When winter is on its way, an entryway bench with built-in cubby holes is the perfect storage option for scarves, hats, and muddy boots. These often-wet and messy items usually become end up scattered around your house as each member of your family enters the door. Installing an entryway bench unit will keep personal items organized in the entryway where they can be easily retrieved while containing the mess in the entryway. Better yet, how about a place to sit while you yank off those wet boots?
Constructing the Seat Box
To build your box, you'll need to begin with a hollow base. This can easily be built with any type of wood you desire. If you're planning to paint your bench, choose an inexpensive yet durable plywood. If you're willing to spend a little more, you can invest in some solid wood slabs to build the base of your bench. Measure and cut the wood. You'll need a bottom piece, two side pieces, a back piece, and a top piece. Leave the front of the bench uncovered—this is the part that will be used for storage. Glue the pieces together along the edges, and nail them into place while the glue dries. If you choose, you can also nail the finished seat box into the wall, making it a permanent fixture in your entryway.
If you don't want to leave the front of your box completely open, you'll need to add some sort of dividers. This can be done by measuring sheets of wood and sliding them into the hollow bench, or just by using molding attached to the face of the bench to make it look like it is divided. Stay open to other options as well. You may choose to install doors or curtains to hide your below-the-bench storage. You may also choose to leave one large, open space under the seat of your bench, and place baskets or bins underneath. They can be labelled if you'd like to keep things like scarves, hats, and shoes separate from one another.
Finishing the Bench
Next, you'll want to finish the bench to make it more attractive. If you used a solid, pre-stained wood, your work is done! If not, you'll have some options. You can choose to sand, paint, and seal your bench. This leaves you with many color options, but will cover an attractive wood grain. If you'd rather accentuate your wood grain, try a colored stain. Your final option is to cover the wood base altogether with bead board, wood framing, or panelling. This can make the bench look more integrated into your home, depending on the finish of the walls behind it.
Don't neglect the top of the bench—you have a few options when it comes to the actual seat. Since the bench will not be sat on for long periods of time, comfort may not be your biggest concern. You can paint the top of the bench to match the rest, or add some batting and upholster it with fabric.
These steps will build you a seat that is sure to enhance your home's entryway with storage and style.