14 Clever Ways to Make Your Mudroom a Showpiece

Dark Green Mudroom
Photo: Carmel Brantley; Styling: Matthew Gleason

If we were being technical, we'd define a mudroom as a small space to remove dirty shoes. If we're being honest, we'd say it's an unorganized, unstylish pass-through, filled with a mishmash of shoes, coats, backpacks, and whatever random items land there. Let's change that. With these beautiful mudroom ideas, you can make your cluttered entryway one of the most well-designed places in your home. We'll help you maximize storage with clever features like flip-top benches, cabinets, cubbies, and even storage for Fido, while injecting personality into a typically bland space. Whether your style is modern, rustic, or somewhere in-between, you'll find something to obsess over.

01 of 14

Make Your Mudroom Multipurpose

Fran Keenan Birmingham Cottage Mudroom, Bar, Laundry Room
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Design and Styling: Fran Keenan

For smaller homes, it makes sense to merge the laundry room with the mudroom. If you're worried your clean clothes will mingle too closely with filthy shoes, decorator Fran Keenan proves that a small space doesn't have to limit functionality. In her Birmingham home, she transformed the hallway alongside her kitchen into a combined mudroom, laundry room, and bar. Take a cue from her creative use of space: Hide your washer and dryer behind a fun curtain, install a prep sink that can double as a hand-washing station, and designate cabinets for those household items that never seem to find a home.

02 of 14

Personalize the Walls with Chalkboard Paint

2019 Idea House Laundry Room Vestibule and Mudroom
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

At one end of the mudroom in our 2019 Idea House, chalkboard paint on the built-in hutch creates a spot for a family calendar, notes to guests, or weather updates. (This feature works equally well on a blank wall.) The walls and trim are painted in Sherwin-Williams' Classic Light Buff, while the rest of the hutch is in Grecian Ivory. The painted border on the floor incorporates both colors for an extra-custom touch.

03 of 14

Install Playful Tile

Dark Green Mudroom
Carmel Brantley; Styling: Matthew Gleason

You could go with the mudroom-standard beige square tile. Or you could splurge on vintage-inspired tile to add instant character, color, and pattern, without the pesky clean-up an accent rug requires. When designer Ellen Kavanaugh converted her laundry room to a mudroom, she chose classic hexagon tile and brightened the walls with easy-to-clean satin paint in Benjamin Moore's Garden Cucumber. Floral wallpaper by Rebecca Atwood—appropriately named Blooms in Soft Green—echoes the small scale of the tile and picks up the wall color.

04 of 14

Give Your Dog a Place To Rest

2021 Idea House Mudroom Dog Area
Marta Xochilt Perez; Design: Sarah Bartholomew; Styling: Page Mullins

If your dog habitually waits by the door for the kids to come home from school, make it a comfortable hang-out spot. Add a nook in your mudroom to house a dog bed, along with the requisite food and water bowls. For our 2021 Idea House in Louisville, Kentucky, designer Sarah Bartholomew envisioned the mudroom as the ideal place for a dog to rest, with all of the canine essentials stored neatly in overhead cabinets.

05 of 14

Put in a Storage Bench


For those times when you just can't tug off your boots while standing, you need a cushioned bench to plop down on. If this seems too single-purpose, consider the storage options underneath: Cubbies, drawers, or a flip-top inner compartment make having a place to sit down a mere bonus. For our 2018 Idea House in Austin, Texas, designer Meredith Ellis painted the walls and cabinets in Sherwin-Williams' Cyberspace, creating a streamlined look that doesn't seem cluttered, even with the hats and bags hanging on hooks.

06 of 14

Dedicate a Boot-Drying Area

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Design: Bunny Williams

Per their name, mudrooms require durable floors to withstand the water, dirt, and who knows what else that are tracked in on shoes and coats. In our 2015 Idea House in Charlottesville, Virginia, decorator Bunny Williams carved out a space for essential outdoor wear to live. With a dedicated spot for your muddy stuff, the rest of your home can stay clean between vacuum days. Add wall hooks for grab-and-go items, like coats, scarves, and hats.

