We shared a glimpse into a newly decorated space of our home on Instagram ages ago, and I’m finally feeling ready to call this space mostly done and share it today on the blog. I hesitated for so long because although the exterior appeared to be finished, there wasn’t a whole lot going on function-wise inside the actual piece. Let’s just have a look. Our new(ish) entryway!
If we back up a bit, here’s where we’d left off last.
We had added a simple wall treatment and grasscloth wallpaper to help brighten up the space, and we even laid out a few plans as far as what we wanted to see happen in the future of the room – all of which were nixed after having my design breakdown. Whomp, whomp. So the space just sat, while we figured out our home’s new direction and could come up with a cohesive plan. Which I was okay with, since the last thing I wanted to do was come up with a quick fix that I’d tire of months down the road.
And then I had my breakthrough. As I was wasting endless hours sorting through other people’s crap on Craigslist, as I do, I stumbled on this guy.
Had I not just spent weeks gushing over Emily Henderson’s new design for Bri Emery, featuring this very same modular shelving unit? Yes, yes I believe that I had. Of course, $225 is a pretty big chunk of change, especially for something used on Craigslist, so we headed over to just check it out. Aka – me trapping Ricky in this stranger’s basement until he caved under my sales pitch. Well, luckily, he thought it was “pretty cool” (a 100% yes in man terms), and we both happily took this guy apart and brought him home with us the very same day.
Update: We later learned that similar pieces like these go for thousands of dollars on Ebay. Score.
What do I love about it? Please, let me count the ways. For starters, it’s the epitome of everything I desired in this post. It’s modular, meaning that all the cabinets, drawers and shelves are interchangeable, so it can be completely taken apart and reassembled into countless combinations. It’s a design lover’s dream piece. Kind of like, you get all the amazing flexibility of a newly designed furniture piece, except it’s vintage and beautiful and one of kind. And also, I love it.
It’s a little hard to see in the pics, but although it definitely had a very loving previous owner (I wanted everything in their house), it had seen it’s fair share of wear as well. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure that I began removing hardware for cleaning and sanding it down for a new coat of stain the second we pulled into our driveway. No, I don’t have a single picture of that process, but it was nothing exciting or different than any other sanding/staining process that we’ve been through, so I won’t bore you with details. In fact, the stain was even a custom color we had made (I was trying to tone down the super orange tones that it naturally possessed), so I’ve got nothing for you. And the blogger award goes to.. Ha.
Now, reassembled, in the house, and styled months later, we have this:
God, I love it.
When it came time to style it, I tried to really embrace a new color scheme that I’ve been wanting to work towards for our home, with bright yellows, mints, and hot pinks. Clearly, I took some notes from Emily’s design (who wouldn’t), on both the colors and the styling itself. Without feeling that I need to completely defend myself from critics, I guess I just want to make one part clear before I have people jumping my case. The girl is amazing. I love her work, which is so obviously inspiring me on this new design journey, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I figure, as long as I can continue to separate what I actually LOVE and what speaks to me from what I just appreciate as really good design that I don’t necessarily want in my home, then there’s no reason not to be inspired and embrace what someone else has already somewhat done.
I mean, I couldn’t be happier with the results. And that’s what matters right?
Now, as I mentioned, the reason I hesitated so long to share was (ok, mostly because I went on blogger hiatus, but also..) that I hadn’t yet figured out how to make it a functioning piece. Yes, it was pretty, but how do we make it work? I mean really WORK hard for our family? This piece is packed with storage options and there was no way I was going to let that go to waste. We lived with it for some time and did some serious reevaluating of all the problem areas we have in our home (a lot), before deciding on our solutions.
Now, it serves as:
• A Convenient Entryway Landing Spot - keys and sunglasses all get dropped into the yellow egg crate, phones and chargers live in the glossy teal box when not in use, and un-read magazines now have a nice home on the magazine shelf. This won’t always be our main entrance to the house, but for now, we have to make do. Someday, maybe we’ll actually be able to fit a car into our garage and enter through a mudroom that isn’t half-finished and completely non-functioning to the point that I close the door and avoid it at all costs. Someday.
