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  • #IsolationConfession: How I fixed my most embarrassing design mistake ever

    With the Stay-At-Home order in place, many of us are clearly spending A LOT more time in our homes than ever before. 

    And those little neglected corners—the entryway that we used to breeze by on our way out of the door or the cluttered nightstand that never really found its groove—are now quite literally staring us in the face. And they are driving. Us. CRAZY. 

    At first, I thought it was just me. 

    But over the last few days, via Zoom happy hours and DM’s and texts, I’m realizing that all of us are going through some version of this itchy-can’t-stop-staring-at-this-sad-space feel. I’ve polled all my friends and family and each has shared with me that they have a particular space in their home that they can’t stop obsessing over. Even my brother is ripping apart his front yard as we speak! Kind of hilarious right?

    There has to be a term for this feeling. I bet there’s probably a highly-specific German word for it, because isn’t there always a perfect German word for things? (Schadenfreude and Torschlusspanik come to mind…)

    Behold, My Neglected Entryway

    In all the homes, lofts, and apartments I’ve lived in over the years, I’ve never had a beautifully designed area that welcomes guests and serves as a functional drop zone for our family. I guess I never thought that I could have one, because in the homes I’ve lived in the front door usually opens right into the living room. A far cry from those grand Pinterest-worthy foyers and entryways we find ourselves pinning. 

    We’ve lived in our current house for 2.5 years now. Time flies! You may remember our first home. The best we could give our entry in that home was a new front door.

    When we were in escrow on the house we live in now, I was blinded with excitement over furnishing a new home and trigger-finger purchased a cute windsor-style wicker bench for our new entryway. 

    I can’t believe I’m sharing it with all of you willingly, but here goes nothing: 

    The bench, while cute, is just not my vibe AT ALL. We hadn’t even moved into the house yet when I purchased it so I didn’t fully understand the relationship of the scale of the bench, the space we had in the entryway, and how my family would use said space.  For the last 2.5 years this bench has been the bane of my existence. Every time I glanced over at it, it’s full of stuff—jackets, school bags, boxes to take to the recycling bin. It became a dumping ground and I CAN ONLY BLAME MYSELF! 

    Anytime we had guests over I would immediately apologize for our entryway. Not exactly the welcoming vibe I was going for. Ugh. The torture I put myself through! It’s likely to go down as my all-time most regrettable purchase. 

    The Bench That Broke Me

    One day last week, in between teaching Kindergarten and trying to get work done, I caught myself STARING at that damn bench. I just couldn’t take it any longer. I had to do something about it, and not soon – NOW.  

    At the moment of my breaking point, it occurred to me: there’s no chance I’m the only one experiencing this. My brother and SIL just started building a deck because they couldn’t stand the state of their yard for one more day. I’m hearing complaints from friends about family rooms, laundry rooms, closet organization, and home office woes.  It’s clear we all have a space that is driving us crazier than normal during this time because we’ve been forced to stare at them day in and day out.

    The privileges of quarantine, am I right? But we should take small wins when and where I can get ‘em. If refreshing a neglected space brings a small bit of joy to an otherwise stressful time? I am definitely here for it. And bonus! This will make for hilarious content. 

    Hmmm, maybe I should make this a hashtag! [tap’s finger to chin]

    Time to Correct My Neglect

    The next day, when I was in the shop filling orders, I grabbed a vintage console I had stored at the shop and drove it home, determined to dedicate some time and space to my damn entryway. Starting over with the console table as the big anchoring piece was KEY.  

    I also pulled out a mirror I had tucked away that never got hung. Then, I grabbed some vintage French vessels I was hoarding for myself, a lamp, a marble catch-all and a couple of my favorite coffee table books

    Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen that Shea of Studio McGee recently launched her first collection of home decor at Target. Going against my self-imposed “I don’t buy home goods at Target anymore” rule, I snagged a couple of pieces in-store on my quest for toilet paper. (Guys, the pieces in the collection are good. If you haven’t already, check out the whole thing here. I hear they may be working on a restock. Fingers crossed!) 

    Nobody does console table styling like Shea and her design team. We’ve all taken notes! The wooden beads and the limestone knot made for the perfect finishing touches for my own entryway. 

    And… voila! Thirty minutes later and after a bit of help mounting the mirror, I found myself staring at a very different, much more beautiful and way more MY VIBE, entry situation. 

    And no post is complete without a very satisfying Before & After:

    I can’t tell you how incredible it feels, after YEARS, to finally tackle a space in my home I’ve been neglecting. A weight has been lifted. 

    Your turn! Time for you to confess, folks!

    So that’s where I’m at. Doing some serious design alchemy, confessing my design sins by taking a good hard look at spaces in my own home and getting creative with how to fix them. Ahem, #correct them. 

    Based on my very informal polling of my immediate friends and family, I know I’m not alone.

    Do you have a neglected space in your home that is driving you crazier in isolation? (Please tell me that you do!) What, if anything, are you doing about it? What you you need to get-er-done?

    Being in isolation has also unblocked the writer within :) Finally!!! It feels great to be blogging at more frequency. I already have a couple posts scheduled for next week that you don’t want to miss! 

    1. Fabulous change. I love the new console, it looks amazing and you styled it beautifully.

      I just redid our entry also and I agree, it now makes me feel inspired when I look at it. Now I need to work on the family room and the TV console. I ordered a new one, so we’ll see.

    2. So pretty! It looks intentional now. I love the stoneware! So far, we have finally organized the garage and hung the Elfa stuff that had been sitting for a year, and I’m cleaning and painting a pair of vintage fiberglass chairs. I’ve cleaned out the kids’ closets and am working on (my side of) the parents’. I think we’re going to tackle painting the dining room next. The itch to organize and decorate is real!

    3. I built a new garden bed a few weeks ago. We upgraded the wood from what we had, and then mid-way decided to re-do the shape of it all. (which meant we had to move 3 yards of dirt again…) We have one more bed to go, and the day before we went to order supplies my hubby got furloughed at a significant loss to our income. Now, I’m reorganizing every corner of our house! Stress building/decluttering/designing is sooooo real!!

    4. This is beautiful!!!! My whole space is cluttered with homeschooling posters and supplies. We redid our front porch area and I’m spending more time out with the fresh air. I was actually looking for entryway inspiration today! Well done!

      1. Thank you!!! And i feel you, our dining table is where all the homeschooling is happening and it’s starting to stress me out haha.

    5. Wow!! This is such a huge design change without a lot of work. It’s amazing how implementing different anchor pieces and then styling that can make such a difference. I love how it is symmetrical, yet not.
      My neglected space is the spare bedroom….I have work to do:)

    6. Ya know I just love seeing how people bring together a design but One of the things that really works in the space and everybody’s trying to do is bring in fresh greenery, but for the life of me I can’t understand why all the pictures and all these blogs never show or link or tell people when they ask about the greenery!! where they are finding it ? do you all have a secret place that only you can buy it? Frustrating

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