When my wife and I bought our current home, we immediately had renovations completed by Zeyloyle Construction. We had our contractor leave us space near an entry door so I could build a locker area for my family, three young boys, my wife, and I. Again, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but with Pinterest (I made a board of ideas I liked) and a knowledgable Father-in-law to guide me, I got started. I am still searching for the fabulous site I used as a a guide. They had terrific measurements that I simply adjusted and a few features I altered based on my design.
Step 1: Size it up
You can build small lockers into almost any space. I had this space planned out for some time. Mine will be an L-shape built into an existing wall. I think I’d prefer to build a smaller locker area into the cut out of an old closet. Those look cool. However, my family needed something bigger. So, I planned this space and attached a brace on the wall at 17 1/4″, and screwed it into each stud. My bench seat, a 3/4″ piece of furniture grade plywood, would sit on this brace and bring the entire bench to 18″, a standard seat height.
Step #2: Assemble the bench
Your bench will need supports, and my boys do not want their stuff to touch, so I planned out equal spaces for their shoes. I cut these pieces to height (17 1/4″) and two inches short of the depth of the bench seat. Since the bench seat was also 24″ (a little deeper than necessary), the supports came to 16″. With a little guesswork, I realized I needed to notch the support pieces around the brace on the wall. Planning this would have worked a bit better, but I eventually got each brace, or divider, to fit. The locker area is coming together nicely.
Step #3: Adding another support and coat hooks
Since I wanted a shelf or cubbies above our locker area, I needed another brace on the wall. I wanted the shelf about 48″ off the bench, so I put in another wall brace. I thought a bigger (6″) brace would work best for hooks. My wife thought the 4″ board was best. We bought hooks and checked it out. We wanted the support piece to be less obvious. I was concerned about getting coats onto the hooks, so close to the upper cubbies. Test it out. We decided on the 4″ board, but you will see different designs of lockers in this respect. With the upper brace installed and everything primed, I really liked the look. I almost stopped there. I liked it, and truthfully, I was concerned about adding a weighty upper set of cubbies. This was going to require careful planning.
Step #4: Planning the upper cubbies
You need support. Period. You cannot just screw these into studs and expect the weight to hold. My upper cubbies come 12″ off the wall, and though they would not hold a lot of weight, I knew my kids would pull on them. So, I planned an upper set of cubbies with very minimal dividers connecting the upper cubbies to the bench below. This served two purposes, supporting the weight and dividing the space for my three boys. Brilliant if I say so. The upper cubbies were built in much the same way as the lower ones, with the support pieces set up to match the lower cubbies’ support pieces. Lots of measuring, eyeball tests, and pencil marks all over my walls.
We made the upper cubbies exceptionally tall. The room we built this in is an old garage with a 11 foot ceiling. The upper cubbies could be smaller, but we know as our kids grow, so will the bins in the upper cubbies. I like having room on the very top too. Occasionally I will toss packages from the mail up there. I can see the boys putting their sporting equipment there in the near future.