Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bench Seat

We had a major problem. Four school children with backpacks, lunch bags and coats all piled up by the back door. Add to this mess everyone else's shoes, flip flops, and my size elevens made that the disaster area. Oh yeah, at the first sign of snow it was the desperate search for hats, gloves and scarfs.

I had to do something, but the space was extremely limited. As you walk through our back door, there is a six foot wide pantry to your left. Then comes the laundry room where Dawn usually throws everything into and shuts the door before company arrives with explicit directions to NOT open this door. To the right is the garage door and then two side by side closets that were used by the previous owner as a broom closet and kitchen storage. Not much room, but this was our main entrance, being right off the driveway.

I saw this picture in a magazine that I really liked and thought it would solve our problem. It was a simple bench seat that would store shoes below and a shelf unit with hooks for coats and bags and storage above. Only problem, I had no space by the back door to put this. The two side by side closets became very inefficient after I had central air conditioning installed. The air ducts occupied much of those closets. I decided to lose both closets altogether and set back the wall which created an alcove that I would build a bench seat and have storage above for winter wear.

We were very pleased with the final product. I backed up the beadboard with 1/2" plywood so the hardware, Dawn found at Lowes, would be strong enough to handle the weight of the loaded backpacks. I found the four baskets AFTER I built the shelf - not too bright. The neat part is the finish - of course, not my idea. After the paint job, I would have been done - admiring my work with a beer in one hand while patting myself on the back with the other. Dawn stopped me on the way to the fridge. "Now, it needs to be antiqued." That's when you make something brand new, look old! I would have never thought of this. I always tried to keep old things looking new! Anyway, it doesn't matter what I think. Before I knew it I was rubbing sandpaper on my brand new paint job, then came the stain and then a couple of coats of varnish. I think she wanted me to put on three coats but had mercy.

Be sure to check out more DIY projects over at Kimba's! Click on the graphic below.


Inka Thomas said...

Very nice project you have going on there. You do great work. Dawn is a lucky wife.

gail said...

Wow, I love the mud room and bench seat. Great job. The mud room idea has always facinated me. We dont have them in AZ. We dont use umbrellas or have basements either. LOL I think I am missing out on some cool stuff. Have a great week,,gail

cathy said...

That looks like it should be in a home improvement magazine. It came out great!

lisa said...

Love the bench seat, you did a great job! It looks fabulous!


bj said...

OMGosh...this is awesome. I know it must be the most handy and useful thing in your home. You did a fantastic job.... the way...I LOVE the antiquing you did on it, too!!

Cottage Flair said...

I have to say, I'm with Dawn on the distressing. It looks great!!! We have a small entry way too and I also had my hubby put up bead board and hooks. I like the basket idea. Great job!!

Shell said...

Great job on the mud room bench! Bravo! I know Dawn must love it.

Janet Bernasconi said...

Hi Dawn,

What a great bench seat. I need one of those! lol And of course knowing me it would be
Janet's Creative Pillows

SoCal Helene said...

Great bench, looks awesome!!!
Would love to have one at my house, too.
;o) Helene

bj said...

OK, Fred...I just posted about your awesome blog on MY blog so you might have some vistors come over for a look !
Happy day, bj

Twice as Nice said...

Sweet nothings told us you had a new blog. Welcome to blogland. My twin and I just started a blog last month so we are still "new" too. It's been a lot of fun. Looks like your going to be a nice addition :o)

Victoria Hayden said...

I now want my husband to do this our in our garage. Great idea your wife had! It looks great too!

Brad W. said...

I stole your idea for my front hallway. I just hope mine looks as good as yours. I'll post the pics later this week.

Brad W. said...

All done with the bench idea that I stole from you. My wife did a good job with a photo chronicle of the whole thing. I built it in my front hallway and there isn't much room to back up for a decent picture, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. Thanks for the idea. Here is my progress.

Gina said...

Wonderful job! This will serve you well for years.

Found you through DIY Day. Thanks for sharing!