A friend wanted a built-in mudroom bench with storage for shoes, jackets, and so on.
Here is the result:
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:
I then added a frame to the front and sides using poplar:
I then routed a profile on all the rails and stiles:
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:
The front edge is rounded over, and the top is finished with gel stain and satin poly:
With the addition of two adjustable shelves, the bench storage part of the project was complete:
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 attached via pocket screws to simulate a frame and panel design – credit to this episode of This Old House for this approach. Here it is without the shelf standing behind the bench:
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:
I slid the bench into place, leveled it with shims, and secured it to the studs:
We then placed the top on the bench and secured it to the studs:
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: