Mudroom Ideas for the Busy Family

Tried and True Tips for A Functional and Stylish Family Mudroom

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It’s the end of the day and everyone enters the house at once. They toss their backpacks on the floor. They pile their hats and coats on any nearby chair. Shoes form a knotted mess in the corner. If that sounds like your nightmare, and quite possibly your reality, today’s blog is definitely for you.

The truth is that family mudrooms are essential spaces in a home, but unless you plan them well and there’s a space for everything, the overflowing mess takes over in a matter of seconds. The good news, though, is that creating a functional mudroom is absolutely attainable. You simply need to implement a few tried and true tips and you’ll be well on your way to a clutter-free home that once again reclaims its style kudos. 

Easy-to-Access Hooks

Have you ever tried to (unsuccessfully) cram a million coats and bags into a hallway closet? Then you know that it just isn’t conducive to the needs of an activity-filled household. There never seem to be enough hangers and everything usually ends up on the floor by day’s end. That’s why hooks are a must have for a mudroom. Not only can you fit so much more in a space, but everything is easily accessible and visible for everyone. No more fielding “Mom, where is my soccer bag” shouts. No more directing your significant other to the last place their briefcase was located. With hooks, you can display everything with ease. And that’s what we call magic. 

In this poolside lounge, a “mini mudroom” with plenty of hooks to hang towels, suits, and essentials, offers instant organization solutions. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Double hooks in each individual mudroom locker provide plenty of room for coats, hats, bags, and more for this busy family. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Double hooks in each individual mudroom locker provide plenty of room for coats, hats, bags, and more for this busy family. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Hooks make for convenient coat hanging while an adjacent desk allows for easy organization of daily family business. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Hooks make for convenient coat hanging while an adjacent desk allows for easy organization of daily family business. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Extra large hooks make hanging daily essentials a breeze; because of their size, hooks like these allow for multiple jackets, hats, or bags to be on display together. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

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Sturdy Flooring Solutions

We call mudrooms “mudrooms” for a reason, of course. Ideally, they are the one spot in the house where the family can track in mud, snow, leaves, and grass and stay without coating the rest of your floors in dirty odds and ends. So for this space, skip light rugs or easily-damaged flooring; instead, go for hardier surfaces like tile or LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile or Planks), or if you have hardwood floors, be sure to add an easy-to-clean rug to catch any moisture or dirt. The more you can truly make this a “mud” room, the better.

A view from the kitchen into the family mudroom shows the difference in flooring for each space; while the kitchen shines with hardwood floors, the mudroom uses a sturdy hexagon tile to protect against mud, water, and dirt. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Sturdy flooring connects the kitchen and mudroom areas, while an additional rug layer protects the high-traffic mudroom floor from dirt and mud. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Sturdy flooring connects the kitchen and mudroom areas, while an additional rug layer protects the high-traffic mudroom floor from dirt and mud. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Tiled floors - especially ones with natural color variations - are excellent choices for mudrooms since they’re hardy enough to handle daily wear and tear. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Tiled floors – especially ones with natural color variations – are excellent choices for mudrooms since they’re hardy enough to handle daily wear and tear. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A subtle patterned beige tile in this mudroom allows for quick cleanup of messes and hides dirt much better than a crisp white floor otherwise would. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A subtle patterned beige tile in this mudroom allows for quick cleanup of messes and hides dirt much better than a crisp white floor otherwise would. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Convenient Benches

Having a bench – small or large – in your mudroom is as essential as having a sofa in your living room. Everyone needs a spot to put on their shoes, and in a pinch, it also serves as a temporary spot to set groceries or your bag down as you enter the house. Whether you opt for a built-in number or a stand alone piece of furniture, do yourself a favor and make sure to put this one at the top of your list – we promise it’ll make your life so much easier.

