We don't have much closet space on the first floor of our home, so we need a mudroom bench to store coats, boots, hats and gloves.
I began looking for design ideas and taking measurements in late November 2017. I created a basic Sketchup model at that time, and then worked on it through the holidays. I finished the overal structure of the design and finalized the dimensions in mid January. I went to purchase the plywood and secondary wood material january 20th, 2018, and then cutdown the plywood that weekend.
We have a spot at the front of our two-car garage that will serve as the home for our mudroom bench. The previous homeowner had installed a half deck a the front of the garage, with a small workbench and space for storage. The area near the door into our kitchen seemed suitable for a bench, so I designed it to fit there. 'Designed' may be too kind a word, however. i took my inspiration from a photo I found on Houzz. I liked the layout of the shelves and the boot nooks under the bench of this design, so I designed around that layout, and adjusted it based on the available space.
The other design consideration was what to build the bench from. I couldn't make this truly a 'fine furniture' piece, because it will be sitting in our unheated garage, and subject to the knocks and dings of our two young sons and their friends. Still, I wanted it to be sturdy, and at least attractive. So it's built to be like a factory pieces, with screwed construction and plywood for most elements, but it will have solid wood face frames and crown molding. I thought briefly about running over to Peach State Lumber to buy some furniture-grade plywood, but time-constraints prevented that. I bought birch plywood and one sheet of 'SandyPly' from the local Home Depot for most elements, and some pre surfaced poplar for the face frames and top parts. My wife picked out the color she wanted. Originally, she liked all white, but I think we're both rebeling a bit against the current design trends of neutral colors against a bright white background, with dark wood and stainless steel accents. Too sterile feeling these days. She picked a color based on a sample I bought . . . General Finshes' Charleton Blue chalk paint. I'll put a coat of clear varnish or ply on top to provide protection. . . . I'll figure that out at the end.
It ended up taking me nine and half months, which is about par for the course for me. I thought it would take four weeks. But it is in use now and getting well used. It's been one of those lifestyle improving pieces of furniture in that now we finally have a designated place for hats, coats, gloves, shoes, boots, and the kid's school bags and other supplies. It's working great, and the lighting definitely helps inthe corner of the garage just off of our kitchen. The chalk paint worked very well, and I sprayed the whole thing with spray lacquer, and it looks good and it's pretty durable, based on what we've seen so far.