Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bench baskets.

Apart from the general wonky nuances I'm sure every homeowner finds (why is the light switch behind the door?), my biggest lament about our house would be its lack of coat storage. It's Ohio.  Coats are necessary roughly fifty percent of the year. However, a coat closet isn't in immediate proximity of either entrance - front or garage.  The closest is what we've converted to a pantry with the sliding barn door.  It's baffling though - I would also consider attached garages necessary for the same reason, but a surprising number do not exist.  

We tried a couple options before heading down our current path. We tried using the middle closet as a coat closet, but walking into the middle of the house with snow boats and coats wasn't practical or in the best interest of our wood floors. We tried moving everything to the garage, but that wasn't practical for guests and not ideal in the colder months. We've started a hybrid.  Zach and I mainly use the garage, so on the wall immediately adjacent and heading to the downstairs, we have hooks for our coats. We mainly leave our shoes in the garage, but have a rug down in the event we bring them within.  On the next wall, the dining room wall, we have a bench, specifically the piano bench that was left in the house.  Underneath, we have two baskets that hold our hats, scarves, gloves, and the occasional shoe. 

I always knew I wanted these to be wire baskets. I had a really hard time finding such baskets for the dimensions and price I was willing to spend, so I gave up after a couple months. I grabbed two woven baskets at TJ Maxx.

They fit all of the criteria except for the depth, which I had forgotten to measure and consider anyway.  It was also just before Thanksgiving, which we were hosting, and needed to do something. 

I cheated the obvious disparity by pulling the bench off the wall and sitting pillows in the gap. It was fine.  Then I found what I always wanted at Target.

At first, there was only one. Target's tricky like that. Online, I wasn't able to buy and ship it (which I wouldn't have wanted to do anyway - I'm spoiled by Amazon fast and free shipping), but I did find one in a different store. I bought it online and went to pick it up, afraid that if I didn't it wouldn't actually exist when I got there. I have real trust issues with Target, but I keep going back for more.

It looks so much better. I was worried about the wire scratching the floors, but I added four little sticky pads to the bottom and they haven't fallen off/the floor hasn't been scratched. It seems to be going well. 

The other baskets are going to be repurposed under a bench we're going to build by the front door. That'll be the bench guests can sit on when putting their shoes on and serve as overflow storage. 

I realize this will take a bit of envisioning. One day, the door will even have casing and there will be crown molding. It'll be a picturesque spot to slip on your shoes.

The real star of this scene is the coat rack.  Previously, the Mikrut sign, a generous gift from my friend for our wedding shower, hung next to the door above five paint swatches. I would give you a reference for it because we get so many compliments on it, but I searched for weeks to get one for her before her shower, and I struck out. I was in the market for a standing coat rack until my mum made a pallet Christmas sign. It was the perfect backdrop for the Mikrut wire sign, without the green and red. She staggered pallets (heat-treated, of course) and added black elbow pipes for coats.  I applied a coat of teak oil to help preserve the pallets, which also darkened and made it look a bit richer (we experienced shrinking and drying in the pallet door).

Maybe we'll get a light switch plate some day, too. 

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