07 of 14

Use Furniture Instead of Cabinetry

Kentucky Farmhouse Mudroom
Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Gena Sigala

Who says mudrooms can't incorporate your personality? In this Lexington, Kentucky, farmhouse, designer Matthew Carter swapped hooks for antlers to match the rustic feel of the Pennsylvania bluestone floors (and the homeowner's lifestyle). With a dresser in lieu of cabinets, this mudroom could pass for a foyer; you can borrow the look by furnishing your space with a vintage or thrift-store find. It's an easy alternative to expensive cabinetry.

08 of 14

Hang Funky Wallpaper

Blue Wallpaper and Paint Mudroom
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

No one would claim a mudroom is a glamorous place. But there's no reason you can't make it one! Adding graphic wallpaper, a chandelier, and a bold paint color will make your mudroom one of the most stylish spaces in your home, as in this Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, home, designed by Sidney Wagner. That's not to say it's all play and no practicality: Each child has a designated hook and cubby, keeping this mudroom organized and efficient.

09 of 14

Use Space Creatively

Lindsey Cheek Wilmington, NC Home Side Entrance Mudroom Home Office
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Designer Lindsey Cheek wasn't intimidated by tight quarters when she renovated her colonial home in Wilmington, North Carolina. The side door of their home opens to a multifunctional space: It's a mudroom and a home office all at once. A metal clothes rack stands in for a built-in hook-and-cubby system, while feminine details—gold touches, pink wallpaper, potted plants—signal that this space isn't strictly utilitarian. If your mudroom serves double-duty as an office, use design elements to connect the disparate parts of the room. In this case, the metal desk chair echoes the lines of the clothing rack, and the throughline of blue and pale pink creates gorgeous continuity.

10 of 14

Hang Vintage-Inspired Art

Idea House 2020 Mudroom with Storage and Bench
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

Although mudrooms are often overlooked as pass-through spaces, they deserve wall art as much as the rest of your home. Vintage-inspired touches, like the framed dog prints by Lauren Liess for One Kings Lane in our 2020 Idea House, can make a functional room feel more inviting and personalized, especially with the dog leash hanging on a hook nearby. We took our style cues from the space's paneled cabinetry, which has a warm faux leather finish, lending a masculine vibe that the artwork reinforces. If you don't have dogs, consider hanging vintage-style silhouettes of your children.

11 of 14

Go Black-and-White

Grecian Ivory Cabinets in Mudroom
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

If your mudroom is dominated by a washer and dryer (or in this case, two of each), why not let the machines set the color palette? This black-and-white laundry/mudroom combo is hardly boring with its patterned wallpaper and matching Roman shade; the ivory cabinetry softens the scheme so the space doesn't appear stark. Make it clear that yours is no ordinary mudroom with a statement light fixture, which emphasizes high ceilings and adds instant style.

12 of 14

Choose Unexpected Flooring

Farrow and Ball Pigeon Paint Mudroom
Emily Hart

Clean lines, soothing colors—and oversized black-and-white tile? Classic white flooring would have blended seamlessly into this ethereal space, but the bold choice of tile awes the instant you step into this mudroom. Gold hardware carries the glamorous vibes from floor to ceiling, while a muted rug softens the contrast of the tile. Recreate the cabinetry's calming hue with Farrow and Ball Pigeon.

13 of 14

Echo Design Elements from Other Rooms

Natasha Lawler Charlottesville House Mudroom
Hector Manuel Sanchez

In this Charlottesville, Virginia home, the mudroom has a clear view into the kitchen, where a geometric backsplash screams, "Look at me!" Rather than competing with the heart of the home, this hallway-like space plays off the kitchen's black-and-white scheme with graphic wallpaper by Marthe Armitage in London. If your mudroom isn't totally enclosed, allow the surrounding rooms to influence your design scheme—though you can still look for opportunities to make the space its own. In this case, the globe light fixture helps define the benched area.

14 of 14

Embrace Fun Color

Andrew Howard Home Laundry Room
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Liz Strong

Would you dare paint your kitchen cabinets this mint-green hue? Didn't think so. Consider painting your mudroom cabinetry a color you'd deem too risky in other parts of your home. In this mudroom-slash-laundry-room, the designer started with Benjamin Moore's Spruce Green, then let the happy hue dictate other design choices, like the checkerboard porcelain tile and floral wallpaper. Matching your windowframes and trim to the cabinet color creates a jewel-box vibe that might just entice you to fold that last load of laundry.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles