Mudrooms often get overlooked. But when done properly, a mudroom can add significant value to your home, providing storage and acting as a buffer for the rest of your interior space.
Making a bench in a mudroom will give you a much needed place to stop, sit, and remove muddy boots and wet clothes. Boots and shoes can be placed under or on the bench for storage, and wet coats and hats can be hung to dry.
A bench will not only give you an opportunity to take these articles off but can also give the room a rustic charm. It gives the room a nostalgic touch while providing functionality and decor.
Before making your bench, you may want to consider using weathered materials, weathered woods, hammered tin, and old-fashioned nails to give the bench an old-fashion appeal. Clean lines and white paint, meanwhile, will make the bench look country chic. Here you will find the information needed to create a basic bench.
Step 1 - Build the Box
Start by building the box for your bench. This can be as basic or elaborate as your skills and desired outcome allow for. The box can be equipped with pull-out bins or simply a lid that lifts for storage. The important thing is that it is solid and that the angles and lines are straight and square.
Step 2 - Install Box Lid
Secure a 2x4 along the top edge of the back of the box, flush with the top of the box, to provide support and an anchoring place for the box lid. Secure the board into the studs with 3 1/2 inch screws.
Attach the hinges to both the box lid, on the underside and along the back edge with screws, then attach the other side of the hinge to the 2x4. Make sure that the lid lies plumb and level with the box, and adjust hinges if necessary.
Step 3 - Install Lid Trim
Run a small bead of adhesive along the trim for the box lid (if needed or desired) and secure it to the lid. Secure it further with finishing nails, making sure to drive the nails slightly below the surface of the trim.
Step 4 - Install Backboard
If desired, secure the backboard, such as beadboard paneling, to the wall above the bench box. Apply dollops of adhesive to the back of the board and press against the wall. You can secure it further with more finishing nails.
Step 5 - Add Trim
At the bottom of the backboard, hide the edges of the backboard with trim. This can be simple quarter bead trim or more elaborate molding, or a combination of the two. Corners can be mitered to give it extra polish.
Step 5 - Install Shelf and Hardware
Again, if desired, install a shelf above the backing panel. Secure the shelf supports to studs in the wall, or if studs are not available, make sure to use anchors. Place the shelf on top of the brackets and secure the shelf to the brackets using screws. Paint the bench, if desired.
As previously mentioned, beadboard paneling can be added to the wall behind your bench. The paneling is durable, making it a great option for an area where heavy coats are consistently thrown.
They also add character to an area. Painting the paneling blue, for example, can make the area take on a nautical flair. White will give you a more standard look.
The paneling can also make your room look bigger. If your mudroom is connected to your laundry room or in your hallway, paneling can set the area apart, separating it from the rest of the space.
There are other options beyond just paneling for the wall space above your bench and behind your hooks. You could consider adding, for example, subway tiles for a nice clean look.
Since this space is out of the way and will have things placed in front of it, consider going with a bolder design like a herringbone wall, tiles that contrast the floor, or even a bigger design. You could even have your last name in tiles on the wall.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you should do all your can to make your mudroom waterproof or water resistant. One way to do this is by using water-resistant paint in the room. This will make it less likely that your raincoat will hurt the walls behind it.
If you have a small space, maximizing it is even more important. You could add a much smaller bench made of wood between the staircase and your wall or any other nook and cranny you can find to increase storage space.
While it may be easier to construct a rectangle box for your mudroom bench, you can also make benches in different sizes and shapes as well. If you have a bay window, for example, you may want to consider putting a bench with storage there.
If you add closed shelves, you can store anything you want in the area. If it is in an area like a kitchen or living room, though, and has open shelves, you may want to display knick-knacks in the area instead of using it as mudroom overflow storage.
Mudroom benches are all about storage, but there are a few other things you can do to increase storage in your mudroom beyond just adding a bench.
One of the simplest ways to add functionality and storage to your mudroom is to add hooks that can be used to hang various items. These can be hung above your bench or at other locations in the mudroom.
