Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: The Sense of Accomplishment

The Sense of Accomplishment

I have the sense of a HUGE accomplishment today!

Whenever I would show 2-story houses that had a "dust collector" above the front door, I would tell myself that if I ever had a house like that, I was going to decorate it, and it would involve one of those treasure chests. When we bought out current house about a year and a half ago, it actually has the "dust collector"!  I was so excited.  For those of you who don't know what a dust collector is, it's a plant ledge that just collects dust, mainly because it's too high for you to dust it.

I wanted to decorate it, but when it came down to it, I didn't really know what I wanted to do for that spot.  My husband was very much against putting anything there because "who is going to dust it?"  I told him that the point is that no one dusts it, the stuff just sits there and looks pretty.  So, all this time goes by, and I had secretly been looking for a reasonably priced chest and I would build around it.  I looked several places, but I was not going to spend $100+ on something to collect dust.

I received a referral last month from an agent in California.  They came into town and we were looking at many houses.  While looking, I had mentioned my plans for the "dust collector" but hadn't been able to find any chests worth the price.  Before these buyers left town, they stopped in a store and called me.  They said they were there and that they had tons of chests at 50% off!  It's weird because I had gone to that store, but not that location.  It turns out that the location they were at was one of the biggest in the area so they carried more things.  Dust Collector

The next day, I drove up there, and I got my chest for only $34!!!  I brought it home, and my husband was like, "we're not putting that up there!"  I was like, "Oh, yes we are!"

I bought that chest about a month ago, and yesterday my husband looks at me while watching TV and asks, "Are you ready to put that stuff on the ledge?"  I immediately jumped up and got my jacket on so we could bring in the HUGE ladder from the backyard.

Dust Collector


I have a huge sense of accomplishment that I had been wanting for many years and finally did it.  Yes, it's something simple, I didn't cure cancer or anything, but it's my own creation and I like it.  It's a chest, a chair, a throw blanket, and a plant that was just sitting around the house. All for under $65!

As for Mike, he thinks it blocks out too much sun, but we'll just have to open the windows in the front formals!  I told him I would climb up there twice a year to dust, but that means he's going to have to bring in the big ladder from outside!  I wonder if that's going to happen....


Comment balloon 18 commentsDonna Harris • January 07 2007 06:25PM


Your second photo puts the "dust collector" into perspective. Your clients were really thinking of you, and congratulations for finally getting what you wanted up there.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) almost 13 years ago
Thanks Sharon!  It's definitely one heavy duty ladder that we had to buy because of a smoke detector that went off at 2 in the morning about 6 months ago.  If that didn't happen, no ladder, no dust collector... even though I didn't get any sleep when the detector went off, I'm sure glad it happened!  I love looking at it as I walk up the stairs to my office.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 13 years ago

What'd you do with the dust?




Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) almost 13 years ago
How many homes have I shown with very dusty dust collectors.  I had never heard that term before, but that is what they are.
Posted by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) almost 13 years ago

" husband looks at me while watching TV and asks, "Are you ready to put that stuff on the ledge?" "

Smart Man.

 "...but that means he's going to have to bring in the big ladder from outside!  I wonder if that's going to happen...."

If he stays smart, it will.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 13 years ago
I like it! Simple, and a good use of space.
Posted by Carl Guild, Central Connecticut Real Estate (Carl Guild & Associates) almost 13 years ago
DOnna... thanks for sharing..... it looks good up there....but it is a dust collector. KInd of funny, but at least you did accomplish something, and at a very good price. The whole thing was about you and feeling good....   and it feels great when this happens.  thanks again for sharing.
Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 13 years ago


Thanks for the post. I too can relate to this "dust collector", many of us in areas of new construction encounter this feature. Whenever your descending the stairs you notice the dust/dirt on the ledge, spider weds and dirty window. Definitely an area that needs to be scheduled for period cleaning.

Your treatment looks great! Good luck with the ladder!

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) almost 13 years ago

Tom, I'm a firm believe that if the dust has settled on an item, leave it there or else you're just disturbing it and making it float in the air causing allergies with sneezing.  Mike, on the other hand, thinks things should be dusted. The collection that was already there got sucked up into an electric vaccuum cleaner.

Maureen, I think I've coined the term.  Whenever I say it, people look at me funny until I explain it's the plant ledge.  I'm hoping for the term to take off as it's very descriptive!

