Almost every trip in or out of a house involves baggage: coats, purses, packages, shoes, books, backpacks, sports equipment. The list can stretch on endlessly. A dedicated space between the back door and the rest of the house has become almost a necessity to contain the essentials that accompany busy lifestyles.
Although defined as places for shedding wet or dirty footwear and clothing, mudrooms have evolved to handle much more. Regardless of size or style, a good mudroom has what it takes to stand up to rugged use, including tile floors, wood-paneled walls, and sturdy cabinetry incorporating storage features every bit as diverse as the items that need storing, from hooks and pegs to cabinets, drawers, and cubbies. The high-traffic spaces pictured here illustrate how pretty and practical can unite to ensure that each family member gets off to an organized start every morning and is welcomed home to a well-ordered haven at the end of the day.