Instant Entryway

Of all the things a home should be, it should probably be a reflection of the person who lives there. For instance, it’s in the best interest of little people to keep things low to the ground. A drug dealer’s door might sport a glimmering array of deadbolts and locks. Serial killers deserve an attractive place to display and maintain their weaponry. And so on. First off, these personal touches are good conversation starters. “My, what a dazzling collection of cleavers,” the observant guest might note, eliciting a bout of friendly chit-chat. “So sharp and so shiny!”

Beyond that, I like the idea that if a gypsy were to break into my house, they’d understand some things about me just by looking around. A detective could work up a fairly accurate profile of my personality. A famous person might think, “this person is dope,” and take a load off until I got home. But the thieving vagabond, the investigator, Martha Stewart—all these intruders might mistakenly assume that I’m humble and modest. Disfigured, perhaps, or just afraid or confused by reflective surfaces. This is because the only mirror in the whole apartment, until recently, was the front of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. As a reflection of who I am—somebody who can occupy days in front of a mirror, subsisting solely off the nourishing power of my own beauty—my apartment was doing a pretty half-assed job.

Adding insult to injury was the sad vintage paper holder we discussed a few posts ago, awkwardly placed above the newly hacked kitchen shelf and next to the Hang-It-All. Refresh your memory, it’s been a minute:

To remedy the general lack of mirrors and this weirdness going on in my kitchen, I picked up this little vintage mirror at Meeker Avenue Flea Market for about 30 smackers, pleasingly rendered in the fleshy shade of a band-aid.

In a shockingly uncharacteristic move, I decided NOT to spray paint it, but instead used regular latex paint that I had leftover from the bathroom, Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur. Partially because it’s an adorable name for a paint color, but mostly because hand-painting just seemed more in the homespun spirit of this filthy old mirror.

Take the paper holder down, put a mirror up… voila, an entryway.

It turns out it’s really nice to be able to check yourself out before your walk out the door, especially now that it’s cold as hell and all that layering gives you more opportunities to look a hot mess.

I also dragged this little $1.29 IKEA BORRIS doormat from outside the door into the kitchen. Particularly because it’s winter and the ground is all kinds of nasty, I’m trying to get back into the no-shoes-indoors habit and this seemed like a nice way to collect them.

Oh, and the coffee area got a little upgrade too, thanks to this substantial acrylic tray from my grandparents’ house. My grandmother loved nearly anything acrylic (the lucite nesting tables in my living room are also originally from her house), and her collection of 60s-mod acrylic servingware is supercool. Most of it’s too big to fit in my cabinets, but this tray finally found a perfect spot and function right here. By the way, anybody have a recommendation for a tiny, relatively inexpensive, and nice-lookng coffee maker? Because that little $10 Walgreens do-hickey has seen better days.

The kitchen. Getting sexier by the minute.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 12.26.10

    The mirror is totally cute, and I’m now newly inspired to paint one of the 394750845 antique mirror/frames I’ve been hoarding for the past 20 years. Maybe even tonight!

    LOVE the tray.

    And would you consider just getting a Chemex pot?

    • 12.26.10
      Daniel said:

      Hmmmm… love the idea, but it’s sorta similar to the french press in that I’d have to boil water first (but at least the clean-up is easier!). I know that’s really, really stupid reasoning, but I’m just so out of it in the morning, that first cup just can’t come soon enough so speed of preparation always wins out. Ideally, it would probably be a tiny 4-cup little coffee maker, and an automatic timer would be heaven.

    • 12.26.10

      No, I understand completely. That’s why I have an automatic, too! French presses make me homicidal.

    • 12.26.10

      God knows why it’s been discontinued, but if you can get your hands on one, the Braun’s classic Aromaster did come in a 4-cup, and it looks fantastic.

    • 12.27.10
      Daniel said:

      I like it! But now I *might* be obsessing about how nice it would be to have an automatic programming feature… like a third alarm clock. Getting my ass out of bed in the morning is one ugly affair, maybe the smell of fresh-brewed coffee would give me the extra umph I need.

      Who am I kidding, I need an adrenaline injection… Pulp Fiction style.

    • 12.27.10

      I’m thinking you might just need to hire a butler.

    • 12.27.10
      Daniel said:

      I mean, I do have an empty room.

    • 12.26.10
  2. 12.26.10
    S@sha said:

    The mirror is great for showing how your hang-it-all complements your kitchen light and curtain too.

  3. 12.27.10
    Natalie said:

    Very nice… better color matching.

  4. 12.27.10
    Sue said:

    Hi Daniel – I love the mirror and the lucite tray. Is that mirror heavy? I found one just like it at an antique mall and it is super heavy. I also love that Eames Hang it All, I was hoping for one for Christmas…..maybe next year!

    • 12.27.10
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, it’s pretty heavy! It’s hanging on two screws that I put in the wall for the paper roll holder… I just adjusted the wire on the back of the mirror so it would hang at the right height. The old glass is super thick and the back is covered with wood, so it definitely weighs a few pounds!

