The Half Price Solution

One of the more exciting features of our new home is our delightfully long entry hall (floor plan here) which we have begun to call the gallery. At 4.5′ wide and 22′ long, it is 100 square feet of amazing and makes for one hell of a grand entrance to our home. Our primary reason for loving this space is that along with the ability to use the long walls to create a true gallery space for our art and photography collection as well as add some storage down one side with a “fauxdenza“.

Entry Gallery

Our 4.5′ x 22′ entry gallery as seen from our living room. These are the original quarter-sawn oak floors with mahogany borders.

We plan to paint the hallway dark gray and install custom lighting to feature my photography on one side, and a couple of pieces of still to be determined large scale art on the other. Our idea is to create a gallery feel as you enter.

Another wonderful aspect of our long hall is that (for the first time in my adult life) there will be enough space to implement a “shoes off at the door” policy in the apartment.

From our first open house visit to the apartment, the tenant who lived there requested that visitors remove their shoes as they entered. Immediately, we both realized given that the hall is 54″ wide, there is plenty of room for a chair or bench for us to implement the same policy. There is also plenty of space in our cedar walled guest closet to hold my 40+ pairs of shoes (have I mentioned I like shoes?)

This left us with the challenge of figuring out just what kind of bench we plan to use. Therein began our hunt for the perfect bench in early June. With our plans to paint the hall dark for showcasing the art and photography, we wanted something that was light in color. We also wanted something that was modern but looked fabulous in the 100+ year old space.

We combed over several websites looking for a bench. Overstock has lots of benches, but in my experience the quality of their stuff is lacking and I refused to buy a knock-off of inferior quality.  We checked out Room and Board, CB2, and Crate and Barrel, as well as DWR and AllModern. All of these places had one or more benches we liked, but all were at prices we just couldn’t justify. So, we decided that for the time being we will just use two of our dining chairs instead and when the right bench comes along, we will know it.

The now no longer available (in yellow) Sonny Bench from Crate and Barrel

The (now no longer available in yellow) Sonny Bench from Crate and Barrel

Fast forward about six weeks, to last Friday, when I stumbled across this Weekend Alert post on Apartment Therapy and the leading shot (right) grabbed my attention. BINGO! THIS IS IT!!! This is the perfect solution for our entry gallery bench. And it was at 50% off!… Even better!

Before I could click “Add to Cart”, I needed to check with the hubby who was out running errands. So I immediately emailed a link to the Crate and Barrel site knowing that at half price (and also being featured on Apartment Therapy), it wasn’t going to last long. Within 3 minutes I got the following message “Love!!! Where would we put it till we move?“. I assured him that was a non-issue but we needed to act fast if we were to order it before it was sold out (I actually had no idea where we would put it in our currently very full apartment, but figured I would carry it to my storage locker a few blocks away if need be).

With Yoav’s stamp of approval, and “Add to Cart” selected, the confirmation email arrived only 15 minutes after I sent him the link. I must say that it it not often that a photo of a product in a vignette sways my opinion on whether or not I should purchase it. But Crate and Barrel has very smartly featured the bench in an entry way with a darker wall color to set off the bold yellow. I would also add that this is typically not as modern as I would go for, but thinking bigger picture, I want something that will hold up with time, and given that the bench is based on classic bentwood designs by Michael Thonet in the 1830s, I know it will hold up to the test of time, and the bright yellow color adds the perfect element to make it feel much more modern than it is. This could have actually existed in our home when it was built in 1910, and will look amazing in our entry gallery.

Sometimes the key to finding the perfect piece is patience, followed by the willingness to act fast when the moment strikes. Later that night, it was still online, with a red notice that it was no longer available on the internet. Now it is gone from their website. They do still however sell it in black.


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