Sooooooo, if you've been following along with this blog, you know that I've started a few projects, and I don't think I've given you a final reveal on any of them yet. There's the front porch makeover, and the basement bathroom makeover that are still not totally done yet.... You know why? Because this isn't HGTV, it's real life! :) Well, in the midst of those projects, and the kids and work, and the husband, and all the other people and things in my life, I've started a new project (makes sense, right?) So, here, it is!
I'm redoing our entryway. Not because I don't like the way it looks, because that was actually one of my favorite parts of our house, and one that was actually done. And that's saying something because most parts of our house are in progress at all times, like most people's...or at least that's what I tell myself :) The reason I'm redoing it is that even though I love love love it, it is not really functional for our family. Sigh. If you read my post about credenzas, you know that I am storing a lot of stuff in that credenza. Like, a LOT. But, even though there's a ton of storage, and a place to set down mail and every other thing that comes thru the front door, there's nowhere to put coats or to sit and remove shoes/boots. And, in Michigan, most of the year is coat weather. I mean, we have a closet by the front door, but that's a 1950's closet made for a doll house and doll people with their doll coats and shoes. Seriously, where did families put their stuff back then?
This area cleaned up really nice for pictures and company, , on an every day life basis, it was just not working. When people weren't coming over, and I wasn't doing the mad dash to make everything look neat and styled (read: fake), it was a total clusterf of coats all over and shoes and boots and school bags and work bags and purses. See below for what it would look like when I would clean up for company or to take a picture for Instagram (aka fake reality).
In my mind, those beautiful blue chairs on either side of the credenza were totally practical as seating for removing shoes. In reality, I didn't want anyone sitting on those chairs because I had had them reupholstered (which cost a small fortune) and all they were really used for was to throw our work/school bags on, and to throw our coats at. Dumb. Well, I sold those chairs a few months ago becuase what is the point of having chairs that I don't want anyone sitting on? I'm not that fancy, I have kids. So, once those were sold, there was nowhere to put anything, so on the floor they went. Nick and I would almost kill ourselves every few days falling over all of our stuff. So.....the credenza had to go. Wah!!!!!!!!!! I may sound crazy, but I LOVED this thing. Like, I went thru a lot of craziness to get it. I wanted this specific piece for a couple years, and I found it and beat out a bunch of other crazies that wanted it, and after the seller raised the price on it a few times (grrr), it was mine, all mine. Like, if you knew how I felt about this credenza, you would tell us to get a room. TMI? Moving on...so, anyway, I sold it. Hold on a second.....wahhhhhh!!!!. Okay, I'm done. Anyway, so this is the picture I took to sell this thing. More fake reality....all the coats, shoes, bags were sitting behind me as I took this. Ha!
And, once that thing was gone, and I had emptied its contents and found new homes for all that stuff (omg, it was a LOT), this is what our beautiful entryway looked like.....this is real reality.
This is the stuff that sat around that credenza on a daily basis.....OMG. Real life with kids.... I should put this on Instagram....and followers drop to zero!
So, what do we actually need? Seating for shoe removal, a place to hang coats and bags (other than our dollhouse closet), a place to set mail, and we need a place to set a lamp again. That overhead light is fine for looking for stuff, but I need some soft lighting for the evening again. You know, the kind of lighting that should be in dressing rooms when you're shopping. Tall order, right?
Okay, so what's the plan? We wanted built-ins! And by "we", I mean,"me". I had dreams of Pinterest-worthy mudroom built-ins! Cue the angel choir. And my perfect little Pinterest children would hang up their perfect little coat and rainboot sets and a bunch of perfect little throw pillows would complete the scene. I found tons of pictures online for inspiration. Almost none of them set in little 1950s dollhouse ranch houses of course. But then I found this:
Which is exactly the set up of our house! And it's just PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except, then more real reality set in. Cue the record scratch! Screech! Okay, so this is really nice and all, BUT, it's also expensive! Cuz seriously, I'm not DIYing this thing. So, to get a carpenter to come in and build this in is going to cost some money. AND, we're putting two kids thru Catholic school.....and I just looked at tuition prices that will be due soon. Sooooo, this isn't happening.
Plan B. All those things on my list of needs will happen, but I'll be doing it my usual Craigslist way! So, first thing. Seating. We need a bench. I want a bench with a back on it. And, I've been kind of loving Windsor-style benches lately. Like, a lot. Well, I started looking online. This is what I found.
Soooooooo, yeah. Windor benches are really expensive. At least for real wood ones that aren't from a big box store (or big box online store). Okay, so now back to real reality where I'm not a real housewife of Beverly Hills. Time to hit up Craigslist. :)
After a couple weeks of staring at this on Craigslist, I finally bit the bullet and bought it! It was listed for $275, which I didn't really want to pay, so I offered $200, and the seller took it! Woohoo! Below is the bench in the Craigslist posting (this is not in my house).
Normally, I wouldn't want to pay this much, but after lots of research into these kinds of benches, I was okay with this price. Even used Windsor benches are expensive. And this was vintage and solid wood. And, it's way less than built-ins or any of my dream benches. So, that came out of the credenza money and I still have a bunch left over.
Okay, now I have the bench, yippee! Next will be a solution to the coats and shoes all over the floor. That is part 2 of this makeover! Until next time......