What Is a Mudroom? Top Tips for Designing One

cubbies in mudroom

Design: Becky Shea / Photo: Sean Litchfield

If you're planning on adding a mudroom to your home, you most likely won't regret it, given that this small space can truly pack a punch. "A mudroom is a utilitarian space that is usually positioned where you enter your home the most frequently," designer Becky Shea, of Becky Shea Design, says. These practical spaces are designed to make it easy to enter and exit your home with ease. As Shea adds, "This is a room where you store your everyday shoes, bags, skincare, to-go bags, coats, and truly everything in between." However, just because mudrooms are functional doesn't mean they need to be boring. "Mudrooms are a fantastic way to show off your personal style right out of the gate," Michelle Woolley Sauter, of One Coast Design, says. "What a wonderful sight to come in from outside and see this beautifully styled and organized space to welcome you home!"

Ready to get started designing your own mudroom? Below, designers comment on the key features of a mudroom, share notable design tips, and provide suggestions for making the most of this multifunctional space.

What is a Mudroom?

A mudroom is a utilitarian space that is usually positioned where you enter your home the most frequently. Mudrooms are often multipurpose and may contain laundry stations, sinks, or small office setups, too.

moody hued mudroom

Design: Becky Shea / Photo: Jake Shea

Key Features of a Mudroom

A mudroom is a catchall space. As Evelyn Pierce Smith of Evelyn Pierce Design Studio notes, this area commonly houses shoes, school and sports gear, and coats. Thus, sufficient space to stash everything away is of the utmost importance. "I always try to add lots of storage including lots of hooks and cubbies," Smith says. A mudroom can house those items that you do not wish for guests to see, too. Jessica Risko Smith, of Jessica Risko Smith Interior Design, emphasizes that a mudroom is a hardworking space because it's mostly used for transitioning from the outdoors to indoor.

mudroom with dark gray walls

Design: Arterberry Cooke / Photo: Madeline Harper

Tips for Designing a Mudroom

As Smith notes above, ample storage is a mudroom necessity. Not sure what specific solutions to add to your space? A storage bench is a perfect place to start. "Baskets and multi-prong coat hooks are a must-have. A mirror, bulletin board, and trashcan can be helpful, and a key rack is a great addition," Risko Smith says. Concealed storage is useful, too, and Keyanna Bowen of East and Lane offers a tip for ensuring yours is up to par. "Incorporating vent holes or cutouts in the cabinet doors not only adds a decorative touch but also keeps stored items properly ventilated," she says.

Smith recommends keeping darker colors in men when designing your mudroom so the heavy-trafficked area won't look messy as quickly. However, don't be afraid to opt for a shade that's louder than usual if you feel like taking some risks. "Typically your mudroom is a small space and there is so much less risk to go bold here," Sarah Storms, of Styled By Storms, says.

When it comes to the walls, there are a number of approaches you can take. "I like to add wood paneling in a mudroom because it dresses the space up and it’s easier to wipe down versus drywall," Smith says. Stained wood is also a popular pick. "Adding in stained wood elements helps layer on an element of warmth to an otherwise cold space," Amy Peltier, of Peltier Interiors, says.

Wainscoting is another great solution. "Wainscotting provides a way to add color and reduce scuffs and splashes that may show up more easily on a painted wall," Alice Arterberry, of Arterberry Cooke, says. "It also allows you to add more special details, such as wallpaper, above the more durable wood."

Floors should also be able to withstand wear and tear in the mudroom. "For durability, finish is the first thing to consider," Arterberry says. "Choose easily wipeable paint finishes, patterned tile, durable wood, or stone for flooring."

Lastly, note that there's no real need for decorative accents in a mudroom. While you should never sacrifice your aesthetic, the space is meant for functionality.

mudroom with hooks and bench

Design: Jessica Risko Smith / Photo: Leela Cyd

Multipurpose Functions

A mudroom can serve a number of other functions aside from those highlighted above. For example, a mudroom may double as a laundry room, flower arranging area, present wrapping, sewing station, and dog food area. Adding a washer and dryer to the mix can help mitigate the spread of dirt, too. "It's a great spot to remove grass-stained clothing post-soccer practice and toss it in the wash before entering the rest of the house," Shea adds.

Mudrooms are also excellent spots to get organized for the week. "A mudroom can also be a great place to keep the family calendar, printer, and school supplies," Risko Smith says. Lastly, if your mudroom is connected to the garage, you may wish to outfit it with some additional elements. Risko Smith adds, "You can include handy features like a dog wash, or utility sink to keep messes from making it too far into your home."

mudroom with purple walls

Design: Living With Lolo / Photo: LifeCreated