Mudroom Bench Plans

Remember this space? The little nook just inside our back door that would be perfect for a mudroom area? I have some major plans for it (major, as in life-altering. For me.).

The nook. That I despise, because no matter how much I clean, and straighten, it never stays that way long

This is my idea for a faux built-in bench, loosely based on this tutorial from Lowes:

Its not perfectly to scale, but its pretty close

The thing is that its about 2 feet deep. So either I have some super deep cubbies that I figure we'll end up having to go elbow-deep to dig shoes out of the back of, or I figure out a way to use both spaces effectively. So I'm thinking about making the cubbies about a foot deep, perfect size for shoes, especially shoes that 13 year old boys with big feet, and leaving the other foot of space in the back. I've thought about using the space in the back for some sort of recyclable sorting bins like these from Ikea:

DIMPA Recycling Bags, IKEA
$6.99 for 3! I'd have to do something to make it look good though. I'm thinking it'd be neat to build something that they could fit in, like a storage bench. You'd lift up the seat of the bench to take out the bins when its time to take off the recycling. (They are just under 18" tall according to IKEA's website, so they'd fit in the 24" tall bench. Plus they are about 8.5" wide which means with 3 they'd have plenty of room to fit within the approximately 38" wide that the bench would be. They wouldn't crowd the air filter and I MAY even be able to squeeze a little more storage out of it!) And when the seat is down, it would just look like an extension of the front bench. Plus the cubbies in front wouldn't be so deep that we'd loose shoes.

(I feel like maybe I'm not explaining this very well. I'm trying to draw up pictures, but I'm a horrible artist, so bear with me.)

I've even thought a bit about logistics for the seat. Instead of having to hold the seat up with one hand and worry about the bins with the other (since I'm not sure how heavy the seat will end up being, plus I'm just clumsy, and I can already see myself hitting my head lol), I'll make it so the seat will stay up until I'm ready to close it. Either I'll use hydraulic lifts on the seat hinges (you know, the kind that make the trunk of your car stay open on its own until you pull it down), or (and I think this will be the more simple of the 2 options, especially considering we are literally beginners with everything), I'll install a small but powerful magnet (possibly 3 small ones, if its really heavy), on the wall and on the bench seat. Genius, right?

If anyone has any input (good or bad), problems you forsee (especially those of you with more experience!), ways to make better use of the space, etc, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment or email me!!

Anyone else planning, working on, or completed organization projects of any sort? I'd love to hear about them/see them!


  1. Anonymous29.1.12

    I love the magnet idea...but they do make a hinge that stays open until you push it closed...I have one on my cedar chest...