Monday, August 8, 2011

A Reasonably Clean Welcome

This post is brought to you by the ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter! I'm joining the linky party to show before and after pictures of my main entranceway. The idea is to take a look at one's house from the vantage point of a visitor . . . starting with the first impression of the front door, or in my case, the back door.

We purchased our 93 year old house last year, and it's been in a state of constant renovation/remodelling ever since. It's a challenge to keep things looking neat and pretty when we've got projects on the go!


Here you can see the back entrance to our house, which is also the main entrance.  The porch has actually been pulled away from the house to make room for some grading which needs to be done on this side of the house. The old glass windows leaning against the house are to help keep water out of the basement window wells.

I didn't take a close up, but there were bits of garbage that had been hidden under the porch, rusting ant traps, a hose lying on the ground, plant pots not in use, and a chair that rubs green paint on people when sat upon!

And it's not very welcoming, actually, when you walk onto the deck and then promptly walk off it down onto this old door bridge over the muds and weeds! Unfortunately, there's not a lot I can do about it presently.

Now prepare yourself for some unedited entranceway mess . . .

What a timely post, Auntie Leila! Just the inspiration I needed to tackle this :) Even the cat looks displeased.

Oh, just the average mess of beach stuff, shoes, purses, gloves and things that get dropped on the way in. Made worse by the fact that this is such a long, dark, narrow hallway.

And farther down, a pile of clothes I was sorting to be given away, some baby toys, a new box of diapers, and best of all, the dirty cloth diaper bag hanging, slightly smelly, on the cupboard door!

There's also a shelf right when you come in, which is a handy place for stashing odds and ends, which end up looking cluttered very quickly.

The other thing people see, other than this hallway view, is the (very narrow) entrance to the kitchen on the left, right when you come in.

So any mess in the kitchen is visible right away! And many people don't make the long trek down the hallway, they simply see me (usually in the kitchen) and come in that way. Where they are greeted by garbage and compost and cardboard and a broom and dirty dishes. And that little counter right there is where I stack the dirty dishes.

Not very welcoming, on the whole, at least on this particular day! This entranceway frustrates me because it is so long and narrow and dark, and I don't much care for the colour on the walls, or the wallpaper border, but this area just hasn't been a priority. It's an awkward way to enter the house, and poorly designed, I think. This back way is part of a later addition to the house. I have a lovely large front hall with a grand staircase, but there's no way to get to that part of the house from the road or driveway!

Well, I can't change the paint or the layout today, but I can make it reasonably clean and welcoming!


(The before pictures were taken a couple days ago, and the after ones I took today, a grey rainy day, so the light's not very good.)

I cleaned up the garbage and put things away, took away the flaky chair and swept the deck and the "bridge." It's not perfect, but it's better.

 I also washed the screen door and the green door and all the door windows and the curtain as well!

And I don't know what looks better - weeds or bare mud. What do you think? :) It was pouring buckets by the time I thought about weeding, but now that I look at this picture I think I could at least trim back the weeds by the make-shift step.

Even after clearing things out, this space still looks a little cluttered to me, but at least it's neat! And fresh smelling! I also swept the cobwebs from the ceiling :)

Here's that little shelf again. Still needed for sunglasses and keys and wallets for now, but at least there is a little bird on the top shelf smiling down.

Having a reasonably clean kitchen is much nicer! I don't really have another spot for that garbage can, unfortunately. The broom is so handy there... I thought I could leave it there... but maybe I can find a better spot for it. Knowing the kitchen is so visible to all is certainly good incentive for keeping on top of it!

Down the hall, there is a small guest bathroom to the left, which I also cleaned and made fresh for company. Beyond that is the dining room, another work in progress - the wallpaper is coming down, hooray!

And on the right is the living room, also the only babyproof room we have right now, hence the gate.

The hallway really goes right through the centre of the house, with all the rooms opening up off of it. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to make it look bigger and/or brighter? What colour would you choose for the walls?

Well, that was fun! I'm trying to be content with what I have, while dreaming of what we can do differently when we have the means to do it. And in the meantime, keeping it reasonably clean certainly makes a difference!



  1. Wow, Lindsey, good job cleaning up! I'm proud of you for tidying up what you have and not giving into the "oh, whatever, it's all being torn apart, why bother" way of thinking. The deck looks much better!

    You need a real "waterhog" mat at the door. Go to Lowe's or some such place and buy a super big one. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to keep things clean once you have it, especially where you have an entry under construction.

    I would paint the hall a nice creamy white (I like BM "calming cream" b/c I too have the pine and it goes really well with it. If you make the paneling and walls the same color of white, you will open things up considerably.

    If you don't want to paint the wood, at least do the walls, and stay away from anything with a gray undertone!

    Shelves above your bench would be out of the traffic and very helpful -- up above head height. You can pop all sorts of things up there.

    A nice full-length mirror, hung on its side, on the opposite wall might open things up!

    And do do DO get your broom out of sight! Just nail in a nail around a corner - is that not a broom closet on the right there, just before you get into the kitchen? Even if you hung it on a nail right where it is, it wouldn't have that temporary feeling to it.

    For the longest time I resisted stashing the trash away, but then I realized that it was worth emptying it twice a day (put a boy on it if you have one :) to get it out of sight. An office-sized bin fits under my sink with its odd pipes.

    You have a very interesting and cool house! Good work on your cleanup!

  2. Thank you Auntie Leila for your helpful comments!!

    That closet is not really a broom closet - it is a coat closet with a funny slope instead of a floor because it is built over stairs. But you will be happy to know that I moved the broom to our pantry, which is itself an oddity - it connects the kitchen and dining rooms. The house doesn't have much in the way of storage, so it's a challenge to find places for the utilitarian stuff that is truly out of view from the nicer rooms.

    And I am now going to think of other options for our garbage . . . along with the recycling (2 kinds) and compost bins! If I come up with something, I'll post it in an upcoming {phfr}.

    I'm also thinking of some coat hooks on that wall too above the bench (we have that one coat closet), but am not sure if that will make it look even narrower with coats on the wall.

    thank you!

  3. Wow, you worked hard.

    I love the wainscoting and the flooring.

  4. I am so impressed at the difference you have made to your hallway. It looks great.

  5. You've really made a difference in your entryway! I like its quirkiness. It adds character. :-)

  6. I'm so impressed - you have so much going on, and you made it look so nice! I second the suggestion for a nice fresh white for the hallway - that would make it nice and bright, and then you could hang colorful things on the wall if you wanted some color in there!

  7. Good for you for tidying even in the midst of less-than-ideal project conditions! You made it look a lot nicer...I especially noticed the freshly washed door.

  8. They have the ability to withstand the heat of this type of material is fine with the activities in the kitchen. As for kitchen countertops are considered, the' use of granite inserts a rich look to it.


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