16 ideas for designing a stylish and functional mudroom

Written by Seamus McKale

Updated June 20, 2024 | Published April 23, 2021

The humble mudroom may not seem an important target for interior design, but there’s a good reason to decorate it: it’s the entrance to your home, and the first thing you see when you come inside, and the last thing you see when you leave.

Read on for plenty of tips and ideas for your mudroom, whether it’s large or small (or not actually a separate room at all).


Thumbnail of the How to Design a Mudroom With Style and Function video

What is a mudroom?

The mudroom is a space just inside the entrance to a home. They’re meant to collect shoes, coats, and umbrellas, and stop dirt and water from getting tracked all over the house.

It may or may not be a separate room. Many homes are too small to devote a whole room just to coat and shoe storage, so they’ll have mudroom-like features near the home’s most-used entrance—coat hangers, shoe racks, and maybe a bench.

Mudrooms are normally not located inside the home’s front entrance (though that, too, depends on the home’s design). They’re usually inside a side entrance, or perhaps the garage. That way, the front door can be kept neat, tidy, and appealing to guests.

Mudroom storage ideas

There’s no reason a mudroom can’t look nice—and we’ll get to that part. But they are primarily a functional space, so let’s start with the most important feature: storage.

tidy mudroom with coathooks and storage

Coat hangers are a good place to start. If the room is too narrow for an actual coat rack, there’s nothing wrong with coat hooks.

Aside from being space-saving, coat hooks are great for families with younger children—no need to have kids fumbling with coat hangers or closet doors (which they’re probably never going to bother with anyway).

If you do have space, though, keeping your coats behind closable doors helps keep the room looking clean and open.

white mudroom with cupboards

Aside from coats, footwear is the next most important thing you need to have storage space for. Obviously, you’re trying to avoid having a bunch of shoes sprawled out across the room (and by extension, a bunch of dirt and mud).

One of the best places to store footwear is on shelves underneath a mudroom bench:

Shoes arranged under a mudroom bench

Moving upward, it’s common to include some storage shelves or cupboards higher up. These are less accessible, so they’re great for storing seasonal items when you don’t need them—toques, winter coats, and so forth.

A tidy mudroom shelving unit

If your mudroom doesn’t already have shelving, and you’re not in the mood to build some, there are a few options that don’t require much carpentry.

The obvious budget-conscious options come from Ikea, which carries an enormous number of modular storage options.

Ikea shelf converted to a mudroom shelf

Alternatively, the mudroom is a great place to repurpose old furniture that’s outlived its usefulness elsewhere in your home.

Old cabinet converted to shoe storage

Mudroom benches and seating

You’re probably not planning to spend a lot of time sitting around in your mudroom, but including a bench to sit on is important nonetheless.

A mudroom bench gives you a place to sit down while you put on your shoes. It’s also usually the perfect place to include a little extra storage.

mudroom bennch with drawers

If you’re interested in a little DIY-ing, crafting a bench is a good place to get started.

Mudroom flooring

The floor of a mudroom has a different role than most flooring in the home. After all, this is a space specifically meant to handle dirty, muddy footwear and constant dripping from wet raincoats and umbrellas.

Accordingly, the best kind of flooring for a mudroom is something durable, dark, and easy to clean.

Stone tiles or even linoleum are prime options.

Tidy narrow mudroom with shiplap walls

Even with resilient flooring, you’ll probably want to include a washable rug or runner to trap as much dirt as possible. Tossing a rug in the washing machine is a lot easier than scrubbing the floor.

rug on a stone floor

Decorations and accessories

Now we come to the more design-focused part: accessorizing.

One of the best decorations is a clock. It never hurts to check the time as you’re on your way out the door.

Large clock in a white room

Similarly, it’s nice to give yourself a quick check over before you leave the house as well; don’t forget to include a mirror in your plans.

Scandinavian style mudroom with mirror

For the same reason, you should ensure that the room also has adequate lighting, so you’re not buttoning coats or lacing up boots in the gloom.

Another practical accessory for a mudroom is a boot tray. When you keep your muddy, wet footwear in a boot tray, you’ll keep that grime centralized in one place and avoid having it tracked all over the house.

Boots and an umbrella resting on a boot tray

When it comes to purely decorative accessories, the sky is the limit. You can hang pictures, arrange a few houseplants, or keep things clean and simple. Text-based wall art is a popular mudroom décor item, too:

White mudroom with welcome wall art

Planning a full-size mudroom

Often, a mudroom won’t be a room at all, but a dedicated bit of space inside an entryway. If your home does happen to have a large room available, it opens up a few more options for you.

For one, you’ll be blessed with plenty of storage space, especially if you use vertical space efficiently. We’ve already mentioned how higher-up shelves are good for storing seasonal clothing and footwear, but in a big enough room you’ll have room to add storage for just about anything you want.

Large mudroom with many cupboards

Something else you can do with a large mudroom is create a family-style mudroom. After all, kids and parents don’t necessarily need the same things.

With a family layout, you can keep an open side with coat hooks so kids can quickly toss their things on the wall and move on. Use the other side for closed cabinets in which to store the adults’ outdoor clothing.

mudroom with cupboards and coathooks

Adding a mudroom in the garage

Not every home has a separate room to use as a mudroom, but plenty of homes have a garage. It just so happens that the garage meets pretty much all the most important criteria: it’s a side entrance to the house, it’s got a fair amount of space, and it (usually) has a durable and easy-to-clean floor.

garage mudroom with mirror

To make a garage mudroom, just clear out a corner of your garage to make space for some coat storage, a few shelves, and of course, a bench.

Since it’s not part of the home’s interior, it’s also a great place to make use of some old, worn out furniture that you might have otherwise thrown out.

Watch the full video

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