Built-In Mudroom Bench

A friend wanted a built-in mudroom bench with storage for shoes, jackets, and so on.

Here is the result:

img_2083

To make the project manageable, I built it in two independent parts — the storage bench, and the upper panel with shelf  and hooks.

The bench begins as a simple plywood box with a center divider:

plywood-box

I then added a frame to the front and sides using poplar:

plywood-box-2

I then routed a profile on all the rails and stiles:

profiler

Once the base of the bench was built, I moved on to the bench top. This was simply two 1″ thick pieces of cherry stock edge joined together:

cherry

The front edge is rounded over, and the top is finished with gel stain and satin poly:

img_1938

With the addition of two adjustable shelves, the bench storage part of the project was complete:

bench-shelves

Now onto the upper portion. Similar to the sides of the bench, this was a large sheet of plywood with solid poplar rails and stiles to simulate a frame and panel design. Here it is without the shelf standing behind the bench:

img_1897

Again, I routed the interiors of the frames with an ogee bit, matching the bench.

I brought both pieces over separately for installation. To build the piece flush to the wall, the first and certainly scariest step was to trim away the existing baseboard molding – after which we were surprised to find no drywall behind it:

img_2034

I slid the bench into place, leveled it with shims, and secured it to the studs:

img_2032

We then placed the top on the bench and secured it to the studs:

img_2057

The bottom was trimmed to the floor with quarter round molding to match the baseboards, and then the whole piece was painted white to match the house’s interior trim color:

img_2086

The result:

img_2081-1

 

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