It’s that time of year again: the time for new notebooks, backpacks, and….back to school mudrooms! You might be asking yourself “Just what is a mudroom?” It’s lots of things to many people and everything to some. Not only is it a super utility driven addition to any home, it is an opportunity for fun and creativity. You have a unique, multi-purpose space to act as a drop zone for school stuff, sports gear, and your plethora of keys. This hard working room also prevents muddy shoes from tracking dirt into the house proper. Isn’t it wonderful when practicality and style come together?

Back to School Basics


Modern, black and white arrow mudroom by Laura U Interior Design

As you can see in this Laura U designed beauty above (Design lead by Shannon Smith, Senior Designer), there are several elements to any mudroom. First, you have your area for shoes. It is a “mud” room after all! Most mudrooms we design have a designated spot for shoes as well as hooks or a rack for anything from rain coats and backpacks to football pads and umbrellas. The arrow wallpaper in black and white is a dynamic addition above the beadboard wainscot and the room feels crisp and clean.

Industrial vintage mudroom by Laura U Interior Design

The second key component to mudrooms is ample storage, usually taking the form of “locker” space. This room, another Laura U original, features individual locker space. There is tons of useful storage not only in the lockers, but in the cabinetry above. The cute linen-lined baskets atop the shelving are the perfect spot to drop loose items. Lockers can work wonders at school and at home to hold books, gym clothes, uniforms, and more. The laser-cut paneled doors let air flow easily into each locker so no moisture or smells are trapped. The added names on each locker is a cute personal touch and the orange is a fab foil to the overall gray-blue color of the cabinetry. A third must-have in the mudroom is somewhere to sit or a surface to drop a bag. This mudroom features a strategically place niche for a bench to easily and comfortably remove shoes. Plus… that floor!

Variations on Classic Mudrooms


Vibrant green striped mudroom by Dufner Heighes Inc.

The hallmarks of the perfect mudroom include storage options such as hooks, racks, shelves, tile floor (or something easy to clean), and a heavy dose of personality. This mudroom, designed by Dufner Heighes Inc, combines the traditional mudroom with fun multi-width stripe on the walls. The cute cacti atop the shelving aren’t prickly in vibe. The multiple shades of green and blue evoke a sense of calm which is often needed as you are coming home from a long, hectic day The bench with the custom cushion adds comfort and offers more storage beneath. As you can see, your mudroom can house many different items you use every day: jackets, shoes, towels, wellies — you name it.

Farmhouse revival mudroom by Ron Brenner Architects

This space by Ron Brenner Architects is a lovely, traditional mudroom. The long bench seat, in a rich stained wood, over-sized hooks with red accents, and the deep taupy bronze on the cabinetry are warm and welcoming. The Versailles pattern of the stone on the floor offers a lovely contrast to the darker built-ins while still providing the utility all mudrooms need: being easy to clean. In Houston, where our studio is located, the weather can turn in the blink of an eye (as we have seen with the latest tropical storm). Another added bonus to your mudroom is that it aids in organizing your morning routine. While some mudrooms are purely about keeping outside dirt and mud outside, your mudroom can be whatever you’d like it to be.


Light, Seating, & Style


Nautical and bright mudroom by William Lee Architect & Associates

Another mudroom must-have is lots of light: natural and electric. A door with three-quarters or half glass is a nice addition to a fresh mudroom. This way, when your kids bounce towards the door, ready for school, they are greeted by a bright new day. As mentioned, mudrooms can be the tone-setter for your home. You visit this room every day, without fail. It should represent your personal style and function for your real life. The mudroom above is full of the homeowner’s personality, The fun, striped cushion is a great statement piece and a smart way to show off your unique design perspective. William Lee Architect & Associates designed this mudroom featuring under-the-bench storage bins for shoes, bags, or whatever you might need to pack away! I love the injection of the traditional rug in this room too.

Simple foyer mudroom by Chango & Co.

When it comes to back to school, simple might just be what you need. This is yet another reason why mudrooms are great for back to school: you don’t necessarily need to have one. You can convert a foyer or entry space into a mudroom-esque area easily! All you need are some of those mudroom hallmarks we mentioned earlier.

The ones featured here in a design by Chango & Co. are:

  1. Storage (raffia basket)
  2. Seating (lovely Windsor bench)
  3. Easy to Clean Flooring (Hardwoods in a medium stain color)
  4. Lots of Light (that window!)

With a simple bench, a few monumental wooden hooks, and a small rug, you’ve got a mudroom! No matter the size of the room or the extent of your needs, a mudroom is an absolute MUST for back to school. They allow you to get your head right, keep your life more organized and clean, and also flex those creative muscles in a structured way.

What do you think about mudrooms — are they a “Yes!” or a total mess? Be sure to visit our Instagram for exclusive updates and interior design tips and, as always …