During the Parade of Homes weekend, when Durango’s builders and homeowners graciously open their doors to looky-loos from far and wide, I get excited.
Why, you ask? Well, quite a few reasons, and it’s not just the free champagne and hor d’oeuvres (although I sincerely appreciate the bubbles, so please keep going with that trend if you’re so inclined).
Many of the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are chock full of cabinetry from the business where I work, and it’s satisfying to see the finished product in action. I never had kids, but poring over countless details when designing a kitchen, then fast forwarding to watch a chef work his/her magic in said kitchen, feels like a birthing of sorts (minus the pain, plus champagne). Don’t believe me? Treat yourself to a meal somewhere with an exhibition table and observe. If you’re into food, art and science, with a dose of suspense and adrenaline, it’s fascinating.
The Parade of Homes also provides an opportunity to indulge my inner voyeur. I walk the halls and imagine sleeping in their bedrooms, playing dress up in their closets, soaking in their tubs, sweating in their saunas and fetching with their Fido. Traipsing through these homes, I’ve learned all sorts of things from others’ successes and failures, and I’m going to share a design secret. It’s not much of a secret really, but it’s an often-missed detail, and I’m trying to be enticing here.
I’m talking about the all-important landing space. When you walk through a door, is there a convenient place to put your keys/coffee/phone/mail/leash/dog/child? A flat surface is always welcome near an entry.
If you have a large entry area, consider a sturdy console table with a couple of shelves and baskets underneath to corral your clutter. If you have little to no room, even a minimal shelf with a few hooks below it is enough to stash your keys, hang up your coat and free up your hands. Why do we need free hands? I was taught to be hands-free walking up stairs to catch myself if I trip and to have both fists ready to strike, just in case. And really, an intruder isn’t necessary to have a Bruce Lee ninja-style entrance. Nothing says “I’m home” like a few karate chops in the air, with sound effects.
So that’s it. Use a table, shelf, chair, tall stack of books. Heck I don’t care if it’s milk crates, whatever you’re feeling. For extra credit, top the table with a decorative tray or bowl to deposit your keys. Houston, we have landed.
Erin White is a designer and sales representative with Aspen Design Studio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-9134.