Entries to any home are unfortunate magnets for clutter. The trick to mudroom organization is providing storage options for gear throughout the seasons. As part of the renovation of a 1908 home, architect Carol Kurth used built-ins to create a drop-off point for whatever the homeowners' children could truck in or out. The adjacent door leads not only to the driveway but also to the family's pool, so Kurth designed a hinged-top bench with an inside cavity that's large enough to hold soccer balls, ice skates, and swim gear. A sliver of space under the bench lets the family slip the tips of their shoes or boots underneath to keep them from spreading out across the floor. The homeowners currently use the top shelf for display, but its 12-inch depth can easily accommodate storage bins or baskets. The hooks are for hanging jackets, umbrellas, and pet leashes.
IDEA: Choose durable oil-based paints instead
of latex for any surface that is going to take a beating, such as frequently used shelving and benches.