This is a repost from my husband's blog. I don't think I've ever shared our mud room project here.
We had a major problem. Four school children with backpacks, lunch bags and coats all piled up by the back door. Add to this mess everyone else's shoes, flip flops, and my size elevens made that the disaster area. Oh yeah, at the first sign of snow it was the desperate search for hats, gloves and scarfs.
I had to do something, but the space was extremely limited. As you walk through our back door, there is a six foot wide pantry to your left. Then comes the laundry room where Dawn usually throws everything into and shuts the door before company arrives with explicit directions to NOT open this door. To the right is the garage door and then two side by side closets that were used by the previous owner as a broom closet and kitchen storage. Not much room, but this was our main entrance, being right off the driveway.
I saw this picture in a magazine that I really liked and thought it would solve our problem. It was a simple bench seat that would store shoes below and a shelf unit with hooks for coats and bags and storage above. Only problem, I had no space by the back door to put this. The two side by side closets became very inefficient after I had central air conditioning installed. The air ducts occupied much of those closets. I decided to lose both closets altogether and set back the wall which created an alcove that I would build a bench seat and have storage above for winter wear.
We were very pleased with the final product. I backed up the beadboard with 1/2" plywood so the hardware, Dawn found at Lowes, would be strong enough to handle the weight of the loaded backpacks. I found the four baskets AFTER I built the shelf - not too bright. The neat part is the finish - of course, not my idea. After the paint job, I would have been done - admiring my work with a beer in one hand while patting myself on the back with the other. Dawn stopped me on the way to the fridge. "Now, it needs to be antiqued." That's when you make something brand new, look old! I would have never thought of this. I always tried to keep old things looking new! Anyway, it doesn't matter what I think. Before I knew it I was rubbing sandpaper on my brand new paint job, then came the stain and then a couple of coats of varnish. I think she wanted me to put on three coats but had mercy.
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