DIY: Building a Custom Mudroom Bench and Locker Area

In the past two weeks, Chris was busy working away at a new small project to better organize our life in the mornings and evenings: a new mudroom and locker style bench area!

This is what our space looked like before I convinced Chris to update the space with a more functional piece. We tossed shoes on the floor (here up for the robot vacuum to clean). Everything would end up piled up under the bench and on the bench. It just was always a messy look.

Chris and I sat down, looked at images and ideas online, and then started to sketch out our own space and measure how it would best work and fit. It took us a couple of hours over a day or two to decide how we wanted it to look, as we both had differing views or ideas.

Once we came together on the plan, he began the work. We didn’t account for Crab’s early bedtime which limited using the nail gun most days towards the end of the project. He also built a garden bed for our neighbor on a Saturday morning, so that took us back a little in time to get this completed.

As the project progressed, we adjusted our plans to go from a cubby space above to a shelf instead that had small dividers. Crab had a great time climbing all throughout the lower cubby area while we were in the midst.

This isn’t the best picture, but it tells the story. We’re still trying to decide if we want to use bins on the bottom or leave the shoes out in the open. I’m leaning towards out in the open since the boys don’t seem to be keen on pulling out a bin to put on or take off their shoes.

Chris custom built this space to fit into the wall perfectly. We have to finish off some molding on the left side, but otherwise, this isn’t going anywhere. He had to move an electrical outlet down and to the side so it would still be accessible, too.

Now everyone has a space for their coats, hats, book bags, and shoes. It is so nice to be able to find everything so easily and keep it organized. Chris picked the bench stain to match the flooring and routed the bench wood to make beautiful edges. I was skeptical of a dark color at first, but it really does tie in nicely!

We can sit easily to get our shoes on and grab our stuff to go. It makes our living room feel a little less cluttered, too!

In addition to this project, we’ve taken off the rod iron stair rail and will be putting a long rail down the back wall of the stairs to keep the space more open. We also have big plans to repaint our interior of our house this summer and do a few more finishing projects downstairs to make the spaces feel complete and warm.

This project cost around $150 or less. I didn’t keep track, but I know he used a lot of scrap wood and white paint we had, bought MDF board, and the bins and hooks were ones we had. He picked up a router tool that was probably the most expensive portion of the project.

DIY is so much fun, less expensive, and amazing. We would’ve never found a piece to fit this area like a glove so beautifully for the price.

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