Design Details: Mudrooms

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    Warren Jagger

    A pair of clutter-concealing closets bookend this custom bench made of vertical-grain fir stair treads that sit atop painted wood legs, creating a functional entryway that feels sublime. Project: Overall House, Concord, Mass.; Architect: Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, Rhode Island; Builder: Richard Warren, Hand’s On Construction, Concord, Mass.

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    Joe Fletcher

    This partition incorporates a bench made of the same material for a streamlined look that keeps in step with the home’s modern design. It also sections off the space with loads of storage for shoes and other items. Project: Palo Alto Residence, Palo Alto, Calif.; Architect: CCS Architecture, San Francisco; Builder: K Welton Inc., Palo Alto

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    William J. Hebert

    This entry hall is transformed into a space both serene and serviceable thanks to a wall of cabinetry for plenty of coats, backpacks, and bags. The storage area is accompanied by small benches, hooks, and simple shelving (next slide) that pack utility into minimal space. Project: Arcadia, South Haven, Mich.; Architect: Visbeen Architects, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Builder: David C. Bos Homes, Spring Lake, Mich.

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    William J. Hebert

    Project: Arcadia, South Haven, Mich.; Architect: Visbeen Architects, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Builder: David C. Bos Homes, Spring Lake, Mich.

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    Rau Barber

    Craftsman cabinetry with space for shoes below creates a crisp entryway that maintains the warmth of this 1900s home’s original design. Project: Private Residence, Minneapolis; Architect: Rehkamp Larson Architects, Minneapolis; Builder: Full Circle Construction, Minneapolis

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    Warren Jagger

    A flood of natural light and a deep, low-slung bench that accommodates shoe changes and artwork give this entryway a comfortable feel, while separated from main living space. Project: Barker House, Block Island, Rhode Island; Architect: Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, Rhode Island; Builder: Highland Builders, Tiverton, Rhode Island

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    Edward Caldwell

    A bench of rough-hewn wood helps preserve this 100-year-old farmhouse’s original charm. Project: Idea Garden, Healdsburg, Calif.; Architect: Arkin Tilt Architects, Berkeley, Calif.; Builder: Earthtone Construction, Sebastopol, Calif.

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    Johnny Quirin

    When square footage is in short supply, a bench stacked with hooks and a few baskets offers buyers a lot of utility in a small space. Project: Traverse House, South Haven, Mich.; Architect: Visbeen Architects, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Builder: David C. Bos Homes, Spring Lake, Mich.

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    William J. Hebert

    Wall treatment crafted out of shingles adds lots of visual interest without disrupting this drop zone’s clean design.

    Project: Arlington House, Ada, Mich.; Architect: Visbeen Architects, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Builder: LaCati Custom Homes, Grand Rapids

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    Troy Thiess

    Floor-to-ceiling storage cubbies crafted in dark wood make this mudroom both handsome and helpful, with plenty of space to stow the trappings of everyday life as well as a spot to sit. Project: Wisconsin Farmhouse, Boyceville, Wis.; Architect: Rehkamp Larson Architects, Minneapolis; Builder: Red Cedar Construction, Menomonie, Wis.

Spring brings many things, including mud. From there it's just a step to mudrooms--these days, one of the most commonly requested rooms amongst homebuyers. A mudroom is, of course, a home's first line of defense against dirt, clutter and chaos. But while this room used to be treated as a utilitarian necessity, today’s focus on tailoring floor plans for real life has put a spotlight on the hardworking space. (Why spend a fortune on a formal front entry hall that sits dormant, when the mudroom entrance is used every day?) At their best, mudrooms offer buyers a spot to stash shoes, coats, and backpacks while keeping in step with a home’s overall aesthetic. These projects offer illustrations of what a mudroom can be—a useful and lovely welcome home.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder. Senior Editor Amy Albert contributed reporting to this article.