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The Jones’ dogs, True, a Weimaraner, and Dot, a dachshund, sit side by side on the Ballard Designs storage bench.

Mudrooms are havens of practicality. But there’s no reason they can’t look good, too

With two young boys and a growing puppy, Michelle and Bret Oettmeier needed a mudroom that could take lots of abuse and still look good.

An outdoor toolshed that was attached to their house proved the perfect space.

“We needed a catch-all room where we could dump everything and take off our shoes,” Michelle Oettmeier says.

So she had the room insulated and added drywall and a door to the garage. Laminate flooring proves so durable

“I can literally hose it down,” she says.

Crisp blue-and-white finishes tie it into the rest of their home.

The room is outfitted with fun mix of antiques and inexpensive catalog finds.

A trio of lanterns from Ballard Designs hangs overhead, and a family heirloom Oriental rug adds a touch of warmth.

 

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Small but mighty. That’s the perfect description of the mudroom in Kelly Kincaid and Carolyn Law’s home. When they renovated the kitchen, they recycled the original kitchen cabinets into the mudroom and painted them the same pale gray as the new kitchen cabinets.

It also serves as the couple’s laundry room, and a doggie door allows all three of their dogs—Hank, a German shepherd/lab mix, Bently, a puggle, and Taz, a terrier mix—free access to the fenced-in backyard. The Dutch door is especially handy. “If the dogs are being rowdy and need a timeout, or if they have muddy paws, we can confine them but we can still see them,” Kincaid says.

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The mudroom in Susan and Tom Jones’ home doesn’t depart from the rest of their house—it’s fun, fabulous and full of color. When the Joneses moved to their home, this was an outside pathway to the garage, and they had it enclosed to create the mudroom. Besides providing a place for everything, it’s a comfortable spot for their dogs. “It’s great for them when company comes over, and it’s a good place to clean them up when they get messy,” Susan Jones says. A storage bench provides plenty of seating. “I had an oilcloth cushion made for it to make it more durable,” Jones says.

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The orange walls, Ralph Lauren’s California Poppy, brighten the room on even the gloomiest days. Jones added the beadboard paneling and ceiling because “it felt like it was the right thing for the house.”

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A spacious mudroom converted from a screened-in porch does double duty for Jay and Katie Longhauser. “With two small children, a dog, and a husband who likes to hunt,” Katie Longhauser says, “this was kind of essential.”

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Custom cabinets provide a comfy place to sit, cubbies for shoes and bright red storage baskets, and plenty of hooks for jackets and such. Having the laundry right here works well for the family, too.

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“We can ditch the dirty clothes without bringing them into the house,” Longhauser says. The stainless steel sink can take a beating, whether for rinsing out clothes or potting plants. Longhauser says the procelain tile is durable, yet good-looking, and “it’s pretty forgiving of scratches and stains.” The vintage little red tricycle was donated to the couple’s children by the Longhauser’s next-door neighbors. “Our 3-year-old daughter loves to ride it,” Longhauser says.

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