Plan the Perfect Mudroom: 3 Pro Designs You Can Copy at Your House

Builtin storage ideasBuiltin storage ideasPrized for organizing all manner of gear, from backpacks to tennis rackets, mudrooms also double as spaces for chores as diverse as doing laundry and potting plants. What's more, they act as an intermediary between the dirt and germs that reside outside the house and the freshly swept and dusted surfaces inside.

To get the most out of your mudroom-whether you're adding a new one or reworking the one you already have-carefully consider how you'll use it and how much square footage you can realistically allocate for it. If you just need to stow a few coats and a laptop bag, a tidy row of hooks behind the entry door will suffice. For families with kids, more spacious digs decked out with shelves for stashing school supplies and sports equipment off a side or back door may be in order.

RELATED: How to Build a Mudroom Bench

The finishing materials you choose and extras you add also play a role in how the mudroom looks and functions over the long haul. Its highly trafficked floors, for instance, should be easy to mop and able to take a beating. And seating, whether built-in or freestanding, should be sized for all members of the house, ensuring comfortable shoe changing for adults and children.

Small-space stair landing Small-space stair landing STORAGE-PACKED STAIR LANDING
Shoehorned in an 8-foot-wide-by-3½-foot-deep stair landing off a basement-level back door, this space-challenged mudroom cleverly corrals coats in an unexpected place.

Recessed Built-In. An open, 18-inch-deep "closet" is carved out of the stair wall leading to the kitchen/living space. The bottom shelf, which overhangs the built-in by 2 inches, doubles as a seat and pit stop for grocery bags. The upper shelf stows hats, plus items the homeowners wish to keep out of reach of their small children. See more on woven storage baskets and slate-tile floor.

Function for lessFunction for lessFUNCTION-FILLED FOR LESS
Every well-thought-out mudroom has five essential features. Here, one family worked the details to effectively and inexpensively bring order to what had been a toy- and school-supply-strewn back-door entry off their kitchen.

Storage. There's no easier-or thriftier-way to add multiple levels of stowaway space than with a wall-mounted unit like this one made from metal standards, adjustable brackets, and shelves fashioned from salvaged school bleachers (you can substitute ready-made shelves). Expect to pay about $175 for a similar DIY setup using stock parts from the home center. See more on seating and accessories pictured here.

Builtin storage ideasBuiltin storage ideasWELL-ORDERED MAIN ENTRY
This mudroom off the back door serves as the home's primary entrance for a family of four. A built-in with graceful arches and curves makes the area dressy enough for guests, too.

Tall Coat Cubbies. A 10-foot-long-by-18-inch-deep storage unit is divided into open "lockers." Hooks inside keep coats out of direct view-and out of the thoroughfare. High-up shelves stow occasional-use items, while ones down low keep everyday stuff within easy reach. A bottom lip creates a seat for shoe changes. See more on the runner, built-in storage, and accessories featured here.

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