DIY Mud Bench with Herringbone Wall

We’ve found that innovation often flourishes when seemingly large problems present themselves. This is as true in personal matters as it is with decorating a space. We had quite the conundrum on our hands with the awkward space opposite the entry door from the garage to the laundry room.

DIY Herringbone Mud Bench


While we tried the space as a hidden nook for the garbage can, it definitely wasn’t the right thing, and quite frankly a waste of the space. However, since it was just off the laundry room and directly across from an entry door, we thought it might be convenient to have a place for jackets and shoes. Once we settled on the purpose of the area, we now had the task of deciding the design and approach.

Thanks to Pinterest, it has been amazing we have the ability to search visual ideas to help find solutions to design issues. If you are interested in some of the inspiration that has helped on this project, check out our 15 Marvelous Mudrooms post.

mud bench inspiration

We didn’t have a huge space to work with so we opted for a simple bench with hooks. Our first step was creating a box bench using 15 inch wide 3/4 inch thick wood planks. We braced the outsides and center of the bench with the same wood as was used for the bench. The cubbies would hold baskets in the future for shoes.

diy mud bench

mud room bench

Since there had been molding there, we cut it away where the new bench would sit using a multitool.

cut baseboard with multitool

Having worked on the pallet headboard for the master bedroom project, we had a reference point for what we wanted to accomplish, but we didn’t want to go overboard on the use of pallets in the house, so we decided to shake things up just a little bit by incorporating a herringbone pattern using furring strips from The Home Depot.

Bench tutorial

To make it easier to work, we measured a piece of fiber board (the type of material that a traditional peg board is made out of) and fit it to the wall above the bench. We didn’t tack it up just yet, instead, we laid it out on the floor and used it as the backer template for our herringbone design. Then, with a marker, we drew 3 lines on the board to divide it into fourths in order to keep our herringbone pattern straight.

how to make a herringbone wall

herringbone wall

Using furring strips cut into 16.5 inch lengths, we started laying out the pattern along the center line. The strip length worked for our wall to give us almost 4 full rows of herringbone pattern. Once they were placed, we then used construction adhesive to glue them onto the board. Near the bottom of the board, you may have to use some shorter furring strips, but don’t be too concerned if they don’t match up exactly to the ends of the underlayment, we’ll take care of that later.

herringbone pattern

Once the center row was complete, we moved onto the outside rows. Setting each one to make sure if fit well before gluing them on.

wood herringbone

To avoid having to make a lot of individual cuts, we let the furring strips overhang the sides as well.

easy herringbone wall

Once all the strips were placed and the glue was dried, we took the piece outside (it was a bit heavy at this point, but still manageable).

how to make an easy herringbone wall

Using a table saw, we cut the edges of the furring strips off, so they matched the underlayment board. After this step we had a beautiful squared off herringbone wood piece that fit in perfectly to our mud bench wall.

Herringbone projects

Before putting it up, however, we first gave it a good sanding – a task made much easier by having it on the floor rather than the wall.

sand herringbone wall

Once sanded, a few well-placed finishing nails secured the entire thing to the wall (being sure to attach it to the wall studs).

wood herringbone mud bench

Then we added a shelf above the herringbone and a strip of wood near the top the wall which would hold the hooks.

herringbone mudroom bench

With the wall and bench now in place it was time to apply a stain. We combined our own concocted stain using both a white stain and a charcoal stain we happened to have. But there are many fine gray stains available on the market you could use to achieve a similar look.

stain herringbone wood

We think our finished mud bench turned out marvelous and was well within budget. Including the hooks (Hobby Lobby), baskets (Home Goods), wood (The Home Depot), and construction glue (The Home Depot), the final cost was right around $100.

Homemade Mud Bench Tutorial

Now we have the perfect spot to take off snow clothes, shoes, and jackets.  I’d like to say that it’s always this nice and tidy, but hey after all, it is a mud bench.

