The Best Laid Plans


Ah, sometimes even the best planning will not prepare you for those little unexpected twists that make home renovation or decorating such a challenge.

Here at The Thrift Shop Romantic, I try not to show you just the fun side, where everything works out all hunky-dory on the first shot...

You guys have folks like Martha Stewart for that...

No, I like to share those failures of size, logistics or creativity, when a good idea goes amusingly awry.

For me most recently, it was in trying to sort out a tricky niche area in my living room. This five foot wide indentation in my wall beside the chimney breast has always been potentially useful space that taunted and teased...

First, it teased because the floor there has a broken Victorian wooden grate under it-- a place where a shoe decades early clearly mis-stepped and made a dramatic entrance. I could have a replacement grate made for it, but still, nothing can sit there. It simply waits for modern shoes willing to take that one wrong step to Gratetown, to complete the cycle.

Board it over, as I did, and you get an uneven surface. Which I've not-so-cleverly covered over with a decorative rug. It works, but it's not ideal.

Then comes what to store there. In my livingroom, what I really needed was DVD storage. For years, this area has been place where varying cabinets have come in and out, this one Too Wide, this one Too Cumbersome. And in true Goldilocks fashion, I thought recently I'd found the Just Right one I could actually bear...

They're styled like old library card catalogs, but were made specifically for DVD storage...

What look like individual little drawers are actually two large, separate doors which swing wide to hold over 250 DVDs. The finish is a walnut veneer. They even went to the trouble to make little dovetails on the inner doors, to carry on the old-fashioned feel.

And I measured... Oh, how I measured! I measured the niche area. I measured the cabinets. Together, two cabinets could stand side-by-side to create one long, perfect sideboard table. This area of the room would finally be complete!...

Or would it?

Oh, I hefted and spent time getting all the inner DVD shelves just to the perfect size. I organized and arranged. I lined up those cabinets together, centered them perfectly. It was beautiful. And then I went to open them up...

Um... NO.

That's right. While everything fit perfectly in one respect, having the cabinets butt-up together like that meant the doors, which swung outward halfway down the side of the cabinet, would not budge. They each needed space to butterfly outward.

My plan was hosed!

Yes, I've spent some time readjusting my vision. And I like my cabinets too much to send 'em back. Instead, my new veneered friends have been separated for a little elbow room and I'm trying to make it work.

So, just remember, when you buy that refrigerator that's six inches too tall to fit under your kitchen cabinets... Or you buy a mattress that's too darned wide to get up your stairs...

You're not alone. We all have those failures of logistics. The fun part's Plan B.

And me, I've got a bit of flu bug right now-- plenty of time to sit in my chair and stare at my cabinets over a cup of tea.

Take care, folks! See you Wednesday!

6 comments:

Down Pillow said...

Soooo frustrating when you plan & plan, but the plan still doesn't work out :( It's happened to all of us.

That Girl Ang said...

I love card catalog cabinets.. and since i can't afford one right now.. I can make one as i have those little plates.. thanks for the idea!

jen said...

Hi,
I just popped over from goodwill haunting. I love to nosey in on everyones finds& your blog title intriued me.
I like those cupboards & was dissappointed they didn't work for you. I hate to say quit so here's a couple of ideas for you to investigate or ignore as you choose: Didn't look to see if you rent or own ~ but perhaps you can remove the floor moulding & they will fit?
Or perhaps change the door hinges so the doors bifold open?
Hope you feel better soon.

Betty said...

All I can say it "It looks great" ... and I would have done the same thing ... lol
Hugz ...Betty

Jenn Thorson said...

DP- Yup, sometimes there's no way around it. :)

Ang- Oh, hey, I hope it works out for you. Good luck with it.

Jen- Ah, I do own, but even removing the floor molding won't give them enough space to butterfly out like they need to. Bifolding would work, but would require someone more knowledgable than I to make precise cuts in the doors to give it that extra bend.

Betty- Thanks! It was the best of a surprisingly challenging situation, at least.

Caitlin said...

Hi there -- I'm in the market for DVD storage just like this great cabinet. I love that it's a faux card catalog with the two opening doors. Where did you buy it? Is there a website I can look at ones just like this one?

Thanks!!