Foyer? I Barely Know ‘er!

Don’t call me Shirley.

I’m pretty sure my inner monologue is written by Michael Scott.  That’s right.  I might be a 24 year old girl on the outside (and I have the cognac brown boots to prove it), but up in this noggin resides a middle aged man whose only desire is to inspire his dreary workforce.  Since I have no workforce, I can only psych myself up.  How do I do that? Is it with rhetorical questions? No, it’s with house updates.  This time I set my sights on our “foyer.”  When you walk in my front door, immediately in front of you is a small tiled area and a coat closet.  End of description.  Aside from the tile, there is nothing that says, “This is the entryway.” I suppose I should call it a faux-yer.  I’m not going to, but I should.

The entryway was never very high on my list of to-dos.  Then I saw this at Goodwill:

Goodwill Bench

This bench retails at Target for $169.99 online.  I found this one at Goodwill for $70, which is normally way above my budget for Goodwill.  However, I saw this bench, loved it, and googled the price.  The box was ripped open and I worried that I would end up with missing hardware or pieces, but it ended up being all there.  So I took it home and assembled it…and it promptly became a dumping ground. This was in early October 2013.  As of December 2013, the foyer looked like this.

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I know that this photo isn’t fantastic, but the point is that my foyer looks organized.  When we come home from work, my sister and I put our purses on the bench and our keys on the key hooks.  The key hooks are empty in this picture because we were literally walking out the door when I snapped this picture.  Can we just take a second to enjoy this bench?  I preferred the symmetrical look of having the doors on either side as opposed to together. The baskets in the middle hold dog toys and winter paraphernalia. The baskets are also from Target, and I had quite a time walking back and forth between the basket aisle and the aisle that had their display bench trying to find baskets that fit nicely into the shelves.

Above the bench is an array of art, photos, organizational tools and whimsy.

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The large frame on the left is a quote I painted in watercolor.  It’s one of my very favorites by Douglas Adams.  “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but I almost always end up where I need to be.”  I originally did this for a Pintertesting post that failed so I did my own take.  It’s floated around our house for a few months, but I think it’s finally found its home.   I have no idea why this picture is so grainy, my phone usually takes pretty clear pictures.
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To the right of my watercolor quote is the rest of the display.  I framed up some fortunes from a night of takeout that seemed meaningful and fun. To the right of the fortunes is a picture of my sister and I in my grandmother’s hammock when we were young.  This Christmas my grandma went through all the photos she had (which is a metric ton) and sorted them into boxes for all her kids and grandkids.  The box my sister and I got was full to the brim with memories and I wanted to make sure a few of them get special spots in our house.  This is the first I’ve broken out of the box.

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Below the fortunes and our sistren pic, is a key hook and a mail organizer.  At our home’s peak, we had 5 people living here and the mail got out of hand. We also had to move a bunch of cars every morning so getting this stuff organized was pretty important. Good thing I accomplished that after our roommates moved. Ha.

Foyer display

So there you have it.  An organized foyer.  I have another project in the pipeline for our coat closet because it puts the ugh in ugly.  Also, I wouldn’t be a Chicagoan if I didn’t mention how fricken ridic our weather has been.  This Polar Vortex can kiss my grass.  Check out these murdercicles we have on the house.  I run out the door (and in the door) every day in fear of one falling and killing me.

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It’s Been Sunk

I will have a longer and more photo heavy update post on the bathroom, but our bathroom is on the last leg of it’s long journey!  The most important part is that the freaking sink and vanity combo is in and it works! If I had to look at one more sink I think I might have thrown a toddler style tantrum in the middle of Home Depot.  I hung art and the mirror that I updated, installed the faucet and painted the walls so it really look like it’s coming together. Not sure about the color right now, but it’s growing on me.

Our updated to do list (66% done):

 

That’s all for today. I started a new project with my mom so await an update on that.

