Entryway Action

I have a goal and a plan and I’m ready for action! This is the final push to get the entry whipped into shape! I have a Galentine’s Day Party planned for all the ladies in my life the weekend of the 11th. My goal is to finally complete the entry way so I can decorate it up for the party! I have some cute heart ornaments that just need a place to be hung.

So, why is it the final push? Because I’ve been secretly working on this for months, slowly chipping away at the mess that this area was when we moved in! If you recall, it looked like this to start:

The Duplex Moving In Tour | Land of Laurel

And when you first opened the front door you looked in at this:

The Duplex Moving In Tour | Land of Laurel

Whew! What a hot mess it was when we arrived! The entry’s one redeeming feature (besides the coat closet) is the little nook right next to the door. This is a great place for us to stash all our shoes and jackets when we first come home. Of course… is started out as a whole lot of nothing!

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Well, nothing, but an electrical panel, a light switch, and a heating vent. Lot’s of mechanical stuff going on in this spot! You may remember my original plan for this area. It included the following items, some of which are now complete:

  • Get seating for putting on/taking off shoes
  • console or buffet for mail/purses
  • Hang art/mirror and accessorize
  • Paint back wall to hide electrical box better?
  • Organize closet
  • Shoe storage!

Since October – when I came up with this plan of attack – I’ve been slowly getting ‘er done! First I got to work hanging a big old heavy mirror I got for free from work several years ago when it was delivered with a hefty scratch. I bought this 50 lb drywall anchor set from Home Depot for a few beans.

Hanging a Heavy Mirror | Land of Laurel

Once I marked my location (I was hanging the mirror high with the plan to eventually put a console table beneath it), hanging the mirror was really easy. I simply tapped the plastic anchor in with a nail first, then screwed it the remainder of the way into the wall.

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The two other pieces in the kit – a screw and a picture holder, fit into one another, and were then screwed into the plastic piece. Easy as pie.

50 lb Drywall Anchor | Land of Laurel

You know what was not easy? Lifting the heavy mirror up and hooking the wire onto the picture hook. Boy! That mirror was heavy! I enlisted the assistance of both my parents who happened to be visiting that weekend. By the time we hung the mirror, I’d also bought an ottoman! It was an impulse buy one morning on the bus. I only semi-regretted it after. And by semi-regretted I mean I realized it was definitely not my favorite option, but it was cheap. I looked it up to link to it in this post and found out it’s now available in cream! Ugh. Cream would have been a great option. Instead I ended up with the cherry red. When I bought it, the ottoman was only available in red or black leather. I have an intense dislike of black leather furniture unless it’s on task chairs, so I went with the red option. I may reupholster it with some extra fabric I got for free from work. We’ll see… For now, let’s concentrate on the positives of this ottoman. A) I got it for a heavily discounted price. B) It opens up and becomes a huge storage ottoman! C) It’s deep enough to provide seating space while still being tucked under a shallow table, so I don’t need to drag it out to open it.

Progress in the Entry | Land of Laurel

Being quite the spend-it-all-at-once-er I also bought an indoor/outdoor rug at about the same time. I picked one that was made of polypropylene because it would hide the dirt and I could take it in the backyard and hose it off if it got really dirty. The rug itself is also heavily textured with the heathered dark parts of the rug being flatwoven and about 1/8″ below the height of the light part of the rug design. I wanted something that would make the silly transition between the sheet vinyl and LVT floors less obvious. The sheet vinyl part of the entry is 4′ x 7′ and rug I bought was 3′-9″ by 5′-8″ so it covers almost the entire entry area. Then on an IKEA trip I stumbled upon some welcome mats. Most of the mats at the store said “Welcome” in English, but I spotted one that said “Willkommen” which is the German translation. Being the Germanophile I am, I snapped it up instantly and stood over my cart like a mama dog protecting her babies. I took it home and paired it with the larger black and white rug for a modern look. Having this mat inside helps keep things even cleaner, especially since we do not have any outdoor overhang! Jacks was so excited about the rug, he even posed with it for Instagram (yes this was 3 months ago).

