Our entryway before and after is crazy like a Miley Cyrus makeover. For nine years, we lived with an entryway that had a tiny closet and enough space for maybe three people to stand. Now, we have so much storage I want to sing.
What our entryway looked like before – with the antique-store bench that I recovered
My dad, keeper of fatherly advice and knowledge, who is also basically a human GPS system, logistically explained the necessity of split levels and how they make the most efficient use of square footage. Being someone who has lived in a split level for nine years, I abhor the fact that you walk in and immediately have to move up or down. It’s the opposite of welcoming. It is also nearly impossible to keep the entry clean and orderly, due to the simple fact there is usually not enough accessible storage.
Old barnwood Ross turned into a bench
Because my husband is awesome and he has dozens of dollars and that’s right, he decided to diy a barn wood bench where we previously had a small iron(read: tippy) bench. I was always afraid to put any sort of storage in the entry due to the already minimal space, thinking it would just make it look smaller, but the risk of shrinking the space was worth the reward of storage that goes on – and on – and on!
What the barnwood looked like before refinishing and after refinishing
The small antique bench in the entry was worthless. I bought it at an antique store in Winona Minnesota and reupholstered it, because it has amazing crackled paint (allelujah patina) and a great shape, but because of the age it was always a little rickety. In fact, it never felt stable enough to be roughed up by kids, winter boots and large adults. Because it was reupholstered with a beautiful ivory fabric, I never wanted anyone to leave dirty gloves, hats or coats laying on it. In other words, it was completely impractical and we usually just sat on the stairs to put on our shoes so the bench wouldn’t get dirty. There may have even been a period of time when I placed a dish towel over the fabric to protect it. #yeahso
Cleaning up the hinges for the bench
Because we don’t have a ton of room in our entry for a built-in, I knew that we needed a bench where we could tuck away a lot of snow gear. #minnesnowta Small closet + Minnesota winters = coats all around the house.
Finished top of the bench
Here is the cost and materials breakdown of this project:
- My husband bought a planer on an equipment and furniture auction site called K-Bid. So it really depends on if you buy new, already have a planer, or borrow one. Don’t ever speak about K-Bid to a man, because it is addicting, as evidenced by my brother, who bought almost all of his furniture for his house off K-Bid.
- Reclaimed wood – Free! Ross was lucky enough to have an old barn in the family and salvaged wood off of this ruined structure.
- Polyurethane – Ross bought Cabot brand polyurethane (one of the least expensive brands) for about $20 but he said quality did not matter too much here.
- A good brush is important for clean lines – my husband recommends Purdy brand brushes.
- Ross already has almost every piece of equipment known to man, but for this project specifically he used his Ryobi table saw, Craftsman miter saw, Ryobi router with a flush trim bit, Bostitch air compressor, Bostitch finish nailer and brad nailer, and Skil jigsaw.
Attaching the top to the base of the bench
The finished bench in our entryway
Now…I’m still thinking about what to do the antique bench that we pulled from the entryway. I’m thinking it might look nice (and not take up too much room) at the foot of our bed. Do a lot of people actually have benches at the kitchen table or is that just what I see in fake Pinterest land? I’m wondering if that would get uncomfortable. It would probably be too messy to have kids at the table on top of upholstery anyway. For now, the old bench is just sitting in our downstairs living room, but if nothing else I’ll use it at the rental. It could work to the left of the front door, in the actual living room area, or maybe on the kitchen wall by the chimney.