I've had my eye on this project for a while now. But, I forced myself to be patient and see if it was functional for the way we use this space.

The waiting period only proved it would be a good idea. So I proceeded:

Here's the breakdown:
Our laundry room is a rectangle shape room directly to the right of the door from the house to the garage. Since we always park in the garage, we hardly use the front door from day to day. The laundry room holds the shoes we wear most often, our washer/dryer, a sink and a closet. We have another coat closet beside the front door, so we typically used the laundry room closet for things like cleaning supplies, Maizy's food & toys, paper towel storage, etc. But, this narrow space can feel very crammed.

Project: Making the laundry room closet an entryway nook.

My idea was to take the closet and create a bench, with storage underneath. The wall would have hooks for jackets, purses or any other random thing we would need it for, and the upper shelf would hold baskets of misc. items. At first I pictured drawers underneath the bench, but that would defeat the purchase of storage of shoes, so we planned to leave that space open for shoes that we use daily.

I'll stop there and tell you that this took MUCH LONGER than I had anticipated. I thought it may be a two day project. But it turned into FIVE trips to Lowe's, six days, and needing the assistance of my dad. I didn't factor in that Lowe's may cut the bead board the wrong dimension, or I would measure wrong, not have the correct screws or use the wrong paint. Sometimes you just need a little help from your friends :)
I'll cover the woulda, coulda, shoulda in a bit...but for now:

This is what the Laundry Room looked like the day of move-in:

I should make a quick note about this floor. It's a lovely wood, but it is getting torn out and some beautiful tile is getting installed. Thus, the laundry room is currently missing base boards and trim. Moving on...

I tore the existing wire shelf out of the closet, patched the extraneous number of nail holes, sanded them down, and painted. If you are a detail person, you may be noticing the lack of baseboard and trim (please see statement above :)  I removed the trim from exterior of the closet, since it honestly just looked bad staying up! The negative result of this is that we cannot put up the new trim until the new flooring is finished being installed (one of many lessons in this "small" project!)
This is after the first coat:

Right about here things starting unraveling and my excitement began to dwindle. This closet also held our security system, which we decided to move into a different location so it wouldn't be visible in the open nook. That left a GAPING hole. So, I ventured back to Lowe's for the 3rd time and purchased bead board to line the closet.
The top board is for the shelf I had designed with the help of some faithful Lowe's employees, who also helped me pick out good, solid wood for the bench seat.

My initial idea was to build the bench on 4 decorative legs, making it look like a real bench. However, using 2x4's supported by the studs, this proved to be a much better idea. The bench would sit nicely on them and the support would not be visible (This will also make it much easier when we re-do the flooring)

(The paint splatters on the wood floor make me cringe, but remember...this floor is a goner!)

We then installed the shelf. Both boards are 9" wide, enough for hooks on the bottom and to hold baskets on the top.

I then painted the bead board the same color ('Beach' by Valspar) as the walls, as well as put another coat on the shelf after caulking the joints. The next day, I installed the hooks:

For the bench, I had visited a lot of custom cushion websites, but I had no desire to spend $200.00 on a custom cushion (I know myself too well to know that I will want to change that fabric intermittently!).
I'm happy to report that I walked out of the JoAnn Fabrics (after an hour of indecisiveness!) spending $20.00. I did a little gleeful skip to celebrate.

But Alas. A few more issues arose when I got home. The batting cut at the store was a little too short length wise.

...and so was the fabric! I fully disclosed to the lady at the store that I had never done this before, gave her the measurements and said I wanted to be able to cover the entire bottom. Welp, you live you learn:

But, I was too excited to see this all come together, I made it work. I simply pulled the fabric as tight as possible and used an industrial stapler (those things are fun!). Psst...I choose RED! It must have to do with this post. 

When I went to put the bench in, it was soo tight. I never thought that the industrial staples would keep it from fitting. They destroyed my new paint job, and I almost cried.

Thankfully, it was nothing a little sanding couldn't fix. In two hours, the touch ups were fully dried and I found myself having a semi-finished, useable entry nook. A bonus is that we are the only ones who know that the fabric does not cover the entire bottom on the bench, it's too low to see! ;)

What To Finish:
- The "cute" stuff, a few throw pillows & maybe a little something for the wall (now it's the fun, easy part!)
- FLOORING...mostly because we can't put in the baseboard or trim until that is finished. Let's face it, the whole project won't be complete with the proper trim and finishing touches. I choose to avert my eyes from those details at this point.

For now, we're loving it. The space feels so open and airy! Kyle was overly impressed with "my" first big project, and I must say I'm happy with how it came together, even if it didn't go as smoothly as I had imagined it.

What I Learned:
- Measure 3 times, just in case.
- Go through the project STEP by STEP FIRST, making sure you have everything you will need (specific tools, correct measurements, the timeline that the steps should be completed, etc)
- Surround yourself with people who are way more experienced than yourself!
- Sometimes, you have to make mistakes to learn
- Don't be afraid to ask questions
- Not just any type of paint will do, different wood requires different paint!
- Make sure what you are purchasing FITS IN YOUR CAR before you purchase it. This will help you avoid embarrassing moments with men at hardware stores.

I'll be happy to share the end result...which I'm *hoping* will be in just a few weeks :)


  1. Looks great Mere!!! Good job doing it yourself :)

  2. I love how you transformed your closet! I probably would have given up at the first hiccup, way to continue on and finish it!

    1. haha Corinne, I wanted to give up - but I also didn't want to be stranded with half-finished space ;)

  3. I am so glad you said you were replacing the wood floors with tile. Wood floors have no business in the laundry room! Your project looks amazing. I love the shelf:-)

    1. I know, we thought the same thing! The floor would be toast if there was a leak.

  4. Great effort on utilizing the space in your house. I’ve been through some similar renovation projects and to be honest, things just come up from nowhere and it took me quite some time to get it done. Careful preparation and planning are essential in this kind of works as we can’t anticipate all the possibilities that could make it much harder to finish the job. I really love how you manage to get through all those things and the result is quite deserving. I think we all learn something from doing projects like this.


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