Kitten Door Mat | Land of Laurel

With the hanging of the mirror and the purchase of the rugs and ottoman, this entry had a completely different look and feel. Thank goodness! It wasn’t done yet – no there was lots left to do – but, progress had been made and the space was starting to feel like home. Plus I finally had a place to store my shoes (the ottoman!) and a place to sit while putting on my shoes (the ottoman!). No more hopping around on one foot like a clumsy flamingo!

Entry Progress | Land of Laurel

Now that my clumsy flamingo days were over, I also wanted a place to hang my purse and any wet coats (have you heard that it rains here in Portland, OR?). I inherited some pretty reclaimed wood planks from a friend a while back. I pulled one out that looked to be about the right size; its gorgeously beat up and has some paint still staining it. I love old wood (wink wink! No, gross! Bad joke! I take it back.).  Then I picked up some of these painted square tile hooks from World Market.

DIY Coat Rack | Land of Laurel

I laid them out on top of the wood plank on my dining table and spaced them out until they were even to the eye, before marking their location with a pen. Then I drilled shallow holes in the wood to allow for the screws.

DIY Coatrack | Land of Laurel

I finished it off by screwing the hooks onto the board. (Is it just me or did that sound dirty too?)

DIY Coatrack | Land of Laurel

I finished it off (oh my god, why does this sound so bad?!) by drilling holes at the middle of each end of the board and taking two 2″ screws to fasten it into the studs in the entry. The coatrack looks cute and holds my purse quite nicely!

DIY Coatrack | Land of Laurel

Now, why stop there when there’s so much more to do in this room?! If you scroll all the way up to the first picture in this post, you’ll see a weird box on the wall. What is it? I have no idea. Why is it there? To annoy me. How do I fix it? Classic answer: a gallery wall.

Entry Gallery Wall | Land of Laurel

Boom! A few pieces of art and now that box isn’t quite so obvious. Here is my map of England, a fun and funky art piece my Aunt Pat found, and a print I bought at a Museum in Milan. This entry has so many walls, I still need to add art to several spots! This is a good start though. Overall, I’m feeling good, because this entry is looking so much nicer!

Entry Progress | Land of Laurel

A vast improvement over the before, I just have to say!

The Duplex Moving In Tour | Land of Laurel

Oh! That before picture makes me realize another couple of quick updates. See that ugly carpet sticking out under the door? Ripped out. Goodbye gross! The cheap mirror on the closet door didn’t even last through the first week in the Duplex. There are some things I can’t change – the yellow brown moldings, the door, etc, but in a rental, sometimes you gotta take what you can get! What’s on the horizon for this space? Lot’s of final touches, but first, a custom console. You may have seen this sneakpeek pic on Instagram a few weeks ago when I was test fitting my furniture build:

Console Prep | Land of Laurel

I’m still working on the final touches of that piece, but the goal is to knock that out this week and begin accessorizing and putting more art up next weekend. Wish me luck!

Do you have anything you’re working on that has a fast approaching deadline? Does that make you panic? Or work harder? Or both?! Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

3 Months In and What’s Next

So we’ve been here in the Portland Duplex for a little while now and I wanted to show you all an update on how things stand. We’re starting to make progress in a few areas and anything is better than the chaos when we first moved in! Also this is a nice place to list the twenty million ideas I have, Young Houser Love’s “Listy McListerson” style! Since I know this house is not long term – I have no plans on being her longer than my year lease – there are many things I am very cautious about putting money toward. Basically, anything I can take with me? Sure, spend the green, anything more permanent? Not happening this year. Hopefully, my next home will be a much more permanent living situation! There are tons of updates anyone can accomplish in a rental though, so that’s what I’d set out to do!

– THE ENTRY –

Before/Current

A whole lot of nothing going on in here! I really haven’t started.

To Do:

  • Get seating for putting on/taking off shoes
  • console or buffet for mail/purses
  • Hang art and accessorize
  • Paint back wall to hide electrical box better?
  • Organize closet
  • Shoe storage!

– The Long Hallway –

Before/Current

The Long Hallway | Land of Laurel

Also untouched!

To Do:

  • Hang Art
  • Add runner?

– The Powder Room –

Before/Current:

Untouched as well since this room is currently playing host to the house’s newest member! Six month old kitten Jackson is using this room as his safehouse until his stitches heal from his neutering and he and Malary learn to settle their differences.

