Quite possibly the unsung hero of the home, mudrooms provide an organized starting point for a busy morning and a landing spot after a long day. These workhorse spaces often house utilitarian items, dog baths, laundry, and more. But being utilitarian and functional doesn’t mean the mudroom can’t also be one of the most beautiful entry points to your home.
So how do you create the ideal mudroom? Here are 9 necessities for a beautiful, functional, and healthy mudroom design—as well as plenty of inspo to boot.
1. Lots of Light
Light is the most essential element in home design, bar none. Whenever I'm designing a space, we focus on bringing in as much natural light as possible. The home feels brighter, airy, and more open. Light helps us keep the space clean, bright, and healthy.
If you don’t have much natural light in your mudroom or entryway, you’ll want to add overhead lighting or a lamp. Many mudrooms are perfectly suited for a beautiful chandelier or hanging fixture as an eye-catching focal point.
Accent lighting can also help bring more warmth and welcome to your mudroom. If your door has a transom, porthole, or sidelights, they will of course let in natural light. A mudroom is also an excellent place for artwork, which could include picture lights both to highlight the artwork and catch the eye. Wall sconces are also a charming addition in the mudroom—providing both form and function.
2. A Floor that Does More
As the name implies, you may bring in dirt, dust, and debris from outside to the mudroom. In addition, moisture, fungi, and mold naturally track in from the outside, and allergens can get into your home and wreak havoc on your health.
If you (or anyone in your household) suffer from allergies or want to avoid potential pathogens, it's essential to keep your mudroom or entryway floor very clean and free of clutter. A healthy mudroom starts with choosing the right flooring and then building from there.
Consider a natural, absorbent flooring like clay tile, stone, or brick. Look for a flooring material that’s easy to clean and safe for your home. Wipe down your floors regularly and don’t forget to clean any porches and screens too.
Design: Studio McGee
3. A Cozy Rug
To further keep dust and dirt from tracking in through the rest of your home, include a beautiful rug as part of your mudroom décor. Vintage rugs with a low pile always makes a nice choice and their durability simply can’t be beaten. A woven jute rug is also an excellent choice.
You'll want a rug that can act as a barrier between your mudroom and your hallway, kitchen, or powder room. It's always a good idea to have an absorbent outdoor-friendly welcome mat for the porch and then an appropriate entryway rug on the inside.
You could also consider layering rugs or combining several within the space, depending upon the layout. Fortunately, if you choose natural fibers like wool, bamboo, jute, and hemp, they will often play nicely with complementary textiles—so no need to go matchy-matchy. Instead, choose rugs that pair well together.
4. A Mirror for Touchups
As the last point on your way out the door, your mudroom or entryway makes an ideal spot to hang a large, beautiful mirror. A mirror is an especially good idea if you have a small space or a narrow entryway because it will serve as a checkpoint and open the space.
Position your mirror to reflect natural light whenever possible. A light fixture above the mirror can work well too. As for the type of mirror you choose, I’m always a fan of vintage mirrors. Their one-of-a-kind shapes and perfect patina are truly eye-catching.
5. Storage Space for Shoes
To remove shoes or not to remove, that is the question. According to a study from the University of Arizona, 96% of the shoes sampled had fecal bacteria on the bottom and were dirtier than a toilet seat. The transfer and tracking rate was 90-99% (meaning, it is definitely getting on your clean floors).
If that's not enough to make you want to remove your shoes, most of the footwear also included other nasties like E. coli and respiratory germs that cause infections and pneumonia. Shoes are very dirty, and if you suffer from allergies, they can be a significant source of pollen as well. A no-shoes-in-the-house rule is always a good idea to keep things healthier.
Mudrooms provide a beautiful solution for shoe storage. Bins of all shapes and sizes have become a mudroom staple with hardware options just as stunning. Ventilation is also a must for shoe bins and mudroom lockers. There are so many unique options for this added airflow including metal wire fronts on pull-out bins and shaped cut-outs for vents on lockers.
6. A Place to Sit
A bench is usually the right answer for a mudroom or entryway. Depending on your home style, you may consider an antique find, a modern metal bench, or an interesting piece like an upcycled church pew. Look for something that fits your mudroom space in size and scale, offers some spot to sit, and has enough room to put down a grocery bag or purse.
If a bench feels cold or uninviting, include a pillow or a cozy throw. Keep in mind that for entryway and mudroom décor, less is often more. It’s not necessarily a spot where you or guests will linger, but it’s nice to have a place for a restful moment.
7. Extra Roomy (Hidden) Storage for Clutter
For family and friends (or a husband who tends to dump keys and packages at the door), include some storage space in your mudroom design. Storage solutions for an entryway or mudroom can be really creative and beautiful.
You may find a classic umbrella stand or coat rack fits the space, but a built-in cabinet, closet, or even a strategically placed armoire can hide many items, keeping the space clean and clutter-free.
As with any space in your home, one key is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. If your keys, purse, and other "on-the-go" items have a specific home, they'll be less likely to pile up at the entryway or in the mudroom. Smart home solutions like touch-free lighting, voice-activated home security, and home control assistants can help you get in the door without plopping down items right in the doorway. One of the things I'm most excited about in our future home is the amount of concealed storage our mudroom will contain.
Architect: Brooks & Falotico
8. A Sink
If you’re in the process of building a home, you have a lot of flexibility to decide the layout and plan for your mudroom or entryway. If you didn't play a role in your home’s design and you’re planning to remodel, you may want to consider adding a sink to your mudroom design. Whether for laundry, a dog bath, or washing fresh flowers or vegetables—a sink in the mudroom is super functional.
A mudroom is the perfect location for a sink designated to handle those messier situations you would rather not bring all the way inside your home. Consider utilizing plumbing fixtures with an integrated pull-down spray, articulating faucet, or side spray for increased functionality.
Design + Image: Steve Cordony
9. Décor that Shows Your Personality
Although utilitarian by nature, mudrooms are the perfect spot to infuse personality into your home. It's typically a high-traffic area of the home, but many of us tend to make the mudroom an afterthought. We might not think of it as a space to decorate or personalize, but the truth is, your mudroom or entryway can be one of the most beautiful areas of your home.
I personally love vintage art, found objects, or special travel mementos incorporated meaningfully into a mudroom or entryway. It's such a wonderful way to welcome guests, and it really sets the tone and personality of your home. If you don't have the right piece for the space, consider houseplants or beautiful fresh-cut flowers.
Your mudroom should feel useful and beautiful. It should reflect who you are while also offering a functional welcoming spot after a long day. The perfect mudroom or entryway design is deliberate and intentional while still evoking your personality and setting the tone for the rest of your home.
By putting extra time and intention into your mudroom or entryway arrangement, it can become one of the most well-loved and utilized spaces in your home. Let me know what you love about your own mudroom or entryway in the comments below!