Mike, he's not that smart... LOL.  He doesn't want to take care of the area, as it's not my responsibility, but he hasn't figured out that each time he wants it dusted, he's going to have to help.  The ladder is way too heavy for little 'ol me to carry.

Carl,  Thanks.  I'm a simple person, so I didn't think anything elaborate would look right.

Jeff, Thank you.  It makes me feel better just because we've been in this house for over a year and a half and it looks like we just moved in still.  We don't have a dining room set, we still have electronics from coming our households in the front room in boxes... we just put a couple of pictures on the wall last month... this little project for under $65 makes a big difference!

William, for the longest time, when we moved in, the previous owners had left a little stuffed, green gecko on the ledge.  I would just cringe every time I walked down the stairs as it was a reminder of the terrible previous owners... They left it very dirty, and until Mike finally brought in the ladder, I had to stare at the webs and dusty and "stuff".  Gross!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 13 years ago
Ahhh, yes!  The ultimate thrill of victory when you finally have the decorating right.  I just love husbands... It's a shelf, there wouldn't be a shelf if something shouldn't go on it!!!!  They just don't get it...
Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) almost 13 years ago

Hey Donna,


When my husband and I moved into our house some 12 years ago, a friend of ours was helping us move and he made a pretty funny comment.  He referrred to our many shelves by saying "Oh another Shelf - Packrats Love Shelves".  I suppose that's what we are - we have alot of shelves and yes they are dustcollectors but differrent strokes for different folks.  That's what makes the world go round after all.  We can't all live in a Barn - right?  Decorate away and enjoy your sense of creativity!



Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) almost 13 years ago
Donna - I'm the "interior designer" of the family.  Tony is "Mr. Functionality" - "if it works I really don't care where it is or what it looks like"!  Congrats on persuading your husband to help!
Posted by Suzanne Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 13 years ago

I always point out the dust collectors to my clients. They get a kick out of it.  We usually have an interesting conversation about what useless, pretty things that you never want to touch could go on them.  I am pleased that I do not have any dust collectors though.  I just appreciate from afar.  Yours looks great!



Posted by Virginia Halter, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GREEN, SFR, SRES (RE/MAX Signature Properties) almost 13 years ago

I have come to the conclusion to just do it....I don't consult with my husband on decorating at all...If it's not another  TV , computer/ techy stuff, a car, or fishing  then he doesn't want to know about. 

I have 6 huge two story windows in my livingroom and had custom plantation shutters installed...on day five my husband was walking thru the livingroom and said that something felt different about the room !!  It took him 5 days to notice a change in a room that he walks thru everyday...How crazy is that !!

My mother-in-law recently had a small kitchen fire that destroyed the microwave and cabinets by the stove...She was afraid to tell us...She felt sooo bad.....I said just for fun, don't say anything to my husband and I want to see if he'll notice...Sure enough he didn't notice !!!   He walked right by it and didn't even see the chared cabinets !!!  He did freak out when we finally told him...He's so sweet...he paid to have it repaired.  What a good son he is !!

Posted by Lauren Corna, Broker (Archway Realty, LLC) almost 13 years ago

Chris, THANK YOU!  But, I am married to an engineer... 'nuff said!

Suzanne and Lauren, Mike likes to think he's got control of everything, except the landscaping.  I can't do anything inside the house without him "approving" it so to speak... however, I can do whatever to the landscaping and he doesn't even notice.  That's crazy that he didn't notice plantation shutters!!

Virginia, yes, they make good conversation.  Especially when they're hidiously decorated!  More and more people are leaving it empty, but I think it adds personality, even if it does block some light.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 13 years ago
Donna- great use of the space. I do not have a dust collector.. but it is a very apt term.  My parents do... and they decorated theirs with antqiue toys.  (an old highchair, old peddle car, old rocking horse) It fits perfectly in with the "abandoned a long time ago and is now collecting dust" theme. 
Posted by Debi Braulik, Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale ( almost 13 years ago

I have a dust collector in my foyer and one in my Master Bedroom.  My ladders won't reach.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 13 years ago
Donna-We had one of those "dust collectors" in a home that we owned in Colorado.  My wife did a great job of decorating it with differents styles of baskets and lined the edges with plastic green vines.  It looked very nice.  I went up there about twice a year with a vacuum cleaner and sucked out the dust bunnies.  Aloha!
Posted by 1SG (Ret.) David Kucic, President and Owner (Hawaii Military Realty, Inc.) almost 13 years ago