Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Theme Post: Outerwear

December's one-day theme at Sophistique Noir is Outerwear.  As one of three people in Colorado who doesn’t engage in outdoor winter sports – the other two being an obsessive gamer who shuns silly things like fresh air in favor of reaching the next level and a woman who has sworn not to set foot outside until she has completed her stop motion animation of the entire collected works of Shakespeare – I don’t have much use for outerwear.  I also get hot easily, further lessening the need.  This is a lucky break for me, because I require Tall sizes, which are sold in limited styles in few stores (all online).  My coat collection is small.

From left to right: black hooded sweatshirt, which is usually all I need for my drive to work; plum color hooded pea coat, which I have worn two or three times; black down parka, which I wear when shoveling snow; black and stripey scarves.  I also have a long wool coat that I wore when working in DC and commuting by Metro (and haven't worn since).

The hall tree is one of the few pieces of furniture I bought new and won't alter.  I spotted it in a clearance section for $159.  It has two barely visible scratches on the mirror, so I asked if I could get a discount. They knocked the price down to $99.  Sweet!  Mad negotiation skills, I have them.  ;-)

Now, to bring this post around to a DIY theme, let's look at an outerwear-related home renovation project (one I do NOT recommend).  It's a good thing I have a nice hall tree because my coat closet is... well, less than optimal.  

Winning second place* for WTF!? Home Renovation is the chimney running through my coat closet.  (Yes, the drywall is as crooked as it looks, and that's water damage from the hole cut through the roof.)  It might not be so bad if the chimney was useful.  But the fireplace sits alone in the unfinished basement, and I’m 107% certain that any attempt to use it would result in my entire house burning to the ground.  Thus the fireplace wins third place for WTF!? Home Renovation.

But let’s look at the bright side.  The closet is the perfect place to store my ironing board.

And there IS an 8" bar in the closet on which I could hang one parka.  So in all fairness, it still qualifies as a coat closet (just not a coats closet).

*First place goes to my laundry "room," which will turn up in a future post eventually.


  1. Oh, this post had me giggling. From the description of the other two non-sporting Colorado residents, to the amazingly unique "coat" closet.

    Great deal on the coat tree! I can't believe you got $60 off. Can you come help me out next time I need to buy a car? ;)

    Thanks for participating, and bringing a unique perspective to today's theme (and a much-needed smile to my face).

  2. The coat tree is awesome! And very useful for you as I read through the post. You do the right thing not to try to lit a fire in that stove. Can you call someone to investigate your chimney? We have a stove in our livingroom that were not registered by the "chimney sweapers" and then never sweapt, I only lit candles in it for comfyness.

  3. VictorianKitty - I'm so glad I could bring a smile to your face. :D

    It's funny, other people have mentioned help with buying a car. I'm actually pretty good at it, having purchased three cars in the last five years - two for myself and one for my mother. Salesmen don't expect a woman to negotiate price, and they weren't quite sure what to do with me when I wouldn't fall for their tricks. Eventually they had no choice but to surrender and give me what I asked for. Muahahaha! :)

    linnea-maria - If the fireplace were on the main floor, I would definitely have someone investigate it for me because I would love to have a fireplace. But it's in the unfinished basement, which is nothing but concrete walls and concrete floor. It baffles me that the previous homeowners went to so much trouble to install a fireplace in a space not meant for habitation.

  4. That is certainly an amusing post :D I love how only one coat fits perfectly in that little space - though I'm sure its not amusing when you need storage - its just too funny and you have to wonder what were they thinking!! That is a beautiful piece of furniture though that you got and such a bargain! That's great!

  5. Yup. That beats my "bathroom door that won't open fully" and my "kitchen sink that's too narrow to wash anything larger than a teacup."

  6. Snowhyte - Luckily I have plenty of storage in other closets, so I'm free to laugh at this one. And I do! :) Having a chimney in the closet is funny, but the fact that they put a little bitty closet bar in there is hilarious.

    Tante Fledermaus - Ha ha ha! Yeah, it's one of the odder quirks I've seen in a house.

  7. your coat "closet" reminds me of a rather unusual "closet" my wife and I experienced in easily the world's most depressing apartments.

    As opposed to having a door, it was, instead, hid directly behind the bedroom door of the room it was in. It was an oversized void that was shockingly deep, but only at the bottom level (there was a shelf of sorts, but if you pushed something to far back on said shelf, it would fall to the floor). Needless to say I was excited we left that behind when we moved.

  8. Ha ha! Yeah, anything that can be described as an "oversized void" is probably not a good thing to have in one's apartment.

  9. Slowly looking through your past posts...

    As linnea-maria said and you obviously know, one has to be careful with a flue of questionable integrity. In my 250 year old house the main chimney stack runs right up through the middle of the house but had been unused since the 1970s with the fireplaces bricked-up.
    Restoring them to working order proved to be a hideously expensive process as to be on the safe side, I started by getting the flues lined by the pumped concrete method (but not by that particular company). This is horribly intrusive house surgery as in my case it was necessary to break into the chimney stack at intervals along its rise to roof level with all the dust, damage and subsequent need for redecoration that is involved. But it's done now and nothing beats a real open fire (although my girlfriend's gas log-effect stove runs a very close second).
    There was another rather unexpected benefit (but which also added to the cost of restoration)... When the old chimney pot was removed and the chimney unsealed at the roof, it was discovered that the chimney stack contained three flues rather than the expected two. Further investigation by tapping the walls in the upstairs bedrooms and ripping away a piece of board revealed a stone hob grate - the only original feature left in the old place that has survived properly intact.


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