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The Weekender-Inspired Entryway

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. As always, all opinions are my own.

This is what our entryway looks like on most days. Sometimes it’s worse. Occasionally it’s a little neater.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

There are shoes scattered all over the floor, behind the door and down the hall. Toys, too. Backpacks and jackets end up here. And should the weather necessitate, hats, mittens, umbrellas and rain boots get huddled together in a wet pile in the corner.

It’s the first thing we see when we come home.
It’s the first thing people see when they visit.
It’s a mess.

That is, until now…

Enter stage left, Lowe’s new show on YouTube and Apple TV called “The Weekender.” Have you seen it? Monica Mangin of East Coast Creative is the host, and she walks you through a brilliant collection of DIY home improvement projects that are completed over a weekend. What I like most about the show is that the projects don’t require a ton of time or money, but still enhance the style, comfort and function of your home.

Still don’t believe me? Well, let me share my Weekender-inspired project with you.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

Mudroom Bench + Shiplap Wall = LOVE

Welcome to my home! Please feel free to hang your coat and place your shoes in the cabinet so my adorable dog doesn’t run off with them. {Seriously. Don’t let that cute face fool you!}

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

This entry bench and wood plank wall are just the kinds of upgrades that make our builder-grade home more uniquely our own.

Granted, it is nice to have a handy hubby for DIY projects, but this time he was out doing the Navy thing for most of the project. He got me started on the right track, and I had plenty of help and support along the way from my kiddos {Don’t cut off your fingers, Mom!}, my sister {thanks for finding those wall studs!}, and of course, Lowe’s Home Improvement {thank you for partnering with me on this project!}.

So without further ado, please check out the project details below!

MUDROOM BENCH

It all started with this stock kitchen cabinet.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

I am a stickler about removing shoes upon entering the house, so a bench created an ideal location to unload and unlace. The Chief can lace up and remove his heavy combat boots at the door. The kids can sit down to take their shoes on and off, too. There’s no more tracking dirt through the house or throwing shoes around willy nilly. This bench is our landing zone for bags, coats, shoes and miscellaneous things. Organizational happiness!

Like many DIY projects, there is a bit of a story behind this bench. It has a happy ending as you can see from the pictures, but it took a little longer than a weekend to achieve my desired look and feel. To start, we used this tutorial by Lowe’s as a guideline and modified it to fit our own style and function.

Here are some of the changes we made in case you’d like to DIY a similar bench of your own:

Stand-alone vs. Built-in: Because we wouldn’t be bringing the baseboards around to meet, the base pieces are all the same size (1×6).

Beveled vs. Raw wood edges: We cut the base pieces at 45-degree angles so they would meet without raw edges. This step provided a smoother, cleaner finish for staining. The base pieces were glued and nailed together.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

*Note: In the picture above, you’ll see we started building the base with the 1×4 boards per the tutorial. We later decided on a stand-alone bench and so we swapped them out for 1×6 boards instead.

Oak vs. MDF/Pine: My plan was to stain the bench, so we used oak boards for the top and base and covered the cabinet’s sides with 1/4″ oak plywood. By using the same type of wood, we hoped the stain would absorb similarly and provide a seamless finish.

For the sides, we cut pieces a little larger than the cabinet, glued them on and pressed them down with weight. After they were dry, we cut them flush with the cabinet using a router.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

We also cut the top a little longer, giving it a 3/4″ lip on three sides.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

So here’s the final product pre-staining! {And this is where the story takes a turn…}

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

Stain vs. Paint: I chose a dark wood stain thinking it would provide warmth and contrast. It was a gorgeous piece of furniture when it was finished, however it also turned out to be too dark and severe against the white shiplap. DIY disappointment.

In the end, I went even darker on the stain on top, but sanded the rest down to paint white.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

I’d like to add a shelf for additional storage, but it currently does a great job holding the shoes we wear most often. And all I have to do is shut the cabinet doors to hide the clutter!

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

FAUX SHIPLAP WALL

I have jumped on the Fixer Upper shiplap bandwagon and absolutely adore it! It’s fresh and fun with beautifully clean lines. It adds texture and dimension to the entryway without being overpowering. Needless to say, I am extending it to the rest of my entry walls and will happily provide you with a full tutorial {stay tuned!}.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

My shiplap was made with 1/2″ birch/blondewood plywood that the customer service representative at Lowe’s helpfully cut into 6″ boards. I love my power tools, but I was grateful for this service as I’m not a big fan of the table saw. Plus, I was able to fit all the boards and my kiddos into the car with ease.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

Once home, I cut the boards to fit my wall with a miter saw. My little buddy helped to mark the boards for super straight cuts.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

My sister kindly marked the studs, and we installed the boards with 3 1/2″ brads using a pneumatic nailer. It was a breeze! We used two stacked nickels for a 1/8″ spacer and capped the top with a shelf made from a board adhered to the same chair rail that we used to top the board and batten in my daughter’s room. The planks and shelf are painted in Valspar’s Dove White.

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

These black and white striped hooks were a splurge, but I just couldn’t resist. Oh, you pretty little things!

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

The walls are painted with the Valspar equivalent of Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue. Did you know that Lowe’s will match any color? Not just paint samples, but fabrics or flooring, too! I learned that on my latest visit to my neighborhood store. {I also learned I was not the first to request Palladian Blue as it was already in the system.} A quart of paint later and my entry was transformed from drab to fab!

Inspired by Lowe's web series, The Weekender, we built a mudroom bench from a stock cabinet and a faux shiplap wall to upgrade the style, comfort and function of our entryway.

