Smart ideas for storing coats, shoes and garden gear in style.
Q. The back entrance of my home is our main entry. The 4’ x 8’ space is surrounded by windows. I need to create storage for coats, bike helmets, multiple pairs of shoes and boots, and gardening equipment. The windows are all 3’ from the floor. What can I do to maximize this space? — Allena Litherland
A. Storage is always key, and finding ways to create it can be challenging. For your “window box” of an entry, you may not be able to use the walls to hang coats, but there are other solutions. Your windows sit 3’ from the floor, and typical seat heights are 18” high. You can create storage benches under the windows wherever possible, with hinged lids to hold gardening supplies and helmets, and space beneath for shoes.
Two coat trees opposite each other will be much less intrusive on your window space, and will actually hold quite a few coats and jackets.
If your ceiling is high, use the space between the top of the windows and the ceiling for wall shelves. These can be fitted with baskets holding anything from gear to supplies, and a bench can double as a step stool.
Labelling bins or baskets allows for easy access, and makes clean-up a snap. And don’t forget to decorate your new mudroom; use stylish doormats, replace outdated lights with current lanterns or sconces, install a narrow key holder, which can be hung between your window frames. A chalkboard or whiteboard on the door for last-minute messages will finish off the look.