If your mudroom is small (as is typical for this type of space), you'll want as many of your furnishings as possible to pull double duty. A mudroom storage bench will do just that, by providing storage while also affording the members of your household a place to sit when pulling off muddy boots (or putting them on).
The space underneath the bench is ideal for storing shoes, boots, and even sporting equipment. In its simplest design, a storage bench will have a sort of trunk underneath a seat that is attached to the box with hinges and can be lifted when you need something inside. While this design may work for a small household with only a few items you want to store out of sight, many families—especially those with children—prefer to install cubbies underneath a mudroom bench so that shoes, boots and other things can easily be seen. In addition, you won't have to remove any items that may have been tossed onto the top of the bench, such as a cushion for sitting, which can make storing things inside inconvenient.
You can also choose a storage bench with drawers, or install drawers yourself if you're building your own bench. This design presents the best of both options: easy access to what's stored under the bench, while keeping items hidden from view. For a more budget-minded solution, any sitting bench can be turned into a storage bench by sliding pretty baskets or bins underneath. You could also simply leave the area underneath the bench open and slide a few pairs of often-worn shoes underneath.
When choosing or designing your mudroom storage bench, consider how many cubbies you will need underneath your bench. Do you want a cubby for each family member? Or would a slot for each pair of shoes work better? To make it even easier for family members to reach the shoes they want, install pull-out shelves into your cubbies. This way, multiple pairs of shoes can be stored in any one cubby while still being easy to reach.
For the bench design, the most typical style is a single storage bench that stands alone or is part of a hall tree—either custom-built or purchased pre-built from a home improvement or furniture store. If your mudroom has the space, consider installing an L-shaped storage bench (or slide two storage benches perpendicular to one another) to provide more sitting and storage space.
See also: Mudroom Planning Ideas
The right mudroom furniture and storage system will keep your space tidy.
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