Create a tidy place for book bags, shoes, outerwear, and other stuff right at the entry, and you know where they won't be? On the dining room table, in the middle of the living room floor, or anyplace else where they'll be in the way. A mudroom or "mudroom area" has other benefits, too! It'll encourage your family and guests to remove shoes at the door (preventing tracked-in dirt) and discourage forgetting things you may need as you morning-rush out of the house (umbrella, anyone?). Go on, start stealing ideas. We don't mind at all. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com
Build It and They Will Come
Build One from Scratch
The second the sun goes away, out comes the umbrellas and the raincoats and the Wellies. And with them a lot of messy wetness that can warp hardwood floors and stain your best rugs. Short of forcing your family to disrobe on the front stoop, your best bet is to create a stopping area just inside the door where everyone can leave the weather behind. This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows how to create the perfect catchall in this Step-by-Step project, complete with an open top shelf, coat hooks, and flip-top bench storage. JS
Almost Does Count!
Almost Does Count
On a formerly empty stair landing, a compact mudroom was made possible by replacing open railings with half walls and creating a recess for a boot bench. Cladding the half walls with beadboard makes them more durable than drywall and, coated with glossy paint, easier to keep clean of scuff marks.
RELATED: DIY Hacks for the Perfect Mudroom
Carve One Out of a Closet
Carve One Out of a Closet
Sometimes standard issue just doesn't cut it. At Shelley and Cason Smith's Salt Lake City home, five years with no mudroom and three kids under the age of 7 had turned the poorly lit, inaccessible foyer closet into a hazard. Over one week, the seasoned DIYers removed the door and 2 ½ feet of wall next to it to create an open alcove in the closet's existing footprint.
RELATED: 7 Versatile Mudroom Plans to Copy
Create a Hardworking Hybrid Space
Combine It With a Pantry
Cleaning up before coming in for dinner-or snagging a snack-is easy at this house, where the back door opens into a combined mudroom and kitchen pantry. Read more.
Combination Laundry-Mudroom for Less
Go Budget With Beadboard
TOH reader Allan Wiggins loved having his family's laundry room right off the kitchen, but it seemed like the space wasn't being put to good use. The room was dark, with nothing but a trash can against one wall. With the kids' backpacks and dirty soccer cleats cluttering the space, he and his wife, Elisha, realized they needed a full-fledged mudroom, and this was the perfect spot for it. New cabinets, labeled shelves, and coat hooks add function; beadboard paneling and curved corbels lend the room charm. Wiggins saved $200 by finishing the cabinet doors himself. Read more.
Create a Space-Saving Cottage-Style Space
Add Charm With Tilt-Up Doors
An awkward entry gains practical charm with a tower of open shelves, top cabinets with tilt-up doors, and a bench with curved supports. Simple battens hold coat hooks. Durable paneling and a soft shade of green paint knit the pieces together.
Search "mudroom" at thisoldhouse.com for even more DIY inspiration for the entry of your home.