If this entryway project doesn’t get you excited to DIY, then check out all 10 episodes of The Weekender. I promise you’ll be inspired, and Lowe’s can help with all the project details. So what are you getting into this weekend?! — v.

RESOURCES

BENCH
tutorial • unfinished oak cabinet • 3/4″ oak plywood • 1/4″ oak plywood • 1x6x6 red oak board • Titebond wood glue • Minwax Wood Stain in Jacobean • Minwax Polyshades in Classic Black Gloss • Valspar paint in Dove White

FAUX SHIPLAP WALL
1/2″ birch/blondewood • 3.5″ chair rail moulding • b&w wall hooks • Valspar paint in Dove White

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24 Responses to The Weekender-Inspired Entryway

  1. shirley September 8, 2016 at 11:24 PM #

    I love you work and you model. she is so cute.

    • v. September 11, 2016 at 12:33 PM #

      Thank you so much, Shirley!

  2. Joy Reed September 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM #

    Looks good, but I don’t believe the children can reach the hooks, so mom has to do the clutter pick up and hanging. And I KNOW the kids didn’t put their shoes in that cupboard all nice and neat like that. Why not let them throw their own shoes in the cupboard and then shut the door? You’re gonna drive yourself crazy trying to neatly stack everything inside the cupboard. Wasn’t the point for the cabinet to HIDE the pile? Not make you have to organize the shoes INSIDE the cupboard. You’re a control freak!!! Lol. Go sit down and relax for a bit!

    • v. September 8, 2016 at 7:50 PM #

      Thanks, Joy! The little people can climb onto the bench to reach the hooks. The top of the bench is poly’d so it wipes clean. Most often, however, they hand their things to me upon entering the house and I hang while they remove their shoes. It was neatly arranged for the picture, but you’re right in that they throw their shoes into the cabinet willy-nilly. And I just shut the cabinet door! Yes, I’m a bit of a control freak, especially when it comes to cleanliness and clutter, so I’ll go relax by straightening up my cabinet now! ;) Thanks again for reading and sharing your comment with me, Joy!

  3. Susan Thomas August 31, 2016 at 2:16 PM #

    It doesn’t look DIY at all – it looks like a pro did it! It’s good to know Lowe’s offers those extra in-house services. Makes it much easier for those of us who may not have all the tools (or the skills to use said tools!).

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:24 PM #

      Thank you, Susan! The hubby has our garage pretty well stocked, but it was especially nice to have Lowe’s cut the plywood for the shiplap wall. Their machine is far larger and better at cutting straight boards, and they didn’t charge for the cuts. If you go in there with your measurements, they’ll make it happen for you!

  4. Cathy August 31, 2016 at 1:24 PM #

    Love your style of creativity and practicality! The details of your building steps and the finished product are inspiring! I love DIY projects!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:20 PM #

      Thank you, Cat! I figure it’s only realistic to share the snags that come with DIY. If I had bought a bench and didn’t like it, I could just return it to the store. This was fun in a way you don’t get from shopping!

  5. Joyce Wilcox August 31, 2016 at 11:10 AM #

    Loved this story and the way you write about it. Keep posting!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:17 PM #

      Thank you, Joyce, for the encouragement and support! Please keep reading! :)

  6. Cara August 31, 2016 at 8:26 AM #

    Where did you get those hooks ?? I absolutely Love them !!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:16 PM #

      The black and white striped hooks are from Anthropologie. They are my little bit of pretty that makes me happy. We should all have something like that every now and again, right?

  7. Deb August 31, 2016 at 7:13 AM #

    Love it!!!! You’re an inspiration to us DIY people, and you make it look so easy!!! I agree with Lexie, the models melt my heart, give them hugs and kisses from Mimi!!!! Love and miss you guys!!!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:11 PM #

      Thank you, Deb! DIY is so much fun, and I can’t be the only one who has snags along the way! The stain really did come out beautifully, but with the dark floors and white shiplap walls, it was a dark and clunky piece in that small space. If at first you don’t succeed, sand it back down and start again! Big hugs to you from the kiddos and me! :)

  8. cheryl August 31, 2016 at 6:00 AM #

    absolutely super, but it’s the dog I want

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:07 PM #

      Thank you, Cheryl! Yes, our Kona dog is super sweet and can occasionally be bribed to pose for photos with treats!

  9. Sabrina August 30, 2016 at 11:35 PM #

    First you got me excited about learning how to make my light switch covers fancy and now this! this is amazing! Thanks for sharing and motivating!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:05 PM #

      Thank you for following along and getting excited with me, Sabrina! Who would have thought, me with power tools?!

  10. Alison K. August 30, 2016 at 10:51 PM #

    Love the new look of your entryway! You did a wonderful job! Your details on how you did it, make it sound like a simple project anyone can do. I had never heard of “The Weekender.” I will now have to go check out this show. Thanks!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

      Yes, if I can do it then anyone can! The tutorial from Lowe’s website was a good guide for the bench and the rest were simple accents. I think you’ll like The Weekender, Alison. I can’t wait to see what springs from your creative mind!

  11. Lexie August 30, 2016 at 10:05 PM #

    Wow! you guys are amazing with your home projects. Your models are absolutely adorable!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 2:58 PM #

      Thank you, Lexie! We have a lot of fun stamping our design fingerprint on our builder-grade home. Looking forward to having you guys visit one day!

  12. Sarah S. August 30, 2016 at 9:50 PM #

    This looks great!!!! It’s so worth all of your hard work! I was very excited to find out the details of what you’ve been working on!

    • v. August 31, 2016 at 2:55 PM #

      Thank you, Sarah! It was a lot of fun bringing my concept and design into fruition. Thanks for putting up with the morning noise!

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