There are few things as frustrating or unsightly as debris carried over from one room to the next, marring your floors and meticulously polished surfaces.
The mudroom is where your guests and family can take a seat, pull off their boots, hang up their gear, and get comfortable.
Equipped with benches, shelving units, and ample storage space, the best mudrooms are as welcoming as they are purposeful. No more haphazard shoe arrangements or overstuffed hanging hooks; the updated mudroom is built to make an attractive first impression while pulling double duty as an expert catchall entryway.
Hospitality is in the details, and providing your guests with an attractive space to take off their gear and enjoy their time in your home should be the goal.
1. Mudroom Cabinetry Ideas
While mudrooms are purposeful rooms, they can also enhance a home’s design and style. Looking at the images below, you’ll see a range of different styles and layouts of cabinetry. There are three options to meet your cabinetry needs: hire a cabinetmaker, purchase stock cabinets, or build your own.
A cabinetmaker is a great option. They’ll come to your house, get an idea of what you’re looking for, and develop a plan. Once they produce a quote, you give them the go-ahead and in a few weeks, they’ll be backing a truck full of cabinets up your driveway. They’ll install the cabinets and make sure everything works as it should.
Stock cabinets off the shelf are a faster, less expensive option than a cabinetmaker. You just measure the space, drive to the local home center, pick out the best-sized cabinets you can, and make them work in the space. This route isn’t perfect, but you’ll have a serviceable mudroom in less time.
If you’d like to save money and really achieve the custom mudroom feel, you can design and build your own cabinets. Depending on your skill level, this might be a great option. There are a ton of how-to videos on youtube, but this is one of our favorite guides for building simple cabinets:
2. Mudroom Storage Ideas
Mudrooms are obviously great for keeping sloppy, messy things out of the main part of your house. The less recognized benefit of a mudroom is all the extra storage you get for items like bedding, towels, paper goods, cleaning supplies, and other things that are sometimes hard to store out of the way. There’s no bigger waste of a kitchen cabinet than filling it with 8 plus-sized rolls of paper towel.
An additional cabinet or closet won’t look out of place in a mudroom, so you can get away with storing some extra items that you wouldn’t typically expect to find in a mudroom.
Take a look through these images to see how you could make a little extra storage work for your space. You could purchase an armoire for the room, or commandeer a locker or cabinet for the extra usage. It’s a great way to keep clutter in the rest of your home to a minimum while also creating an awesome space for guests to get comfortable.
3. Open Storage Ideas for a Mudroom
You don’t have to go cabinet-crazy to create an attractive and functional mudroom space. Open shelving and benches are a great way to add storage and keep things organized. They also allow a room to feel larger than it would if it was filled with closed cabinet doors.
We would encourage you to tackle this job yourself. Basic carpentry skills and tools should be more than enough to create some useful storage. You can use baseboard trim and moldings to make shelving units feel built-in, and to hide some small imperfections in the floor, walls, or cabinet construction.
Consider using this style if you’re concerned that adding cabinets might make the room feel too small. If your mudroom is already tight on space, there’s no sense in feeling claustrophobic every time you need to hang your hat and coat by adding large, space-gobbling cabinets.
4. Mudroom Bench Ideas
All good mudrooms need a great bench. It’s truly the backbone of the room. You need a place to park it when tying and untying boots, kicking off snow pants, or digging through a bag when you’ve misplaced your keys.
There are a lot of options for creating a mudroom bench. You can purchase a hutch with one already built-in if you’re looking to minimize the amount of effort you have to put in. You can build one out of stock cabinets by adding a benchtop to a set of 18” upper cabinets. You could even go out and purchase a bench specifically for the space from a furniture shop or reuse center.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t miss the opportunity to dress up your bench with comfortable seat pads and a few pillows. Mudrooms are often two-tone, light and dark palettes, so adding some color with a pillow or bench pad is never a bad idea.
Take a look through all the images below to see how integral a good bench is to a mudroom. Take a few styling cues from how they’re situated and decorated to develop a plan for the seating in your mudroom space.
5. Mudroom Cubby Ideas
To truly take advantage of the organization that a mudroom offers, you should split the storage up into cubbies. It doesn’t matter how many or few people that you have in your family, assigning whose stuff goes where is a good way to keep arguments and frustrations to a minimum.
An option for keeping things cordial is to build an individual cubby for each person. You’ll want these cubbies to be big enough to be functional, so consider designing them to be 18-24 inches wide. That will give everyone enough space to fit a few jackets, a backpack, and a hat or two. It should also provide enough room for someone to sit in front of without hitting their back on a divider. Adding a shelf above for a hat and pair of gloves will help to finish it off.