Remember, if you live in a climate that gets cold, winter coats can be quite heavy so make sure the hooks you use are sturdy enough to hold these items.
If you have young children, you may want to consider having a few hooks low enough to the ground that they are able to reach them and hang their jackets up themselves. This will give them a very doable task and keep you from finding their coats on the ground.
Beyond just coats, hooks can also be placed around the mudroom for things like hats and purses.
In addition to hooks on a wall, you could also add hooks to the back of your mudroom door to further increase storage. You should not hang the heavier items on these hooks though, as bulky coats may make the door harder to closer or stick out when closed.
Furthermore, coats can sometimes drip, and it's better for wet coats to drip somewhere other than a doorway.
If you live in a cold area, cubbies are a great option to store your scarves, hats, and gloves. These items can't really be hung up, so having cubbies or different types of bins to store them in is a great option.
Another storage idea beyond a bench, and one that kids love, is adding lockers to a mudroom. Each locker can have a different family member's name on it and be where a designated person hangs and stores their items.
As an added bonus, this keeps everyone's items separate and avoids morning arguments over which gloves belong to who.
You can get really creative here and paint the lockers different colors or even allow your kids to paint them or add stickers to customize the locker. They will love having something that feels unique to them.
Make sure the inside of the locker has shelves where hats and gloves, or even a purse, can be stored as well as hooks for jackets. You should also ensure that the lockers are wide enough to fit a winter coat as well as a sweatshirt or light jacket you might wear under the coat.
Remember, it's not just the people who live in your home but also guests that will need a place to hang things up, so leave an extra locker open for them, or you could consider having hooks that are outside of the lockers.
If you like the concept behind lockers but not the look and feel of having lockers in your home, you could instead build custom cabinets. These could be similar sizes to lockers but look more like a high-end pantry with wood cabinets. This will have a lot of storage but not a lot of clutter since everything will be behind closed doors.
If you go this route, or build lockers, make sure you still have a bench or a seat nearby where people can sit down to take off their shoes.
Don't Forget the Dog
If you have a dog, you may want to carve out a place in the mudroom for them too. When you come into the house after walking your canine companion, you will want an area to put their leash, poop bags, harness, training treats, and anything else you take with you when walking them.
Having a cubby or bin to put your dog's items in that is close to your jacket and shoes will be a huge help. If your dog has a bathroom emergency and needs to get out quickly, all their things will be in one place and easy to find.
Where to put a litter box is a top concern for many cat owners. A mudroom can actually be a great option because other than entering and leaving the house, it is a room that is not frequented very often.
Many put litter boxes inside bathrooms, but these doors can often get closed, making a mudroom a great alternative. If you build a bench without storage underneath, that could even be an option if it is tall enough for your feline friend.
If you live near a beach in a warm-weather area, your mudroom design will likely be different than it would be for someone who lives in the country or in a colder climate.
Sand will become a primary concern. Consider having a bin that you empty once a week or so that people can bang their sandy shoes against before storing them.
You may also want one bin for clean towels people can grab when coming into the house to dry off and another bin for wet, dirty towels that are ready to be washed.
A laundry room/mudroom combo may be ideal in these situations because towels can go straight into the washing machine and the dryer.
You may also want to consider giving your beach mudroom a different look than you would other mudrooms. For example, you may want to consider giving your mudroom a nautical flair.
This can be accomplished by adding a deep blue cushion onto your bench, having blue and white stripes on the walls, or adding anchor decor. Decorative pillows on the bench are another great way to accomplish this look.
You could also go for a softer beach cottage look by using light blues and seashells as decor instead. You could even leave out a mason jar where your kids can drop in any unique seashells they find that day. This has the added bonus of them not bringing them into the rest of the house.
You may be thinking, "why would I add a mirror to a mudroom?" But consider this—a mudroom is not only the way you often enter a house but the way you leave it as well.
Oftentimes we go through the mudroom to get a jacket, scarf, purse, or something else on our way to the car. Having a mirror in there will give you one last chance to make sure your completed outfit looks good and the jacket and other items you just added to your ensemble don't clash with what you already had on.