Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Control - Task 1

My plan isn't to tackle each area all in one post or all in one day. Some days will simply be reflection about what we want an area of our home to say about us. Other tasks might be actual action tasks.

We all have busy lives - this is going to be broken down into very small bites. Most of us have lots of other stuff going on. Some areas are very large. Some require more thought. Some require action that might involve others. There's no deadline on completing any task, nor do you have to complete every task. Play along with what you want and disregard the rest.

On another note, I'm going to share some photos of our house - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it's pretty ugly in some areas.

As you know if you have read my ramblings at all, we are currently doing a major remodel. Therefore, you are going to see some half done walls, half scraped ceilings, unfinished floors, and old wallboard. It's a work in progress. However, I've decided that I can't wait for it to be finished to make it "perfect," so I'm just going to have to work with what I've got until we are ready to move onto that part of the remodeling projects (sooner rather than later I hope as we want to have it all completed this calendar year).

When you see the pictures and the walls look like crap and the floor is unfinished and there are paint samples all over the wall, try to use your imagination. I promise to post "after" photos when they finally happen and in the meantime, I'll at least share with you what the goal is for the area.

So, let's get started then.

Probably the best start is right at the front door, so let's start with the foyer or the main entrance to your home.

The front entrance is the first glimpse that guests get of your home. Think about what you want it to tell them. You may want them to see that you are vibrant and active. Or maybe you want them to know that you are calm and serene.

Now, what does your entrance REALLY say to your guests?

Let's see what our foyer says about us.

Let's see. The floor is unfinished, as are the walls, and the ceiling. Those are on our "to do" list, so we can pass over those for right now. The floor will eventually be grouted, the walls are going to be a terracotta color, and the ceiling will have white beadboard on it. Can't really push them ahead in the plan, so we'll just have to send out the message that the house is under construction.

But what can I do something about? There are the snow boots that were left there last week when it snowed and I went out to get the mail. Those definitely need to go. We don't usually go through this door, so while I might have a spot for our guests' shoes, ours don't need to be there.

The buffet is a temporary solution using a piece of furniture we already had. Eventually, there will be a coat rack bench and mirror there so that we have a place to hang coats and store winter items. But for now, let's see what the buffet says.
Yeah, that's what I thought. It's shouting nice and loud "I'm a clutter catcher." The dogs obviously aren't wearing their collars - that's a bad thing. The notebooks and folders on top of the buffet were from some computer repairs that we recently made. We pulled out the information for the computers and didn't return them to their rightful home, probably because they don't have a rightful home.

The baskets were initially a nice decorative touch, but they also ended up being a catch-all spot. The large one has a bunch of hand knits in it. Stuff that took me hours and hours to knit. And it's wadded up in a basket at the front door. That's not the message I want to send out to guests or the value that I want to put on my time. I spent a lot of time on that stuff and I should value them a lot more.

Now I know what the foyer says about us. Other than the obvious "house under construction," it says that I'm too busy to make homes for things or to put them back in their right home (the boots and notebooks). It says that I don't value my property (the dogs don't have their Invisible Fence collars on) or my time (the hand knits wadded up in a basket).

What does your entryway say about your family? And what do you want it to say?

Think about it. Look at it with an objective eye (photos are a great way to see what others are seeing.) Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or links to your blogs. I'd love to hear and see what you are doing.

Now we know what we want to say and what we actually are saying. Next up, we'll work on getting there.


Loquacious said...

I have 2 doors, and that's my main problem. One door is under control, and then the other dissolves into chaos. Then vice versa. I cannot get them both under control at the same time.

The one that is most typically a problem is in a small foyer that is essentially a mudroom- but it's not pretty.

As you walk in on the left is a coat rack with hooks etc. It's got way too many coats. Easy enough to fix, but haven't done it yet. Also shoes. Easy fix, not done yet.

I have an antique sewing cabinet in the foyer/mudroom because it looked pretty but now I wonder whether it works or causes part of the problem... and it does NOT offer good storage. It's probably best for yarn or socks. Maybe I need to move it? But where-you've got me thinking...

Currently the shovel is right where it can fall on someone- right inside the door. We keep it near the door for when it snows because we don't have a garage and want it within easy reach for snow days because the doors both have stairs leading to them. (Our house is on a raised foundation that goes at least 3 feet above ground, with stairs leading to the doorways) In the summer the shovel goes in the stair well to the storm cellar on a hook, out of the way.

I have a huge indoor barn closet as part of the "mudroom", but no one uses it. It's hard to open which is part of the problem. The other is that is tall but shallow - so I can't reach a lot of the usable space (I'm short) and everything gets shoved where I CAN reach it and thus is messy.

I have a stool but have let laziness get the best of me...

Now I'm all motivated to clean my foyer tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

What I would like my foyer to say is, "go away, we're not home" but what it actually says is "we have dogs who shed like the beasts they are and we are too lazy to consistently vaccuum it up."

My fear in putting a nice decorative touch in that area is exactly what happened to you. It will catch clutter. I would like something that looks nice, but that you can't necessarily dump things on. This could require some extended window shopping.

I like this project!

Jean said...

Sorry, above comment was me.

ChickenStamps said...

I love this post. It is interesting to look at a space and think about what it says about me to others. I've never thought about my home that way. It is definitely opening my eyes to a different perspective.

love labs said...

After a year of medical chaos (for both us and the dogs) last year, my motto for the new year was "We'll be fine in '09". Well, that lasted for 5 whole days--before Mocha had an "issue" (read BIG vet bill). I guess there are just some things I can't control. SIGH.

So count me in...I'll play along and try to take control around the house. I've been looking at our entryway lately and thinking it's not very welcoming. We rarely use the front door, but the entry is the first thing I see when I come downstairs in the morning--and *I* deserve a warm welcome!

I'm going to take "before" pictures and get to work.