Modern Cottage Mudroom

diy mudroom modern cottage
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This mudroom cabinet system is DIY and I spent less than $150 (back in 2011) on it! Check out the full tutorial, you will be amazed at how easy it is to build yourself!  Free plans with step by step diagrams, shopping and cut lists from

modern cottage mudroom
modern cottage mudroom
modern cottage mudroom
modern cottage mudroom
modern cottage mudroom


Why I Built this Mudroom 

This mudroom really appealed to me because it had a little extra fancy too it, and my blah tiny 6x7 mudroom with cheap peeling linoleum flooring really needed it.  

The mudroom also used all of the available space, from shelving on the tippity-top, to hooks all the way around, to under bench storage for shoes and boots.  Drawers could be added - I thought I'd make that decision after I built the mudroom system.
And finally, our mudroom floor has a cutout in the center for access to the crawlspace, so the bottom part needed to be open.

Perfect Fit

DIY isn't just about saving money - there were quite a few challenges I had to work around - from the tiny size of the space, to doorways and crawlspace access in the floor.
I also decided not to put drawers in because I have no where else to store boots in our house.  Drawers would take some of the height away from the under bench storage areas.  And Lord knows what this Alaska girl would do without a spot for her boots.

Painful Decisions

Perhaps one of my most difficult DIY moments EVER for me was painting this beautiful PureBond Birch Plywood.  It was HARD to do.  I have such a love and appreciation for natural wood, and the birch grain was so beautiful and clear.  Not something I would enjoy painting over.  
But our bland mudroom really needed a pop of color.  We already have wood moulding and trim the space is so tiny, I just felt color was called for.  So I made a truly paintful decision.

You Can DIY This Too!

Looks complicated?  NO WAY!!!  The hardest part about this mudroom (well, aside from painting the PureBond Birch Plywood) was getting it hung in the tiny mudroom.  And you'd have to do that if you bought a mudroom system anyway!
You'll see in this project plan that it's really simple - just a basic shelf on top, a super easy bench on bottom, and some fancy cut dividers making it look really complicated.  
YOU can build this!  Yes, YOU!

Pin For Later! 

Modern Cottage Mudroom

cottage mudroom dimensions
Dimensions are shown above. You can build to suit, just keep the bench supported every 2 to 3 feet at the most.


Shopping List
  • 2 - Full Sheets 3/4" thick hardwood plywood
  • 3 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
  • 4 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - strip small crown moulding, 6 feet long
  • 1 - edge moulding, 6 feet long
  • Hooks
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List


  • 2 - 1x16 @ 72"
  • 4 - 1x16 @ 16"
  • 1 - 1x3 @ 72"
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 72"
  • 4 - 1x2 @ 13 1/2"
  • 1 - Crown Moulding Strip @ 72"
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 23 1/8" (Sides - Optional if need to support shelf from back)
  • 1 - 1x3 @ 22 3/4" (Center - Optional if need to support shelf from back)


  • 1 - 1x16 @ 72"
  • 4 - 1x16 @ 17 1/4"
  • 1 - 1x3 @ 72"
  • 4 - 1x2 @ 15 1/2"
  • 1 - Edge Moulding Strip @ 72"


  • 2 - 1x16 @ 47 7/8"
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 23 7/8" (cut to fit)
  • 1 - 1x3 @ 22 3/4" (cut to fit)
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 14 3/4" (Optional sides for extra hooks)
Cutting Instructions

Have the Home Depot cut your PureBond plywood into 15 1/2" wide strips, 8 feet long. The strips will be easier to transport and cut. These strips will be referred to as 1x16 boards throughout the plan.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Make sure you measure your mudroom carefully and are certain you can move the piece in. Mine was so tight of a fit, we had to remove moulding to get it in place. Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Build the box. This is the basic frame for the upper shelf. It will be fully framed, so nailgun lovers, nail away. I used Kreg Jig pocket holes, but you can also use 2" screws or nails - just adjust for square and use glue.

