If you missed part 1 of this makeover, click here.
Okay, so last time we talked about my entryway, we talked about benches, because one of the main problems was that it was not functional, and we needed a place to put our butts while we take off our shoes. Well, that problem was solved (thanks for saving the day again, Craigslist!). Next on the list of issues....where the heck are we supposed to put our coats and shoes? Previously, since our closet is already jam-packed with our millions of coats (why? why? WHY do we have so many?? maybe that needs to be my next project....), we were just throwing them on the floor and wading thru that mess every day. It was soooo fun....I loved digging thru that pile of crap in order to find stuff. And, now that the credenza is gone (sob!), where do we put our lamp? And trust me, this was a big priority because that lamp was one of our main light sources at night. Once we didn't have a place to put it and didn't use it, it was dark in there...like, way depressing. So, temporarily I just set it on the bench and turned it on.
So, (anyone notice that I start everything with "okay" or "so"?) First task, the clusterf of coats and shoes. Shoes, done. Now there's room to put them under the bench. The two boot trays of boots (TWO?! why the heck do we have so many coats and boots?!) are moving to the spot opposite the bench and behind the couch because it's almost spring (WOOHOO!) and those suckers are soooo outta here soon! Next. Coats. Ug. Okay, so here's what we were originally thinking. We really wanted to do a row of hooks, because how convenient is that? And, there are some seriously cool hooks out there (yes, I'm thinking about Anthropologie). But, we have plaster walls, so we didn't want to put a bunch of holes in the wall. So we had cut two pieces of wood the width of the wall spaces on either side of the window. And then we bought a bunch of nice but boring silver hooks from Home Depot because we wanted 4 on each side. And after seeing the price of the Anthropologie hooks I wanted and multiplying that by 8, Nick was like, Ummmmmm, hell no... (note to self: DO NOT let Nick see Anthropologie pricetags ever again). So, we were going to drill the wood into the studs and hang all the hooks from there. Here's a picture of something similar to what we were going to do:
Well....this was all planned and bought before we got the bench. The bench is longer than planned and would block half of all the planned hooks. So, we scrapped that idea. No prob. Plan B, and way easier, was a coat rack. Okay, so I usually hate coat racks because I feel like they're in the way, and for some reason I always feel like they're going to fall over. But, this involves no drilling, no holes in the plaster, no real time and effort, plus, it's not too obtrusive in the summer when the coats are gone. So, I looked online. And, they can be kind of expensive....Lord knows why. So, I visited my good ole' pal, Craig. As in Craigslist. Because I'd rather pay less for someone else's used stuff! Plus, it's a good way to recycle! So, this is what we found for $35:
A vintage wood coat rack. Perfect because it has a bunch of hooks for us at the top, and some smaller hooks for the little maniacs down lower. Sweet! No more coats, tote bags, and purses on the floor! Is it as cute as a row of hooks on the wall? No, of course not, but it's functional. So, now I can cross that off my list. Done.
Next, lighting. So, I love the turquoise lamp we had, but now there was no credenza to set it on. Ug. But, just when I was trying to figure out that dilemma, Emiy Henderson, stylist and designer extraordinaire, posted about floor lamps on her website, and it was like a light went on (pun totally intended)! Duh! A floor lamp! And, I started looking thru the ones listed on her page. They are all really nice because she has great taste, and she was trying to hit most everyone's price point, but the ones in the under $100 range weren't really wowing me. And, seriously, I wasn't going to pay over $100 for a lamp. Especially when I just spent $200 on a bench. BUT, there's one lamp (not on her list) that I found online that I totally fell in love with and thought would be PERFECT for this spot, and I actually entertained buying it (because my brain went into full pricetag denial for about an hour):
Isn't it sooo cool? It's less than 5 feet tall, it would be the perfect height next to the bench! Sigh....drool....But then I woke up and said, "what, are you crazy, woman!?" $250....for a lamp...albeit a SUPER cute lamp....womp womp....no. Sad face. So, I visited my friend Craig again....and found nothing I liked as much as my turquoise lamp. And I only paid $30 for that. Plus, what was I going to do with the turquoise lamp if I got a floor lamp. This is just silly. So, I did the smart thing and just got a little table for it; it's off the floor and the perfect height.
I generally try to go vintage or second hand for furniture, BUT, every once in a while, I like to go to an actual store....like a normal person. I thought about what I wanted. Wood. Cheap. More modern looking because that bench is all rustic and farmhouse looking, and rustic/farmhouse isn't really my style, unless it's mixed up with other styles to be more bohemian/eclectic. There are a lot of vintage styles that I like, even just within mid century modern stuff. One thing that I really like is the light blonde bentwood stuff. I was just reading about one designer in particular the other day (because it was fate for me to think of his stuff and then pick what I picked), the late Alvar Aalto, who was a Finnish architect and designer. His stuff is really beautiful, and there was one piece that I kept in my mind. He designed this very cool 3 legged stool (among a ton of other beautiful stuff):
Well, these stools are nice and sleek and modern, and they stack really nicely. They're also really expensive. BUT (big but here! and I don't mean big butt because mine is disappearing due to lack of exercise - sigh), I know that IKEA makes kind of a knock-off stool. The 4-legged Frosta stool is very very similar, but is only $15! woohoo! Even though it's a stool, it's also the perfect low side table for next to my bench. NICE. And I got 2 because I'm in love with these now.
These little guys solved my lighting problem, and since I got an extra one, solved my where-to-set-mail problem. All for $30. PLUS, it was SUPER fun going to IKEA. I took Meena with me, and she had so much fun playing in the toys section and walking thru all the kids' rooms that are set up. And we stopped in the cafeteria and had a snack! And, she got her very own little sheepskin, which she loves because it's a smaller version of mine, and it's all hers! Seriously, IKEA is a fun place for kids if you let them stop and play with stuff while you're shopping. Mom tip: Shop where there's stuff that kids like looking at.
So, now what? Nothing left to do but put it all together and make it look pretty, right? Well, that will be tomorrow's post. The final before and after pictures, woohoo! And I will definitely do a real-life "after" and a fake-reality picture perfect "after". Finally a project I can say I finished!!!!! (cough, basement bathroom project, cough cough).
But, here's a sneak peak of one side:
See you tomorrow for the final "final" entryway pictures! Until then....