Coming home and putting my backpack, purse, shopping bags, etc. down has been a bit of a challenge in the new house. The entry situation becomes more precarious with a 100-pound dog pushing a toy at me and a 7-pound cat meowing around my legs.
No matter how the day goes, when I get home I want to put my stuff down immediately. Years of apartment living, and now small house living, have denied me a butler and luxurious foyer in which to throw my crap.
There’s no closet near the front door and there’s no light source. In the winter, I’m just fumbling around in the dark, hoping a murderer isn’t going to get the drop on me. On the positive side, the house came with a four-hook coat hanger behind the door. Other than the nasty old brass color, it works for coats and leashes.
What about all the other stuff? I could buy a hall tree from Wayfair, but most of those are at least $250. Plus the walls and floor aren’t straight so it might look weird, even if I could afford it.
Any furniture solution over $100 bucks is out. I could walk five steps over to the coffee table, but then I’d have to move the bags inevitably somewhere else. Putting my stuff on the kitchen table was inconvenient and problematic. First, the door closes slowly, so there’s a chance the pets could slip out unnoticed. Second, I actually eat at my kitchen table so the stuff would have to move again. Third, my cat will sit on my backpack given enough room, and it makes my backpack smell like I’m a crazy cat lady. So the kitchen table was out.
Again the entry is basically the living room. My sofa faces the entryway. So not only does it have to be functional, it needs to be attractive. Maybe I could hire Chris Pratt to hold my backpack and a flashlight.
For a while I just had an the SOLLEFTEÅ (ikea light) that you could step on to turn on. I just left my stuff on the floor. I had the light on a timer so it’d illuminate my creepy house in the winter. Worked okay, but I’d always mess up the timing by leaving the light on or turning it off. I also hated just chucking my stuff on the floor. Not a very sophisticated home look to have your junk on the floor.
Eventually I bought a small table from HomeGoods. But according to my friend, we’ll call her Schmlauren, it looked kind of “grandma.” It was great for putting a little lamp on, but it was too small for anything else. My stuff and things still lived on the floor. Also, the table wasn’t very sturdy. Anytime Cash ran by with a tennis ball or came around from the kitchen, the table and lamp would wobble.
So finally, last week I came to an almost permanent no foyer solution.
Last weekend I was out thrift store shopping for a vanity mirror. During the search I went to a local antique store, Evolution Home, to look around. It’s a great shop filled with wonderful vintage pieces I can’t afford. Anyway, I Instagramed this antique vanity table as a “maybe I’ll get this one day item,” because it was so beautiful and too expensive for my budget.
After that store visit I came back to earth and to the local Goodwill. I found a perfect vanity mirror there for the low price of $14.99.
While I was driving home from the Goodwill My dad called me. He follows me on Instagram and as a surprise, he had called Evolution Home and bought me the table.
…But that left me with this leftover mirror.
I experimented with the mirror placement, including over the tiny grandma table (too big for the table, too small for the wall). It also didn’t work in my bedroom, guestroom, laundry… and well, who has a mirror in a kitchen? Not me, apparently.
So I hung the mirror near the door. It’s hung too low, but hanging stuff on plaster is a jerk pain, so I’ll fix it later. That left me with enough space for something I already had. Another gift from Dad was his old Navy luggage trunk which had been previously been hiding in my closet.
Together the mirror and the trunk have become my new foyer situation. No one tells you when you buy a house; people come to your door, because there’s no apartment lobby to stop them. Now I can see that my hair is crazy or my shirt has spaghetti sauce down the front before I talk to Mormon missionaries and/or door-to-door door salesmen.
The mirror brightens up a particularly dark corner. The trunk serves as a landing strip for my backpack and purse. The little area itself is cute, so it checked the Not-an-eyesore box. Now all it needs an electrical plug and/or a light, but I’ve got a few more months of evening summer light to figure that out.
I’m contemplating painting the mirror white or a shiny fun color, and hanging a shelf below the mirror.
But for now, the trunk + mirror solution is functional, attractive and cheap. 🙂