Fifteen Marvelous Mud Benches

mudroom mud bench

If your house is anything like ours, there are a few odd spots that can be somewhat problematic and take creativity to design around.  When we moved into our home, we had just such a section of wall opposite the garage door.  Whitney knew that this had the makings of being a great place for a mud bench and set out to find inspiration to guide our efforts.

future mudroom

What resulted was a compilation of favorite mud benches curated from around the web.


1. In the post “The 7 Elements of a Perfect Mudroom” Apartment Therapy highlights some great points on creating your mudroom.  This photo made the list due to the hideaway component of this space – not to mention a fantastic barn door on rollers.

simple mudroom

2. Crate and Barrel brought in color and simplicity with this mudroom set up.  The bench doesn’t have to be directly beneath the hooks to be a functional room with personality.

white mudroom

3. Found on Indulgy, this mudroom doubles as a storage room – perfect for winter coats, jackets, and boots that can be unsightly when hung on racks.

rustic mudbench

4. Go with a rustic touch with this bench.

flea market bench
5. Flea markets and garage sales can hold inspiring mud benches.

solid color mudroom
6. A solid pop of color (Benjamin Moore) on Apartment Therapy, highlights this mudroom with a floor to ceiling mud bench.
white mudroom
7. A clean and bright space can be a crowd-pleaser, unless that crowd is a bunch of muddy yahoos.  This mud bench would be smudged in no time at our house, but if you are able to keep it clean like In the Fun Lane, it would be gorgeous.

herringbone mud room
8. Herringbone floors and ample seating make this the perfect mudroom or entryway.

simple mud room
9. You can always up the personality of a rustic park bench by throwing in some fun artwork.

hidden storage mud bench
10. Hidden storage is always a plus, and this idea is dynamite.  There are no ends to the items I could store in here.

bike mudroom
11. Make the purpose of your mudroom fit your lifestyle.  What a great way to store a bike indoors – or anything else for that matter.
reclaimed wood bench
12. Use a few key pieces to tie a minimalist approach together.  The Stir used reclaimed wood to highlight this fantastic and functional entryway.

mudroom with storage
13. Need more storage and have the space to do it?  This Houzz mudroom features lots of hooks, tons of cabinetry, and custom touches.

mud bench ideas
14. This Old House featured a quaint mudroom that takes advantage of both white and rustic wood pieces.

classic mudbench and mudroom
15. Classic is always in style.

We’ll be taking elements from these mudrooms to redesign our awkward space.  We plan to share with you the final outcome on our next post, the first Sunday in February.  See you then!

Interested in seeing more mudroom inspiration?  Follow Whitney on Pinterest.

Psst – Curious as to how our mud bench turned out?  You can now catch the whole story of our herringbone mud room.

Of Resolutions and Inspiration

So, it’s that time of year when the resolute take lofty aim at those well-intended goals of eating better, accomplishing the near impossible, and overall self-discipline.  Success is found for roughly 30 days until Super Bowl Sunday sneaks up upon us and suddenly we find ourselves faced with a dilemma involving Seven Layer Dip, Doritos, Oreos, peanut M&Ms, and Dad’s tri tip.  The white flag goes up and we’ll give it another go next year.

Welcome to our “next year”.  I’m sure you believed us when we announced we’d be taking the summer off to take care of a growing family and work challenges.  We did too, but somehow that was all the way back in 2012.  Where did the time go?  Life hasn’t gotten any less chaotic, but we’ve found ourselves missing out of the joys of blogging about our projects, so we’ve committed to monthly posts (the first Sunday of the month, at minimum) going forward.

What changes are you likely to see from us?  Well, a few.  For example, we’ll be tackling projects in fewer posts, so you’ll get more goodies in less time.  We’re also likely to use more photos and will be making them more sharable.  We’ll try to cut out posts that focus on the mundane and beef up those that illustrate a particular design concept or project.  We hope you’ll join us on facebook, twitter, or pinterest where we’ll share additional ideas that didn’t make it to the blog.

Thanks for waiting, it’s good to be back.

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