Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Entryway bench: searching for baskets

When Matt and I moved into our house three and a half years ago, we went from a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment to a three-level, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom townhouse with two living spaces, two potential dining spaces, and some decent outdoor space to boot. We needed a lot of furniture for all the rooms, and even though we filled them slowly, it was definitely a big task.

Spaces got forgotten -- namely, the entryway.

A couple years later, I knew some work needed to be done. So, Matt and I painted and bought a big rug to cover some of the wood floor (in an attempt to preserve it -- especially from guests who don't remove their shoes even though I would clearly prefer it if they did). We hung some pictures, but we also hung some unsightly dog leashes on unsightly hooks left behind by the home's previous owners.

I finally invested in a $100 storage bench I found on Target online about a year and a half ago, and it's done an excellent job concealing what would otherwise be dog-walking clutter.

This bench is the perfect size for our space, and it's ideal for holding necessary entryway items, including:
  • Dog leashes and harnesses, of which there are several in our attempts to control Maxwell with the best possible equipment
  • Extra bags for the dogs
  • Extra umbrellas (for dog walking or for guests)
  • Sunscreen
  • Flip flops in the summer
  • Sneakers in the winter
  • Gloves and winter hats
  • A water spray bottle (for giving Doc a quick reminder that I don't like his barking)

This bench does its duty and then some. And I love it. It's just not that pretty. (The attempt to make it pretty is the two World Market pillows I added as a make-shift back support.)

This summer, one of my projects will be learning how to sew, and I plan to make a new cover for the bench. In the meantime, these cheap-o canvas containers that came with the furniture are getting dirty and bent out of shape, and I think wicker baskets would give the bench a more homey feel. The trouble is finding these baskets in the perfect size. I need to find the ideal height, width and depth to fit this space.

I've been to both Home Goods and Michael's crafts store twice, and I've made two purchases. I bought some slightly too expensive baskets at Michael's for $25 each (before the 40% coupon discounts) that I just returned Monday (before picking Matt up at the airport, if you recall). The baskets had ever-so-slightly raised sides with handles that made the baskets just barely not fit. Then I found baskets of the perfect width and length at Home Goods for $7 each (a price that makes me want to make all future purchases at Home Goods), but I brought them home and they're slightly too short.

What do you think? Should I keep these baskets, or keep looking? If you vote for keep looking, where else would you recommend I look? I tried Target, a no-go. I haven't checked out World Market yet or The Container Store, some of my other go-to locations.


  1. Check Ikea - I know for a fact that they have taller baskets, like what we have in our playroom, but I think they have some shorter options, too!
    Sorry for never taking my shoes off at your house! I will next time I come over!

  2. Hey Steph, try Pier 1. I got some baskets there for Luke's toys and they were great. If I remember correctly, they had many different sizes and 2 or three color choices. Hope you find something!

  3. Hey! Did you get the crate and barrel catalog in the mail yesterday? The very last page has a tv shelf with the exact baskets I think you are looking for. They seemed to be the right size. GL!

  4. I love them! I have the same floor vase with the spray of branches in my front foyer! The layout of our houses is almost identical!

    I'm glad you enjoy my blog, too - thank you so much!!!

  5. Thanks for the basket suggestions, ladies. I tried Pier 1 yesterday but the sizes were wrong. Katy, I'll have to get to IKEA at some point. Mimi, thanks for the tip. I am going to keep looking for something cheaper.

    Thanks, Danielle! We have a Winchester Home townhouse, so if you do as well that might explain some of the similarities. When we were house shopping we saw about 40 houses that were almost identical to ours.

    Keep up the good work at your blog! I'm honored you're reading mine :)

  6. I love what you did with your entry way. I also love your paint color. What color is it?
    Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Thanks, Motherbird! Our entryway looks even better now that we have our new floral rug. I just checked our paint -- it's Behr Ultra Wilmington Tan. We've had great success with Behr paints -- true to color samples and keep their pep for years. I should probably do a post about the paint colors in our house. I'll add that to the list. Thanks for reading!