Faking a Functional Mudroom

images: left // right

When I moved into my house we had no mudroom and a VERY tiny, tight entry with no coat closet.  All I could muster was a vintage coat rack behind the front door as a place to hang our coats and bags.  It was a bit of a mess.  We now have a mudroom, but it’s VERY small (albeit functional- with a wide coat closet with a shelf for baskets, hooks on the wall and….well, that’s about it!)  We still drop our mail and keys on the kitchen counter, which makes me a little crazy, but it is what it is!  You can only do so much.  Coming from where we started, we feel really lucky to have the mudroom we do!

But not all of us get the dreamy cubby-stacked, multi-closet mudroom of our dreams. In fact, few of us do!  One of you had commented a while ago about wanting to see a blog about how to create a mudroom type space when you don’t have one.  If you have a nice, empty hallway or wall in an area near the front or side door, you can create a really functional space without having to build in a thing.

Benches with storage drawers or baskets are a lifesaver in many rooms (I just added one under the windows in my new family room to store toys).  This one is GORGEOUS (also available in white) and you can even add a cushion to make it extra cozy, or just a pair of lumbar pillows.  I show the concept below with the large version, but you could also use the small one and use only two hooks if short on space!  Also, the organization pieces, as attractive for what they are, are more casual, so if you are looking for a slightly more formal style– I’d hang a mirror like this or this above the bench and flank with two hooks on each side of the mirror stacked vertically instead. Still offers lots of storage via the drawers and basket, but a bit more tailored of a look. Lidded baskets are the BEST for storing lots of little things like mittens, hats and scarves (or even small sports equipment.)  A small side table with a tiny lamp helps add ambiance and a place to drop your keys too.  And SHAMELESS PLUG for one of my rugs too, of course. :)



I hope this was helpful. I’m always looking for more ideas for blog posts, so comment away with yours!


  1. I would love to see a blog series on readers design dilemmas. We could send you pics of our particular problem areas and maybe you could tell us “what Erin would do”. Not full on design details, just some tricks of the trade. Kind of like when you showed us how to arrange bed pillows.

  2. I would love to see a post on ideas for built-ins in a family room– not so much styling, but the actual construction design. For instance, we have a standard fireplace with two built-ins on each side, except one side is a bar. How do you balance the desire for symmetry but with different functions? Thanks, Erin! Love following your blog, family, and business updates!

  3. could you do a post redesigning the master bathroom? I also love your posts when you pick out clothes and furniture. I think you call it this or that?

  4. I love this mudroom inspiration, Erin! We’re redoing our walk-out basement into a playroom/craftroom/mudroom. I’m trying to keep things light and bright with wood accents like that gorgeous bench!

  5. I ended up turning the formal living room by the front door we never used and turned it into a quasi mudroom/foyer extension. We didn’t have a mudroom, only one closet that was no where near a door and an extremely small laundry room coming in from the garage. It was one of the best decisions and we use the room daily.

  6. This is a great post. One thing I struggle with and thought you may be able to help with in a post is styling vignettes –such as on top of a chest in a living room, or how to style a large tray that sits on top of an ottoman…just an idea if you needed any. Thank you!

  7. We were lucky enough that our current house the previous owners took a part of the 3 car tandem garage and made it a complete full with a door, mud room (our last house opened straight from the garage into the kitchen and with two kids, it made me crazy) . I really like my house – especially now that we renovated the kitchen – but I pretty much fell in love because of the mud room.

    I’d love a post about pillows and sectional couches. I’ve spent 5 years with this beast and still have no idea how many pillows, how to arrange them, and it’s dark charcoal. What colors actually work?!

  8. I love the way that your blog posts have each item numbered and displayed all together. It is very appealing. Is that a plug in that you used when designing your site or is it part of your theme? Everyting looks very fresh and sharp. Great job.

  9. I would love to see some laundry room organization tips when you only have wire racks (I really should take them down…)Or small pantry organization tips. Or where to splurge and where to save in a bathroom remodel (master/kids).

  10. Blog Post idea… I would love to hear ideas about bedroom layouts and specifically how to make a bed in front of windows work! :) We have small master and I have been moving furniture around. The bed in front of the window definitely makes the room feel larger, but I feel confused about if that is OK, what headboard would be appropriate etc. Technically the bed would be centered and over only half of the two window… but it is still “covering” window. Thanks! :)

  11. love this. Would love a similar post about the laundry room (mine is tucked into my kids bathroom. Looking for ideas on shelves to hold the unmatched sock bin that keeps growing and growing:) I have a bar above the washer dryer (side by side) for hanging clothes straight out of the dryer but trying to figure out some sort of shelf as well…. Also looking for a fun light fixture to hang above it and something, maybe wall paper behind to make it more appealing to fold:)

  12. I would also like laundryroom ideas! Did you ever do a whole post on your new room? I’ve seen bits and pieces but never a full reveal…. did I miss it? LOVE your blog!!

  13. I’d love a post on wardrobe planning and management … how often to purge? one in one out? Seasonal storage (for those of us w/ four seasons). When to splurge and where we can save? How to store all the stuff we love? Is the 33 item wardrobe reasonable or a big fat lie?

    Frankly I like any excuse to read your fashion posts.

  14. You mentioned a “nice empty hallway”! I have one of those however its super long and narrow and I am afraid if I put anything on the walls that could stick out out it would make it seem even smaller and more cramped! Any suggestions? I do have an entry closet that i have converted but three kids, a dog, a husband and me it gets filled quickly.

  15. You and Emily Henderson are the two design bloggers I have been with forever and she will do these little budget options for a room (https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/budget-room-library-den-guest-room) which are some of my fave posts…I would love to see this kind of post with your aesthetic/perspective.

    I think I have mentioned before that I always appreciate your “what I’m loving right now/what I recently bought”, and also love the posts of your fave items that are currently at West Elm, Target, Pottery Barn, cb2, etc…to me that kind of post works best with widely accessible/more affordable stores, as it’s fairly effortless to find beautiful things in really upscale stores. It is also fun to be in one of those stores and see something and recall that you liked it, like we actually know you and you talked about it at lunch. ;)

    And I am the only that misses the Product Junkies posts??? I will concede that I have a beauty blog that is awesome, but you are the one that turned me on to Wander concealer which HELLO is amaze, thank you.

    LAST suggestion; fabulous jewelry designers on Etsy/anywhere? I have learned about so many gorgeous pieces on Goop, imagine you could curate a pretty gorge selection.

    (Love this post!)

  16. Certainly a great idea for our home – the children invariably make the hallway a mudroom anyway! :-)
    I especially like the rustic bench / shoe cupboard. A very practical, functional piece of furniture that also looks great.

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