If you’re not interested in building or purchasing individual spaces for everyone, there’s another option that you’ll see below. By installing wainscoting in the mudroom, you can use each panel as a designated space. Use the center of each panel to line up a hook or two. The wainscoting will look great and keep everyone in their lane.
6. Multi-Purpose Mudroom Ideas
Along with using your mudroom for extra storage, mudrooms can serve several purposes. Maybe more appropriately, several different types of rooms can be used as part-time mudrooms. Mudrooms can moonlight as offices, laundry rooms, or be tucked away in the corner of a kitchen. Anywhere with an entry door can double as a mudroom.
The trick to making a multi-use space work as a mudroom is keeping things organized. Cubbies, cabinets, baskets, and other storage options are a good way to keep things away from workspaces like desktops and countertops that are designated for other uses.
If you’re doubling up your laundry room as a mudroom, install some cabinets meant only for laundry baskets, clothes, and detergents. These cabinets will deter you from putting a laundry basket down in the mudroom space, while also providing a home for the laundry necessities.
Below you’ll see several mudrooms that serve other purposes as well. This is a good starting point for planning your multi-purpose mudroom. Our suggestion is to truly plan out this space before diving in. You’ll want your mudroom to work as smoothly as possible without hindering the flow.
7. Mudroom Shoe Storage Ideas
Shoes can be the bane of any mudroom’s existence. They don’t hang very well on hooks and putting them on the same shelf as your hat just doesn’t seem very appealing. Dirty, muddy boots and shoes often gather on the floor by the door and make a cluttery mess.
One way to avoid the shoe-storm is to provide plenty of storage underneath the cubbies or cabinets. One can sit down on the bench, slip their shoes off, and simply store them underneath the bench. This works great for a pair or two of shoes. It keeps the clutter to a minimum and keeps everyone’s muddy gear to themselves.
Another option is to build a rack specifically meant for shoes. With a few shelves, you’ll have plenty of shoe storage for all your family and guests. This works especially well if you have a space between a few cabinets that you can designate for this purpose.
8. Rustic Mudroom Ideas
Let’s face it: Our outdoor pursuits often leave us muddy, sweaty, and gross. Instead of tracking all that mess through the family cabin or a country home, consider building a rustic mudroom near an entryway. This is the ideal place to kick off a pair of muddy boots and hang a raincoat.
A rustic mudroom won’t be filled with all the latest gadgets and styles, but it shouldn’t be any less functional either. A rustic mudroom should serve as a storage space for outdoor gear like backpacks, hiking boots, fishing equipment, walking sticks, and a place to hang a camera bag or a set of binoculars. You want to be able to grab everything you need to hit the trails from this one room.
Chosen materials are by and far the main deciding factor in how rustic a mudroom feels. Wood paneling is a great way to add a rustic touch to any room, and it also makes a great surface to mount coat hooks to. If you decide to go this route, using tongue and groove cedar boards is a great start. These boards can even be used to build cubbies, shelving units, and basic cabinet doors. They’ll go a long way in a rustic mudroom’s design.
9. Mudroom Ideas for Sports Equipment
If you don’t have a garage for all your sports equipment, a mudroom may be the next best thing. Having a room for wet skis, snowboards, or football and baseball gear can be a life-saver after a long day in the field.
The name of the game here is storage, and lots of it. To follow with the sports theme, consider building lockers instead of cabinets. What’s the difference, you ask? Not much, to be honest, so you should be able to pull it off. You can forego a seating area and allow the cubbies to reach the floor, making room for hockey and lacrosse sticks or skis and snowboards. Also, plain doors with metal pulls will create the locker room feel. Make sure to include plenty of hooks inside these cubbies for jerseys and jackets, as well as items like helmets and backpacks.
Consider building some racks for the gear you aren’t able to stow away. If you have the room and really want to pull off the locker room vibe, plan to build a central bench that everyone can use to get their gear sorted out from.
Mudroom Design FAQs
How much does it cost to build a mudroom?
There are two ways to build a mudroom. One is to convert a space that you already have into a mudroom. This can be a hallway somewhere near an entryway or a breezeway between the house and the garage. This will typically cost somewhere in the range of $100 a square foot, however, you can halve that cost if you perform the labor yourself.
The other way is to build a completely new room where nothing stood before and turn that into a mudroom. This is clearly more expensive, and the total project can run more than $250 per square foot.
Where should a mudroom be located?
The easy answer is off of the entryway that the family uses the most. Ideally, this would be the space between the kitchen and the side or back door. The reality is that anywhere close to an entryway can be used for a mudroom, so make the most of the space that you already have.