I’ve never heard anyone complain about having too much storage in a house, and one place I try to provide plenty of storage in both remodeling and new-home projects is in the transitional space between the garage or entry door and the main house. I’ve heard these rooms referred to as mudrooms or launching pads. The cabinets I build for these spaces have cubbies where people can hang up their jackets, take off their shoes, and drop their things before entering the house.

Upper section pieces. Construction begins with rabbeting the vertical pieces for the upper cabinet, using a router.
Upper section pieces. Construction begins with rabbeting the vertical pieces for the upper cabinet, using a router.
A jig positions holes along the edges for adjustable shelf brackets.
A jig positions holes along the edges for adjustable shelf brackets.
The author drills pocket holes along the front edge of the vertical components for attaching the face frame.
The author drills pocket holes along the front edge of the vertical components for attaching the face frame.
Build the upper section. Working in a large, flat area, the author drives pocket screws to assemble the face frame for the upper section.
Build the upper section. Working in a large, flat area, the author drives pocket screws to assemble the face frame for the upper section.

In every bank of cubby cabinets I build, I try to include a partitioned space for each member of the family, with a place to sit for putting on shoes, a place to store shoes, hooks to hang coats and backpacks on, and at least one shelf or cubby to store things that don’t hang. When asked, I’ve also included drawers and upper storage cabinets with doors in mudroom projects.

For the mudroom shown here, I built a fairly basic cabinet, with enough room for three cubbies, each 28 inches wide (I never make cubbies less than 24 inches wide). Because the room had 9-foot ceilings, I could make the cabinet 7 1/2 feet tall; for 8-foot ceilings, I keep the height of the cabinets to 7 feet or less.

He screws the box together, fitting the top pieces into the rabbets he cut into the top edges of the verticals.
He screws the box together, fitting the top pieces into the rabbets he cut into the top edges of the verticals.
Then, at the top of each section, he glues and screws one-by cleats for attaching the unit to the wall. The cleats also add stiffness to
the assembly.
Then, at the top of each section, he glues and screws one-by cleats for attaching the unit to the wall. The cleats also add stiffness to the assembly.
A second set of cleats act as spreaders and blocking to catch the bottom edge of the plywood back. To account  for the plywood, the two inboard verticals were cut 3/8 inch narrower than the outboard ones and the outboard verticals received  3/8-inch-deep rabbets along the inside edges. The extra depth gives the plywood back plenty of room.
A second set of cleats act as spreaders and blocking to catch the bottom edge of the plywood back. To account for the plywood, the two inboard verticals were cut 3/8 inch narrower than the outboard ones and the outboard verticals received 3/8-inch-deep rabbets along the inside edges. The extra depth gives the plywood back plenty of room.
The back. Because the  upper cabinet is more than  4 feet tall, the back consists  of two pieces. The author  glues and nails the 1/4-inch  plywood back to the cleats  and to the verticals.
The back. Because the upper cabinet is more than 4 feet tall, the back consists of two pieces. The author glues and nails the 1/4-inch plywood back to the cleats and to the verticals.

I usually build the cabinet in two parts: a base section and an upper section that sits on top of the base. (The whole cabinet for this project would not have fit through the door in one piece). I make the base cabinet much like a window seat—usually 18 to 20 inches tall for a comfortable seat height, and 16 to 24 inches deep, as space allows. When I include drawers, I try to make the base cabinet 24 inches deep. I made this base cabinet 20 inches deep, and the upper section 12 inches deep.

Next  is the bottom of the upper  section. It’s also the seat for  the cubbies, so it’s wider. The  author glues and screws it  to the verticals.
Next is the bottom of the upper section. It’s also the seat for the cubbies, so it’s wider. The author glues and screws it to the verticals.
The last  piece of the upper section to  go on is the face frame,  which attaches with pocket  screws, drilled earlier. The  upper section can now be  moved so the base cabinet  can be built.
The last piece of the upper section to go on is the face frame, which attaches with pocket screws, drilled earlier. The upper section can now be moved so the base cabinet can be built.
The base section assembles  much like the upper section  except that it is shorter and  deeper. The author attaches  the bottom shelf 4 inches  from the bottom of the box  to create a kick space.
The base section assembles much like the upper section except that it is shorter and deeper. The author attaches the bottom shelf 4 inches from the bottom of the box to create a kick space.
A spreader cleat along the  top of the cabinet provides  attachment for the plywood  back, as well as support for  the upper section when it  is installed. The face frame  attaches to the box with glue  and pocket screws, and  the plywood back completes  the assembly
A spreader cleat along the top of the cabinet provides attachment for the plywood back, as well as support for the upper section when it is installed. The face frame attaches to the box with glue and pocket screws, and the plywood back completes the assembly

Because I build the cabinets from scratch, I can match them to the decor of the house or give them a unique design. This particular cabinet was paint-grade, so I made the face frames out of poplar and the boxes out of 3/4-inch birch plywood. The backs of the cabinets were 1/4-inch plywood, but I’ve often used paneling instead to dress things up.

Combined unit. The base section is set in place first, then the upper section sits on top. Screws driven through the upper cleat  and into the wall framing secure the upper cabinet in place.
Combined unit. The base section is set in place first, then the upper section sits on top. Screws driven through the upper cleat and into the wall framing secure the upper cabinet in place.
The base also screws to the wall, and then pocket screws join the two sections together.
The base also screws to the wall, and then pocket screws join the two sections together.
A large back-band molding with a rabbeted edge fits around the edge of the seat; a bullnose softens the edge.
A large back-band molding with a rabbeted edge fits around the edge of the seat; a bullnose softens the edge.
The author uses a cove-and-bead bit to make a two-step trim detail on the top of the upper cabinet. Short pieces of molding finish the back edge of the seat, and the cabinets are ready to be sanded and painted.
The author uses a cove-and-bead bit to make a two-step trim detail on the top of the upper cabinet. Short pieces of molding finish the back edge of the seat, and the cabinets are ready to be sanded and painted.

These cabinets usually get a lot of use, so I assemble them using glue and pocket-hole joinery to make them strong and durable. I rabbet the boxes together for alignment and to help conceal the joints, and I also use pocket screws to attach the face frames.