It's been a few weeks, but remember the mail organizer which I teased on my last post about the entryway cubby bench? It's finally done!
We were waiting for the countertop company to fabricate a piece of custom quartz for the top. And it was totally worth the wait. They did a great job. They even drilled a small hole to one side so that the desk doubles as a phone charging station.
Before we got started, this area was nothing much... just a little unused nook off the kitchen. It tended to collect gym bags and such.
However, it was centrally located in a high-traffic hallway between the front door & mudroom area, the kitchen, the coat closet (the door to the right), the master bedroom and the main floor bathroom.
Lots of homes have a spot like this near their kitchen. It's almost like the architect intended for it to be filled in with something. Well, that's what we're here for!
As I mentioned before, we had already built an entryway hutch to catch everyone's coats and shoes as they came in the front door.
However, the homeowner wanted a secondary place away from the door where everyone could safely stash things like phones, purses, mail and keys instead of piling them on the kitchen counter or breakfast bar.
I measured the nook and then had Faith draw up the design. I like the way she included a space in the middle for larger pieces of mail. There's always that one big envelope from the insurance company, that doesn't fit into your typical mail organizer.
Underneath we added a bulletin board which will serve as a rotating art display for the kids (or a place to keep restaurant take-out menus).
As usual I pre-assembled most of the pieces in my workshop. Our dog Silver was there to keep an eye on the proceedings.
We included a couple of extra semi-floating shelves high up on the wall to make the most use of the space. It might be a good spot for those papers that you can't throw away but will probably never need. (Or am I the only person that seems to collect that stuff?)
As I mentioned, this is right at the hub of the home, so you can get dressed in the morning, walk out of your bedroom, grab your keys and phone... and be ready for the day.
The little girl in the family was really excited about this project, because this area will also serve as her art desk. She left me some candy in the drawer as a "Thank you" present. Cute kid. Little things like this are why I love my job.
Any odd little kitchen nook can be turned into a multi-functional entryway mail organizer that keeps important little things from getting lost in the daily shuffle.
So give us a call to get organized!
Spring is here (at last) but as any long-time Asheville resident knows, it's not time to put away your coats and boots yet. By local tradition, we still have several "winters" to go until we hit the last "blackberry winter" in late April or early May.
I dropped by to see one of my customers, and she had still coats on the new entryway cubby bench which we recently installed for her.
Before, she only had a narrow space in her foyer for guests to take off their coats. There wasn't really even room to set down a chair. This is when fitted furniture is a great idea: you can turn a tight spot into a useful area.
This reminds me of a project I did years ago for an attorney who moved into an office that also had a narrow entryway. The previous lawyer had chairs in the vestibule, and clients were always tripping over one another's feet when they came in. The new bench was narrow, with no chair back to get in the way, so it made for more leg room.
Anyway, back to our current project...
Before I started work I had my wife, Faith, draw a model of the entryway cubby and bench so the homeowners could see what we planned to build for them.
This was helpful because it gave them a chance to visualize how high the various elements should be installed. The family ranged in height from little kids all the way up to a tall Dad, so we had to place the hooks where everyone could reach them.
On the other side of the entryway was the home office, which was separated from the rest of the house by a column.
We installed a pair of French doors with trim that coordinated with the existing door and crown molding. With these two projects done, the whole foyer was transformed. As the Mom said, it was surprising that a such large piece of furniture could make the room seem bigger.
This bench is mostly for guests. There's another coat closet near the kitchen which the family uses for coats and backpacks. So our next project will be to transform an empty niche nearby into a catch-all for mail, wallets, purses and keys.
(Plus an art desk for the little girl in the family. She's very excited!)
If your foyer seems "too small" to hold all the stuff it needs to hold, give us a call. We can turn even the slenderest space into an organized entryway... so you always have a place for your coat and keys.
Our latest project is perfect for when you've all been playing in the snow and you need a place to capture those wet boots and mittens.
Our customers have a goal of becoming a "no shoe" household to preserve their white carpets, but there was no place for people to sit down and take off their shoes.
As usual, we worked with them to create a 3D model. They weren't sure whether they wanted to use horizontal ship-lap or vertical V-groove panels, and this really helped them visualize it.
That's just the first draft; there were several rounds of revisions to add and remove features.
We eventually included a pair of figures in the model so we could put the hooks at the right height for kids to reach them, while making them high enough to be easy for Dad to use.
Models are always theoretical, and the customers and I made a few small tweaks while I was building the cubbies. We had hoped to build a bench with a single span from wall to wall, and I even tested several methods support it in the middle. But in the end we decided that there was still too much flex, especially since several people might be sitting on the bench together.
Speaking of the bench, the homeowners requested a hardwood seat. I used a beautiful piece of oak which I stained to coordinate with the floors.
The final piece turned out really well. One of the homeowners said that she was surprised that such a big piece of furniture would make a small room feel larger.
On the other side of the foyer is a pair of French doors which I also installed, so the whole space has that elegant feeling which traditional moldings bring to a room.
We can bring the same beautiful style to your home. Just shoot us an email with your ideas. We'll be glad to help.
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!