completed projects, ready-made objects

Bathroom Updates

I was coming back from the bar the other night with Kevin, Right out front as we were leaving was a giant mirror.  It had been left leaning against a no parking sign in front of the bar.  There was a frame partially on it.  It was really gaudy and glossy and hideous, behind it was a small sticker that said “Made in Italy.”   I giggled about the thought of that for a bit and then I took it home, took off the frame, cleaned it up a bit, realized there was a pretty big chip on one of the corners, and that it was permanently glued to a piece of particle board that was all torn up and larger than the mirror itself.  There was no real way to take off the particle board without using some toxic chemical so when I made a new frame for it I had to find a way to incorporate the nasty board the mirror was attached to into the design of the frame.

I measured the wall in our bathroom, the mirror size was a perfect fit to fill the space over the sink and toilet and replace the cheap little plastic home depot mirror the apartment came with.  I then drew up some sketches. I wanted part of the mirror to be revealed and the other part to have three shelves so that each of us could have our own “spot” in the bathroom.  I played with a few variations of this, some with shelves over the toilet, one with a light attached, but ultimately ended up building a shelf with three dividers that ran along the base of the frame acting as a sill.  This also helped me brace the frame more stiffly since the mirror was a pretty heavy piece of glass.  What was nice about this was that there was a general shelf for everyone in the apartment and then three little pockets for personal items like tooth paste, razors, hair goo, etc.

When the whole thing was assembled, I stained it with a nice minwax grey so that the wood grain could still show, yet be a bit muted to help match the existing “earth palette” of the bathroom which consisted of grays, beiges, charcoals, and browns.

Around the same time all of this was happening I found this old wooden box on the side of the road that I was able to sand and finish in the same grey.  Coincidently, it had three shelves in it as well, so the theme carried on.  I mounted the grey shelves behind the mirror so you could see what was on them from behind you, as you were getting ready in the morning using four “L” brackets from the dollar store.  The stain was $7.00 and the wood I used was around $16.00, the “L” Brackets were 99¢.  The whole project after tax was about $26.00.  I am so happy with the new mirror; it makes the small bathroom feel so much larger, and has so much more storage capacity without cluttering the sink and the bathtub.  I personally like to keep those surfaces clear so they are easy to clean and so peoples’ bathroom belongings don’t get all full of gunk.  There is nothing worse than a moldy bathroom. ew. Bathing is a ancient ritual and the space around it has always been emphasized.  Making this an apartment improvement that was well worth it.

The Found Mirror

Some of the Damage on the Mirror

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

The Frame Cuts

Assembled Frame

Attached Shelves

Final Assembly

& Matching Shelf

Wooden Frame I Found for Shelf Before Stain

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