Mudroom Locker with a Bench

A mudroom locker with a bench will help corral your family's belongings.

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It's the cornerstone of any mudroom: a bench to sit on while pulling off wet shoes or boots, combined with a locker for each member of the household to hold jackets, umbrellas and other items. You can find a bench-locker combination at many home improvement or furniture stores, or you can have built-ins custom made for your space. If your budget is limited, you can even mimic the look of a mudroom locker-bench combination using existing pieces and adding a few features.

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You can find mudroom lockers that include a bench in many different styles. One popular look is a Craftsman style, with beautifully trimmed wood that is either painted or stained. Also popular are the country and cottage looks, with beadboard paneling in the back painted in white or another favorite color. If your home decor is more contemporary, you can still find or build a mudroom bench-locker combination that will complement your style. If you are recycling an old piece of furniture, a quick change of hooks and door handles can help transform the look of your locker while saving money over buying something new.

If you like to do projects yourself, you can build your own locker-bench combination. You could construct the entire project from scratch or by using repurposed kitchen cabinets, a bench, bookcase and other pieces. If you build it yourself (or have your piece custom-built), you can adjust the size of cubbies above and below the bench to suit your needs. If you prefer, you can leave your bench open under the seat to provide a large storage space for bigger items. Or consider deep cubbies with pull-out shelves to provide easy access to shoes. Consider the things your family members tend to bring in and throw on the floor, and design storage compartments in sizes that will fit those items. Peruse Internet sites, decorating magazines and stores for ideas.

If your budget and/or space don't allow you to purchase or build a locker-bench system, you can emulate the look of this mudroom must-have with a few simple pieces. Scour yard sales and thrift stores for a bench, or repurpose one from another part of your house. Fasten a row of decorative hooks over the bench to provide space for hanging coats, umbrellas, backpacks and other items. Slide wicker or metal baskets under the bench to hold shoes. Attach small cubbies above the hooks to hold gloves and keys.

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