Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Fantastic and Free: December - Using our Front Door

I know that its technically January first, but I was actually going to write this yesterday, but then life happened, I got busy, and by the time I actually sat down for a moment and thought, "Hey, wasn't I going to blog?"it was three'o'clock in the morning, and December was over (and with it 2012! Happy New Year, everyone!). So, I'm posting this a day late, but I am posting it, so here's to the spirit (and not the letter) of the law. If anyone is new to my fantastic and free projects, it began as a way to help me satisfy my urge to improve the house when Derek and I first moved in, and when we couldn't afford to buy anything to use to improve the house. Every day for two whole weeks, I did something, whether it was crafty or practical, completely for free using things we already had, or things that I could get for free. If you'd like, you can read the first post here. After the two weeks were done, I decided that I would continue to write a "free" post at least once a month. That's not to say that I don't do other free projects around the house, because believe me, I definitely do, just some of them end up labled. Because that's always fun. 

When Derek and I were looking for a place to live, and were discussing buying a house, I declared that wherever we lived, I wanted to use our front door! Derek, being the loving and wonderful hubby that he is, agreed to my silly nonsense, and so, for the past three months, we've used our front door - and had to inform countless people that yes, we want people to come in the front door, and no, we're not crazy... or at least... only a little bit? But there was an issue with my plan: the house layout really didn't leave us with many options for coat and shoe storage in our declared entrance. It being an older house, and us living in a place where most people use their side or back doors as the main entrance, the only "coat closet" we had was the closet in the office (on the other end of the house) and the best place for our shoes ended up being in our bedroom closet. Now, honestly, I had a lot less of an issue with the placement of our shoes and coats... but Derek was lazy unhappy. And so, in these past couple weeks, I finally devised a system that pleases both of us. 

It started after we got our brand new bed from Ikea and I decided that I really didn't like having our laundry hampers sitting on the floor next to the bed. To me, it would seem much more sensible to have them in the bottom of the closet, but in order to do that, our shoe rack would need to be moved. Enter solution number one: putting the shoe rack near the front door beside the couch. Now, it was hardly my favourite solution ever, but it worked, and it made it a lot easier to put away our shoes when we come home. 

After I'd moved the shoe rack, I realized that the colour of the wood was actually quite similar to the wood colour of the coat rack that had come with the house (it was hanging near the back door). And I thought to myself, well, why don't I just move that coat rack to behind the front door? 

Immediately I set about removing it from the kitchen wall, and moving it to the living room... where it promptly sat on the couch for about a week until I actually got around to putting it up. Good times in the Penner house. 

My system for getting it onto the wall consisted of Frogtape, a pen, and a level. First, I marked a level line on the wall using the pen and the level (I would have used a pencil for the sake of erasing the line, but I couldn't find one, and we're planning on painting the walls eventually anyway). Then I used a piece of Frogtape that was about the same length as the coat hanger, with the spots for the screws pre-marked on it, to indicate where I would be putting the screws. And it's here where things got a bit derailed. I had a really, really hard time of getting the screws in the right place, and even getting the rack to catch onto the screws. 

Time for solution number two. I realized that the actual hooks themselves were only screwed onto the rack, and I realized that I really wouldn't mind getting rid of the rack, which was awkward and bulky anyway, and putting the hooks up by themselves.

So, about an hour a day later, we were left with a wonderful place to hang our coats, and a very neat, and simple, "mudroom". Oh, and in case you're wondering, no the door doesn't get bashed on the hooks. In fact, the coats and purse and other miscellaneous items hanging there block the door before it gets close enough to be smashed.

So there we have it, December's free project, and might I say an appropriate one considering the necessity for coats in Manitoba during the winter! In the end, I actually really like how our "mudroom" turned out. I think it makes the front door seem more like it's used - and supposed to be used. Though, unfortunately, doing said work has made me realize how desperately I want to paint the walls. I have such a wonderful idea for the living room, and I can't wait to both do it, and share it!

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