This is where you’d enter if you came to visit. Here through our old wooden front door, the door that I was so thrilled to find while trolling the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in early spring. Before our cabin was even built, back when the planning and design stage consumed my (nearly) every moment, I knew I wanted an old wooden front door, set with panes of wavy glass. I was drawn to the character and story they have that just can’t seem to be reproduced in modern door factories.
But, I also knew that these things take time to find, especially in our area where there are no architectural salvage warehouses. So, I asked the builder to install the least expensive exterior door he could during construction, and it would act as a place holder, giving me the necessary time to find what I was looking for. I’ve found the place holder to be a powerful tool to employ in many areas of building, finishing, and furnishing a house when either the money for or the first-choice item is not to be had for a while.
I was beyond excited when a carpenter friend of ours was able to install this old wooden door for us – in the middle of a drizzle, no less – just days before the magazine shoot. The difference it made was immediate, both inside and out. The amount of light it let in to what was formerly the darkest corner of the room was amazing, and the character and color of the wood instantly underscored the relaxed feeling of the place.
This photo was nearly cut from this post, but I realized it would give you a good idea of the proximity of the front door to the dining area. The dining chair that usually sits at the end of the table there (removed for the shot I was trying to get) is handy for sitting on to remove boots and shoes. The lower steps of the staircase are also a great place to sit while lacing or unlacing footwear. The cotton rag rug in front of the door is large enough for several people to stand on it at once, and when it gets muddied, a run through the wash is all it needs.
The bent-wood coat rack came from an antiques store last fall. It’s the resting place for Grandpa’s hat, as well as other hats that come and go. My purse always hangs here, too, and a jacket or scarf does on occasion as well. But, the real purpose of the coat rack is to be an immediate and available place for guests to hang their wraps when they visit. I’ve found that this seemingly small thing goes far in making people feel welcome.
So, where, then, do we put our outdoor gear, you ask?
I’ll show you.
Down the hall, under the stairs is a small coat closet. A perfect place for my husband and I to put our coats, jackets, extra hats, boots, and shoes. We’ve down-sized the amount of gear we once owned, and now have only what’s necessary, so it all fits here just right.
Also tucked back into this closet is the propane forced-air furnace that heats our cabin. This small unit (about the size of an apple box) warms our cabin very well, even during Wyoming winters. Four vents (two round ones you see there, plus two more beneath the bottom step on the staircase) let the heat into the room.
From the front door, the stairway to the loft is immediately to the left. At the top of the stairs is another coat closet. This one is for the boys. The rag rug at the entry door is the place for them to put on/remove their gear, and the closet up the stairs is the place for them to put it.
Come on up and I’ll show you the inside:
On the right side, the closet holds their “hang-up” shirts, as they call them. Yes, aside from two or maybe three not seen, this is an accurate picture of the amount of button-down shirts they own. The basket holds winter hats and gloves, and the woven box with the lid holds an emergency escape ladder for them to use in case of a fire.
The left side of their closet has hanging pockets for shoes and more space for winter coats and gear. Some things are missing from the picture, such as the boots/shoes and gear they were wearing at the time of this shot, but this is a fairly accurate picture of their closet – although the oldest boy would probably point out that it doesn’t always look this tidy (and the two younger ones would roll their eyes upon hearing that)!
The black tray sitting on the floor of the closet is a custom made metal boot tray. I took the measurements of the floor space in our closets to a local metal smith and had him build a perfectly-fitted tray for each one. I then sealed them with black spray paint, let it dry, and set them in place. They have been one of the best things I’ve spent money on, especially when mud and snow season roll around.
Now then, friends, it’s time. Time for me to fall in step with this Monday that’s about to dawn on us.
Wishing you a gentle week’s beginning!