La Cocina Tiene Mi Amor

If you can’t read my years-since-I’ve-taken-a-class Spanish, I’m pretty sure that says the kitchen has my love. With all this bathroom nonsense going on, I think my kitchen feels left out. So while I was at HOBO searching for a nonexistant perfect sink, I grabbed some new knobs that struck my fancy.

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The knob on the left is new and the one on the right was one of the original knobs.  If you look around the knobs, you can see just how worn down these cabinets are.  They aren’t so high on my list of priorities right now.  We still have 3 rooms to make less disgusting and hopefully new floors and windows coming soon.  Eventually, though, we want to paint them.  I can’t refinish them because — surprise, surprise — they aren’t made of wood! Those doors are some kind of plastic wood imposter.  Also, they are oddly thin. We couldn’t use the screws the knobs came with to install them. I had to go to Lowes and grab some packages of screws that were the right length.

As soon as Alex and I had them installed, my sister came in to get something and said, “They are so much easier to grab!” So I guess they get points for being more ergonomically correct.  These were an impulse buy (like so many other purchases are) so we didn’t get drawer pulls.  If I see something I like that is 3 1/2 in and on sale, I could be persuaded to buy it. Until then, we’ll use our old weird pulls.  The good news is these only cost me $17 including tax for 20 cabinet knobs.  That is a steal these days. The extra screws ran me about $4 which brings my little update to $21.  One Andrew Jackson helped stifle the growing impulse to overhaul the kitchen.  I’m sure Alex’s blood pressure is grateful.

The Unsinkable Bathroom Part 2

I posted about the debacle that was going on with the sink pretty recently.  I say debacle because it’s been an aggravating situation with a bunch of people trying to tell me which direction to go in. Keep the sink. Don’t keep the sink. Get a new vanity. Find a different sink. Keep the vanity and forget about ever having a sink. Burn your bathroom to the ground. I was in favor of the latter. I decided to give sink finding a last ditch effort and I went to HOBO and Habitat for Humanity Restore and Home Depot and I looked at Lowes.com. Then, as if in a dream, this vanity/sink combo arose from the ashes of my frustration, took my hand and guided me back to sanity.

It said to me, “Katie, guess what? I don’t have a back splash! I’m modern and a little unique, but still small enough to fit in your powder room. AND they took $60 off me just for this weekend. BUY ME.”  So in an impulsive flick of the debit card, I did.  That night I returned the other vanity to Home Depot all the while apologizing for abandoning it. I sent Alex to pick up the new vanity the next day, but it didn’t fit in his car.  We’ll have to go back tonight.

I’m a bit nervous about the pipes and whether or not they’ll fit in the cabinet.  I don’t know the exact height of the bottom of the cabinet portion of the vanity so I’m going to cross all my fingers and everything else I have to hope that this just ends up working out in my favor. Wish me luck.

The Unsinkable Bathroom

A few months ago, I was perusing the As Is section at my local Ikea and came upon this:

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A clean and modern sink that will fit in my bathroom for $30? Yes please.  It was a bit of an impulse buy, but I loved it. I brought it home and placed it in the garage until it was time to install the vanity.  A few weeks went by and we tiled and tiled and admittedly put the project on pause a few times.  Soon I realized we would need to get a vanity.  I measured the width of the sink and placed an order with Home Depot for this vanity for $128.

Foremost Denman 24 in. Vanity Cabinet Only in Espresso

I wanted patiently for a text from Home Depot to arrive to tell me I could come pick up my new vanity.  As soon as I got it, I got Alex into the Sentra and we excitedly made our way to the store. We picked up the vanity (and some new house keys) and almost couldn’t get it into the car. As soon as we got home, I had to take it out and put the hardware on.  Then I just HAD to put the sink on “for a dry run.” Guess what I didn’t measure?  The depth of the sink. It’s about 3 inches too short. I could have cried. I really thought the bathroom purchases were done.

Today is the day decisions are made. We already tried HOBO for a different sink, but they don’t carry any sinks in that size in white. Because they hate me, I’m sure of it. Tonight we try out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  If we don’t find anything there then I am buying a generic white sink from Home Depot and calling it a day.