Mudroom in Bethesda, MD. Designed by Laura Fox. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Mudroom Magic

Expert advice on making the most of this practical part of the house

Insights Ideas from our H&D Design Partners

I love a mudroom with personality. I think this is a space that can be fun and a little different from the others. Shiplap adds nice visual interest and bold porcelain-tile floors are great and easy to maintain. The accessories will depend on how the client lives; closets with doors make it easy to hide backpacks, bags, umbrellas, etc., while open shelves with chunky hooks and baskets or bins are both attractive and functional. —Laura Fox, Laura Fox Interior Design LLC

Pictured above. While renovating their Bethesda home, the owners tapped designer Laura Fox to upgrade the interiors with a clean-lined, transitional sensibility. On the wish list for the transformed space: a stylish yet practical mudroom. Against a backdrop of shiplap siding, Fox installed a wall of cubbies, incorporating an existing window into the design and creating a bench under which the owners can tuck their shoes. The floors are charcoal-hued porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern, with contrasting light-gray grout. “I kept the room white intentionally,” says Fox, “and added visual interest through the texture of the materials.”

Select finishes that are easy to clean: washable paint or wallpaper; tile with minimal grout or vinyl floors; fabrics that can go into the washing machine. Use every nook and cranny for storage. Each person should have his or her own personal hook or cubby. A bench will make it easy to put on or take off shoes and boots.

—Barbara Hawthorn, Barbara Hawthorn Interiors

To create the most functional mudroom, enlist the help of a custom-cabinet maker or closet company who will tailor the space to your specific needs. For smaller children, install separate cubbies with hooks placed at a lower level for coats and backpacks, and drawers underneath for shoes, gloves, hats, etc., so everything stays together. If space permits, I would add a few shelves as a dumping ground for keys, cell phones and purses.

—Amy Schwartz, Amy Schwartz Interiors


A mudroom is all about practicality and function. Think about every member of your family and how to organize for each of them specifically. This will help you achieve maximum efficiency. And don’t forget your pets… If you have room for a pet-washing station, you will love it! Finally, choose flooring that is easy to clean and maintain. Tile and stone are good choices.

—Jamie Merida, Bountiful Interiors


Mudrooms have really become a catchall for the home. I like to add lots of cabinetry and baskets and keep the base design neutral. I then add bright splashes of color through art, window treatments and a functional rug that can be changed as the family grows.

—Laura Hildebrandt, Interiors by LH, LLC