Monday, October 6, 2014

The perfectly organized entry: knitter's edition

There have been some very interesting discussions within the renovation team here about what constitutes the perfect entry.  I will illustrate this startling revelation with the entry to a caboose, because some people I know consider the door to a train the most perfect entry of all - and, to be fair, a well-maintained caboose is the epitome of Organized.  (plus, the light was lousy for taking a picture of our current entry as an example of What Not To Do.)

Did you know: a caboose is a mobile live/work space, with front and rear entry doors?

For the uninitiated, 'entry' means - more or less - 'front hall'.   In my house, it's what you fall into when you finally get the door open after several tries.  (ever since we moved forward on putting a second floor on the house, it's been slowly breaking down, starting with the front door, and moving on to several lamps and also, the kitchen wiring for the phone.  I can't quite tell whether it's agreeing that it's time, or telling us how much it resents our decision.)

Now, the whole front hall/entry thing turns out to be a deeper subject than wells, because if you have to sit down and think about what you'd like within arm's reach when you first step into the house and also farthest from it, you will be putting a lot of things on your list.

For example, our contractor Ray feels very strongly that a kitchen is not what you want to open the door onto.  And he's right, of course.  It's quite nice to make supper with the front door wide open, so that you can pour pasta into the boiling water the moment your dining companions pull into the driveway, and it's downright lovely not having to take off your snow boots to put away the groceries in the wintertime, but: it's pretty hard to combine Food Prep Chopping Station with Front Hall Dumping Ground.  I haven't chopped mittens yet, but it could happen, and it would be horrible.

And we won't even talk about the traffic flow issue, whereby the kitchen is also the gateway to everything else.   There's been some Broadway-worthy choreography in this house over the years, let me tell you.

Front entries for 'normals'

Even train fans would love a front door like this, don't you think?

Home design blogs offer many lists for how to keep your entry on task.  I've read for example that you should have hooks for coats, a table or shelf for papers and keys and mail, and some hidden storage for boots and shoes and other ugly stuff.

If you look at pictures of entry areas in magazines, you'll see a lot of very elegant tables or chests of drawers for stashing the necessities, and a pretty chair to sit on as you put on your shoes.

In one glam Entry, I saw a custom cabinet for a telephone and charging station built between two seating areas with coathooks arranged over the top.  No more racing into the house and just missing a call!

And of course, who doesn't see the upside of a powder room near the door, offering a speedily blissful end to those long drives home after an unfortunate iced tea purchased at the last rest stop before hitting the city's traffic jams?

To say nothing of an actual closet.  Not all the houses in our neighbourhood have one, if you can believe it, but I consider a place to hang things up kind of essential.

As practical, and sensible, and admirable as these lists are though - they lack something.  A knitter's touch.

Front entries for knitters

A knitter's Entry should have yarn in it, right?

Here is what I would add to the list of entry features for my dream house:

1. A small shelving unit that houses easy-to-find baskets of travel projects for all occasions

2. A closed cabinet concealing a portable spinning wheel (in my case, the very compact Ashford Joy) for easy removal to the porch or the next guild meeting or the cottage

3. A little perch for mail (knitting catalogues, notices of upcoming festivals) and an adhesive-roll lint brush (for all the wisps of wool fiber from the latest round of spinning - seriously, I keep finding that stuff stuck to my jeans) and a bowl full of ironic novelty knitting pins to slip onto whatever you might be wearing out of the house

4. A sofa or armchair with a knitting basket beside it, because why wait to get to work on the latest pair of mittens

5. A small bookshelf or table to house a stack of reference guides - doesn't everybody get halfway down the block and suddenly wonder how to do a left leaning make one increase?

6. Five knitting friends who have been waiting patiently on said sofa for you to come home and join them for a busy chat, one of whom has, ideally, just poured you a fresh hot cup of tea

7. A pop-up yarn store, very rustic and inviting, fully stocked with your personal favourite yarns and buttons and deluxe purse-sized scissors crafted by a 600-year-old family business from Germany

and oh, why not?

8. Cake.  (I really love cake.)

What do you most appreciate in your front hall?  Real or dream version, your choice.


Erika said...

Interesting blog topic! I like the front entry way to mom's it's a hallway going up 1 flight of stairs , and on the stairs we have a welcome sign and crafty things related to what ever Holiday is approaching( I need to get out the Halloween stuff) and we have pictures & painting going up the stairway on both sides-which
I will be adding to shortly. I have so many prints & pictures it's CRAZY so displaying in the staircase coming up I think is neat. And at the top of the landing we have a small book case with books & few decorations on top & also a larger bookcase at the bottom of the staircase. Sadly it is not the entry way for most visitors-they use the back staircase that leads into Moms bedroom , not desirable but oh well it's an old house/apartment

Mary Keenan said...

Oh, I love the idea of all that welcoming stuff staged across an ascending space! And so fun to do holiday decorating... I still have my Valentine's stuff up myself (I think from a year and a half ago, in fact) because it seemed to apply to all seasons ;)^