5 colors to never paint a mudroom: for a beautiful space


Mudrooms are quickly becoming modern-day staples, which means your color choices in this space matter.

This highly functional transitional piece often sets the mood for the rest of your home – so it’s important that your tone elicits productivity while still looking good. And conserving the perfect space starts with what colors to avoid.

If you’re debating these tones in your mudroom ideas, the experts urge you to reconsider — and share a rule to remember when decorating this space.

5 colors to avoid in a locker room

Mudroom design starts with the right color palette – from your wall tones to your cabinetry. Here are five shades to avoid in this space.

1. White with yellow undertones

A mudroom with shoe storage in a bench, overhead closet and solid gray wall cabinets

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Paige NeJame of CertaPro South Shore and Boston Painters (opens in a new tab) explains that whites with yellow and brown undertones can look dull. Therefore, you should avoid them in the first room of your house to avoid creating a dull impression.

“The best way to test this is to put a piece of printer paper against the white, and dull whites will be more obvious,” she suggests.

If you’re looking for a white that isn’t dull, Paige recommends Sherwin Williams’ White flour (opens in a new tab) or that of Benjamin Moore simply white (opens in a new tab).

2. Bright white

locker room with hooks and shelves

(Image credit: rejuvenation)

Just as Paige warns against using white with yellow undertones, Denise Rives of Rives Interiors (opens in a new tab) warns against bright white. She explains that in many places with varying climates (including those that often get rain and snow), the bright white will scuff and make the room look tired.

‘[For example], as a designer based in a Colorado resort town, the locker room is the toughest work area in the entire house. Ski boots, snowboards, poles, coats: you’re dealing with huge amounts of often bulky gear,” she says. She suggests opting for a more natural finish, like old barn wood and tints of stone that seem more timeless.

“They can help connect the space to nature, which gives a nice organic feel,” adds Denise.

3. Red

Kitchen painted red

(Image credit: Paul Zammit)

“In a space where you want to feel clean, light, and organized, red can feel heavy and is proven to get our adrenaline pumping,” warns Ashleigh Clark of Ashleigh Clark Interior Design Group (opens in a new tab). The designer adds that color is often associated with danger, the last feeling you want when leaving (or entering) your home.

And Ashleigh is not alone in her observations. Eilla Adi by Eilla Adi Design (opens in a new tab). When planning garage mudroom ideas, she also avoids red, adding that the color will encourage negativity in the first room of your home.

“Here in Southern California, contemporary homes often have mudrooms directly next to the garage. They are generally open spaces and not closed spaces. Because it’s often the first room a homeowner will encounter, you want to avoid red,” she says.

“It’s a classic ‘stop’ color, which means it’s very intense and can often evoke negative emotions. This stressful color is the last thing you want when entering a home.

4. Yellow

Kitchen wall decor ideas with yellow painted wall and paneling

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Yellow paint ideas can be admired for their ability to inject positivity into a space, but the designer Madeleine Fanconi (opens in a new tab) likes shade less in a mud room. Maddalena explains that despite its cheerful aesthetic, yellow can still bring a tired feeling to a space – and warns that it can get dirty quickly.

Likewise, Ashleigh warns that yellow can seem too chaotic in a space like a locker room – where organization is key.

5. Dark Brown

a modern and rustic back porch

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

You would be forgiven for using dark brown in your dressing room. This color is good for hiding dirt and giving your space an earthy, grounded feel. However, as Maddalena explains, this shade is best avoided. “Dark brown gives the impression of a bland and dark atmosphere. Therefore, this color is best avoided in a room that may already contain dirty items,” she says.

What’s the secret to long-lasting color?

Now that you know what colors to avoid, it’s also important to know what paint finish is best for the space. “Locker rooms tend to be high traffic areas – so consider using a scuff-resistant paint (whatever color you choose),” says Paige. These paints are designed for gymnasiums and hockey rinks, so they’ll keep locker room walls cooler longer.

Scratch resistant paint is also suitable for entryways and laundry rooms that are also exposed to scuff marks from everyday activities.


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