With just an old fence board and a little demo & paint, we turned this entryway into a bright and airy space with a built in bench seat! See how we updated this entryway by getting rid of the coat closet and adding a built in bench!
Entryway Makeover – Built in Bench Seat
Last week I shared the first glimpse into the project my dad and I worked on last year. The fireplace before and after is one of my favorites from this house remodel project in Reno, NV!
The cement mortar over the brick made the fireplace makeover so much more contemporary and really tied all of the design elements in this house together.
If you read the fireplace post, you might remember that we added tongue and groove above the mantle. This was a strategic choice because it united the pre-existing tongue and groove in the entryway and hallway.
Take a look below at the “before” below – see the brown tongue and groove? We simply painted it a fresh coat of white and added a nice thick baseboard, it instantly felt more modern!
Prior to this renovation, the entryway felt pretty dark and cramped. While the coat closet was nice, it closed off the space and didn’t allow for guests to drop their coats and bags.
I envisioned opening up this space to make it more welcoming. So we removed the closet and added this built in bench seat! I love built in benches in the entryway, and knew it’d be the perfect opportunity to add one!
Initially, I thought that opening up the entire area (by removing the soffit on the left), but after going into the wall, we realized the fireplace was actually protruding into the soffit area. So we were left with just the closet space.
Still, I think this was a great solution to make the space more functional and allow for guests to have a place to drop bags, hang coats, and remove shoes. The new door is an added bonus that lets in a ton more light!
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My dad and I turned a piece of old fence board into a built in bench seat. We joined two boards together to achieve the depth we wanted, then my dad made brackets to hold the seat up.
This gives the look of a floating wood built in bench, and can support the weight of a person. I admit when I first sat on the bench I was nervous it was going to fall. My dad said, “What? You don’t trust me!?”
Sure enough it held the both of us because we screwed the brackets directly into the studs in the wall. See below to learn how you can make your own built in bench!
How to build a built-in bench?
You’ll need to either make your own, or have brackets made for the bench. These brackets will screw directly into the studs. They look like this:
You can purchase pre-made brackets, but will need a metal drill bit to drill holes into the side of the bracket. This should be done on-site because you’ll need to drill holes exactly where the studs in the wall are.
Once you have your brackets, mark where the studs are and then screw holes into the bracket with a metal drill bit on the marks.
Cut a piece of wood to fit the width and desire depth of the bench, then slide the wood over the brackets. Easy as that!
This method will work for a fairly short bench. I wouldn’t recommend for a long bench without adding some support along the bottom to hold up weight from the center of the bench.
I hope you enjoyed seeing this transformation of the entryway! I can’t wait to share the rest of this remodel project with you!