The blog updates are few and far between these days but believe me when I say that the work has not stopped. Whether it's cleaning out the nooks and crannies we skipped during the initial renovation or completely overhauling a new piece of our house, the project list remains as long as ever. Not to mention, being 6 months pregnant (with another little girl!) has brought on a serious urge to nest.
So thanks to a burst of second trimester energy, we tackled a piece of our house that is small in square footage but a huge center of activity: our back entryway/landing zone/mud-room-esque space. It was small, as far as overhauls are concerned, but it packed a punch. What was once a useless (and gross) part of the kitchen cabinetry now serves as a fresh and functional landing zone for keys, coats, diaper bags, and shoes.
When we first discussed our ideas for this space, I had envisioned a bench with shoe storage underneath and hooks above- not unlike lots of the suggestions on Pinterest. But this would have required Aaron and I to completely remove all the existing cabinets and start our built-in from scratch. With our time and our budget stretched thin these days, that just didn't seem plausible. It also meant that the corner sat, unfinished, and continued to be a waste of space. One morning it dawned on me- repurpose the pantry cabinet into a coat closet. And that's exactly what we did.
The upper cabinet on the right with attached microwave space had served as our previous "landing zone" for papers, keys, toys... you name it. But it was too high and the cabinet arrangement didn't make sense. In a house as old as this one, storage space is a premium. Closets are hard to come by and with no mudroom or formal entry, we needed this nook to be as functional as it was stylish. The way our driveway is positioned means that we always enter through the back door- and things get dropped, tossed, and kicked off as soon as we walk in. Originally we were going to incorporate three drawers along the back wall of the counter- for pens and other odds and ends. But it ate up too much of the counter space and didn't make much sense, so it was scrapped. We decided to move the trashcan and replace it with two bins: one for recycling and one for dog food. Aaron built a small platform to better incorporate the bins and make their placement look intentional. The upper cabinet on the left lost its doors and will serve as spot for some decor and open storage. In my head I'll find an awesome tall, round basket that can hold first aid supplies and dog necessities. The hunt is still on.
With the repurposing of the cabinets and using up materials we had on hand from other projects, this whole nook cost us just under $75- and that was mostly for the new mail sorter & bins!
While we've been knocking out the landing zone, we've also been chipping away at the laundry/powder room. The pocket door is finally finished- complete with a proper handle and lock! And I picked up another hanging basket (thanks again, Home Goods!) which has been an excellent spot for storing cleaners, baby bibs, and other laundry tidbits. Eventually there will be two shelves that run the length of the wall behind the washer and dryer. Eventually.
And just incase anyone wanted a reminder of just how terrible this room was when we bought the house... These photos below are of the same view, looking into our now-laundry room, when it was still a yellow and brown full bath. YELLOW AND BROWN. Seriously, could you pick worse colors for a bathroom?
The rest of the kitchen is still pretty dated (note my lovely cream tile with accent flowers) but, with the exception of the countertop, it is both solid and functional. The ultimate goal in the distant way-far-away future is a total kitchen gut and remodel. We're talking 10-15 years into the future. This whole kitchen itself is an addition on the original house- my studio was the location of the kitchen at the time of construction (94 years ago...). But within the next few years we aim to show this space a little love with a low-budget, high-impact facelift. Also, our IKEA island is one of the best purchases we have ever made. Just throwing that out there...
Another day, another project- looking forward to sharing more of our progress as we cross things off our list!
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper