It was time to go from drab to fab. When I moved in to this house, I was downsizing from 3500 square feet to 1400 square feet. As a card carrying member of the walking wounded, I was juggling a divorce, children who were hurting, and a basement so chocked full of the mementos of a life I didn’t resonate with any more, I couldn’t move. The front entrance was pretty low on the priority list. Now that life was settling down, I could no longer ignore the fact my drab entrance way was crying out for some fab!
In the past 4 years I have made a lot of this home my own, but it’s easy to wear blinders in this life. I can ignore an ugly entrance way just like I can ignore an unhappy marriage or an unhappy heart…until I can’t any more! Happiness comes from within. We build an authentic joy filled life from the inside out, one change at a time. The same is true for our homes. A happy home is reflected from the inside out. The heart of my home is happy now and the entrance way was not a reflection of that reality.
Perhaps the ‘before’ was functional….but I want a life which is more than functional. I want a life which is authentic and full of joy; a true reflection of who I am NOW.
Here are the transformational steps for an entrance way…a lot of it would work for a life too :)
- 1. One day, I look at my entrance way and realize it’s not making me happy. That’s my cue. I need to make change. My heart is speaking to me.
- 2. I clear out the area, and then measure so I have a realistic picture of just how much space I have to work with.
- 3. I think about what I need this space to do for me. I need a place for keys, purse, mail, foot ware…and I want a welcoming feel to the space.
- 4. I let it percolate in my heart and mind. I open myself to possibility and I begin a search on kijiji and local antique stores and thrift shops. I know I want a diy project, and I want something which is solid wood that I can re-purpose. I narrow my search on kijiji and check every morning to make sure if something is posted, I can get first dibs. Early one morning, I find this beauty ;)
I purchased an antique cabinet designed to hold dishes. It’s solid mahogany and in fairly good shape. The only issue–there is some peeling veneer on the top left corner. I can glue, nail, fill and sand the top–but that also means I will have to paint this cabinet. I’m not adept enough at furniture repair to replace a veneer.
(Just as an aside….“veneers are thin layers of highly decorative woods which are placed over more stable species of wood. Veneers have been used since Egyptian times and are not an indication of a poor quality piece. Higher density woods are very difficult to carve and intricate design was achieved by using less dense or softer wood veneers to achieve beautiful results. In the construction of cheaper furniture we see today, the veneer is often made from a plastic laminate of some sort with the wood grain photographically imprinted on the veneers. If the veneers are perfect, chances are it is a photograph and not reminiscent of the natural flaws we would see in a real wood veneer. Even if the veneer is made from real wood, manufacturing parameters now allow veneers to be 1/128” thick as opposed to the 1/16” thickness of veneers found on older, good quality pieces of furniture. The veneers are so thin now; the slightest bump or knock can dislodge them from the piece of furniture. Solid wood veneers were sometimes nailed in place with very small nails. If you can find evidence of this on an older piece, that may be a clue regarding the overall quality of the furniture.” ) There’s your design lesson for today ;) Excerpt from Divine Design on a Dime–Construction 101 section (email me if you’re interested in purchasing a copy. I used my training as an Interior Designer and my love of up-cycling to show you how to enact Divine Design on a Dime.)
- 5. I purchased the cabinet (for $25). I removed the door and will use that in the future for a funky frame or something else down the road. I repaired the top and sanded the whole unit. When I removed the old stain, the mahogany on the sides and the drawer front were so beautiful, I decided to stain those and just paint the top and insides. I don’t have to have the whole plan in place before I begin. I go with the flow and use what I have in front of me, trusting in the process. It’s a great way to tackle every part of our lives ;)
Welcome to my new entrance way! From drab to fab!
And don’t be at all intimidated by this process. This is something you can do as well! Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned, embrace the flaws and use the experience for learning. The important thing is that you expanded who you are and had an experience. :)
If you would like to be informed of new content, please leave your information here. It will never be shared with a third party and you can unsubscribe at any time. Take Care, Paula