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Designer John Loecke took advantage of the area around a back staircase, but you don't need to have this setup to carve out your own mudroom. Try using the space in an entry hallway, along a wall by the front or back door, or just inside the door to your garage. And there's no need for a closet. Loecke prefers keeping coats, boots and other essentials in plain sight instead of hidden away. "It's so much easier to find what you need in a hurry," he says.