“Bring the outdoors inside,” say the window manufacturers and houseplant growers. Those of us who clean floors would, frankly, prefer the outdoors to stay there. A functional mudroom or entryway—the natural home for boots and coats—keeps the whole house cleaner.
Start with an entryway that has a waterproof, resilient floor, such as concrete, tile, vinyl, laminate or stone. Carpeting will just get filthy.
Cover the entryway floor with high-quality doormats and washable area rugs. These are going to be real workhorses, so choose utility over appearance.
Clear out the clutter. Store in your entryway only those things that you need to have available when you walk out the door. Put seasonal or nonessential items elsewhere.
Pair a row of coat hooks or pegs to hold hats and scarves with a storage bench below where people can sit to remove their shoes.
Build or buy some cubbies for the entryway. These are great for keys, cell phones, gloves, hats, garden tools and other items.
Have a space heater or fan in the mudroom so wet things dry more quickly. If you’re building a new house, designate a heating vent for this area, or install radiant heating in the floor.
If your house doesn’t have a mudroom or entryway, consider installing a large waterproof awning over your back door. Have people take off their shoes and muddy garments there.
A canvas floor cloth, sealed with polyurethane, is another great option for foyer floors.
You can paint it to match your décor—and wipe it clean when it gets filthy.
If you have a dog, move his dishes to the mudroom. Many dogs like to eat in privacy, and the mudroom’s floor will resist spills and stains.