Sure, walk-in closets and sprawling kitchen islands are luxe design details, but if you were to poll parents ‘round the world, the most lust-worthy space in a home would surely be a mudroom. Why? Because so few homes have one that actually works! Whether you find yourself building, buying or renting, creating a highly-functioning area that neatly stores everything from boots and coats to umbrellas and keys is not only going to make your life go more smoothly, but it will be soothing to look at to boot.
“Whether you call it a mudroom, a drop zone, or a command center, the space acts as a bridge between the exterior and interior living experiences,” says Katie Perkins of New Jersey-based Kaper Design. “It can be a whole room, or a small zone dedicated to creating a bit of order — a spot to contain some of the beautiful mess that comes along with a busy life.”
To help us get there, we chatted with organizational gurus The Home Edit’s Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer, who recently partnered with Abbott to help people organize their homes and get prepared with wellness essentials. “You need to think about what needs to live in the mudroom — for each person in your household, what do they actually need to get in and out of the door in the morning, or at the end of the day, that’s going to make the space function for you all?” says Teplin. “And then you can work backwards and figure out, ‘Okay, how do I want to contain this in the smartest way?’”
“At its highest level, a mudroom should be a landing zone for coats and shoes, a drop zone for mail and keys and a storage space for the everyday essentials you grab on your way in-or out- of your home,” says Perkins. “Coats, backpacks and purses means that while closed cabinets and drawers are great for concealing the chaos, you may also want to balance it with pegs or hooks, so items are easy to grab and even easier for kids to put away themselves. Also consider spots for incoming & outgoing mail, a drawer for charging phones and some wall space for a family calendar.”
With all that in mind, we’ve corralled all the must-have items you need to whip your existing mudroom into shape — or everything you need to create one in your home.
Rejuvenation might be known for lighting and hardware, but the retailer is a treasure trove for mudroom necessities, too. This seating-and-storage combo, for example, is a timeless piece that will stand out in your space while simultaneously wrangling all your day-to-day stuff. Available in walnut and white oak, the bench is also dining-seat height, making it a great option when you need extra seating around the holidays.
Modern and sleek, this hall tree bench combo from Joanna Gaines’ Target collection is a favorite of Perkins’. “If you don’t have a mud room, all-in-one pieces like this can be a great way to define your drop zone,” she says. “Adding a cushion to the seat and natural baskets below adds comfort and hidden organization.” Did we mention it comes with seven hooks for hanging all your things? Sold.
If you’re looking to create a drop zone in your entryway, this is the multi-purpose purchase to get. Offering up hooks, nooks and 24 shoe cubbies, the 77-inch tall piece also is the perfect catchall for bags, jackets, mail and more. Boasting over 1,000 positive Wayfair reviews, the hall tree is available in four hues — a light gray, white, espresso and black — and ships fast, arriving in less than a week.
Hate the sight of muddy sneakers? We got you covered with this beadboard paneled hall tree that features four hooks, two cubbies — and one giant drawer for tucking away the entryway clutter. Available in white, gray, navy and distressed black hues, the 64-inch tall tree is a Wayfair shopper favorite with more than 6,000 positive reviews.
Oozing with New England-inspired details, this bench is traditional and chic all at once. “If you don’t have a dedicated room, you can still create a dedicated mud zone,” says Perkins. “Benches — like this one from Pottery Barn — with storage below or space for baskets underneath, will help define a clear spot within your entry.” Clocking in at just over 53-inches long, the Norris wins bonus points for providing additional seating when you need it.
The perfect pitstop for kiddos (and adults!) looking to put on or take off their shoes, this bench is a winner because it comes with a cushion and three baskets. Whether you tuck it into a corner or place it front and center in your entryway, it’s going to be a workhorse piece that stands the test of time. With more than 2,600 reviews, the majorly-on-sale bench also comes in five colorways.
Gorgeous to look at but also a beast when it comes to storage, these rattan cubes are a perennial Container Store favorite because they also have built-in handles for easy carrying. Available in two sizes and four colors, the bins are great for stashing the unsightly stuff you don’t want to see day in and day out.
If you’re like us, you’re relaxed just looking at these water hyacinth bins. Beautifully woven over metal frames, the containers come five sizes, ensuring your mudroom storage both big (boots and snow gear) and small (mail and keys) will be totally coordinated.
If clear storage solutions aren’t your thing, fear not, The Home Edit’s got you covered with these modular wooden bins. Lightweight and durable, the bins come with built-in handles, can be stacked and, thanks to straight sides, can be seated side by side with no wasted space. Available in four sizes, the storage heroes are also warp-resistant.