To Do:

  • Buy bath mat/rug
  • Replace toilet seat
  • Hang art
  • Add plants
  • Find nice hand towel
  • Remove curtains and hardware

Soon there will be two cats photobombing all my pictures! Check out his little face in the meantime!

Jackson | Land of Laurel

– The Kitchen –

Before:

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Current:

Kitchen | Land of Laurel

China Cabinet Pantry | Land of Laurel

Not a ton has changed in here. Those floors are impossible to keep clean so I’m looking into a runner which will hide some of the dirt I hope. We’ve still got all our pots and pans on the counter! Luckily the lovely china cabinet is helping store a lot of my things and frees up cabinet space! The stools were up for grabs when my new office moved from east to west Portland and I nabbed five for $20 beans each.

To Do:

  • Buy rug/runner
  • Make use of back wall with vertical storage (I’ve been working on this guy and can’t wait to share)
  • Get stools for bar area
  • Re plant something in that pot

– The Dining Room –

Before:

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Current:

Dining Room | Land of Laurel

Things are looking a lot more lively in here now that I’ve added my furniture! The table is from my grandmother’s home, but it actually belonged to one of her tenants so there isn’t any sentimental value. The bookshelf was a surprise hand-me-down from my parents.

To Do:

  • Remove curtains and hardware
  • Paint/stain/refinish table (the top isn’t sealed properly, and I’d love to update it, this looks like a fun option, but they also look really elegant stained if styled correctly)
  • Paint bookshelf black to coordinate with china hutch

– The Living Room –

Before:

The Duplex Moving In Tour | Land of Laurel

Current:

Living Room | Land of Laurel

Living Room | Land of Laurel

Things have kind of landed in here for now. I’m using my old trunk which used to live at the bottom of my bed as a coffee table in the living room at the moment. We don’t have a couch yet and when we do get one I’m not sure the scale of the trunk will work with it. We’re using the bench I got as a hand-me-down from my parents and these two chairs as seating in here for now and it’s working pretty well. The larger chair is my roommates over which I draped a large wall hanging I got at the Berlin flea market. The wood arm’ed one is something I got from work in Oakland about 8 months back. The vintage suitcases were my Oma’s, I’ve stacked them and stuck a tray on top which is working really well as a cute side table! The other side table is some of my cherry crates stacked together with another tray. Fred is living on the coffee table at this house right now. The floor lamp is a recent IKEA purchase (my roommate’s). The faux cowhide is free from work.

To Do:

  • Buy sofa
  • Buy rug to layer beneath the faux-cow hide
  • build larger coffee table?
  • rewire green lamps for use on side tables
  • rearrange entire area to work with the sofa?
  • Hang art

– The Bonus Room –

Before:

The Duplex Moving In Tour | Land of Laurel

Current:

Bonus Room | Land of Laurel

This room has also pretty much just gotten a few pieces of furniture plopped down. The rug in here is awful truly awful. It might be original to the house. It’s covered in stains (some of them marker red) and sometimes smells a little bit! Our landlord said she wants to replace it with laminate flooring, but it hasn’t happened yet. The white drawer units were another item I picked up when my office moved. They were free and I napped 8 (they still sell them at IKEA for $79 each if you’re interested). I’ve got a couple in the garage, a couple in my bedroom closet, and these three in here are holding crafts supplies! It’s so nice to have them all sorted nicely. I’d love to bring a desk up here and make it a real craft room! The futon is also my roommates, I threw a couple of IKEA sheepskin pillows on top as well as a mudcloth I got at the Alameda Flea Market in the Bay Area before I moved.

To Do:

  • New flooring!
  • Build shelves for over the weird counter
  • Buy a nice plush rug
  • Hang art
  • Add desk

– My Bedroom –

Before:

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Progress:

Bedroom | Land of Laurel

Current:

Bedroom | Land of Laurel

Nothing great in here! My bed broke during the move so even though I’m on my own mattress and not the futon mattress, it’s still a mattress on the floor! Pieces from my old place all came with me, everything in here is still chaos! It took me way to long to go from the progress shot to the current shot too.

To Do:

  • Remove curtains and hardware
  • Hang new curtains (I’ll share this soon!)
  • Build bed
  • Style room
  • Rearrange furniture
  • Organize closets
  • Layer a rug on top?

