Elizabeth's Cure: The Long, Winding Landing Strip

Liveblogging the January Cure 2014

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I've never had an apartment that lends itself naturally to the installation of a landing strip. There are coat hooks and a doormat, but my current front door opens onto a long, narrow hallway with a bend halfway through and doors on each side. The layout makes it difficult to place any kind of table while still being able to use the front door.

There's no end of the hallway to use, either — the walls just drop away and suddenly you're in the sewing room. Given the strange layout of my apartment, I thought I could go without a landing strip. But then I accidentally left an ironing board out too long, and it just sort of turned into one. Oops. So I definitely need to install some sort of shelf or table to serve as a landing strip. (Also I desperately need to figure out how to clean my painted white walls. I had no idea those smudges above the light switch existed until I opened the lead picture in Photoshop and there they were. Ew.)

The problem is that any shelf or table that moves in is going to have to be very narrow to avoid getting walked into, and it's probably going to have to go immediately to the left of the big picture, before the bend in the hallway. The hallway narrows even more after the bend, so anything set between there and the living room will definitely get tripped over.

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The Ikea Ekby is a cute shelf, but at 28 centimeters deep it is still too wide to fit if anybody is going to be able to make it down the hall with a suitcase or a basket of laundry. I thought I would have a solution figured out by now. How hard can it be to find a narrow shelf? Apparently harder than I thought. I'm still looking.

I did give the hallway area a thorough clean while I was trying to solve the landing strip problem, though. Honestly, the hallway area is a bit embarrassing, especially with the random IKEA paper lamp dangling randomly from the ceiling. (A remnant from the previous tenant, that is getting replaced shortly.)

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Ideally I would like to get rid of the hideous coat hooks the previous tenant installed and replace them with a cute Eames Hang It All like I've seen in so many other houses. But removing the current hooks would require a crowbar and a dump truck full of spackle to fix the damage left by probably 40 giant screws, and then I'd have to repaint the area, which would basically mean I'd have to repaint the entire apartment. (Now that I've seen those wall smudges, I'd really like to do that. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself again. My main goal for this cure was, "buy a lamp and install curtains.")

Looking at everyone else's landing strips has been making me crazy envious. I love when you step into a person's home and instantly everything seems like them. I think I have my project for next year's Cure.

More on Elizabeth's January Cure:

(Image credits: Elizabeth Licata; Ikea; Herman Miller )