Step 2

On your shelf, nail the tops and bottom on. One thing I don't like about my shelf is the bottom trim makes pulling baskets straight out impossible - there's a little lip. This could be a good thing for you, I'll let you make the call.

Step 3

Trim exposed shelf dividers as shown above.

Step 4

And tack on some moulding for an added touch of fancy.

Step 5

Step 6

Just the top gets trim. Attach to all dividers for added structure and support.

Step 7

Now trim legs too.

Step 8

Followed by a touch of decorative edge moulding.

Step 9

Carefully draw out pattern as shown above. Cut with a jigsaw and sand rough edge. Make sure your two match. We actually clamped the two together and cut to ensure a perfect match.

Drill pocket holes along the top and bottom edge for assembly.

Step 10

Start assembling from the bottom up, installing bench and then dividers and then finally the top. Attach dividers to bench and shelf through pocket holes.

For a freestanding mudroom, you can add end dividers but you MUST support that top shelf by hanging it to studs in the wall (see next step).

Step 11

Make sure your upper shelf is well supported, screwed to at least two studs in the wall at minimum, on each end. If you used a freestanding design (no side walls) you MUST add blocking as shown above and screw through the blocking.

Attach the hook blocking as well. I used pocket holes to attach, and also nails and glue into the wall.

Step 12

And this is just to add a few more hooks. And a little more fancy.

Step 13

And this is not in the cut list, but with just 1 more 1x3, you could trim out the bench top as I did. Just in case your bench doesn't sit flush to the wall, or for a little extra color.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Mon, 09/12/2011 - 01:00

I absolutely love this! Down the road when we do some reno, I'm keeping this in mind. I already have a pop of color on the walls, because I don't do white walls. Looks great and the color is indeed cheerful! Again, I ask, do you even sleep? Honestly, how do you find the time for this with the Momplex built and all. You are an amazing inspiration!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 01:29

Ana its georgous! And yellow is my favourite colour :)

What tool do you use to cut the small squares out of the big squares? (I know you use a jigsaw to cut the scrolly edge bits but do you use it to cut the straight cuts as well?)


Mon, 09/12/2011 - 05:09

I love it without the drawers, the drawers would have just filled up with little bits of sand and grass and gravel. The yellow is great. My mudroom walls are painted a bright yellow.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 09:04

Hey Anna!!

Love it!! I have to add this one to my growing list of projects!!! Just one question - what do you do to the edge of the plywood when you paint? Do you edge trim then paint or fill with wood putty then sand and paint - or some other technique?? Thanks Ana for all the inspiration to build yourself, and design yourself!!

In reply to by Guest (not verified)

Ana White

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 11:25

Hi, the only edges that are exposed are the scalloped edges - everything else is face framed. We found the edges of the PureBond plywood to be very easy to simply patch up with wood filler where it is needed, then sanded and primed and painted. You could also do edge banding for a stained finish.

Helen Williams (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 10:11

Hi Anna, I adore the color of the built in mudroom. Could you please share with me what color it is? Thanks, Helen Williams

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 10:22

I love this project. Too bad my entry way is too small for it. Thanks for the safe plywood tip. I found a supply near me and I can't wait to check it out. I'm trying to build only with safe materials why not that's one of the benefits of DIY.

Sheela (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 10:42

I agree with Helen - I love the yellow color. What color and brand is it? Thanks, and the mud room looks great!

Virginia (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 11:53

Try big aluminum baking sheet pans as boot trays. You can slide them in and out and they contain all of the mud. Easily hosed off, too!


Mon, 09/12/2011 - 13:42

Actually, I was going to suggest the same thing with one more twist; with pebbles on the tray so that lets your boots dry out, not to mention the extra cuteness it will bring. Saw this idea somewhere that I do not remember.

Shea (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 11:56

That yellow does make me smile. And I have to say your project out did the original inspiration.

lyndyjo@iowate… (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 13:00

Ana -- I love that this is built in with no back so you don't have to spend as much on wood. We have 8 people in our family and a perfect place to build something like this, but it will need to turn a corner and be an L shape. How would you suggest we handle the corner? Put shelves in it cut in an odd shape to fit? Just box it in and have empty space?

