There's no standard for a mudroom design and the best mudroom ideas are the ones that work best for your particular situation. That said, if you were somehow able to visit every home that has a mudroom, you'd see that there are some common elements among them.
The key to making a mudroom an efficient space is to do a bit of thinking about how you and your family lives before having any designs drawn up or buying any mudroom organizers. Consider the current stage your family's at and where you and they will be in a few years. Then you can pick and choose from the best mudroom ideas that are out there (plus a few that you might think up on your own) to suit those needs.
Just keep in mind that your mudroom doesn't have to fit some mold or comply with a list of 'must-haves' that some TV design maven rattled off on the latest design-my-house show. All it needs is the embodiment of a few (or more, depending on your desires) smart choices that will make your mudroom space do what you want it to do.
Let's take a look at some smart mudroom ideas to get you started.
Don't Skimp On Size
This isn't an endorsement of conspicuous consumption or McMansion-sized homes but simply a call to give yourself as much room as you need, within your space and budget constraints. You want to have enough room to take off outer garments, boots, etc., while having enough space to store all that stuff.
Easily Maintained Floors & Walls
Mudroom flooring should be durable and easily maintained because it'll see dirt, mud, water, possibly some snow, paw prints, and the list goes on. Good candidates are tile (porcelain is very good -- hard and durable), linoleum and vinyl. The latter two are effective because they're easily cleaned. Walls are best protected by a treatment such as wainscoting or something similar that covers a portion of the wall height. This takes the punishment better than a painted drywall surface which dents and nicks more easily. People naturally tend to lean one hand against the wall when removing shoes which ultimately leaves a trail of hand prints on the wall. Easily-cleaned surfaces and paints work well in these situations to fight off the grime.
Plenty Of Light
Depending on your specific plans a mudroom can serve many purposes, including doubling as a laundry room. Make sure the lighting design works best for the size of your mudroom as well as the other tasks that you're going to perform there. Don't forget natural light in addition to artificial lighting by incorporating windows wherever possible in the mudroom's design.
A Place To Sit
Whether it's a standalone bench or a built-in, having a place to sit is a main mudroom element that shouldn't be left out. Trying to remove shoes or boots while standing up isn't convenient or comfortable. Floating seats are easily accomplished with hidden support brackets. The brackets can support the seat securely and make it look like the seat is floating off the ground.
Photo: Freckles Chick
Ample Storage Space
One of the reasons for having a mudroom in the first place is to stash away the things like coats, boots, umbrellas, sports equipment and other paraphernalia. Cabinets, storage benches, cubbies, baskets and lockers are all tools of the trade for helping to store these items. They also clear up the floor space and help avoid a tripping hazard that results when everything is strewn on the floor.
A Privacy Door
A door that can close off the mudroom from the rest of the house works well when you want to hide a cluttered (or smelly) mudroom from the adjacent room. Pocket doors that slide into the wall work well as do standard swing-doors if you have the space. Just remember that even if you have a lot of mudroom storage space, there will probably be times when it's a mess. That's when you'll want to close it off and conceal it from the dinner guests.
Plenty Of Hooks For Coats
This might seem obvious to some but for others who like a tidier mudroom, hooks might be an afterthought. But they're a great way to actually keep a mudroom tidy, particularly if you have kids who don't seem to learn how to properly hang up their garments until they're 30 years old. Hooks make it easy for them to quickly hang their jacket or backpack, rather than dumping them on the floor. This might also be true of some adults too.
In many instances the mudroom is the last place you'll be in your home each day before you step out into the world. Who among us doesn't take that last glance to make sure the bed hair is tamed or the lipstick hasn't congealed on your teeth? Putting a nice framed mirror or something equivalent at a location near the mudroom door can be your last checkpoint before leaving the house.
Island Or Countertop Space
Another purpose for a small section of cabinet-top countertop space or even a small island is for folding laundry. If your mudroom will double as a laundry room you'll want to have some space for sorting and folding. Even if you won't have a washer and dryer in the mudroom, a small amount of countertop space is handy for reasons mentioned above like leaving messages, having a place for charging electronic devices or even just a place for sorting and handling the mail.