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Mudroom Refresh (with sources)

I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since our mudroom re-do.

It was by far one of THE most difficult home DIY projects my husband and I took on, but one of the most rewarding; This mudroom still “sparks joy” every time I pass through it.

In fact, many of you have been asking me for more detailed source information on:

  • where I found the shoe bench
  • the two side shelves/cubbies
  • and all the supplies like the storage baskets and the hardware

So without further ado, here are the answers to each of those questions along with photos of some decorating updates I’ve made for the summer.


Shoe Bench Sources

Believe it or not, this customized shoe bench/shelving system was formerly part of our walk-in closet.

This is what this shelf looked like originally.

Do you notice how empty those cubbies were?

And this is what it looked like in our basement entry before we turned it into a built-in.

Our make-shift mudroom bench taken from our walk-in closet.

Much more functional right?

But it wasn’t long before we were faced with another set of problems–worse than those empty cubbies…

Enter rain, snow and mud…

Shoe Shelving System

This is about the time I began my 2 month long quest for THE perfect shoe shelving solution.

I scoured Pinterest and other home decorating blogs for the perfect shoe shelving system, but found nothing.

The only bench I found, was this one from Pottery Barn.

Aubrey Entryway Bench from Pottery Barn

I was so desperate I was willing to pay $400 for this until I finally came to my senses. Could you imagine 3 boys stowing away their huge stinky shoes in those pretty little baskets?


So after agonizing about it for days and days, my husband suggested we make our own.

He said “You design it and I’ll build it”!

And that’s exactly what we did.

Shelves for Shoes

The first thing my husband did was to take out all those flimsy plastic dividers inside and to trim off about 6″ from the side of the shoe bench so that it would clear the light switch.

We left about 10″ of space between the shoe bench and the side wall.

Next, he took parts from the other half of the shoe shelving unit we’d been using in our basement as a TV stand, to use as shelving for our new entryway bench.

After removing all the plastic dividers, we were using the second shoe cubby as a temporary TV bench in our basement.

He cut out four shelves total measuring about 24 1/2″ in width so we could have 2 shelves for each compartment. That gave us three levels about 5″ high.

This was more than enough for all our shoes and then some (see photo below).

He attached each of the 4 shelves with four L brackets, using 2 on each side. Here’s a close up photo of what it looked like afterwards.

Although not the prettiest, these L brackets do their job!

Of course, there were better ways of doing this (like using a Kreig Jig to drill holes like this). But we decided to take the simplest route.

Even though you can probably see the L brackets in these photos, I hardly notice them.

Besides, my boys couldn’t care less even if they were visible as long as they could put their shoes away without too much trouble.

After all, that’s all I wanted too.

Shelves for Boots

What I also wanted, though, was a place to house all my winter boots.

The whole length (width?) of this bench was about 70″ total, so my hubby created two separate shelving areas for my boots (8″ x 8″) and another area next to that for my tall boots (15 1/2″ h).

Those are his surgeon skills put to good use right there!

All this customization took some work but it only cost us about $36: $2 each for the L brackets x 18=$36. Compare that to the pre-made $400 entry bench from Pottery Barn I almost bought!

Bench Height

To allow for 3 separate shelves and yet to make it low enough to sit on, we kept the total height of this bench to about 17 3/4″ and about 11 1/2″ depth.

This ended up working out perfectly to accommodate the two tall shelving units I found at Home Depot.

Side Storage Units

As any home organization maven will tell you, you can’t have a functioning mudroom without some storage baskets and a place to put them in.

Luckily, I found this closet shelving system from Home Depot that measured in at 11.5″ D x 12″ W x 83″ H.

Image from Home Depot

Although the depth and width of this unit fit the dimensions of our existing shoe bench, it was a bit taller than what we’d wanted.

So we cut out about 28″ from the top of each unit to create 55″ tall shelves. This gave us enough room for 4 compartments with each measuring in at 13 3/8″ high.

Notice the small gap at the top of this shelf where we cut 28″ off of one shelf.

Storage Baskets & Hooks

Finding the right shelving units didn’t cost me all that much (about $60 each), but finding cheap baskets proved more difficult.

In the end, I ended up purchasing these hyacinth baskets from The Container Store for around $15 each on sale.

Water hyacinth storage cubes from The Container Store

I found these hooks for about $5 each at Home Depot.

Hooks above our bench area for bags and decorative items.

We just cut and painted a 2×4 to go across the top to attach the hooks to.

I love how they have these rustic/equestrian look to them.

Adding Final Touches

To make this make-shift unit look like a “built-in” we ended up using a lot of trim and molding.

For each of the sides, we used 3/4″ pine quarter round moldings to fill in the gaps.

Then we lined the top with a 12″ x 72″ laminated wood shelf then topped it off with some crown molding.

I also reused our previous bench cushion by cutting and reupholstering it with some leftover IKEA fabric I’d had.

This lantern was a $1 find at a local estate sale, and I found this wreath on clearance at Joann’s for $10.

Personal mementos like these stones we brought back from the beach make this room more endearing.

This is what our mudroom looks now after our recent summer update!

Compare that to the $1,200 inspirational version from Pottery Barn.

Image from Pottery Barn

Not an exact match for sure, but ours is so much more functional for all our needs.

Besides, once done, decorating it becomes a breeze!

This latest decor refresh, for instance, only cost me $7!

The large blue throw pillow I already had around the house, and I just bought the darker blue cushion cover from Pottery Barn on clearance!

This is what I love about a good DIY project! Once you put in the initial effort, time, and money, the project pays you back in dividends for years to come.

So what about you? What home DIY projects have you done that has given back more than what you put in to it? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Wow! This looks amazing! I love how you reused items you already had. I’m sure that saved a ton of money! It looks like you spent thousands on it, though. Great job!

    1. Thanks, Michelle. As you say, we did save a lot of money but it took so much time! Sometimes I just wish I can hire a “professional” to do everything for me… But then again, where’s the fun in that?

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