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How to Build a Corner Bench

Do you have an awkward space near your staircase or entryway that could use some storage? Watch as House One editor and DIY expert Jenn Largesse builds a simple corner bench with storage near her stairs.

We have a wraparound staircase in our entryway that creates an awkward nook where we've had a coat rack for years. But with the kids growing up, they're not quite able to reach the hooks.

I've decided to build a custom bench that follows the angle of the staircase and then install hooks so they can make better use of the space for coats and backpacks.

Steps for Building a Corner Bench

  1. To get started, figure out the angle of the staircase. To do this, I'm using a piece of cardboard, and a miter saw. I knew the angle was about 45 degrees, so I set my saw to 45 and then 46 and then 47 degrees and cut a couple of pieces of cardboard to test them out in the space.
  2. Next, I rip a plywood project panel into strips. Then, I cut the bisected angle on the strips to make the two pieces come together to create the bench's seat.
  3. I use a pocket hole jig to create pocket holes at the seam and then join the two pieces with glue and screws.
  4. It's now time to build the base of the bench. I use a vertical piece of the plywood that is faced with a 1x2. I leave the base open because I'll be sliding baskets underneath. Tip: Having a bench open to the floor makes it easier to wipe the area clean when muddy boots go underneath.
  5. With my plywood legs cut to the depth of my bench, I use a jigsaw to notch out the back of each leg to allow it to sit against the wall without hitting the baseboard.
  6. Using pocket holes, glue, and screws, I attach the three legs to the underside of the bench seat, centering the middle leg on the seam to help support the connection.
  7. I set a 4-inch wide plywood offcut between the legs to further sturdy the legs and mark their length. I cut the pieces to length, drill pocket holes, and installed the supports with glue and screws.
  8. It's now time to face the plywood edges with 1x2 boards. To do this, I first glue and nail a piece to the front of each plywood leg and then to the front edge of the bench seat. Note: After all that work of placing the center leg, it didn't fit the baskets on either side. So, I moved it and used a flat piece of plywood to support the seam.
  9. Now, the kid's baskets for hats and gloves fit in the openings.
  10. The last step is to locate the studs in your wall and install the hooks.
  11. Once the bench is screwed into the wall, our awkward nook has a purpose.

What You Need for This Project

Cut list

  • Bench Seat – 1 @ 12" D x 26" L (miter one end at half the corner angle)
  • Bench Seat – 1 @ 12" D x 37 ½" L (miter one end at half the corner angle and the other to follow the back wall)
  • ¾ plywood supports – 3 @ 4" H x Cut to fit between legs and at angled end of bench
  • Legs – 3 @ 11”D x 18” H
  • 1x2 Trim – 3 @ 18”H
  • 1x2 Trim – 3 @ Cut to fit the front edge of the bench
  • Backer Board for Hooks – 1 @ 4" H x 26" L (Bevel ends at 45-degrees)