– The Bathroom –

Before/Current: Bathroom | Land of Laurel

Nothing really done it here.

To Do:

  • Style counter
  • Add bathmats or runner
  • Get Malary to use downstairs litter box

 

So there it is guys! Plans for the entire house. Very feasible plans and totally rental-friendly! I’m diving in, can’t wait for you to all follow along.

Bungalow Bathroom

So before I talk all about my new home, the Duplex, I want to wrap up the one room I felt looked totally finished at the Berkeley Bungalow. No, it wasn’t my bedroom. It was the bathroom. The room that felt totally me. The room where the art was hung. Oh wait — you don’t remember the art being hung? Let me fill you in.

 

Remember how the bathroom looked when I first moved in? Gorgeous, but it needed a few finishing touches to bring it to life. Boy do I miss that house. The Duplex needs… let’s just say… a little more work. The Berkeley Bungalow’s bathroom got a shower curtain and plant stand with a peace lily to start.

 

Bathroom Litter Box

 

The space worked. The litter box did the room no favors. Overall it was not a bad start. But let’s take a look at how things were right before I moved out…

 

Bungalow Bathroom

 

Painting the plant stand was the first step towards creating a plan for the room. I decided to embrace the gold I’d accidentally incorporated with the Target shower curtain. I then later switched out the old vinyl shower curtain liners with some healthier, washable polyester ones. I searched for storage and ended up with some clear glass jars. Finally I added some plants and painted some IKEA pots to make the space a little bathroom jungle. The finishing touches involved adding art and a full length mirror!

I switched things up and moved my jewelry into the bedroom, freeing up one corner for yet another plant. Yay! This guy does well in low light and humid conditions. Perfect for a bathroom! The framed art above I bought in Milan in 2013 and popped into an IKEA frame. It’s Gerolamo Induno’s 1862 Forebodings. I really liked the piece in person and bought the print at the museum store. It depicts a girl sitting on a bed starting to either get ready for the day or ready for bed. It seemed fitting for the room where I do just that!

 

Bungalow Bathroom Afters | Land of Laurel

 

The other side of the room got a full length mirror from IKEA which I really wanted to paint gold (of course!), but never got around to it. A hanging IKEA planter from the towel rack incorporated yet another plant and I added a vintage 1950’s tourism poster of Berlin above the plant stand and towel rack to call this side of the space done!

 

Bungalow Bathroom After | Land of Laurel

 

This room was always bright and sunny. The natural daylight made even the toilet look cute. The plants I put on top might have helped a bit though too.

 

Bungalow Bathroom Toilet | Land of Laurel

 

On the counters, I switched out the wooden soap holder for a red ceramic one I picked up for a few bucks at Target. The red tied into the red on the tub and added some contrast with the glass jars I’d bought at World Market.

 

Bungalow Bathroom Afters | Land of Laurel

 

The space finally came together and I was sad to leave it. The bathrooms at the Duplex leave much to be desired. But I’ve long since gotten used to the idea that the Berkeley Bungalow might be the nicest house I’ll ever live in. So instead of dwelling on the idea of cleaning my sheet vinyl floors again (do they ever get clean?!), I’ll just day dream of baths in this room. Heck! I’d pay rent just to live in this bathroom!

 

Bungalow Bathroom Afters

 

How’d I do on the list I made for this space? Pretty decent, I think!

  • Find the perfect glass storage jars
  • Add a piece of furniture to place a glass of water or a book on when I take a bath
  • New shower curtain
  • Necklace holder
  • Soap dish
  • Moved it into my bedroom Better jewelry storage, perhaps building an earring holder??
  • Add some plants in small pots on top of the toilet back
  • Paint the plant stand gold to go with the shower curtain
  • Somethings aren’t meant to be find a better way to hide the kitty litter box
  • Organize the vanity cabinet to better contain everything I hide away down there
  • Hang art
  • Even more plants?!
  • Take so many bubble baths!

 

So, that there’s the end, folks. That’s the last Berkeley Bungalow post. Now we’re in Portland. Home of the endless options for delicious food. I’ll shock you with the comparison of this room to my new bathrooms and start listing ideas of how to spruce those guys up soon! Get ready for some to do lists and painting shenanigans!