For Your Keys and Coats
Sep 13
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Warning - I feel a list coming on. A list of ideas for using scrap to help make nooks and crannies more usable. Like, inside the front door for your keys and...crap. All that crap that sneaks in the house with you and seems to find home on the kitchen counter, or the stairs, or the washing machine, or the sofa, or...

You know what I mean, right? Not just your keys, but your hat, scarf, coupons, change, mail to be dropped off, the dog's leash. Yeah, all that stuff. The clutter that gets in your way, confounds your space and view, and generally makes mayhem of an otherwise orderly house. (Yeah, right.)

I recently went to the Street of Dreams. (I know, I know. Not my thing, but I am insatiably curious. Can't help it.) Extremely expensive houses showcase d├ęcor in cycles of what is the "new" thing, what is de rigeur this year. Here's what I noticed as currently popular: home organizing stations (that sometimes looked like hotel front desks, ready for check-in) with docking stations and internet hookups, plus front coat closet areas big enough to include a couple of wing chairs. Basically a place to sit and pull off your shoes and stash everything away. Or to wait for the valet to come and get your bags.

Well, I don't aspire to so much space, but I do aspire to some organization. And this post from Remodelista got me thinking. The copper pipe used in this article is gorgeous, but there are so many things that would also work well for organizing your things. Stockpiles in the garage, collectables, stuff you have sitting around. So here's the list:

1. Pot lids - knobs out. Start a collection of vintage lids (All white enamel? All blue speckled? Random lids?) and mount them by the door. Perfect for hanging keys and hats!
2. Doorknobs. You can get a set on eBay for virtually nothing.
3. Cupboard knobs. I suggest you consider old Bakelite knobs and handles - such great colors, tone, and texture!
4. Tins and old lunch boxes (the vintage boxes that were tiffin-like). I like this one because you can put the lids on to hide what is inside. See pics 2 and 3 for examples.
5. Tin cans or paint cans. Mount the bottom to the wall and store stuff inside.
6. Mugs or cups. Drill a hole in the bottom and affix to the wall. Straight walled cups would be best, of course.
6. Mismatched hooks. Or matching hooks, if you're that type.
7. Hose nozzles. Vintage brass or copper. Find a set online or in a thrift store. Instant hooks!
8. Vintage irons with a significant handle (see pics 4 and 5). Add an S-hook and you could hang a coat and your keys on one iron. But I suggest hanging more than one - different colors and styles make a splash.
9. Vintage boot holder (see pic 1 for my version). Used for holding keys!
10. Trowels. Bend 'em (like Beckham?) and they're hooks.
11. Pipe joints. And not just pretty copper ones.
12. Bent utensils (forks, spoons, etc.). Vintage silverware is the coolest.
13. Children's blocks. Bet you have some in the attack or basement. If you don't, ask your neighbors who have kids that are growing out of their toys. Insta-reuse opp!
14. A small chair and stool. I love love love this one. Mount the chair with its back to the wall and the seat is the perfect place to set your keys and mail. Mount the stool with the legs sticking out and you've got a great coat rack.
15. Vintage glass or ceramic telephone insulators (pic 6). Love those things!

How about a mix of these items to create a simple yet artistic installation? An iron or two, some kids' blocks, a stool, and a few hose nozzles - how cool would that look? Better than a boring Ramada check-in desk. Here's a Pinterest board with more ideas. What did I miss?

 

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