Do you have that one undone room, that in all the years you’ve occupied your home, you’ve never addressed? It’s the one you pass through everyday, eyes proverbially clinched tight, until you make it to your other more polished and put together spaces? So accustomed to ignoring it, you anxiously hope your guests are doing the same. For me, it’s my entry (unfortunate, on account of first impressions and all). To clarify, I don't mean to insinuate the rest of my house is showroom ready. Far from it. It's just, unlike our bedroom, or the treacherous upstairs storage room where I hoard furniture, people actually see the entry.
It hasn't been completely neglected; in fact, it’s undergone several decor iterations over the years. One of my first blog posts was about the craft-tastic updates I made involving cardboard, tape, and an attempt at a faux Federal-style overhaul of a cheap dorm room mirror. Then I painstakingly cut and strung hundreds of individual strands of yarn to create an unconventional woven wall-hanging-meets-window-covering.
TRIGGER WARNING! Old, overly edited, extremely filtered, and grainy instagram photo below!
As to be expected the taped cardboard did not hold up so well, and after weeks of trying to reattach fallen pieces from the floor, I gave in to practicality and scrapped the whole mess. The woven-ish window covering soon, too, revealed to be an ineffective design on account of it’s inability to allow all but the most resilient rays of light to enter. I still haven’t gotten around to changing it, though, so we just numbly enter and exit through our dim catacomb.
Over the years various furniture and accessories have rotated in, then out, when I find a better more permanent home for them. Last Fall, I even attempted a gallery wall on the narrow strip opposite the stairwell.
It didn't last long, considering it was essentially unnoticeable – like trying to appreciate the intricacies of a castle's high towers when you're standing two feet from it, neck craned.
Also, I'm not sure why I look like a comic book villain during the installation.
But most recently, the entry has remained an untended wasteland, whose only occupant was a sole coat rack piled-high with hats of every whim and fancy, and coats, and more hats.
That was, until a few weeks ago when my friend Cheryl asked if I wanted an old white shell chair. It was in need of some upkeep and love, sure, and I didn’t really have a home for it, but it was FREE! Upon plopping it in the entry, suddenly something finally clicked and I realized it was time to actually follow through and stop with the temp fixes.
This is real-life, people, dirty floors and all, but it won't be forever (well, probably still the dirty floors).
I typically have a concept and at least a rough plan when I start working on transforming a space, but I'm not doing that with the entry. This is an authentic, in real-time, work-with-what-you-got (as much as possible), budget makeover. It won't be a total overhaul – those awful vinyl tiles are staying – but I'd like to prove to myself that even though it's a rental, my bland entry and its abundance of visual assaults can be redeemed.