What is a mud room? Mudroom meaning

What is a mudroom in a house? Well, A mudroom is a single room that separates the back door from the other areas of the house. It functions like a lobby, providing a space where people can take off their shoes and coats before entering the house. The reason that it is called a mud room is because its main purpose is to prevent people from tracking mud or water through the house.

What is a mud room used for?

A mud room’s primary job is to keep the rest of the house clean. The mud room provides an area for people to take off and store their dirty shoes, coats, gloves or umbrellas. This means that they are not entering the main parts of the house with mud or water dripping from them, thus reducing cleaning demands.

Typically, mud rooms are adjourned to the back room of a house. If the house has internal access from a garage, you may find the mudroom attached to the garage door instead. This may seem counter intuitive – why not the front? – but it does make sense: keeping the mud room at the back of the house will make sure that the mess is well out of view for guests.

If the homeowners are tracking through wet weather, they know to enter via the back door rather than the front. The location is one of the main differences between a mudroom and an entryway or foyer.


The idea for a mud room first began in rural areas where unpaved roads made the likelihood for muddy boots and clothes that much higher. During these times, the mud room was just a small (closet-like) hallway usually joined to the kitchen. However, since then mud rooms have gained much popularity across the world and can be found in all manner of modern homes – from urban to rural alike.

Mud rooms are particularly popular in Australia – and doubly so in recent times. In fact, the mudroom craze has gained so much traction that one has even featured on The Block. Constant wet weather has understandably been driving Australian families up the wall, with mudrooms sometimes seeming like the only solution to an endless cycle of traipsing dirt, water and mud inside.

Adding a mudroom

Adding a mudroom to your home can cost anywhere from $8,000-$16,000 depending on the design of the home and the type of addition. On average, the cost to add a mudroom is around $12,000.

Rather than renovate, some families are choosing to repurpose existing rooms into a mudroom. This is simple to do and there are many options. For those who do not have a room to spare, you could always repurpose your hallway with features of a mudroom such as umbrella holders, racks to hang clothes, shoe storage, benches, and cabinets. This will give you an effective (albeit narrow) mudroom space.

Mud room designs and ideas Australia: The top 7 mudroom ideas for modern homes

07. Seating

blue mudroom designer with seating and storage cute vintage farmhouse

The best mudrooms will have some form of seating. This is so that you have somewhere to sit to take your boots off when you enter the room. A proper seat will allow you to take your shoes off carefully rather than toeing them off while standing. This will reduce splatter from the boots and provide you with an easy space to clean.

06. Hooks

farmhouse suburban stylish mudroom with hangers and hooks storage and shoe space pillows aesthetic interior design

Hooks and hangers are a crucial part of having a mudroom. This is where you can leave your clothes to dry after coming in from rain. You need hooks that are strong enough to hold heavy, waterlogged clothing such as coats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas and even bags. You also want to make sure that you have enough hooks for the number of people in the household – too few hooks and you run the risk of your clothes not drying because they are all hanging too close together.

05. Proactive supplies

White mudroom suburbian street with empty shelves and lots of storage

A mudroom is a clever idea to reduce mess. You want to keep that clever mindset while devising the mudroom plan. Keeping simple cleaning supplies like wipes (for your boots), towels (so that you don’t continue to drip water even after taking off wet clothes), and fresh slippers or clothes in the mudroom will ensure that it is being used to the fullest.

04. Narrow layout

tiny mudroom DIY design ideas easy small mud station setup

Now, not everyone already has a perfectly sized room coming in from their back door. What most people will have, however, is a hallway or at least some wall space which they could convert into a mud-station.

You can take inspiration from the photo above, where a small area of wall space was fitted with hooks, shelving and seating to provide an area that will serve the same function as a mud room.

03. Furniture

designer mudroom ideas luxury large storage space big room natural light white farmhouse ranchouse design

The furniture used in the mudroom is important. Generally, you want horizontal features like seating, benches and shelves to be set close to the floor, windows, or the ceiling. This will emphasise the horizontal space of those areas, making the room feel longer.

To make the room feel taller, install cabinets with vertical shelving like in the photo above. This is where your hooks and décor items can go. For more strategies to designing a small space, see here.

02. Mudroom laundry room

laundry room mudroom with design easy simple

Some mudrooms will also have laundry facilities. This is a great way to save space and will also allow you to throw dirty clothes straight into the wash.

01. Storage

blue and yellow vintage mudroom design with storage and cabinets

Ensuring that you have enough storage space is extremely important when designing a mudroom. A good idea is to have one half of the cabinets filled with cleaning supplies and clean clothes, while the other areas can be where you dry off any wet clothes before washing them properly. The more storage you have, the easier your mudroom will be to keep clean – which, after all, is the whole point.