Our DIY Entryway Bench

We built a bench in our entryway and it feels so good. Hehe, I just sort of jumped right in without any pleasantries or warning. I’m a tad excited about this project, can you tell? Behold, our refreshed entryway:

It feels like a whole new space. Ah, the power of diy.

As you can see, we weren’t using this space in a functional way. Besides not being functional, it was so boring. Major snooze factor. There wasn’t any storage, no hooks for coats, and no mirror to check your hair when you leave. Doesn’t everyone do that? I knew it needed all these components, but I wasn’t sure how to implement them.


So a couple weeks ago, I was on instagram one evening and came across this image from a favorite blogger of mine. Gorgeous, no? That floating, simple bench would be perfect for my blah entryway! This is why I love a good diy blog – so much good content to be shared for others to use.  She had a link to her blog with a genius set of instructions. I showed them to Nate and he thought we could handle the bench portion of the project – no problem.

We followed the instructions she provided without any problems. Her instructions were thorough and easy to follow. So, because I documented our steps and took photos along the way, I will include our step by step process. This is a great project that could be modified to fit a number of different spaces and homes.

First, we picked up some project boards and had them cut to size right at Lowe’s. We also grabbed some stain, poly, a couple 2×4’s, and two brackets. For staining the boards, I followed the instructions from brepurposed.com and she swears that the perfect stain recipe is two coats of special walnut with one coat of golden oak in between. I don’t have very much experience with staining, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I stained the boards outside with a lint-free rag and let them dry overnight. After they were dry, I applied a couple coats of poly.

To decide how high we wanted the bench to be, we measured our dining table bench from West Elm. It seemed to be a good height and even moved it over in the entryway space to have a visual aid to help.

Next up, attaching the 2×4’s to studs in the wall for the framing of the bench.

Then we attached a piece of the project board to the top of the framing.

To make sure that the bench was sturdy and extra strong, our next step was adding two 2×4’s across the top of the project board.

Finally, the top went on and we attached the brackets that the front piece would be screwed into.

We screwed in the last piece from the back so there aren’t any visible screws from the front. After this step, we got the nail gun out and used finishing nails to secure the piece all the way across. After that, done!

To make the bench even more of a work horse for us, I added three baskets underneath, one for each kiddo. I have room for a fourth basket but for now, I left some space for some taller boots. The baskets have been a life saver to corral coats, backpacks and shoes. The hooks were a cheap amazon find and help to finish off the space. I bought a mirror from Target a while back and hung it up above the hooks.

We love how this project turned out. Maybe love isn’t a strong enough word, maybe obsessed is more accurate. Now, we have the itch to get started on some other diy’s around here, so stay tuned!

I’m Baaack!



It’s been a while! Last time I updated the blog, I was busy getting ready for my folks to arrive from Oregon for two weeks. In preparation, I painted and made some easy updates to the guest room. Well, I am happy to report that my parents loved the room and were very comfy in there for the duration of their visit. We had such a wonderful two weeks. The weather was terrible and it rained almost every day they were here. Everyone kept joking that they must have brought the rain with them from Oregon because rain in Texas during the month of August just isn’t a thing.

They have been here a handful of times for visits so we weren’t too worried about doing touristy type stuff around the area but instead focused on projects around the house that Nate needed help to complete. Also, my parents had only seen our new house in pictures so they were anxious to finally see it in person. Because of the bad weather, we mostly hung out together, cooked, (oh, how I miss EVERYTHING my mom makes) completed some projects around the house and watched some good TV (Game of Thrones and The Night Of on HBO) But, it was so nice to spend some time with my mom and dad and we actually got a lot accomplished too!

Also, the kids started school. Grey started kindergarten and Nolan started second grade. I was a little (ahem…a lot) sad to see them go because it feels so early this year. Before Labor Day? What? And don’t even get me started on Grey starting school…how did this happen so fast?? Here is the obligatory first day of school picture. Now let’s move on before I start to weep…again.


But I mentioned projects! It was amazing to have the help of my dad! Nate and I found that it was easier to pull the trigger on some decisions with his help with some things that we previously had been talking to death. Talking with no action to follow. The first couple days they were here, we turned attention toward this eye sore in the middle of our living room.



This beam goes across our entire living room and was covered in popcorn texture when we moved in. When we scraped the ceiling, we scraped the beam and never made a plan for what we would do next. My mom and dad loved our fireplace mantel that we made and thought that wrapping the beam in the same cedar planks we used for the mantel would be the easiest way to dress this baby up and would compliment the existing mantel. Here is a reminder of what the finished fireplace mantel looked like back before we had the ceilings done.

IMG_0512 - Edited

After calling around to a couple lumber yards, we found our lumber in stock and had it delivered right to the house. We had to go though an actual lumber yard because the planks that we needed were over 18 feet long and we knew that we didn’t want any seams where we joined more than one piece together. After they were delivered, it was just a matter of CAREFULLY measuring and ripping the boards to size. After a few nails with the nail gun, we were in cedar love. Just call me Joanna Gaines.



We had some exposed electrical in the middle of the beam that was used to wire a ceiling fan when we moved in but we had taken it down and decided that we didn’t need a ceiling fan in the middle of the room. We have been pretty comfortable in Texas with the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, without the help of any ceiling fans. With all that being said, we turned the breaker off and capped the wiring with plastic connectors and used electrical tape to ensure that everybody stayed where they should be when it went back up in the ceiling.

IMG_0785 - Edited

I love the way it breaks up all that white and gives the room some texture. Also, how cute does the mantel and the beam look together? MFEO. Totally.

While we were on a cedar kick, I have had this live edge chunk of cedar that has been sitting in our garage for two years. It’s twelve feet long that I bought from a guy in Oregon who had his own mill for cutting lumber. Why twelve feet? Well, our sectional is twelve feet long and I thought this live edge would be a perfect table top to live behind the sofa for lamps, remotes and books. But, our sectional floats in the middle in the room here at our new house and so there is no need for a table behind the sofa.

Well, my mom had the brilliant idea to make a floating shelf in our entryway. Previously, I had made a DIY tribal stamp for the walls in the entryway but hadn’t given much thought to what furniture should live in that space. I had a little bench in there but in person, it felt much too small for the space so we decided that a shelf with a mirror would be a much more practical use for the space. We used three brackets from IKEA and my dad secured it to the wall one afternoon while Nate was at work.




I love that we finally got to use this piece after all this time. Now, I am thinking that I just need some cute baskets for underneath and a runner for the floor and I will call this space done…for now.

Also, remember how I said I wanted to change the glass out of our front door because the pattern was feeling a little too traditional for our house?

IMG_0738 - Edited

We tracked down a clear window to replace it with and my dad installed it for me. It’s very simple but it has blinds on the inside so with the little flick of a switch, the blinds come down at night for privacy. To say that I love this upgrade would be an understatement.

IMG_0769 - Edited

IMG_0776 - Edited

So, those are just some of the fun things that have been going on around here for the last two weeks. I am already missing my parents but they are coming back to Austin in November just in time for baby boy to arrive. Wait until you see what we did to the kitchen! It’s a good one.