Don’t get me wrong: as a house, The Brambles has drawbacks.
It only has two bathrooms, for example, and they are as teeny-tiny as full baths can be. It has low ceilings: the kitchen is only 7.5′. It has a lot of acoustic-tile ceilings, popcorn ceilings, and ’70s paneling walls (which have been painted over).
But it’s still as close to my dream house as I can come without custom building, and the front hall is the first reason why.
So many houses are small, period. So many others put all the space into making the living rooms bigger, the master bedroom bigger, the master bath bigger. Those are great things, but when that space comes at the expense of space to move around, put stuff, and accomplish the practical everyday tasks you have to accomplish before you can enjoy your living room or bedroom? Ech. Always made my teeth itch. Give me closets or give me death, people.
And The Brambles has all those practical spaces. Nice big closets in every bedroom (well, besides ours, but that’s because our “bedroom” is actually the living room … more on that later). A huge utility closet where we throw all sorts of junk. A real utility room, with space for storage and folding laundry as well as the washer and dryer. There is a mysterious room off the kitchen that I have designated my walk-in pantry (more on that later, too).
And the front hall. THE FRONT HALL.
Western Washington is a rainy, muddy, pine-needle-strewn place. Especially if you live in the country, the way we do, you NEED a place to hang your raincoat, take off your boots, and put your house slippers on.
And we have it, we have it, thank HEAVENS we really have it. The beautiful slate floor came with the house. I painted the walls blackberry-purple and hung my Bierstadt landscapes. That’s the library to the side and the TV room straight ahead.
I love my front hall. L. O. V. E. it. So glad we have one.