Since we moved into our apartment about 7 months ago we’ve been trying to make it our own, well as much as you can with a rental. We’ve added some little touches in almost all the rooms but one area that had been completely untouched was our entryway. These are some pictures from the day we moved in:
Here is a better view of the space. And it has practically remained unchanged since I took this picture. Well I finally decided that since this is the first thing that greets people when they walk into our house it was time to liven it up and make it more welcoming.
First I had to decide what I wanted and the look that I was going for. I knew I wanted some sort of bench and I went on the hunt. I found this bench on L.L. Bean and I really loved the piece in ivory. But the price tag….$299! Yikes, I’m not a fan of that. We can do better.
A few days later my husband came home with the back of his truck full of some throw-away pieces. The top of one table, a top of another table with a set of legs detached, and some random two by fours. They were headed for the trash so Sam scooped them up and this pile was soon to be our new entryway bench.
This isn’t going to be much of a tutorial since the tutorial would consist of “see what you can find for free and then make something out of it.” but I will show you a step by step of our process. Mostly Sam’s process because he’s the one with the power tools.
He began by cutting down the rectangular table top to be the size we needed for the top of our bench. He then removed the frame from the bottom of the round table. Because the bench is longer and skinnier, he had to cut and tweak the frame a little bit to get it to fit, and then he screwed it onto the new bench top.
Then the top got a nice rounded edge to finish it off.
The only piece of wood we bought for this project was a piece of plywood for $20. We ended up only using half of the plywood and I’ve already got projects in mind for the rest of it. Sam cut the plywood to fit in the sides, bottom, back, and middle shelves.
While we are talking about paint colors now might be a good time to mention the look I’m going for in our entryway. I want it to be very subtle nautical. I LOVE the nautical look but I don’t want it to be huge in your face, over the top cheesy. I’m looking for a much more simple, modern approach to the style.
So paint. We brought the bench inside and set up a drop cloth to cover the wood floors. And then began painting. This is the bench after the first coat of white.
We put two coats of white (and three on the top) and let it completely dry over night. Once the paint was dry we began marking out stripes on the top. I decided I wanted wide gray stripes with the white stripes in between to be a little bit smaller. They gray stripes are 3″ wide and the white 2″. The Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape worked great by the way.
The lighting in this picture is really off so the color of the paint looks kind of funny but the gray only needed one coat to create the stripes. We let the paint dry just a little before removing the tape.
This basket from HomeGoods fits just right in the little cubby and will be a great place to store gloves and scarves during the winter. The colors and texture, and the cute little knobs fit in with my subtle nautical theme.
I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. For a pile of scrap wood, $20 worth of plywood, and $15 in paint I’d say we came up pretty nice. Especially considering the $264 we saved by building it ourselves!