• A Makeshift Office Area - No, typically I do not sit here to use the laptop, but it’s a nice cubby to hold it when not in use, as well as a few office related supplies (haven’t added those yet), since we don’t currently have a desk area anywhere else in the home. I’m thinking a few simple desk organizers in here to hold small notebooks, pens, etc. would be enough. Sidenote – we attempted to match the stain inside this cabinet to the rest of the piece with multiple failures before finally resorting to a coat of white paint. I apologize in advance to all the paint on wood haters out there. I tried.
• File central - We have long needed an easily accessible place to store frequently used files that aren’t kept in our other file safe. I’m crazy obsessed with this solution. It has transformed our lives having everything so organized and at hand. We were able to fit four of these inexpensive file boxes in there, containing anything from our paid bills, medical records, school paperwork, pet info, electronic manuals, etc. You know, the fun stuff. We actually only filled half of the space, so we have plenty of room to grow. Hopefully, not with more bills.
• Printer & paper storage - The lower portion of this side we’re using to store our printer, paper, and printer accessories. It’s probably a little strange for most people to have these things in the entryway, but our home is by no means huge and our entryway just happens to be right in the heart of the home. It’s pretty much the same room as both the living room and kitchen, where we spend most of time, and since we don’t have an office, this makes sense for us. What didn’t make sense was trekking back to the master bedroom, where it was previously stored in a bookcase, every time we printed something. Probably not a forever solution, but for now, it’s working just fine. Also, can I say how much joy these pink paper trays bring every time I open the doors?
• Stationary and Bills - The three drawers on the lower righthand side of the unit are still developing, but I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to stay. Most of our bills are paid online at this point, with very little actual paper to be managed, but the little bills-related supplies that we do have is kept in the top drawer, along with some stationary supplies, and our household binders. A work in progress for sure, but it’s nice to finally have a place for them to call home. I didn’t photograph the other two drawers, also still coming along, but one is holding all of my camera supplies – batteries, lenses, tripod, etc. and the second is storing my Silhoutte Cameo and it’s accessories. Speaking of which, I really need to master that thing and use it to it’s potential.
• Barware Storage - Umm, because what good office/entryway doesn’t have wine? Again, this doesn’t work for everyone, but this side of the shelving unit is maybe two feet from our kitchen’s refrigerator and island. It’s the perfect location, sort of casual like a bar cart could be, located near the living space as well, and it cleared up an entire cabinet in the kitchen by moving all the glassware. We keep a larger wine rack in the pantry, plus a wine cooler in the island, so I really have no idea how those bottles even got in there. Just keeping it easily attainable from anywhere in the house I suppose. Kidding. I’m Preggers. Anyway, if you’re looking for bar-related goods, this is where you’d find them.
Two other small updates that we made in this area of the house that you may have noticed are the addition of a storm door (which explains the open front door in the other pics) and a few coats hooks. Most days, we now keep the wood front door open and the sunlight just pours in. It’s fabulous. Natural sunlight = key to my heart. We’re still planning to make a few tweaks to the storm door come spring time, so we’ll share our progress in that area as we go.
We moved a few things around in the living room, no wait, everything in the living room (more on that soon enough), and the placement of the previous mason jar coat rack just wasn’t making sense anymore. Relocation to the laundry room maybe? Instead, this new wall space that would easily be concealed behind the open door was a great landing for three of these coat and hat hooks.
While this single wall may be small in scale to all the other space in our home, it’s easily my favorite space to date and it serves as such an inspiration as I work to bring the other rooms up to date.
Because this disaster that we call a dining room is a fine example of that happening…
A few things I didn’t source:
Ligurian Houses Abstract Art Print
Crosley Ranchero Radio
Glossy Teal Storage Box (Homegoods)
Yellow Ceramic Egg Crate
Brass Rhino (Target – no longer available)
White Knockoff Eames Chair
Pink Striped Throw Blanket
Penguin Figurine (Homegoods)
White Jewelry Box
Yellow Front Door