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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En El Baño

After the painting is complete (full pics up soon), we will be taking charge of the bathroom on the first floor.  When we first moved in, it was the only bathroom in the house that was completely functional despite it’s lack of visual appeal.  Once our other 2 bathrooms were serviceable, meaning both the showers and both the toilets worked, we finally took it upon ourselves to get down to business (pun intended) in the downstairs baño.  It’s the bathroom people use when we have guests over so I’d like it to be nice. I don’t want my friends and family wondering if they should get a tetanus booster after leaving my house. Right now it’s kind of rough in there.

Baño

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Delicious faux marbling!

In a fit of productivity, my sister went crazy on the wallpaper.  It was a 40 year old, grimy floral print that just needed to go. The reoccuring issue with this house is that no one thought to put primer under the wallpaper.  They just stuck it right on the drywall. The adhesive bonded the wallpaper to the paper front of the drywall so when the wallpaper came down so did the front of the drywall. MAJOR PROBLEM. We had a few choices:

  1. Replace the drywall
  2. Hire someone to skim coat the walls
  3. Attempt refinishing the walls ourselves

We went ahead and have been refinishing the walls ourselves.  Please note this is not something you should try without doing a lot of research before.  I am going to be completely honest and tell you that I was way too impatient not to do this my way.  We picked up some DAP spackle that specifically says not to use it for skim coating. Once again, I’m incredibly independent/foolhardy. My sister spackled and sanded, then covered the walls with bonding primer.  Then she repeated those steps. I’m going to repeat them tonight to finish it off. The walls are definitely improved.  She did a great job of fixing the difference in thickness between the areas where the wallpaper ripped the drywall and the rest of the wall.

The walls are nearly completely smooth.  I think they just need one more once over.

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A particularly rough area

In preparation of having a bathroom I can be proud of, I also painted the gold mirror frame to freshen it up. What color? You shall see.

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Our Bathroom Redo Checklist

  • Paint mirror frame
  • Paint cabinet
  • Buy new hardware
  • Install new faucet
  • Patch walls
  • Paint walls
  • Replace toilet seat
  • Tile floor
  • Create/buy bathroom art

After painting the mirror frame, I also painted the cabinet with some paint we had left over from the basement (Bone Folder by Martha Stewart) and sealed it for wipeability.  The cabinet was a dark brown and it wasn’t working for me. I like bathrooms to be light and fun.  I know you saw the sink. It’s hard to miss. I don’t think it’s in the budget to replace it right now and I’m not sure about using countertop paint on it so it’s staying – for now. I also bought some new hardware for the cabinets.  I could not take the weird distressed brass/gold thing going on in there so brushed nickel it is!  My aunt is going to show me the tiling ropes so hopefully we can pull this bathroom into modern times together.

Do you have any major projects on your agenda? Think I can tackle this?