The mudroom and entryway are two of the hardest working spaces in the home. How I designed mine to be both functional and beautiful.
It is the last weekend in January.
Wow, this month sure was a doozy.
We have had a snowstorm, rain, damaging winds, historic coastal flooding, and a frigid cold snap. Then more snow and freezing rain.
The seaweed and debris the floodwaters brough in were cleared from our waterside lawn and waterfront this week, but now there is so much mud.
What a mess all around!
This crazy winter weather has me saying an ode on a daily basis to my mudroom and entryway.
Those oh-so hardworking spaces.
Today I am sharing how I designed them to be both tough and beautiful. Organized, but layered and collected — just like the rest of my home.
The perfect marriage of form and function!
Come on over! Don’t worry if you have mud on your boots –these spaces were designed to handle it!
Walls and Floors
Durable materials for the walls and floors are an essential for these spaces!
For the mudroom, entryway, and front hallway I chose to cover the walls in tongue and groove paneling.
It is painted Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper (one shade lighter than the Brittany Blue Walls in the living/dining/kitchen) in a semigloss finish.
The wood and paint finish are more durable than drywall in an eggshell finish. This is especially important in a space that can see a lot of bumping and banging!
And from a design standpoint, I love the depth and detail the paneling adds to the space!
You can read all about the paint colors I chose for the home in my blog post Go With the Flow: How to Choose Cohesive Paint Colors.
It is essential that the floors in these spaces stand up to the wear and tear of boots, paws, and weather!
Instead of a more common slate, I chose quartzite in shades of gray and tans. It is a great match with the natural stone of our fireplace. And I love the texture! It really packs a design punch!
It is Golden Sand Quartzite by Olympia Tile. I ordered it through Distinctive Tile and Design, our local tile store. I searched online, but had difficulty finding it in the 11 1/2 X 11 1/2 tile that I have. Sorry I can’t link it!
Rugs are essential in these entry spaces for absorbing water from wet and snowy shoes and paws. They also see a lot of dirt.
From a design standpoint, they add warmth softness, pattern, and color to spaces that are usually full of hard surfaces.
Don’t fret! There are several types of rugs that will meet these needs with style!
- Indoor/outdoor: There are so many great choices for indoor/outdoor rugs these days! Mine are from Annie Selke. They stand up to water and dirt. And when needed, I can just toss them in the wash! They still look practically new after 5 years of hard use! Mine, the Blue Heron Stripe (perfect name!) from Annie Selke are linked below!
- Vintage Wool Persians: Yes, you read that correctly! These beautiful rugs are remarkably hardy! The oils in wool naturally repel dirt and the pattern hides stains. And since they are already broken in, they won’t really show any additional wear. I got mine from Etsy, shipped right from Turkey!
- Washable rugs such as Ruggable: I don’t have any personal experience with these, but I know so many sing their praises.
- LL Bean Waterhog Mat: I have these as door mats for my front and back doors. They come in many different colors, textures, and sizes. My wonderfully talented Instagram friend @mandyenohome has a rug-sized one in her mudroom that looks just like a sisal rug! (You will love Mandy’s beautiful home! If you give her a visit, be sure to tell her I say “hi”!) I have linked to my Waterhog doormats below!
Shop Rugs here!
Vintage and antique furniture pieces in your mudroom and entryway are a great way to add character, personal style, and storage space!
I purchased this antique pine cabinet piece at an auction for use in the mudroom. It holds, among other things, the paper recycling bin, extra dog towels, and a small trash can.
A whimsically painted cottage washstand in the entryway is storage for out-of-season mittens and hats. It also serves as a beautiful focal point under a window, as well as a display place for plants and flowers.
I am a firm believer that you need a bench next to every door.
It is a spot to sit and put on or remove shoes and boots, drop bags, packages, and mail, and a surface to hold storage baskets.
I also like to tuck footwear underneath for easy access. Especially in the spring and winter, it is important to leave muddy boots at the door!
The curvy vintage bench with its original blue paint in the entryway was another auction score. I love it when I don’t have to do a thing to a piece of furniture for it to fit right into my home!
There is also a small bench tucked behind the door in the mudroom. I painted that one blue to match the cabinets.
Hooks in the entryway and mudroom keep jackets, bags, towels, and more within reach. The easier it is for people to hang things up, the less likely it is they will end up on the floor!
And in terms of design, hooks can be a way to add fun detail to your space!
In the entryway, I chose hooks shaped like a whale’s tail!
And in the mudroom by the dog shower, I fashioned hooks out of old shoe forms.
Shop hooks here!
Built-In Closet and Cabinets
Both the mudroom and entryway also have built-in storage.
Upper and lower cabinets with a countertop in the mudroom and a traditional coat closet in the entryway.
The mudroom cabinets hold washing and cleaning supplies, cat food and dog treats, and other miscellaneous stuff. They could definitely use a clean-out!
I use the coat closet mostly for off-season and less-frequently-worn outerwear. The jackets that I use the most hang on the whale-tail hooks.
I also installed a long natural wood shelf in the mudroom that runs the length of the wall above the windows. It is both storage and display, as I use it to corral the many vases, jars, pitchers, and baskets that I use for flower arrangements.
Baskets and Bins
Baskets and bins make great catch-alls for gloves and hats, umbrellas, towels, and more.
Instead of running to a chain store for storage containers, think outside the box and shop your local thrift and antiques stores.
I use vintage metal picnic tins, straw market baskets, an antique wicker trunk, and a large vintage laundry basket for extra storage!
The good news is the seaweed and debris from the coastal flooding earlier this month were cleared from the lawn this week. Yay!
The bad news is the heavy machinery left the lawn and waterside areas veritable mud pits. Boo!
Mud season is here early this year…
Hopefully things will freeze up and we will get some snow.
But, until then, I am making good use of the dog shower in the mudroom.
Just about every time Maddie and Cisco come in from being outside, they need to have their paws rinsed off.
Once again I am so grateful I had this feature designed into the house.
And every day, I am glad that at the last minute I went with the pretty dark blue tile for it. It turns the dog shower into a design element, in addition to being highly functional.
You can read all about Maddie and Cisco, and my tips for living beautifully with dogs, in my post Living Your Best (and Most Beautiful) Life With Dogs.
Plants and Decor
Of course no space is complete for me without some decor! This is always a great way to add character and charm!
In the mudroom, shelves over the dog shower hold a collection of glass jars, beach finds, vintage books, a mirror, and a local map.
Framed pages from an old children’s book grace the wall. These hung originally in my eldest daughter’s nursery!
A basket holding some plants, an antique tin, and a painted watering can sits on top of the washstand in the entryway. This is an area that I like to change up seasonally. It creates a nice welcome when you enter the house!
You can read all about my trip to the Brimfield Flea Market, where I picked up that little tin in my post Let’s Go To The Brimfield Flea Market Together!
This Week Into Next
I hope this post has given you ideas on how you can make your entryway and mudroom both hardworking and beautiful. Organized, while also full of character. Tough, but charming.
Isn’t that something we all strive for in ourselves too?!
I am posting from Minnesota this week, where we are celebrating my sweet grandson Jamie’s first birthday.
Cheers to you, sweet boy! What joy and love you have brought into my life in the past year!
And I also can’t help toasting the end of this month.
To be honest, January was tough for me — physically, emotionally, professionally.
But a new month brings a new start. With new hopes and new opportunities.
So farewell, January. Can’t say I will miss you.
And hello, February!
(Please be kind to me!)
I hope you are well, friends!