Beautiful living is also sometimes identifying what is and what is not working for you. This week in the area of environment some things were not working. One of those things was this messy basket of shoes. This has been an ongoing battle for me. I have tried many solutions for storing our outside shoes. Living in a rural setting requires old and often dirty outside shoes plus a pair of work shoes or boots for Handy Hubby's daily trek out into the world of gainful employment. We don't have the luxury of a mud room to hide them away from view so they reside in the front entry of our home, a lovely sight to greet our guests to be sure. NOT! I have been scouring shoe storage solutions in both stores and online but nothing has appealed to me. I wanted them out of sight but within easy access.
Yesterday I left home to peruse my favorite flea markets with my wish list, paint chips, and swatches in tow. Foremost in my mind was the design philosophy of Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer, authors of the book, "Junk Beautiful", "When you look at junk, forget what is was and think about what it could be." With this mind set I discovered a delightful shoe storage solution, a very affordable antique music cabinet. It is in need of some very minor repair which my Handy Hubby will see to this evening, a thorough cleaning, and new screws on the handle. What was intended to hold records will now serve as a quaint shoe caddy. I can well imagine a large vase of fresh flowers resting atop this little cabinet greeting my guests rather than the former mess.
Now that I have beautiful shoe storage I needed something to fill the void at one end of the entry. We used to have a lovely iron bench that was made from an antique bed. While it was ornate and beautiful it was the most uncomfortable thing to sit on. It has retired to the garden and the space has stood empty for some time now. I had a dream piece in mind which would have been equally as pretty but not practical. Sometimes beautiful living means letting go of something or adjusting our expectations which can often lead to the surprise of something equally delightful to fill that space. This was my discovery this week.
Friends of a newly combined household were getting rid of excess furniture and I was able to purchase a chair from them that is fashionable, functional, and fits our needs. Now we have some place lovely to sit to put on our shoes, to curl up to read, or to watch the wildlife. I shopped my home and moved a few pieces around to create a seating area. A narrow folding table from the hall, a lamp from the living room, old favorite books from various places about the house, a pair of corbels from a shelf, a rug from the kitchen, and an old unused Italian bed spread from the closet were used to cozy up the space.A stop in Hobby Lobby netted more beautiful abundance than I could ever imagine possible in such a short span of time to complete this space. Usually when I decorate a space it evolves over time as budget allows. It so happens that I have been setting aside a bit of savings here and there for a decorating fund. With funds at the ready I was able to purchase the music cabinet for shoe storage for 10% off the tag price, three decorative pillows at half price, and fabric and trim for window treatments at 30% off with a bit of savings left over. Generally I enjoy making pillows and such but figuring fabric, trim, pillow forms, and thread, buying them was actually a savings in this case. In the very near future I will give you the two cent tour of the completed space.
Beautiful living is often seeing the potential in people and and the spaces we occupy. Beautiful living is an every day learning process. These were some of the beautiful lessons in my week. To me beautiful living is also in sharing and giving. To incorporate the giving aspect of beauty into my week next week, I will be having a give away! You might remember when Queen Winter first paid me a call, well, she has returned and I have completed the collage I started on that day and it is the prize for the give away! Check back next week for sign up details and to see the completed project.In the spirit of sharing I will have a project how-to for you week after next and the sample I make up will be a Valentine give away prize! I hope you will drop in for that too. For more ideas on beautiful living, please visit Melissa at The Inspired Room where you will find a link up post to share or gain beautiful living tips.