The icing on the organizational cake, labels are a pinnacle part of The Home Edit gals’ process. “The labels are also a set of instructions,” says Shearer. “It’s not purely for aesthetics.” Made from super-durable plastic, the labels are removable, repositionable and reusable and they have a write-on surface for chalk markers, or can be used with The Home Edit pre-printed labels.
Inspired by industrial laundry baskets, this vinyl-coated nylon container is water- and tear-resistant, making it the perfect catchall for snow-soaked mittens and muddy sneakers alike. We love that the inside basket can be removed from the steel frame (which keeps the bag off the floor!) and that it can be wiped clean with soap and water. More to know: Available in navy and white, the baskets can also be monogrammed for an extra $12.50.
Storage… but make it pretty! When you need both, Citizenry has a slew of gorgeous, oversized baskets that are great for corralling all your bulky stuff — from umbrellas and rain boots to lacrosse sticks and golf clubs.
Remember when we said that storage options were limitless? We weren’t kidding. Case in point: This super-smart front-opening bin from Target’s storage-focused brand Brightroom. Available in multiple-sizes, the bins create the organization you need, while also facilitating the on-the-go ease of finding what you’re looking for as you head out the door.
If you’ve got a corner of your home that is stacked with charging devices and cords galore, you’re not alone. A favorite of Perkins’, the Docking Drawer built-in outlet is a great solution, as it simultaneously charges up to six devices out of sight, creating a clutter-free countertop area. And fear not, installation is DIY-friendly as the outlets simply plug into a wall outlet.
A peg system with storage? We’re in. “The Gabrielle organization system from Pottery Barn is a great item to consider no matter the size of your space,” says Perkins. “Used on its own in an entry it creates a well-organized drop zone, but it can also be used to enhance built-in cabinetry within a dedicated mud room. With drying racks, hanging baskets for mail, and hooks and shelf attachments, there is a solution for just about any organizational need.”
The Home Edit ladies said it best: “We looove hooks!” And Rejuvenation is home to some of the greatest. We love the Massey Double Hook for its classic silhouette and its durable construction that will hold up to backpacks, laptop bags and more. Cluster them in nooks or along a wall in your mudroom space, and you’ll be organized before you know. More to know: The Massey comes in a smaller, single hook option as well.
If you’re lucky enough to be building out a mudroom in your home — complete with enclosed lockers or built-in drawers! — we love the simple and strong Ansel pulls. Made from solid brass, the pulls have rounded edges that will never catch on a coat or scarf.
Turn your muddy boots into wall art with some help from Etsy Star Seller AandBFurnitureUK. Durable enough to be hung inside or out, the oak peg rack can hold anywhere from two to six pairs of boots and it takes up zero floor space, leaving room for baskets or bins below.
It’s called a mudroom for a reason, folks. Keep the messy substance at bay with this handy boot tray that catches slow sludge and grime before it hits your floors.
Protect your floors (and lessen your mopping load!) from seasonal sludge with L.L.Bean’s Waterhog doormat. A favorite of Perkins’ — “I swear by them during the rainy and snowy seasons!” — the mats have a rubber backing and can hold up to one and a half gallons of water thanks to a raised border and thick and thin fibers that contain the water. Available in four sizes and eight colors, the Waterhogs have more than 3,700 positive reviews on the L.L.Bean site, making them a mudroom must-have.
Let’s face it: We all need to take one quick look at ourselves before heading out the door. This pretty mirror from Citizenry will get the job done—twofold! In addition to, you know, being a mirror, the Bellavista also comes with a built-in shelf that is a great little ledge for lip balm, keys or a teensy vase.
Everyone needs a little pep talk before heading out the door in the morning, and this motivational artwork from award-winning Minted artist Annette Allen will do just that. We love the peppy color palette – perfect for adding some levity to a monochromatic space – and the fact the work comes in ten sizes, and with multiple frames and finishes.
Yes, you can expect your mudroom to get, well, muddy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful, too. If you’re in the market for wallpaper, we love this dreamy option from Farrow & Ball that will catch the eye while also camouflaging messy fingerprints. Available in five colors, the luxe paper is going to be a stand detail in your space.
Snow days can result in some really, really wet outerwear. The solution? A drying rack. “If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room, I love to include a ceiling or wall mounted drying rack for wet items to hang and dry, ” says Perkins. This beautiful option from Etsy star seller Fillniture is ceiling-mounted and can be raised and lowered as needed.
Keep everyone in your household on point and in the loop with a family calendar like this acrylic option from West Elm. Available in two sizes, two text colors and three hardware finishes, the calendar is equal parts form and function.