My worst decorating habit is letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. I always want to hold out for just the right piece or for the inspiration to strike, rather than make a change that will get me 80% of the way there.
In some ways this is good, because I really do enjoy the process of visioning and hunting. If I took the quick way all of the time I don’t think I would have as much fun with it! However, this tendency also leads me to leave some spaces unfinished for literally years, and us living with layout or storage options that are less than ideal. So I’m trying to fight against this natural instinct now and then, and so far have been pretty happy with my half-assed results!
So in that spirit, here is the quick story of a little change I recently made in our “entryway.” “Entryway” is in quotes, because you enter our house right into the kitchen/dining area so we don’t have an actual hallway or great storage. I constructed a makeshift system by putting down a little rug and calling it shoe storage.
Behold our “entryway.”
Meanwhile, our storage cabinet across the room is piled and crammed with random stuff (that is where we keep pens, tools, lists, bills, etc.) and the dining room table was virtually always piled with mail.
I’ve been looking for the perfect piece to put in the “entry area” right next to the door. I was thinking something like an old child’s desk: small enough to fit in the space, and with a gap underneath where we could still keep shoes. (The Advisory Council a.k.a. Brad doesn’t like the idea of opening some kind of shoe cabinet to put away his shoes…) However, I hadn’t found just the right piece even after a couple years of “keeping my eye out” while at thrift stores or antique fairs.
Meanwhile, I’ve also had this piece for a couple of years.
I got it off of craigslist for about $40. I thought it was adorable (Sage or anyone who has gone thrifting with me will tell you, I have a thing for cabinets) and for a great price. I had a hope that I would find a complementary cabinet with a similar look and dimensions so that we could use them as bedside tables. However, the right thing didn’t materialize, and eventually I went another route to get that project done.
It was basically dead weight, hanging out in my basement-of-hoarder-doom until that flooded, and then sitting around our unfinished three-season room… until now! While it isn’t absolutely perfect, it does work pretty well for the “entryway” in terms of size and storage.
First, I had to spruce it up a bit. I got this inspiration while home alone for the day and it was too heavy to carry on my own, so I rigged up a complicted system in which I could drag it around the house on a fleese blanket. (Don’t tell Brad that I used his blanket for this alternate purpose.)
While it is made of nice wood and is a solid, well-constructed piece, the finish wasn’t in great shape.
I’ve touted this stuff before, and they are still my go-to for fixing up old furniture. It really brings life back to the wood, and is really fun to use. Wiping it on is like erasing knicks and scratches!
I’m really happy to have this piece I love in our main living area now! I think it goes well (if not perfectly in the spot) and looks pretty good.
It is great to have the extra storage, too. While this may not look like the beautiful, organized drawers that you usually see on DIY blogs, trust me when I say it is a big improvement over out old system. It will be great to have these frequently-used tools in a spot where they are easy to grab.
This will also be a spot where we can pile mail. Mail piles anywhere aren’t ideal… but they are more ideal here than on the kitchen table! And that is real life. I think I’ll pick out a pretty tray to keep it in so it seems organized.
Maybe it is age (hello, 30) or maybe it is how busy I have been lately, but I’m really embracing these 80% there improvements to give me a space I want to live in and enjoy NOW, rather than later. What do you think? Do you spring to action for the quick fix, or wait for the perfect plan?