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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Our House Has a Habit

Ok, maybe two habits. One is buying glorious furniture from Goodwill. Seriously, I feel like something is better if someone owned it before me. I feel like they have been searching for me and now we are soulmates. I snagged this cabinet from goodwill for $10! It’s now laundry room storage.

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Let’s not forget my Lamp for $25!

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And our newest addition, the Bar.  It is actually a sewing table and the top flips out to reveal a lower area where a sewing machine would sit. We have some exciting plans for the bar possibly including 2 new paint colors, storage, refrigeration/ice, and pizzazz. The kicker? We nabbed him for the low low price of $7! That’s a pretty sweet deal.

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Stay tuned for his makeover.  Let’s not talk about that fact we felt the need for a bar.

Have you customized/repurposed any of your furniture at home?

It’s a Date!

Here’s another installment of Katie-got-things-accomplished-this-Christmas! I have to admit that I’ve succumbed to the time-suck that is Pinterest. I had to work the days between Christmas and New Years and quite frankly there just wasn’t a lot for this old receptionist to do. So I just browsed Pinterest for a while. Then I saw something I liked and I wanted to pin it…so I joined. 6 boards later and I can’t stop. It doesn’t help that I just got a slow cooker and recipes are rampant on there, but I digress.

I pinned this calendar project.  It jumped out at me because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time looking at paint chips at Home Depot (convenient!).  I decided since the year was ending I would need a new calendar anyway so I got shopping.  I picked up the huge frame at Goodwill for $7 (you can still see the sticker in the upper left corner), hardware for about $4 and used some silver metallic spray paint I had on hand from another project so the total cost for this project for me was $13. 

I took what was already in the frame and just flipped it over.  You could cover it with paper or fabric too to change it up, but I was going for simple so I stuck with plain white.  I cut all my paint chips in half to make them closer to squares and spaced them out in an arrangement that looked pretty even.  I decided to go with a gradient, but my Pinterest mentor did hers with a coordinating color palette. I stuck the squares on with my glue gun and BAM! Calendar.

After having disassembled the frame, I took the wood out to the garage and spray painted it as evenly as possible. I let that cure during the glueing process.

Hanging it was another matter. The art that was originally in the frame hung portrait so all the hardware on it was going against me.  I picked up about $4 worth of hanging hardware from Home Depot (same trip I helped myself to the paint chips). I used painters tape as a template so I knew how far apart to nail the hooks. Pretty simple.

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So far, we all love it. I think it turned out pretty great especially since it was a little haphazardly planned. I like the dry erase aspect of it and it’s size. Hopefully it will help with my forgetfullness.

I Love Lamp

I….I love lamp. I love lamp.

I love this lamp, specifically. 

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I mentioned in this previous post that I had purchased a lamp on a trip to Goodwill.  Can we please all fall in love with this lamp because it’s a lamp of miracles?  It was purchased by its original owner over at Target for the (way out of my) price (range) of $69.99.  Lucky for you, it’s on sale now if you want it. It actually costs more with a different brand name. At Goodwill, I got it for the low LOW price of $24.99.  As soon as I saw it sitting forlornly on the floor, I knew I could save it.

Boxen in the woodsen

When my friend and I returned from our Goodwill trip to her apartment we decided to put it together and check it out….and then we found that in its journey from Target to me it lost its switch. Poor baby lamp. So I made many frustrating calls to Target customer service to get the manufacturer’s number. Mastercraft Lamps were much more helpful. They sent me a new switch pro bono. I popped that sucker on and bam! There was light!

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If you notice in the photo that I have snazzy curtains, you would be correct. When we first moved in we had these aluminum (in color and in material) blinds that hurt my soul to look at. We also had some custom by my boyfriend’s mom lace curtains. They were very well made and weren’t displeasing.  The only problem is that I can’t stand having anything in my house that was there with the previous tenant. He was lackadaisical about cleanliness to put it lightly. So I took down the blinds and the men of the house were unhappy with the glare from the window on the tv. So they hung SHEETS up. Check it.

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I was perturbed.  I went with my man to Target and together we chose some neutralish, textury long curtains. I decided to do 4 because most store-bought curtains aren’t wide enough to meet halfway across those windows and I think with the curtains placed where they are makes the windows look like a wall of windows. Keepin it classy, Chicago. What used to be a sad nook we didn’t know what to do with is now an officey book area with more luxe details. At least in my mind it is.

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