Design a Mudroom Command Center

Get step-by-step instructions for repurposing a potting bench as a hard-working space with savvy storage.

Multipurpose Potting Station

A basic wooden potting bench was transformed into a showstopping command center with bold exterior paint, open and concealed storage solutions, an integrated washing station and clever use of pegboard.

Use Exterior Paint

While console tables and chests can span countless colors, styles and eras, most potting benches are made from pine and sold unfinished. Personalize a standard-issue potting bench quickly and easily with two coats of bold exterior or porch and deck paint. Since exterior paints are made to withstand the elements, they're perfect for high-traffic rooms that often get wet.

Level Your Flooring

If an outdoor area is uneven, it's smart to consider a cement platform. To create one, you'll need to first build a concrete mold from four 2x4s, cut to size and attached together with wood screws. Next mix concrete in a tub or 5-gallon bucket using a drill and concrete-mixing attachment. Pour the concrete into the form, leveling along the top of the 2x4 with a trowel. Allow at least 24 hours to cure before removing the form with a crowbar.

Incorporate an Outside Sink

Since potting benches are open on all four sides, they can be easily turned into washing stations with the addition of sinks and faucets. The first thing to consider is the countertop surface. If the existing top is wood, it's important to properly seal it to avoid rotting from water. When changing out an existing top for something custom, use solid surfaces such as natural or engineered stone or stainless steel. These stand up to water more effectively than wood.

Make Sure the Pipes Work

To equip your command center for running water, you'll first need to install a P-trap. This can negatively or positively affect the look of your command center, depending on what style and finish of P-trap is used. While stainless steel, polished nickel or satin brass add designer flair, they can also cost upwards of $250.

Add a Playful Skirt

Fabric skirts add playfulness to mudroom command centers. If the intended look of the mudroom is bold and energetic, high-contrast prints are excellent choices. To keep a mud room more low-key and tranquil, consider solid-colored textural fabrics.

Attach With Velcro

Save money on your mud room command center project by using Velcro rather than drapery hardware for attaching the fabric skirt. This will make it easy to take the skirt off, wash it and put it back on.

Install a Pegboard Backsplash

Add a pegboard backsplash above your mudroom command center to keep all of your daily essentials within arm’s reach. To attach a pegboard to a wall, you'll need standoffs that allow enough space behind the pegboard for hooks to attach.

Don't Forget About the Dog

Mudroom command centers are ideal for serving double duty as dog-washing stations, depending on the size and depth of the sink chosen. The command center of this Atlanta home is used for washing the family cocker spaniel, Lucy, and includes clear treat jars, baskets for grooming tools, and concealed storage for brushes and shampoo.

Hang a Few Hooks

A mudroom command center is certain to be the last thing a homeowner sees before leaving the house each morning and the first thing seen upon returning each evening. Eliminate the tendency to misplace purses, jackets, hats and keys by using wood screws to install hooks along the sides. Important items will always be easy to find.

Store Potting Necessities

Tired of finding cut stems in your kitchen? Use a mudroom command center for flower arranging. To make floral projects more efficient, stock the command center with vases, vessels and shears.

Hide Your Clutter

One of the quickest ways to make a mudroom disorganized is to use it as a catchall for random objects. Instead, keep clutter in check behind a fabric skirt with woven baskets in classic finishes.