Mudrooms That Welcome With Style and Function

Each week, Mansion Global tackles a topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week, we discuss how to make your mudroom more attractive, inviting and functional. 

Come in and take a load off—in your inviting and uncluttered mudroom. 

The entryway of a home says a lot, whether it’s the narrow hallway of a New York apartment, light and bright coastal foyer or a spacious suburban sanctuary. But no matter how much space you have, the entryway can get easily cluttered without the right furniture and design details that are equally beautiful and practical. 

“If you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, a front entryway or mudroom is essential for storing your shoes, coats, boots and anything else, when coming in the door,” said Marco Bizzley, a certified interior designer at House Grail, a home improvement website, adding: “Most of the time, you want the mudroom to fit in with the rest of the home’s interior so keep that in mind when it comes time to decorating.” 

Forget the messy pile of shoes and clunky coat racks, and find ways to optimize your entry space with some advice from these luxury home designers. 

More: Sprucing up a Room With Colorful, Cut Flowers

Durability and Storage Are Key 

“Mudrooms are the workhorses of a home, so durability is key. Think indoor/outdoor rugs, vinyl wallpaper, and plenty of good lighting to facilitate easy searching for keys and shoes. Definitely include a doormat, preferably outside the door. A long rug in a durable material, (like an oriental rug) will not only evoke a sense of welcome but hide any dirt trekked in. For natural materials, abaca is the most durable, and many are reversible. Just be sure to use a quality rug pad underneath. For a colorful alternative, choose a pretty Oushak rug in 100% wool that complements the decor.

“Having a place for everything will keep the clutter at bay. Depending on how large the space is, built-in cubbies can help everyone in the family keep organized and know where to stash their stuff.  An entry table and mirror are a nice place for guests to be able to put down their purses and check their reflection. 

“Hooks are also a must, as anything from coats to cleats can be hung. ​Floating shelves can be a practical solution to finding storage in narrow hallways, as they come in various depths. Hanging hooks on the underside can add an additional area to place coats, keys and bags, just make sure the shelves are mounted to the walls securely. Built-in closets can also be customized to fit in narrow entryways, and painting them the same color as the walls will make them blend in rather than protrude.”

Storage is key to curbing the clutter. Opt for a bench that doubles as a place for shoes beneath, coat and key hangers above and a floating shelf fit for housing odds and ends.

Emily Minton-Redfield

— Kristina Phillips of Kristina Phillips Interior Design in New Jersey 

Style With Tile 

“Opt for tile, hardwood or something similar. If you want a rug in there, make sure it has short fibers, so it’s easy to keep clean. The most popular flooring is a slip-resistant natural stone-like slate. However, many people also choose to use porcelain tiles. You want to make sure your flooring doesn’t absorb water, isn’t slippery and is easy to clean. 

“When decorating mudrooms, you should adhere to the policy that less is more. Have a place to store coats, whether it’s hooks or a small closet, a cubby for shoes and a place to sit down where you can safely remove shoes. Since mudrooms have a high level of traffic, you want to make sure it’s laid out carefully. You don’t want to have everyone have to shuffle out of the way to let the next person in.” 

Upgrade your entrance with a stylish console table with a mirror hanging above it for an aesthetically pleasing focal point.

Marco Ricca

— Marco Bizzley, certified interior designer at 

Store More, See Less 

This room may become the ‘dumping ground’ as the family first walks in the door, so having cupboards to hide a lot of this behind can be helpful. Think about who is going to use this space. Adults are a given, but there could potentially be children or pets. When designing a space for adults, make sure you have cabinetry, shelves or hooks high enough to hang coats, hats and umbrellas. For children, a bench seat with a cupboard or drawer space is vital so they can put on or take off their shoes and put them away in the cupboards or drawers underneath. Pet accessories like a dog or cat bowl can also be thoughtfully concealed in drawers, behind cabinetry or under a bench to avoid stepping on it.

“If there is any space in the home to add wall molding to protect the walls and especially for aesthetics, it’s in here. Bags are constantly thrown on the floor and against walls, soccer shoes are kicked off and sent flying, wall molding can protect these things from putting holes straight through the drywall. There are so many designs for fabulous-looking wall moldings, but they’re also so incredibly easy to apply if you’d like to do it yourself.”  

— Becc Burgmann, interior designer and director at Becc Burgmann Interior Designs in Australia 

Brighten With Wallpaper

“When designing a mudroom, it is essential for the space to be functional since it directly joins two important areas of the home. It serves as both the entrance and exit of the house. Wallpaper the ceiling, tile backsplash for a focal point and [add] interesting light fixtures. I want a counter surface to function as the stop and drop when heading in or out the door. This area creates the perfect place for a tray, bowl or basket to hold keys and essential items. You will always find your keys if you make a place for them.” 

Function meets fashion with a statement-making wallpaper print, standing wall storage with cubbies for shoe storage underneath and a console table for the keys.

Jane Beiles

— Nadia Watts, interior designer at Nadia Watts Interior Design in Colorado  

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