Last year, my best friend from high school came into town for a visit. We started the day off at the Goodwill store on Dearborn, because you see, Susannah is pretty much the queen of thrifting and fabulously kitschy home decor. My tastes tend towards the minimal, modern, brightly colored and clean — “space station for toddlers” is my usual look — but I’ve always had a keen appreciation of Susannah’s style and so when it came time to deal with A Problem Area in our new place, it was Susannah I wanted with me to shop.
The problem area in question? Our foyer. We own the foyer, stairs, and landing that lead up to our condo and the foyer is just big enough for … something. But not much. But something. It’s an oddly shaped room, with two angled walls. Sadly, it had become the “shit catcher” spot for our house, which created something I hate: the entrance to our home was essentially a closet, and a messy one at that. I like my entrances to feel good — when I come home I want to be like, “YEAH! I LOVE LIVING HERE!” instead of feeling like, “Oh yeah: there’s that pile of crap I’ve been ignoring for three months.”
Susannah and I descended upon the Goodwill with a fervor, and although the furniture selection wasn’t enormous, we managed to find something that would work: the top half of an old hutch, with its cabinet doors made from bullseye amber glass. Susannah took one look at it, saw through the mouse poop inside, and declared, “You could totally drill a hole in the back and stick Christmas tree lights inside. It would look great with the glass.” KAPOW! Excellent idea.
We also found a ridiculous old lamp with a bordello-esque fringed lampshade. The gold coloring would go perfectly with my lenticular Virgin Mary, which had been sitting around waiting for a place to be hung.
Last night, after Susannah had gone back home, I dove into the project. I cleaned stuff out. I drilled. I cleaned up mouse poo. I tried to figure out the mysteries of a poorly-wired house (the outlet in the foyer is controlled by some of the hallway switches — but not all of them. It’s like an electrical story problem). And the end result was a much improved foyer — although I’ve still got work to do. The lights need to be attached to the inside edges of the cabinet, so that the shelves can actually be used. I haven’t figured out where to store some of the crap that was living in the foyer. The light switches are definitely an issue. But hey! The whole project cost me about $40 and an hour’s worth of my time, and now I walk in the front door and think “YEAH! I LOVE LIVING HERE!”