Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A DiY branch coat stand in a Victorian entrance hall

gaslighthouse.blogspot.com DiY branch coat stand Victorian cottage
Our entrance hall - or what it used to look like.
I showed this picture (on the left) to my husband the other day and told him, our entrance hall doesn't look like this anymore. Actually, that's not entirely true. It's exactly the same, just imagine that there is a push chair there, lots of shoes and a stand next to the front door holding lots of coats (more on that later). 

I remember stepping into this hall the first time that afternoon when we viewed it. I'd seen pictures of the house before and it was already our first choice based on location alone. That day, we viewed two other houses, one a modern house and the other also a Victorian one, both houses in equally good locations. The other Victorian house felt really cramped, for some reason, and I guess stepping into this hall straight after seeing the other house, already sealed the deal for us. There was that feeling, almost akin to a sudden gust of wind, as we stepped in. The ceiling was the tallest amongst all the houses we'd seen that summer; it had the 'magnificence' factor of a massive house that we as a young family couldn't afford at this stage. We were instantly taken by it. 

Items in the photo include a working early 20th century telephone we bought at Eversley Barn Antiques. We actually used it till we found the time to shop for cordless phones -- man it was very frustrating to repeat the process when you miss dialling a single digit. The black and white painting is of our sports boat passing the Tower Bridge in London (something that truly happened during our honeymoon), one of those pictures that my brother did when he visited us. Mike did the green shutters frame -- I would have loved for the frame to have a rustic look, that could be another project. The red bag is a present from Mike, it is the same as Felicity's (Keri Russell) senior year bag in what would be the TV series of my youth. I could watch all four seasons over and over again. They stopped making the bag a long time ago, but a few years ago, during Mike's business trip to California that coincided with my birthday week, I asked him if he could have one made for me by the same company that made them (Vin Baker Tuscany Leather Bags). Mike said the woman he spoke to on the phone said she was "going to ask Vin if they would do one in red." She got back to Mike to say they had enough leather to make one more bag and it was mine!

gaslighthouse.blogspot.com DiY branch coat stand Victorian cottage
The branch coat stand that the hubby made - obviously, this is not how
this space normally looks.
As for the branch coat stand (right photo), we searched antique shops to find the best coat stand that wouldn't look out of place in our entrance hall. I wanted a unique one and in my mind, I already knew we wouldn't find it in an antique shop. So I searched online for a tree/branch coat stand and found several but they are not cheap, others were also from abroad and shipping cost a fortune. It happened again, around the same time that Mike was on a week-long business trip, and I was at our local woods  with my little girl. I found this branch in the woods that I thought would make a perfect coat stand. I hid it under a fallen tree trunk in case a dog-walker would also see its potential as a coat stand. So when Mike came back we went to the woods and I showed him the branch (luckily it was still there!) and he said it wouldn't fit in the car, he would have to carry it home. It was not a small branch so as we walked, with me pushing M, he suddenly wondered if it was even legal to get a branch from the woods and take it home. ("I don't know, you were born here, you should know," I told him). It took a while before he even got to do anything with it as he had to dry it out completely and then treat it first in case of woodworm. I wanted metal hooks, but in the end I liked his idea of wooden pegs. They look better, not that we even see them when we hang the coats. The last challenge was how to make the branch stand and one time we just decided on one of those stands they use for real Christmas trees.

Obviously, this is not how this space with the coat stand normally looks, it would, only if there's only one person living in the house who owns just one pair of shoes and a coat (in a girl's case, not likely!).

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