The invention of the mudroom was a genius idea. If you don’t have this transitional room which is typically floored in durable stone or tile, you can recreate the concept at your door. On the exterior, add a mat with a nubby texture to catch dirt, grime and water. On the interior, add a small throw rug at the door to give visitors a second pass at cleanliness. Place a bench near the door to offer a place to put on galoshes and boots and during the worst of the weather, lay tea towels by the door where damp boots can dry.
There’s a reason most entryways feature hardwood or tile; these provide a low-care surface that’s simple to sweep or damp mop quickly. If you have carpet in your entry area, consider a 5 x 7 rug to both define the space and offer protection. Make sure you use a pad beneath to protect the carpet from color transfer due to spills or water. Alternatively, Scotchguard this area to make keeping it clean easier.
Chicago area homes usually feature a mix of flooring, with higher traffic areas like entries, kitchens and baths featuring hard surfaces. Carpeting is often a low-cost alternative to hardwood or laminate, and is generally used in bedrooms, living rooms and dens. If you’re redecorating, consider if your budget can support a stone tile or wood entry even if you use carpet elsewhere. The ease of care will reward you, year round.