Mud Bench Area
My wife asked for a mud bench area where the kids could keep their coats, backpacks, and shoes. The area needed a bench where we could put our shoes on with cubbies for baskets to hold hats and gloves. A set of hooks on the wall above the bench would complete the setup.
Keeping a nice sized walkway was the biggest design challenge. This bench is between the entry way and the kitchen, and I didn't want to put a big obstical in the way. Playing around with mock-ups, I determined I needed at least 36" between the bench and a support post poised at the otherside.
I clipped the corner off the bench to maximize the width of the bench without cutting into the walkway. That allowed me to pull the width out to 35-1/2" while keeping the depth around 13-1/2" over the majority of the length.
Truth be told, the 13-1/2" is a little less than comfortable for a bench that sits with your back on the wall. However, it works great for putting on your shoes, and every inch of depth added would take away multiple inches in length.
The bench sits on a cabinet with space for two small plywood crates. These boxes were an after-thought inspired by the lack of commercial options. The depth of the bench is too shallow for standard sized boxes and baskets, and so I built these two crates.
Above the bench sits a small shelf with 4 coat hooks. The coat rack design is simple, and it's sized proportionally to the bench. It went together quickly, but was hard to hang thanks to some obsticals inside the wall.
Now that its all installed, the mud bench looks like it has always been there. The kids still hang their coats and bags on the hooks, and the crates keep all the clutter from spreading out across the entry way.
A more detailed build article is available for each part of the area at the links below. These articles cover more about how everything is constructed, and some of the challenges and changes I made as I built the pieces.