Monday, September 23, 2013

Half Finished House Tour - Entry Befores and Afters

The first floor of our little townhouse has the entry, garage, and a small rec room.  The entry runs parallel to the garage, and as a result is long and skinny and difficult to arrange in a useful and nice looking way.  I think we finally hit on a workable setup, but it took a few false starts to get there.

This is what our entry looked like when we first moved in.

Welcome to our abode.
As reference, Garage is through door on the left; rec room through the open door; coat closet on the right, on the opposite side of the bench.

Drop zone that would never, ever stay tidy.  Also, ew, that light.

Weird empty space.
Well, that wasn't working.  Nobody ever sat on the bench, the hooks never got used, shoes never got put on the shoe shelf.  It was a mess.

So, take 2.  We painted, changed out the terrible brass lights, switched the brass doorknobs to brushed nickel levers, fancied up the electrical covers from white to brushed nickel, and added some different hooks to handle coats and baskets for shoes.  We drilled and installed a peephole into the front door, because it was just too creepy not to have one.  

Spoiler:  It was still a mess.  Better, but still not very functional.  And the paint turned out to be almost-but-not-quite-right.  Not a very welcoming place to come home to.  

Messy shelf, messy hooks.  And nothing says "welcome to my home" like the smell of a basket full of shoes.

Totally useless table and bench.

A great place for putting on shoes, but the paint isn't quite right.

Finally, I think we've hit on a configuration that works.  We toned down the paint with a new color, added the shoe storage we'd been eyeing for a few years, and put hooks in places that actually make sense.  Maybe next year I'll roll my eyes at this plan and try again, but at least I'm happy with it for now.  

I couldn't find a bench I liked that cost less than $250, so I made a really simple wooden bench with my handy dandy drill and a little help from Lowes.  I love that they'll make your wood cuts for you, which saves a step at home.

The vinyl flooring has not held up well over the years, so we plan to replace it eventually, ideally with those tiles that look like hardwoods.  And I want to add crown moulding to fancy the place up a bit, but because of the stairway, this room won't be the first place I try it!  The finish is also not holding up well on the front door handle, so that will need replacing, as well.  I don't love the lights so much anymore, but they don't actively bother me, so they're on a more "if I happen across the absolute perfect replacement" list.  The quarter round trim between the floor and the baseboards needs painting, but I'm saving that work for after the floors are replaced.  And something has to happen with the stairs and bannister, but that's a whole OTHER project.  

Sources for entry (current):
Bench: Custom, wood from Lowe's
Chair, Mirror, Shoe Cabinets, Flower Art: Ikea
Hooks: Anthropologie
Round Key Hook, Roman Shade, Baskets: World Market
Pillows: Storehouse, from Marshalls
Small rugs: Target

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