So here's my version of the Martha Stewart boot tray (see 2 posts ago):
The boots aren't as cute as the wellies & duck boots Martha had, but what can I say? That's what we (Jim) actually wear.
I think it looks pretty decent, though. I also got some indoor/outdoor rugs to help define the space and catch the snow, salt, & sand. The opening is just 4 feet wide, but quite long to the radiator, so I bought 3 of them and just put them together. It works pretty well.
They don't start at the opening of the door because the threshold at that point is too short, and they would get bunched up. But of course the house (or maybe the floor) is not level, so all I have to do is push it down a few inches where the threshold is higher and we're fine!
I splurged on the boot tray and got it from Smith & Hawkin, rather than buying a cheaper black or green plastic one.
I think Martha's had some smooth river rocks, but when I went to Homer, I could get a whole big bag of broken marble for $4, or several small bags of smooth stones for $7 each. Obviously, I chose the big bag for $4, and it was just enough to perfectly fill the boot tray. And I think it has the right effect.
Luckily (?), I have been able to give it the true test, as it snowed 9 or so inches on Monday - yes, that's right, we got a Nor'easter on March 2nd. It's not my ideal mudroom, but it works pretty well for about a $300 investment. One of these days, I'll make a little bench to go with it. But that will have to wait until I'm down to at least 2 night classes.