Laundry Mudroom Ideas

How to design the perfect mudroom

We decipher the latest must-have in homes and ask why it’s so important
Brigid Arnott

Originating in the US, the mudroom is creeping through the back door of Australian homes via the trend towards modern country farmhouses and The Hamptons style we’ve all come to know and love. What makes a great mudroom? We unpack the dos and don’ts of how to get yours right.

What is a mudroom?

Used as a stop-gap between the back door and the interior rooms of a home, a mudroom entryway was originally designed to collect messy dirt and snow and store belongings needed by householders for the outdoors – coats, scarves, umbrellas, boots and gloves – with the odd dog lead thrown in!

Many new homes are now being built with the inclusion of a mudroom and it’s a trend that looks set to continue. This may take the form of a space dedicated to mudroom storage or alternatively, laundries are being designed to include features such as mudroom cubbies and a mudroom bench – even a garage mudroom will alleviate the wear and tear on the home’s front entrance.

mudroom with custom cabinetry
Custom cabinetry includes a combination of mudroom lockers with bench seating in this Gold Coast family home. (Photography: Brigid Arnott)

Mudroom storage cabinets

If you’re renovating or have available space in your current layout, measure up and plan to make the most of the area and start a mood board with mudroom ideas to steal from homes that inspire you. Ideally, you’ll seek out a custom-built solution to your needs – your choice for mudroom cabinets should be something that is hard-wearing and easily washed down. 

Mudroom with chequerboard floor tiles
Adding a bench seat and coat hooks helps the laundry double as a mud room, with space for storing outdoor gear and shoes. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

DIY mudroom tips

If space and budget call for a more modest approach, adding a mudroom can be as simple as a repurposed wardrobe or bookshelf and can make a world of difference to your home organisation. You wouldn’t be the first person to create an IKEA mudroom solution by fixing hooks to the inside walls of flatpack furniture. Pimp your IKEA mudroom hack by furnishing the cavities with baskets to collect shoes and scarves and you’ll be clutter-free in no time!

Mudroom with laundry sink and patterned floor tiles
Mudroom furniture can be freestanding – simply include a bench seat and hanging storage. A mirror makes a nice addition. (Photography: Sue Stubbs)

Small mudroom ideas

Keep it simple in a small space with the addition of a DIY mudroom bench or storage chest to an entryway or hall space. If possible, make a hidey hole for each member of the family and label a basket with their name – this will help everyone keep things tidy and take responsibility for their own belongings. 

What is a mud room?
Make it work harder – your laundry already doubles as a mudroom. (Photography: Chris Warnes)

How to decorate your mudroom

Style it up with attractive baskets and a set of matching hooks that go with your interior décor – particularly if your mudroom will be situated at the front entrance of your home. Consider adding power points for device charging and storage.

What makes mudrooms work so well is that the items housed here really don’t need to go further into the house – jackets and gumboots, hats and scarves are not needed beyond the door.

What is a mud room?
This mud room connects internally to the garage. (Photography: Chris Warnes)

Combined mudroom and laundry ideas

A combined mud room and laundry is a logical pairing, allowing grubby sports kit to be flung directly in the washing machine or sink. Practical material choices are important, but needn’t be super-expensive.

Make use of organisational gadgets like pull-out laundry baskets, broom and mop rails and wall-mounted ironing boards.

Combined laundry and mudroom with dutch door
Combining a mudroom and laundry is a logical choice. (Photography: Natalie Hunfalvay | Styling: Lisa Burden)

Should you put a shower in a mudroom?

If pool users and beachgoers are regularly trekking through the back door after a swim, only to drip water over the hallway carpet, it’s worth killing two birds with one stone and installing a shower.

Including a cupboard will give ready access to clean towels, and a toilet and basin let the space serve the double purpose of allowing playing kids and green thumbs to use the facilities without tracking in mess.

Grey Hamptons style mud room
This mudroom, designed by Anna Spiro, leads to an outdoor shower, “So people don’t troop through the house with wet towels and shoes,” says homeowner Laura. (Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Corina Kock) (Credit: Photography:Simon Whitbread | Styling: Corina Kock)

How to make a mudroom pet-friendly

The mud room is the perfect place for man’s best friend, giving your dog a warm indoor space to hang while the family’s out, without allowing him the run of the whole house. A dog door to a secure backyard is a first step, along with a cosy corner for the dog bed and feeding station. Custom-built basins for washing and grooming pets are also becoming a popular design feature in modern mudrooms.

  • Clock – for coming and going on time
  • Hooks – for raincoats, jackets, hats and dog leads
  • Storage baskets – for catching discarded shoes
  • Doormat – for dirty shoes and boots
  • Closed storage – for hiding daily mess
  • Bench seat – for a comfy place to put on shoes
  • Rug – for cold mornings and evenings
  • Power points – for phone chargers
  • Mirror – for quick touch-ups
What you need in your mudroom