cubbies, lockers, hooks, benches, cabinets, shelves, drawers, baskets. You didn't know you needed one until you saw one. Now I've pulled together 10 more things your mudroom needs. #sorrynotsorry

Wall Clock



Photo by: Photographer: Chris Constantine

Photographer: Chris Constantine

Of course we all have clocks on our phones...or maybe a watch. But when you’re holding bags, kids, pet(s) and/or groceries, it's not so easy to dig your phone out of your handbag. And yet when you’re getting ready to leave and running late, sometimes you just desperately need to see what time it is. This chic calendar clock is the perfect solution. Plus, it tells you the date!

Our Product Pick: Contemporary Metal Calendar Wall Clock, Bonanza

Outdoor Rug

Brooklyn Townhouse Entry

Brooklyn Townhouse Entry

A vintage wooden bankers bench and a fun wood circular hooks gives a warm welcome in this entryway. For a whimsical touch, the wainscot was painted with a contrast painted liner and was carried through on the doors. A durable Chilewich mat added protection to the floors but also added cheerful color to the floor. As a final touch, artwork was framed above the bench to elevate the sophistication of the entry.

Photo by: Francis Dzikowski

Francis Dzikowski

It might seem counterintuitive to put a rug in your mudroom. I can hear the chorus of "but it’s going to get dirty!" However, here’s my thinking: If you don't have a rug in there, all the dirt that would have gone on the rug will instead go on the floor. So, if you can find a reasonably priced, fun outdoor rug (which is made with materials that are a bit tougher and better able to handle high traffic areas) in a colorful pattern that can hide things, it will add both function and beauty to your space. I would think of the rug in your mudroom as more of an annual purchase, as it definitely will need to be replaced (so if you find one you love, buy a couple!).

Our Product Pick: Jaipur Rugs Desert Mojave, Rugs Direct

First Aid Kit

Most people have a first aid kit somewhere in their home. But the mistakes we all tend to make are: only buying one, then keeping that one kit buried up in a cabinet in a spare bathroom on another floor. I think it’s a great idea to keep a kit that’s easily accessible right in your mudroom. While you’re at it, think of other spots in your house that could use one (and don’t forget your car!).

Our Product Pick: 180-Piece First Aid Kit, Amazon.com


Ranch House Mudroom

Ranch House Mudroom

The team from Rafterhouse made over this Arizona ranch house and created a mudroom space perfect for a family.

From: Rafterhouse

Built-in benches, hooks and cubbies always make a regular appearance on the Pinterest mudroom boards I stalk. But if you need a quick solution (or can’t afford to go custom), consider purchasing standard lockers. Just like at school, each family member could get their own locker to keep coats, backpacks, sporting equipment and all of their other essentials. You could even have some fun with it and let the kids decorate their lockers. And best of all, the lockers have doors, so you’re really able to keep your space looking neat and tidy.

Our Product Pick: Triple-Tier Lockers, School Outfitters

Wrapped Gifts, Ready to Go

A favorite idea of mine (that has saved me more times than I can count!), is keeping a few wrapped gifts ready to go and on hand.

Our Product Pick: Natural Linen Wine Bags, Online Fabric Store

Beach Towels + Supplies



If you live in a warmer climate and are lucky enough to be able to visit the beach all year round, consider keeping your stash of towels, toys, sunblock and other beach supplies in your mudroom so they’re easy to grab and go. You could put together a bag for each kid ahead of time, or simply create a big family beach bag with all of the essentials. Keep a few old towels in your mudroom as well so you can grab them to wipe off the dirt from boots or other messy outdoor items.

Our Product Pick: Turkish Cotton Bath and Beach Towels, Overstock.com

Wall-Mounted Message Board

Custom Mudroom With Chalkboard Wall

Custom Mudroom With Chalkboard Wall

Herringbone floors are another flawless detail in this beautiful mudroom. Complete with a chalkboard wall, built-in storage and a comfy spot to take off your shoes, this space is brimming with custom features.

Photo by: Melanie Millner

Melanie Millner

A large, wall-mounted message board is a killer idea for a larger family that needs to share lots of details or messages. Host the family’s weekly schedule, reminders about sports, homework assignments, shopping lists and party to-dos. Encourage everyone in your family to use it as a central messaging hub to really get the most out of it.

Our Product Pick: Wall-Mounted Paper Roller, George & Willy

Pet Bed

White Traditional Mudroom With Washer and Dryer

White Traditional Mudroom With Washer and Dryer

The abundance of natural light, plenty of storage space and the company of four-legged friends takes away the drudgery of chores in this mudroom.

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

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

If your pup is anything like mine, he or she might like to hang out by the door waiting for you and your family to return home. If so, think ahead and get a special dog bed that you can keep right in your mudroom near the door. This will ensure that your pup is comfortable and has his or her own spot to hang out.

Our Product Pick: Faux Fur Dog Bed Cover, Pottery Barn

"Must Not Forget" Wall Pocket



Keep a wall pocket by the door in the mudroom to hold items that you absolutely, positively can not forget the next time you leave the house. This will likely be a rotating group of items including anything from mail, bills, the checkbook, items to return, to-do lists, etc. If you can get into the habit of always checking the “must not forget” pocket before you leave home, you’ll be rocking your to-do list like nobody’s business.

Our Product Pick: Mason Metal Hanging Rack, Home Decorators Collection

Full-Length Mirror

Elegant Mudroom Features Wooden Storage Shelves

Elegant Mudroom Features Wooden Storage Shelves

Upper and lower storage cubbies keep shoes and accessories tucked away in this mudroom. A row of coat hooks and a large mirror complete the elegant design.

Photo by: Chipper Hatter

Chipper Hatter

Most of us have full-length mirrors throughout our home; however, I find that it’s nice to be able to see how your whole outfit gets pulled together (including coat, hat, shoes, bags, etc). A full-length mirror in the mudroom will ensure that you look your best and feel your best, even after you’ve put on all the winter layers.

Our Product Pick: Liza Tapered Mirror, Urban Outfitters

22 Mudroom Storage and Decorating Ideas

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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.

Photo By: Design by Jane Frederick

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.

Photo By: Design by Sarah Richardson

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.

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

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."

Photo By: Design by Traci Zeller

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.

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

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.

Photo By: Courtesy of Susan Teare

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."

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

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.

Photo By: Courtesy of Kristin Salazar

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.

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

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.

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

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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