This narrow room sneaks in tons of storage.
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Elizabeth Gill Mudroom with puffer fish wallpaper
Credit: Photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

When interior designer Elizabeth Gill finished working on this laundry room last year, she already knew fluff-and-folds would not be in its immediate future. "This project was completed as part of a design show house, but I envisioned that it would be occupied by a family and their pooch," she says. The home is located in the leafy suburbs of Washington, D.C., and this room opens up directly to the outdoors. So Gill knew that simply outfitting a corner with a washer and dryer wouldn't make the most of its potential. It would have to be a mudroom, too, complete with a comfortable spot to take off shoes and remove outer layers.

"I designed this project from just a footprint of raw space," she says. "I wanted it to be both practical and playful, starting with puffer fish wallpaper in deep gray and off-white as the focus." That puffer fish wallpaper, created by Abnormals Anonymous, was specifically chosen for its statement-making appeal, and set the tone for all other decisions. "Although this paper is quite whimsical, it has an elevated color palette," she says. "That transforms the space from an ordinary mudroom to a place that anyone in the family would want to spend time."

The cabinetry and extra-long storage bench were painted in Cadet by Sherwin-Williams to match, while Roman shades bring the warm gray hue to the windows. Near the door, a custom dog nook has a freestanding lucite shelf for mealtime—plus an original lithograph of a four-legged subject by George Rodrigue.

While Gill could only imagine the type of family who would get to use this mudroom every day, she still thinks it has tangible lessons to share. The most important one? "Take a risk," she says. "When you infuse your personality into a space, you will end up with a unique place of your own that will always bring you joy."

Space of the Week, Mudroom with Blue Dog Bed
Credit: Photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Get the Look

Puffer Fish Wallpaper
Credit: Burke Decor

Puffer Fish Wallpaper


A playful motif and neutral color palette join forces in this standout wallcovering. For a big impact, introduce this pattern in small spaces, like a tiny mudroom or petite powder room. 

Serena & Lily Dog Bed in navy
Credit: Serena & Lily

Luxurious Dog Bed


A woven rattan base and navy velvet cushion combine for a throne worthy of the most regal pup. Take a lesson from Gill's stylish mudroom and tuck this elegant dog bed into a nook outfitted with food and water bowls, plus your favorite portrait of Fido. 

Space of the Week, Blue-Gray Cabinets
Credit: Photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Cadet by Sherwin-Williams

A gray paint color with blue undertones maintains the neutral color palette, while nodding to the undersea theme of the room. 

Blue Rope Dog Toy
Credit: Harry Barker

Rope Dog Toy


Crafted from cotton rope made from recycled yarn, this high-end dog toy features an on-trend check pattern. Offering toys, collars, leashes, and other accessories in gingham patterns and nautical-themed shape (yes, even a starfish chew toy), Harry Barker stocks pet supplies that match your style. 

Gray Mudroom Window Treatments
Credit: Photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Custom Window Treatments

When you want to elevate the design of a room, consider tailor-made window treatments. These Roman shades were created by the Shade Store using fabric from Schumacher. With a window treatment fabricated just for you, you can choose everything from the fabric, to the liner, to the style of the shade, to tiny details, like which side the cord goes on.