  5. 12.27.10
    Girly said:

    darn…if you didn’t depend on your daily caffeine fix so much, i would recommend something vintage cute, no?

  6. 12.27.10
    Georgia said:

    Loving it! Really like that yellow ice cube holder (if that’s what it is…) :)

  7. 12.27.10
    jk said:

    A bit pricey (and maybe too zoom-y looking for your vintage kitchen) but just look at the clean, white, filleted lines…

    • 12.27.10
      Daniel said:

      I WANT. But yeah, that’s pretty expensive. whygodwhyyyyy?

    • 12.27.10

      The JM Rowenta looks nice, but it’s pretty big…and, sadly, kind of a piece of junk. :/

    • 12.27.10
      jk said:

      Good call, Anna. It is quite the behemoth!

      I’d pondered the coffee maker dilemma for a long time and settled on a Bodum stainless steel French Press. Fortunately, my commute is short and I can get my caffeine fix at the office–the French Press (as unobtrusive and attractive as it may be) is now reserved for guests and days off due to the pain of cleanup.

  8. 12.27.10

    Why are mirrors so expensive?

    And how is it that you’re so hysterical?

    I liked especially when you called yourself a dope, and later discussed sustaining yourself sheerly by gazing at yourself in the mirror.


    PS – @Anna D. – may I send you my list of necessary appliances so you can shop for me, too?? ;)

    (that Chemex pot is super cute!)

    • 12.27.10

      I love window-shopping for appliances!!

    • 12.27.10
      Sue said:

      Mary’s right Daniel – you are so funny, I’m going to enjoy following your blog!

  9. 12.27.10

    Love the instant entryway :)

    May something like this for a coffee maker? Not sure if it is programable, but it has auto shut off, so mabye?

    I have the white, non-programable one of these on my desk at work and it does the job even if it isn’t great looking:

    • 12.27.10
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, I was looking at the cuisinart one, too! I wish the black was actually as matte as it looks in the product photo… lord, I’m so picky.

    • 12.27.10

      Haha its ok, I’m ridiculously picky, too!

  10. 12.27.10
    Katrien said:

    Hmmm…I’d go with a percolator (for example the moka express at …the coffee will definitely wake you up and it looks nice as well!
    Ok, it’s not automatic, but boiling and brewing coffee will only take a couple of minutes!

  11. 12.28.10
    sara said:

    We bought this Krups coffee maker over a year ago… Works great and it makes a mean cup of joe! It is also programmable. The only issue is it gets fingerprint-y. Might be a little bigger than you are looking for, but I can’t recommend it highly enough.

    • 12.28.10
      Daniel said:

      ooooh. that might be a winner. Wish it was a little smaller (I really don’t need 10 cups), but then again, the machine itself is pretty small. And well priced. Hmmmmm. Thanks!

  12. 12.28.10
    Cee said:

    Hi Daniel, love your blog, I have what is possibly a stupid question, but it is bugging me so I will ask it anyway. What is the gray and orange cylinder shaped thing over and to the right of the Hang it All? I cant make it out?

    • 12.28.10
      Daniel said:

      An eyesore, that’s what! But actually, it’s a gas meter, or an electric meter… to be honest, I’m not really sure. Something that has numbers that mean something to ConEdison and affect my utility bills!

  13. 12.28.10
    Cee said:

    Ah I see, I hadn’t a clue what it was. Ours is a big box hiding in the garden behind some shrubs.

  14. 12.29.10
    Monica said:

    Love how the color is reflected in the Hang-It-All, the intercom (?) and the doormat.

    Not sure if this would be a good fit for your aesthetic requirement but the price is good, it is programmable and a 5 cup machine:

    Good luck with your search.

    • 12.31.10
      Daniel said:

      Hey, that one’s not bad at all! Might be a winner! Thanks!

  15. 12.29.10
    Veronica said:

    Raccoon fur!!! Love it!!! :D

    P.S. You can make any coffee maker automatic with a plug in timer like you’d use for a lamp, no?

    • 12.31.10
      Daniel said:

      That is a fucking brilliant idea!!! Woah. I’m so impressed. This might be the solution I’ve been dreaming of.

  16. 1.1.11
    yyz said:

    Wonderful blog you have here Daniel—fun to read and great projects!

    I noticed most of your appliances are white, here is a cute little coffemaker. The brand Zojirushi is well known for rice makers but this product has gotten decent reviews:

    Happy New Years! Best wishes and good luck with the search.

  17. 1.4.11
    Allyson said:

    The mirror looks great, but honestly I am completely distracted by the Hang It All in every single picture of your kitchen. I can never tear my eyes away. I might have to cave and get one. Ughhhh.

  18. 1.5.11
    maya said:

    hey there!
    happy new year.
    so, ur place is looking great!
    our friend just got this..
    its great so far.
    i really want your ikea hack shelves will be black and white………, but thats me….