14 Essentials for a Mudroom That’s Functional & Beautiful

Say goodbye to utilitarian tools and specks of—you guessed it—mud.

November 11, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

Mudrooms are experiencing a renaissance lately as apartment dwellers continue to move into their first houses during the pandemic. Along with laundry rooms and garden sheds, these small-but-mighty spaces are coveted for both their pure utilitarian traits and all the decorating possibilities from paint and wallpaper to built-ins and banquette-style benches.

The purpose of a mudroom is to keep mud (obviously) and dirt from being tracked into the house as well as creating a catch-all station for things you grab on your way out the door—shoes, jackets, backpacks, masks, hand sanitizers, and keys. Even if you don’t have a dedicated mudroom, you can fake one with something as simple as a few wall hooks and a bench. And the best news? There's no need for essentials that are 100 percent functional but don't complement your aesthetic. In fact, we think the most utilitarian pieces should be easy on the eyes because you're using them so often.

So, as we delve into the colder parts of the year, we’re sharing all the essentials for a functional, organized, and beautiful mudroom. Investing a little more time now while you plan out your space means capturing mud and belongings before they flow into the house and saving you a trip to the store to grab a waterproof mat for wet snow boots.

Photo by Urban Outfitters

1. Woven Bench, $249 $219

If you have the space, this little piece of furniture can truly transform a mudroom. Not only is it roomy enough to accommodate two people tending to their shoelaces (or piles of bags, hats, and lunchboxes) but the empty space beneath can accommodate a row of shoes, too.

Photo by IKEA

2. Ersnäs Sideboard, $299

Speaking of surfaces, sideboards can come in handy in mudrooms that also function as entryways. Topped off with a tray, a low storage cabinet is great place to toss your keys and sunglasses before they get lost in the house. We’ve got eyes on this minimal Scandi sideboard from IKEA for clean its combination of drawers and cabinets, perfect as a charging station and for stashing seasonal go-tos from mittens to scarves, beanies, and more.

Photo by Homesong Market

3. Homesong Market Oval Handwoven Heirloom Baskets with Lid, $40

If there isn’t a storage cabinet in your mudroom’s future, don’t sweat it. These woven lidded oval baskets made from naturally harvested reed come in five sizes, so you can stow anything you want out of sight and tidy up quickly.

Photo by Rocky Luten

4. Medina Mercantile Extra-Large French Market Storage Basket, $70

If you’re tight on space, a market basket on the wall pulls double-duty for grocery trips and cute storage. Our favorite—a simple woven market tote—is practical and easy on the eyes. Made from palm leaf and finished with leather handles, we’re pretty sure this firecracker can handle whatever you throw in it.

Photo by Amazon

5. Iris Hantverk Birch Wood Wall Rack with 7 Hooks, $39

If you don’t have a closet in your mudroom, fall back on these classic Iris Hantverk birch peg racks, which come in multiple lengths with two, four, or seven pegs. Depending on your needs, you can line an entire wall, or stack a few to hang hats, jackets, dog leashes, and backpacks.

Photo by L.L. Bean

6. L.L.Bean Everyspace Recycled Waterhog Boot Mat, $29.95

We can’t discuss mudrooms without paying homage to this space’s namesake. A boot mat or tray is in order, especially one designed to sop up water and cleans up easily with a garden hose. For all those reasons, we love L.L.Bean’s slip-free boot mat, which pairs a textured pattern in a few neutral shades including charcoal, light gray, and camel.

Photo by Dash & Albert

7. Dash & Albert Samson Black Indoor/Outdoor Rug, $12+

In some respects, the mudroom should be treated like the outdoors, which is why it’s important to outfit this space with a durable rug. This simple striped indoor/outdoor rug is available in multiple sizes including a runner and four colors—navy, oak, gray, and black. The striped pattern can also help disguise dust and dirt.

Photo by Shoppe Amber Interiors

8. Shoppe Amber Interiors Barn Broom, $75 $69

Who are we kidding? A rug or boot mat can’t solve all our dirt problems. That’s why we advocate for keeping a broom in your mudroom, too. But not just any old sweeper—a really pretty number like this chic barn broom made with black corn husk bristles and a warm, contrasting wood handle. I mean, maybe sweeping isn’t so bad after all.

Photo by Darling Spring

9. Sunhouse Craft Leather Dustpan, $35

But there’s no point in displaying the most beautiful broom alongside just any dust pan. So, you can find us happily brushing up crumbs and dust bunnies in this sculptured leather dustpan, which comes in black, brown, and light tan.

Photo by Amazon

10. Delonghi HFX30C15.G Capsule Ceramic Heater, $42.86

Depending on where you live, your winter mudroom routine may involve peeling off multiple layers of socks, sweaters, and jackets after coming inside. In that case, you won’t be mad when you turn on this portable ceramic heater for a satisfying blast of heat.

Photo by Schoolhouse

11. Schoolhouse Wall-Mounted Paper Holder, $99

Another handy item to keep by the door is this wall-mounted paper roller. Great for keeping track of everything from play dates to appointments and grocery lists, it’s simple, minimal, and available in white powder-coated aluminum in two sizes.

Photo by Schoolhouse

12. Schoolhouse Tanker Clock, $249

Do you find yourself racing to get out of the door every morning? Having eyes on a physical clock may help ease the panic as you fumble to collect your belongings. Schoolhouse has this classic tanker in three colors but we’re partial to this warm butterscotch hue.

Photo by June Home Supply

13. Canvas Workshop Apron, $74.50

Outfitted with a few essentials, mudrooms can also be a functional space for those coming and going from their gardens. We’d love keeping one of these simple work aprons by the door. Loose and casual, the generous pockets make it ideal for holding tools, collecting eggs, or cutting a few herbs and veggies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Photo by Hunter Boots

14. Hunter Boots Women's Play Clogs, $75

You don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate Hunter’s Play Clogs. These modern slip-ons come in a new sleek silhouette, so you’ll feel comfortable whether you’re pruning boxwoods, heading to the farmers market, or just taking out the trash. They come in both men’s and women’s sizes in three matte colors— black, gray, and red.

What are your mudroom essentials? Let us know below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to. We are excited to announce that Schoolhouse has now joined the Food52 community of brands.
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Chantal Lamers

Written by: Chantal Lamers

Chantal Lamers is a home and lifestyle writer.

1 Comment

AT January 9, 2022
Love the tray & mat idea for the boots. Where did you get the tray?