Coming home, especially during winter months, means dealing with coats, hats, and shoes among other paraphernalia. Having a designated spot for storing outdoor gear and pet things keeps your home cleaner and more organized, with everything in easy reach when needed. Here are some tips on how to create a functional entryway.
Designate a space
It’s nice to have a transition spot between your doorway and the rest of your home to keep things organized and in easy reach. Most homes don’t have a mudroom, but it’s possible to reclaim awkward or unused space for this purpose. Ideal places include hallway closets or even an out-of-the-way corner. It doesn’t need to be a large space and don’t throw in the towel because you don’t have a garage. Creating a functional entryway may not require lots of renovating – just a little rearranging and some hardware.
Getting started with your entryway
What does a functional entryway include? Consider how your family will use the area and how many items each person needs to store. Regardless, you’ll likely need places to hang coats, bags, umbrellas, and keys; you can also hang dog leashes. The shelving above provides a spot for hats, gloves, sports gear, or towels to wipe off mud or rain (especially for pets). A bench or shoe rack on the floor underneath will organize shoes and keep dirt contained. If there’s room, think about adding a small table or wall-mounted pockets for organizing mail.
Some closets provide awkward storage space with small doors or cramped interiors. By taking off the doors and widening the frame, you can have better access. Remove the rod used for hanging things and replace them with hooks and shelving. You could even place a small footstool inside for sitting down to put shoes on at the entryway.
You’ll probably need to install some hardware to keep from dumping everything in one big pile. Built-in shelving and benches are one option; purchasing similar furniture for the entryway, however, gives you the ability to alter the arrangement over time as your family’s needs change. Measure your entryway before building or buying, and remember to leave room for standing and walking.
To set the entryway apart from the rest of the house, think about painting it a different color. The flooring should consist of something easy to clean – an outdoor rug, tile, brick, or another hard surface. A mirror allows for last-minute checks that your shirt isn’t on backward and also opens up space by reflecting light.