I could build benches all day every day.

Remember the dresser that we had in our entryway? Well, I moved it into the kitchen. Not because it belongs in the kitchen, but because I’m doing some space planning in there. You know, for like 35 years from now when we update the kitchen.

This is happening…

tub backsplash

…but I like to plan ahead. Way ahead sometimes. The work fairies just don’t keep up with my brain.

Anyway, I have some plans for our kitchen remodel that I was hoping to start this year. But since a)the bathroom is still ongoing, b)we had two very expensive evictions last year (here’s one of many posts if you want to read up), and c)we now have termites at a rent house…it’s not going to happen for awhile.

We ARE going on vacation this year, though. We leave in less than two weeks. Woohooo! (I always prefer to vacation in September since I have some major emotional issues that flare up at the end of summer every year, but we’re piggy backing off of a work conference so you gotta do whatcha gotta do. Poor me. I know. I’ll have to find something else to cheer me up this September.)

But back to my crazy process…

I drew up some plans for cabinetry placement, but the hubs wasn’t convinced that there was room for what I was thinking. Also, to be honest, I wanted to kinda live with the dimensions to make sure before we built a kitchen that we’d hate.

So I put the dresser in the area where I am thinking about a built-in buffet. It’s been a few weeks already and we don’t even notice it there. No one pulls their chair out into it like someone feared. No one complains of a cramped eating area. I’m sold.

But this post isn’t really about the kitchen.

While I had the dresser pulled out of the entryway, I convinced myself that I like it gone from there. Sure, everyone needs more storage in an entryway (in theory). But let’s be honest here, I don’t have a huge entryway. Besides, all but one of those drawers were empty after being there for over a year. I guess our card catalog just a few feet away in the living room is pulling more than its fair share. It’s plenty of storage!

Which meant the dresser was just a surface to gather junk by the front door. That is what I do not need, which led to the fifteen minute shelf. That shelf holds all the things I truly NEED by the front door without allowing enough surface area to pile up clutter. No one needs clutter. Stop the madness, people! Spring is a great time to get that under control. *Talking to myself.*

So, I had the dresser gone and then took down everything that was on the welcome wall. I was on a decluttering rampage. Yes, it was “art” and not technically clutter, but I do this. I like gallery walls in theory and then I take everything down and do something simple. Over and over the process goes.

Here’s a gallery wall in my last living room. (The first pic is of it almost complete. I sent it to friends to tell me if it looked like chaos, because I was already thinking maybe it did. In case it’s difficult to tell what you’re looking at, that’s a leaning mirror on the left and it’s reflecting the kitchen island. The second pic is actually of the lights or something. I just have random home pics from before this blog. They’re not very organized.)

incomplete gallery wall (2) astor living room

I loved it for like two seconds. And then it drove me crazy. Something in my brain wants that homey collected grandma photo wall, but the other part of my brain just wants peace. I’ve finally discovered after all these years that a hallway or stairwell are acceptable spots. Places where you don’t ever spend time.

I’m probably definitely crazy, but I really don’t want the first wall in my house to make my brain feel cluttered. It stresses me out mentally. So down it all came. Don’t worry, everything will be reused in other areas.

The first thing I knew I wanted was a bench. I always love benches in the entry. In past homes where I’ve had actual entryways, I like a bench on one side and a table/console/shelf/dresser on the other side. To me it’s the perfect set up for everything you want/need in an entry.

I also like my kids to gather by the door when we’re about to go somewhere. Everyone knows that they get ready and “get by the door.” Sometimes it has been “get on the step” when we had stairs near an entrance or “back against the door” when we had a smaller entry. But my favorite is always “get on the bench.” In case I’m taking forever and their little legs might get tired of waiting on me if they had to stand. Yeah, that never happens.

So it was a no brainer that I’d replace the dresser with a bench. A custom bench to fit the length of this space exactly, and it would be narrower and lower than the dresser, so the entry would feel bigger.

I kinda roughly followed the same method as this bench, at least for the legs. Well, okay, not really the same at all except that I used legs that came from a chair.

The bench top is this piece from Lowe’s.

bench top

I bulked it up by gluing a 1×2 to the edges. Similar to what they do for countertops.

beef up edges

I put some pieces underneath for support.

bench supports

And then I attached the pre-made legs that I cut off of a chair.

add legs

I mean really. How easy is that?! Then I filled the cracks and nail holes and sanded the entire thing.

sand edges

I unified the legs and top with some stain and it was finished.

stain stained bench

It’s a perfect spot for the boys to plop down and get their shoes on while they wait for me to finish a blog post comb my hair so we can run out the door.

entry bench

I know I don’t have any exciting pics in this post (do I ever?), but I’ll save the wall for another time. Because I’m finished giving spelling tests and don’t feel like sitting here any longer. It’s Friday!!