I also was thinking, how cool would it be to stencil something with your yellow paint on the white walls inside the lockers?

Amazing work, as usual. You inspire me!

5 tater tots (not verified)

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 11:08

This mudroom makes me smile! We have 7 people in our family and also need to make this In an L-shape. I'm wondering what would look the best, diagonal corner locker or boxed in dead space? Ana and her readers have the best ideas, I would love to hear some.

Beautiful mudroom, can't wait until I have one in my home!

Pam in Colorado (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 16:06

I've never been a lover of yellow until the past couple of years. It is such a cheerful color for sure. Nice job. Glad you stepped out of your comfort zone!!


Mon, 09/12/2011 - 17:53

Perfect! In the process of an entire house renovation from roofline to foundation on a 40k budget...we are doing everything ourselves...everything. Just designing the mudroom and this one is perfect. THANK YOU.

Question for you Anna,

Does the seat feel deep enough and comfortable? The Braden is 24 inches and I like this depth because of space.

Thank you


Tue, 09/13/2011 - 08:05

Oh Ana, I wish I had a mudroom! I would build this immediately! *sigh* I have a long, narrow utility room and that's it. Ugh! Yours turned out adorable! Love the yellow!

Rboyd (not verified)

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 08:35

This is absolutely wonderful!! I'm a big DIY-er and have yet to get into building things...I stick to sewing and crafting lol...but when we have our own house I will be visiting your site again!!! Love the yellow too- so cheery :D Thanks for sharing this awesome project!

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 12:54

our "mudroom" is the laundry room. It's where we come in from the garage, and the boys come in from playing in the grove. I'm thinking that I can close off the front of the benches and make them into laundry bins with a hinged top. That way we can still have a place to put dirty clothes and place to sit and take off our shoes and jackets. Thanks Ana!


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:04

Hi! I cannot wait to get started on this project! I have the perfect place for it in our entry way and its exactly what needs to go there. I am readying over the instructions tho and I have a question I'm hoping you can shed some light on. On the dividing panels, the plans call for 3/4 " pocket holes for assembly on the top and bottom. How are these used? I do not see anywhere in the instruction where it mentions applying these anywhere. I'm a visual person but I don't see what you're suppose to do with these holes! Thanks for the help!


Heather T (not verified)

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 09:06

I found that same built in picture (blue shelves) on pinterest and have been trying to figure out how to build it into our small mudroom. After a few failed "google" attempts I've stumbled across this posting. Perfectly clear and easy to follow. I'll have to send photos once I've convinced my husband to let me do this myself. :)

NAVVAN (not verified)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:39

Hi Ana,

I REALLY want to do this in my mud room- but all your pictures are gone!! I'm a visual learner- can you please fix the pictures? I want to start this project after Christmas!!


Sun, 02/17/2013 - 10:19

I would love to build this for the hallway coming from our garage door but would need to create an L-shape. Has anyone figured out how to convert this plan into an L-shape or does anyone have any idea how I could do this?


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 08:04

I just found this website and love all of the projects lisetd on here. I am an avid DIYer and am no stranger to power tools. I see a couple of projects on here I am going to give a try. Love this one!


Fri, 05/17/2013 - 13:16

Look at that, it's so bright and beautiful. You wouldn't say it's a mudroom, nice color choice. When you live in the country you definitely need a mud room, it would spare you of a lot of cleaning trouble. I am thinking about having one myself.

Kim Wester

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 08:30

Hi Ana -- The PDF version ends before the materials and cutlist section. The print version works fine, so that's what I used, but thought you might want to check on the PDF version. Thank you! I will share pictures if/when we get this done.


Fri, 10/21/2016 - 17:33

Is there a way to print off the divider pattern so I can just trace it onto my wood? It's giving me crazy-brain.