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Even an entry opening directly into a living space can be functional. Here a simple bench provides extra seating and convenient storage underneath for blankets, picnic gear, and winter-weather accessories. Wainscoting gives the space a more finished look, supplying a seamless transition from entry to living areas. Small sconces flank the mirror above the bench, adding ambience and making the entry more welcoming after dark.
You don't need a lot of space to set up a simple mudroom. This small but efficient space features hooks, baskets, and shelves that keep clutter organized and out of sight. A cushy bench serves as a perch for people to sit while taking off shoes. You, too, can re-create this simple mudroom. For the bench, buy a single stock cabinetry unit; prime, paint, or stain the cabinetry; and remove the cabinet doors for open storage. Do the same for an upper shelf; install securely to the wall. Hang coat hooks in the middle.
Doorways in apartments and condos can be particularly narrow. Think vertical, and pull in a tall coat rack like the one shown here. You can also install a thin shelf for stowing clutter and showing off some of your favorite accessories.
Keep clutter hidden with a coat closet near the entry. Here a coat closet extends to the ceiling, maximizing the available space and ensuring plentiful storage for shoes, coats, bags, hats, and gloves. In addition, the coat closet offers bins and hooks at varying heights to accommodate both children and adults.
Carve out an entryway in an open living room with a room divider. This deceptively simple unit -- made from three unfinished cabinets -- defines an entry and makes up for the absence of a coat closet. On the side facing the entry, each member of the family has a set of cabinet knobs to hang coats, bags, and hats. The middle cabinet unit stores mail, reminders, car keys, and more behind closed cabinet doors and out-of-season gear in baskets on a shelf below.
Here's another stylish, storage-savvy entry that will make a memorable first impression. This entry features a cozy recessed niche that offers a place to kick off shoes or drop off a bag. A coat closet on each side ensures clutter stays hidden from sight, maintaining the clean look of the entry. Dark slate tile provides a nice contrast to the white woodwork, boasts ample traction, and conceals any dirt left behind from shoes.
Don't forget about the transition between your home and garden. This partially enclosed space ensures that dirt, mud, boots, and gardening gear don't block a side entry or create a mess inside the house. A solid roof offers protection for the elements while a lattice peg wall and concrete make storage and cleaning a breeze.
Expert Tip: If you plan to create a similar exterior space, choose materials that will hold up to the elements, such as pressure-treated wood or a composite material.
If your entry space is in short supply and you're tired of entry turmoil, consider a mudroom addition to accommodate your family's needs. Here a bump-out addition provides just enough space for a mudroom to serve a full house. Hooks hold purses, coats, and hats while a storage bench conceals winter-weather accessories. Reliable tile flooring makes cleanup easy.
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