The front foyer is a part of the house that is often overlooked. You might pass by it a dozen times a day, but most of the time you don't really notice it. That happened to us. After painting the walls and hanging a new light, we updated the closet doors to bi-folds and then left it. What more does an entry need, really? How about a place to sit and put on/take off your shoes?
We had an antique table by the door - just to set down your bag or drop your keys - but, as so often happens, it turned into a place to dump everything. My solution for the dumping problem was to remove the table and hang a smaller shelf - but that still didn't give us or our guests a place to sit down.
We scoured the internet looking for ideas and finally came up with a hybrid of several styles, but it most closely resembles this bench by Ana White.
We used 2 2x8 boards for the seat, cut down to 4-foot lengths, planed to get a nice tight join, and then joined together with pocket screws and 4 metal plates on the underside.
The legs are 3 2x3 boards attached with pocket screws, forming the letter A. If you're making a bench, watch that your bench legs don't stick out farther than the edge of the seat - that's a tripping hazard. We had to monkey around with the angles until the legs were tucked in enough.
The two braces under the seat keep the legs from bending outwards. They are attached to the legs at the cross piece of the "A" and then screwed into the underside of the seat.
I stained the bench in Jacobean by Minwax (shocking, right?) and then gave it two coats of wax and buffed with steel wool. I love how smooth the wood feels after the steel wool treatment. I've tried it many times - on a toybox, nightstands, and a table.
The shelf that we mounted on the wall above the bench is also DIY. We used a 2x10 plank which I sanded smooth - after banging it around a bit with a hammer to give it a worn look. Again with the Jacobean stain, wax, and steel wool. While I liked the idea of a floating shelf, this plank is just too darn heavy. So we found some simple braces at Home Depot that give it enough support without drawing too much attention - we wanted the wood to be the focal point.
The same mirror went back above the shelf. This is the one that I accidentally gave an oil rubbed bronze look. I think I'd like to replace it though - maybe with something in a different shape - there are too many squares and rectangles in that hallway for my liking.
The hardest part was taking pictures of it afterwards. First because that area gets very little light so keeping the photos from looking dreary is a task. And then there was the problem of my furry assistant stealing the ball every time I turned my back. Doesn't she understand the importance of a good shot? J