Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We-Design-Day: The Foyer Project

With the planning done for our basement renovation, I suppose it's time to move onto the next project waiting in the wings... A couple weeks ago, my husband suggested we look at doing the back entry way next. He wanted to rehang the handrail that fell down two to five years ago (it's been down long enough that neither of us can remember when it came down and we stowed it in the laundry room).

This week, I’ve been exploring the different things to do to our entry way in order to complete the renovation to it as soon as possible. There are a few things I’ve looked at since moving into our home and one of them was this area. It’s a small, tight area that always seems to collect everything (especially dirt) and never has enough storage space for all those things one needs when leaving the house. Our back door houses leashes, dog treats, shoes, coats, winter apparel, toys, bags, summer products (sunscreen, bug spray, bubbles, sidewalk chalk). It truly is a ‘catch all’ for everything and as it stands presently, it isn’t working.

I did do some extensive cleaning and purging a year ago. I incorporated storage bins and recycled some of TroubleMaker’s Lego-like bins. This does work; however, because we have so much stuff, it isn’t easy to access any of it. A bin for hats, dog stuff, our winter gear, TroubleMaker’s winter gear, and helmets is just too cumbersome and problematic, especially when rushing out of the house in a panic.

We have too many coats and shoes – even with seasonal rotation so we need a way to store more in less space.

The plan (in no order):
Remove the bar and install coat hooks
Build a shoe storage rack with a bench on one side with extra shoe cubbies up to beneath shelf
Paint the area, repaint hand rail/balustrades
Install & pain wainscoting along South wall
Replace baseboards
Repair stairs (we have some loose nosings)
Repair & Replace handrails
Install new light fixture
Key storage
Leash storage
Purse storage (I’m always misplacing my purse in the house – I’d like to keep it at the back door)
Replace door
Replace door casings
Repair weather stripping on door
Repair screen and window on storm door
Create studio wall on West wall down stair well
Repair walls
Install door stop

It’s a long list – my husband didn’t want to replace the door but I think we should. To me, it’s like doing half the job but it’s still up in the air as the door is in reasonable condition. The light fixture has been on our ‘to do’ list for years. We seriously dislike all the light fixtures in the house but cost has prevented us from doing them all. I also think this is the kind of thing one must do all at once because if you don’t, you run the risk of not being able to get the companion or coordinating pieces later when your budget allows. I’ve also not found much I like… Or when I do, they don't have fixtures suitable for the several lights we have in close proximity to one another.

I’m a simple person and I like clean lines and not a lot of fuss but I like a lot of light in this area and that’s a big bill to fit for our budget. The area has very high ceilings (16’) so I need a large fixture to adequately fill the space and not have it dwarfed (in scale) to the large area it’s hanging in. What we have now is terrible (80’s brass and plastic danglies) and as a result, it doesn’t get cleaned, repaired or even looked at but now is the time to address it – but with what, is the problem.

The colour scheme will be carried throughout the house and I find this the most daunting of tasks because I have to make the ‘right’ choice, not knowing what’s in store for the adjacent areas. The next project will be enclosing the studio but after that we are looking at the kitchen – which is the first space you see when you come up from the foyer. It has to pull the space together but I have to ‘match’ it to the cupboards and I do not think we’ll be replacing them but refinishing them (a job I swore I’d never, ever do again after refacing the cabinets in our condo).

I love colour but I have reservations about applying it in my own home and always tend to lean towards a very neutral, bland pallet. This is in part to ensure harmony between my husband and I but also because I fear picking the ‘wrong’ colour. Being a designer often has it’s challenges – like being under scrutiny by those who come to your home expecting design perfection.

But I’m tired of the horrible blue we’ve had for seven years. I’m ready for change, I’m ready for different, I’m ready for bold! Come back next week and I’ll reveal the back entrance makeover!

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