Closet into mudroom: Upcycled Cinderblock Bench

We have lived in this house for almost 4 years now, and over these past years have been getting to know what we want where. We rent, though, so are limited in the radical changes we can make (or want to make). Paint, a little wood, and some removable installations are where it is at, for us.


This is how the closet started out. It was gross…and the first thing you see when you open the door!


For a while, it looked like this. I was babysitting children during the week, so it had to be simple and accessible for them. But I have always dreamed of having a mud room. Seriously. It is the little things.

So I took everything out, and revamped it over this past weekend.


I gutted the whole thing, patched up all the holes, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and started again. This time, I painted the trim white, along with the top shelf. Then we all built the bench. I say “we all” because the girls painted the cinder blocks, Jim cut the wood planks and installed them, and I painted the planks and made the cushion and pillow. It was a family effort, and I really love it.

On the left side, there are two more hooks for our library bags, and a basket for our umbrellas. We only have three bins underneath for shoes, but have been making it work (even though there are four of us).

I wasn’t sure how I would like the cinder blocks. I really didn’t want it to feel like a college dorm room, but I didn’t want to build anything that we couldn’t easily take apart, either. Since they are painted, and mostly covered, I think they look good! I actually love walking into our home and seeing it.

How about you?

What is the first thing you see when you walk into YOUR house?

8 thoughts on “Closet into mudroom: Upcycled Cinderblock Bench

  1. That is awesome!! I love the colors and I don’t think it says college dorm at all. All those coat hooks will be so handy. We have something similar on the wall when you walk in our door. Just some hooks on a board with a shelf on top and a toy box that looks like a bench to sit on and put on shoes.

  2. I see a big stained glass piece I made for a college class project. It is hanging next to the closet which, if I’m lucky, is actually closed. Otherwise, six people’s shoes are spilling out of it.

  3. I had to go back and look for the cinderblocks in the picture when I read that. Painting them gives them a totally different feel. I think you did a great job using simple solutions to totally transform this little nook.

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