Home makeover: The breezeway horrors
It's never good when I get a phone call from my husband that starts, "You're going to be really mad about this."
I was at work, he was at home with the kids, and my first thought was another window had been broken (topic for future blog post).
But not this time.
The news was that two of my most decorating-savvy friends, Kerry and Karen, had stopped by unexpectedly and gone INSIDE our breezeway.
You're read about my breezeway before. Collector of junk. Waystation for muddy shoes and cleats. Home to our recycling bins and used-up batteries I'm no longer sure where to take. Holding room for old toys and clothes on their way to charity and things that really belong in the garage (or the trash). Keeper of our overflowing "ball bin" (which conservatively holds 100 balls) and other indoor-outdoor toys I don't want in the house. Bane of my existence.
You get the picture.
It is the underbelly of our house. When friends come over for the first time, we direct them to the front or back doors - not our side door, which, despite the "Welcome" flagpole outside, no one is really welcome to use. Except the poor milk delivery person, who never knows what he will find inside.
Despite my efforts some visitors have managed to slip through. They stand at our side door with a determined smile on their faces as they pretend not to notice the mud and tools and toys.
So, you can imagine my horror on Monday when I learned that my secret was out.
I kept repeating "Oh my God" over and over, until my startled colleagues began to wonder who had died.
Kerry is one of those people whose house always looks picture-perfect (true fact: she created "clutter" for a recent photo shoot) and Karen is a real-life decorator with a house that is, well, gorgeous. I cannot even imagine the look on her face when she opened our door.
It's not that these women are judgmental. They have honest and generous motives: to help me rescue that room. A couple of years ago I found Kerry gazing around the breezeway, saying what a nice porch it could be with a little redecorating. But it turned out to be a crazy summer and we never had the time to do it.
Lately it's been on my mind again, starting with the bit of decluttering my husband did earlier this year (which, unfortunately, stalled fairly quickly).
I asked Kerry if she'd help me tackle the breezeway project this summer as part of her new blog about houses. I also told her that I wanted to clean it up BEFORE the "before" pictures were snapped.
She assures me they took no photos on Monday. But they have plans. Big plans. I'm not sure what they involve, other than a trip to Ikea. And not much money (I hope).
Meanwhile, I'm going to scrape my wounded pride off the floor and clean the place up so we can get those "before" pictures.
Since there's no peeking yet, I thought I'd post some photos of my dream breezeway. You know, one of those with the Pottery Barn-esque storage benches with the hooks above where each member of the family can hang their backpack and tuck their boots. And maybe a cute wicker chair. And some durable mud/kid-proof flooring. And lots of other storage for the recycling bins and hundreds of balls and the newspaper rack that my husband thought would be cute...
So, check back here for updates on the big makeover. Someday you may even see actual photos.
I love this system from Pottery Barn - and the stone (look?) floor and woven rug.
Ditto for this beadboard model I found on Lifehack, but they both look a little pricey. We have a beadboard ceiling in the breezeway...
I'm not sure I want black and white, but it looks so CLEAN and UNCLUTTERED. Images are from Skona Hem, via the website At Home With Kim Valle.
Julie Wurth writes and blogs about family issues, social services and the University of Illinois for The News-Gazette. Her column, "Are We There Yet?", is featured every other Tuesday in the News-Gazette's Family section. You can leave a comment below or contact her (217) 351-5226, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jawurth.