Decorating Dilemma: Susan’s Multipurpose Entry and Dining Space

Decorating a mudroom and breakfast area

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I am looking for ways to add more style and function to our entry/mudroom/sunroom, which has new tile and paint (Benjamin Moore Templeton Gray and Ashley Gray). We use the space for morning coffee, feeding dogs and storing shoes/coats.

This entry room opens to the main dining room and kitchen, where the first thing you see is a big wall of wood paneling that is present throughout our “rustic modern” house. I need help to better define this dining area, break up the wood wall, and make it more bright and welcoming. I would love to incorporate a banquette or settee for cozy comfort.

Many thanks for your creative ideas!







Dear Susan,

We are happy to help you with your newly renovated entry and dining area. We love what you have done so far and have a few suggestions as to how to complete the two spaces to make it cozy and inviting in keeping with your “rustic modern” vibe.

In your entry way, we recommend our Merida Rug in size 8 x 10 to fill up more of the room than your existing rug. You could replace your green dining chair cushions with a soft gray or taupe to complement the rug and your beautiful tile. The Ballard Double Boot Tray is a great additional to your mudroom or entry way for coming in from outside.

In your dining area off the kitchen, we recommend our Coventry 72-inch Bench to give you the cozy comfort you are looking for and warm up the space. Our Florentine Taupe fabric is a soft way to enhance your space and blends nicely with your kitchen. The Tatum Trestle Dining Table is an excellent way to bridge the wood tones and the metals you have in your kitchen. We chose to pair it with our Constance Metal Chairs since you already have enough wood with your walls along with two Upholstered Parsons chairs in Natural Linen to add fabric for softness. Our Geneve Indoor/Outdoor Rug makes for an easy cleanup. You could even paint the back focal wall behind the Coventry bench a soft cream to break up the wood elements and brighten the space.

We hope you like our suggestions.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a mudroom and breakfast area

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.