It took a solid week, readers, but we finally have a real entrance way for our house. You may recall that last week we took an epic trip to Ikea and actually bought a bunch of stuff (instead of the usual window shopping excursion we do on most visits). The only thing we weren’t able to buy on that trip was a Hemnes shoe organizer. After planning out my entrance space in my head and getting all psyched to make it happen, a disappointing Ikea trip left me with this all week:
I had my bench, and I had my shelves, but my Hemnes was still a few days away. Dan made a trip to the Markham Ikea on Tuesday on his way home from work, and we were hit with double disappointment. The warehouse computers said there were 14 in stock, but there was not a single one on the shelf. The kind Ikea associate thanked Dan for pointing out this error in their system, but had no Hemnes to give us. Le sigh. It was three more days before Dan was near another Ikea, and this time I called before Dan went to make sure they really truly had them on the shelf. Dan also called right before he started driving there, so that the odds of them selling out in less than an hour would be reduced. The North York Ikea had their act together, and when the system said there were two in stock, it meant it.
I came home from work on Friday to see a partially set up Hemnes, waiting to be attached to the wall. Dan wanted my opinion before attaching it to anything, since he thought it looked cheap to have it up against the chair rail with a big gap between the wall and the Hemnes. I thought it was fine, since you could only see the gap from one specific angle, if you were on your knees. This argument was the beginning of a downward spiral of two grumpy kids trying to put together furniture and put shelves on the wall. The Hemnes debate almost had us prying the chair rail off the wall to make the back of the cabinet flush against the wall. Instead, we opted to literally do nothing, and just screw the cabinet into the wall with a 1/2 gap between the back of the cabinet and the wall. No big deal, but this initial spat snowballed into a larger grumpfest fight over putting up shelves.
It wasn’t pretty, readers. There were holes and pencil marks all over the wall, and frustrated Victoria and Dan, losing patience with each other. Dan was most certainly not in the right mood for putting up shelves when we started, and we were going about the whole process ass-backwards. We decided to secure the brackets to the shelves first, then line up the shelf and make sure it was level, and secure it to the wall. This would have worked, mostly, except that we could only secure our shelf to one stud this way, and our drywall anchors were not cutting the mustard. The biggest problem we discovered was that our wall is not perfectly flat. Right at the edge of the wall, where we wanted one of the brackets to go, the wall bows out a bit. The very simple solution to this was discovered two days later when we actually put the shelves up successfully, but at the time, it was the icing on our grumpy cake, and I threw in the towel on Friday night with only a Hemnes on the wall, and still no shelves.
It took a few days for us to cool off and come back to the shelves, but on Monday afternoon, it took a grand total of 15 minutes to put these puppies up!
You will notice that there are no ugly holes in the wall. Before the shelves went up on Monday, Dan had filled the holes we made (as well as ones we inherited when we moved in) with drywall spackle. I sanded them down and refilled them on Monday afternoon followed by another round of sanding, and once we had the shelves up, I did a quick prime and paint. They were dry within an hour, and you can barely tell where we went a little drill-happy trying to put up the shelves.
Our cookbooks have a real home!
I also got the chance to finish my shadow boxes today, a project that is two years in the making. I bought these a million years ago at Ikea, and made Dan come with me to Michaels to choose a patterned paper that he liked to go into the frame matting. I chose all the little trinkets and postcards, and I stuffed everything inside them today and put them up on the wall. The only thing missing is two hooks to go beside each shadow box for our keys.
My box contains a postcard with a llama in a taxi, two mini rubber stamps, three small balls of yarn, and a frog bracelet. Dan’s contains a puffin postcard, a miniature sock monkey, and a terrifying skeleton angel that we received for Christmas from one of Dan’s uncles a few years ago. I also hung up my favourite sheep picture that Dan made for me:
It is conveniently covering up the phone jack outlet in the kitchen, which we will never use because we’re not suckers and we don’t have a home phone. Need to talk to me or Dan? Call the phones we both already have – our cell phones. End of discussion.
Let’s pretend you’re coming to my house for the first time, ‘kay? This is what you would see: