For a couple of years now, I've wanted to resolve an issue of storage in the hallway just outside of the kitchen. It is here that we hang our coats, kick off our shoes (well OH does, I keep most of mine upstairs in the wardrobe) and leave our umbrellas, in addition to being where I keep my ironing board.
Here's the current scenario. I've been using this basket for shoe storage for 4 or 5 years now, and at first I liked it, but more recently I've begun to think it looks very messy. Shoes and boots get thrown in and then more get thrown on top of them and they get squashed, dirty and gather dust.
In addition, the basket, which I bought from a charity shop, is a little large for the space and obstructs access to the basement office and has been chewed by the dog on numerous occasions, so is starting to look scruffy.
I decided, probably two years ago, that I wanted a shoe bench of some kind to store shoes in and had earmarked one that was not too expensive in the Tesco Direct catalogue. It cost around £80, which was affordable, but I never prioritised buying it and two years later they seem to have stopped selling it altogether.
I saw another option in a Sunday Newspaper, but it was £200-£300, which was far more than I wanted to pay at this present time, so I'd more or less put the idea on hold, just as it was becoming one of the last things on my wish list.
On Saturdays, on my way to the gym, I pass a second hand furniture shop, and this Saturday, I saw that they were selling a slatted wooden bench.
On my way home after the class, I decided to take a closer look at it. It was in pretty good condition, about the right size for the space where it needs to go and wasn't offensive to my sensibilities and when I found out it was just £35, I decided on the spot to buy it. I put it in the car and brought it home.
Later after lunch, I set to cleaning out the shoe basket to enable me to put the bench in it's new spot. I threw out a few pairs of shoes that don't get worn any more and transferred the remainder into the new bench, which I'd given a wipe down and cleaned with beeswax polish. It came up quite well and everything that I needed to, fitted in. After thinning out the coats too, the area looks a lot more tidy.
Here it is in it's new home. It's not exactly what I wanted, but I like the fact that it has a lid, so we can sit on it to fasten shoes, etc., it's a little smaller than the basket, so allows easier access to OH's office, and better still I can hoover and mop underneath it more easily than the basket. It will be interesting to see how easily we get used to it, but I like the new look it has given my hallway and I can finally cross this item off my wishlist.
All that I now need to do here, is find an alternative home for the ironing board (more in another post) and find an alternative umbrella storage solution as I'm not keen on this 50's style one. I'm thinking in terms of something large and ceramic, but that doesn't take up any more space than the present one.
The basket that has been removed, is now going to be re-purposed in the garden, as I am going to fill it with compost and plant into it, possibly herbs. It will probably eventually rot away and come to the natural end of it's life, but will create a pretty planter until then.
I'm very happy with my 'spur of the moment' purchase, which has saved me some money that can now be spent on the other storage solutions for this area.