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    If your home has a dedicated mudroom, then consider yourself blessed. Mudrooms offer a much-needed buffer between the outdoors and the main living areas of your home, and they’re a great way to keep your home clean, tidy, and organized.

    For those of us without one of these handy-dandy spaces, we have to be a little more creative in designing our homes’ entryways.

    Do you want to keep keys, shoes, and wet raincoats off your favorite leather recliner or your nice wood floors?

    Here are eight tips for designing a smart and functional entry area

    1. Go with multipurpose items.

    Most entryways are pretty narrow, so you can’t really put in five pieces of furniture or too much decor. Your best bet is to focus on small items that serve multiple purposes — maybe a bench with storage inside or under it, a shelf with underside hooks, or cubbies that also double as seating. Basically, the more functions a piece can serve, the more helpful it will be in an entryway or mudroom area.

    2. Utilize your full wall and floor space.

    Use the walls of your entryway strategically. Hang storage shelves, key and coat hooks, or even sconces to light up the space. You should also leverage the floors. If you put in a table, use the area underneath it to store shoes or add in cubbies. Be strategic and remember that your entryway comes with six canvases — four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Use them all. 

    3. Invest in a sturdy and washable rug.

    A patterned rug can add a nice pop to your entryway, not to mention keep dirt at bay (especially when it’s wet or muddy out). The catch is you’ll want to make sure it’s easily washable, otherwise you’ll find you’ll make a lot more work for yourself in the long run. (Brands like Ruggable and Hook and Loom are good options here). 

    4. Think about ways to add hidden storage.

    Storage is critical in an entryway or mudroom. You need somewhere for shoes, keys, jackets, umbrellas, wallets, and purses — and if you have kids, probably backpacks and lunch boxes, too. But that doesn’t mean you need to have shelves on shelves of storage space or school-like lockers for everyone in the household. Instead, find ways to add hidden storage instead — maybe a side table with deep drawers or a bench with a hinge-top and storage space inside. 

    5. Add in some seating.

    You can’t very well put on your shoes (or take them off) without some sort of seating, so make sure you find a way to work in a chair or two, too. A simple bench or stool can work great, as can stadium-like seating, which hangs on the walls and folds down. You can also repurpose an old patio or kitchen chair, too (just add a slipcover or change out the upholstery). 

    6. Put your own personal touch on it.

    Ultimately, your entryway isn’t just a transitional station. It’s a part of your family’s home, and it should reflect you and the people who live there. Though storage and functional areas are certainly important, don’t forget to add your own personal touch on it, too. Hang your favorite piece of art, put a family photo on the shelf or table, or adorn the wall with the family name or initial. 

    7. Let there be light.

    It’s easy for entryways to be drab and boring. They’re typically just windowless hallways, with little lighting and no points of interest. To add some more visual appeal, work in some additional lighting — maybe a lamp on the side table, a hanging pennant light, or even a mirror or two to reflect light and brighten up the space. A nice little bonus here is that extra light will make the area look more spacious (and who doesn’t want that?)

    8. Create designated drop-off zones.

    If you really want your entryway to help keep your home organized and tidy, then give everyone (and everything) a designated drop-off zone. Depending on your household, this might mean assigning a specific cubby or shelf to each family member, or maybe just designated a drawer for keys, another for wallets, and certain hooks for backpacks and jackets. The main idea is to give everyone a designated spot to drop their items — before they can pile up in your living room or on your kitchen table.

    Creating the perfect entryway

    A functional entryway is integral to keeping your home clean and orderly.

    Do you need cash to make your dream entryway happen? A cash-out refinance may be able to help. Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans expert today to discuss your financial options.

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