In this mudroom, the built-in bench gets major space-saving kudos for working double duty as a space to sit with a dog bed underneath. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
In this mudroom, the built-in bench gets major space-saving kudos for working double duty as a space to sit with a dog bed underneath. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Rows of under-bench space provide quick storage for shoes, while the cushioned bench itself offers a beautiful space to take in the view of the outdoors. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Rows of under-bench space provide quick storage for shoes, while the cushioned bench itself offers a beautiful space to take in the view of the outdoors. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Benches are essential for getting shoes on and off each day, and with a few pillows on top, they’re guaranteed to be stylish to boot. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A sturdy bench makes this mudroom ultra functional day in and day out, and the convenient cubby holes underneath provide out-of-the-way storage for boots and shoes. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Drawers & Cupboards 

While it is possible to have a perfectly-organized mudroom, we’ll admit that with a busy family in tow, it’s not quite realistic to expect it to be picture perfect at all times. That’s why ensuring you have a few drawers, cupboards, baskets, and catchall spaces to quickly tuck away odds and ends and extra mess is a must. Got company coming over unexpectedly? Throw it all behind a closed door. Finally get a chance to put away the kids’ shoes after bedtime, but don’t have the energy for a full clean? Toss them in a basket and call it a day. Deep cleans aren’t necessarily every day, and simple organizational solutions will work wonders.

Extensive hallways cabinets allow for a convenient mudroom space without any visual clutter or mess involved. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Extensive hallways cabinets allow for a convenient mudroom space without any visual clutter or mess involved. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
This mudroom/laundry room duo provides more than enough cabinet storage for all of the family essentials, including a dog food drawer and a hidden built-in kennel. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
This mudroom/laundry room duo provides more than enough cabinet storage for all of the family essentials, including a dog food drawer and a hidden built-in kennel. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
With an adjacent kitchen countertop and cabinets, in addition to overhead cubbies with simple and stylish baskets, this mudroom has plenty of space to tuck away messes and clutter in a cinch. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
With an adjacent kitchen countertop and cabinets, in addition to overhead cubbies with simple and stylish baskets, this mudroom has plenty of space to tuck away messes and clutter in a cinch. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Though this small mudroom-inspired corner doesn’t have cabinetry or drawers, an oversized basket on the floor provides a quick drop spot for any wet towels or cluttered elements that get in the way. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Calendar Corner

Every home typically has a space where we collect reminders, appointments, invitations, mail, and more. And that tends to be a corner of the kitchen counter. But why not dedicate a part of your mudroom to those tasks and to-do lists instead? Something as straightforward as a wall calendar, whiteboard, or cork board will do the trick. Wall-mounted file folder containers or baskets are great, too, for tracking things like permission slips or bills.

A built-in desk in this busy family mudroom is essential for keeping track of daily activities, and as a bonus, it provides an extra space for homework or work sessions. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A built-in desk in this busy family mudroom is essential for keeping track of daily activities, and as a bonus, it provides an extra space for homework or work sessions. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
This stylish and modern wall-mounted dry-erase calendar is perfect for keeping track of upcoming appointments, activities, vacations, and due dates.
This stylish and modern wall-mounted dry-erase calendar is perfect for keeping track of upcoming appointments, activities, vacations, and due dates. / Source – wall calendar from Etsy shop DareToBeDomestic
Open shelves with baskets provide an out-of-the-way drop zone for keys and other trinkets, allowing this family to stay organized no matter the daily chaos. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Not only does this mudroom have LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) to protect against messes, but it also has a convenient drop zone countertop for mail, keys, and more, plus an outlet at the back of the lockers for an easy device charging station. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Not only does this mudroom have LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) to protect against messes, but it also has a convenient drop zone countertop for mail, keys, and more, plus an outlet at the back of the lockers for an easy device charging station. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

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So, are you ready to tackle your mudroom to give it the functional pizazz it so desperately needs? Ready to finally feel like there’s a bit of order to the family-filled chaos of everyday life? Our tips are guaranteed to help, and as always, we’re here if you need a designer’s eye – after all, every home deserves a perfectly-tailored mudroom so your entire family can function as smoothly as possible, no matter what’s on the calendar for the week.

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

6 Responses

  1. Hi Carla: There sure are a lot of inspiring ideas in this post -with great ideas for how to keep a mudroom neat!

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Carla Guide_whitecrop

Choose your paint colors with confidence

Hi I’m Carla

carla-bast-interior-designer-and-blogger

I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with and outdated 90s era home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

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I’ve been honored to be featured in and receive awards from:

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Minnesota Chapter ASID – First Place Award

MSP Magazine, Best Use of Color

Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

 

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