July 14, 2009

An unwanted CLOSET becomes a VANITY. (complete)

Without the need for a closet in my master bath, I’ve ripped it out!

When we moved into our house we put shelves in this clothes closet since we had all our clothes hanging where they should be (in the closet in our bedroom).
Despite the shelves, the closet remained pretty much wasted space housing towels and unused toiletries.
Then I had an idea… Rip it out, and build a Vanity! So much of my hair/make-up “stuff” lived on the bathroom counter, I decided I could create a vanity that would hold it all, and hide most of it. I get excited when I have ideas that will help me be tidy, and I LOVE to have a home for everything.

So, de-construction of the closet was first. Then I took out some sheet rock to tap into the electricity… (since I would need to have an outlet for my hairdryer) and then I mudded my joints, and texturized all of the walls the vanity would be part of, then I primed it… (the rest of the bathroom will have to “match” later… a bathroom remodel takes a fair chunk of money)
Also at this point, I ripped out the bathroom door and door frame, adding drywall to the opening and mudding it also. I did this because I wanted a sliding bathroom door. (This was a project on its own, which I won’t go into now. Not all that exciting. In this photo you can see my child height counter tops. -They meet my thighs. One day they will go!)
This vanity in its entirety, was a lengthy project, so I struggle to know how much to share. I took lots of photos! I’m going to try and keep it short and sweet, not going into too much detail, because it might get boring. Even doing that… It’s a long project that I think I’ll break down into more than one post.

Then I went to Lowes to look for lighting. Home Depot didn’t have enough selection for me, and so Lowes to the rescue! I ended up finding two vanity lights on clearance for $13.50 each! Originally $54. each! Score!
So, that determined what I was going to do with lighting, and I called my dad!

He helped me with this set up, which is just what I wanted! Wires would eventually be hidden with my plan… so don’t worry about them.

Then I built a frame onto the wall using left over scraps from a really cool project I’ll eventually share when it’s finished. (I never seem to post projects in order. Some take longer eh?)

This frame is in 2 sections for a purpose… you will see why later in the project. Then I painted it white.
*(here's where I stopped on the first post, and now will continue :)
Between the two lights, I located the studs with my "stud finder". This is one of the handiest tools ever! I placed a piece of masking tape on either side of the stud, and then used a strip of blue between my marks to be my center stud line.
Then with L brackets, and strips of wood I painted white, I screwed them into the studs. I also taped a scrap board up level on the right to use as my "stopper". (IDK what to call it.)
Then I kept going with three more shelves. Worth knowing, I screwed the L brackets into the shelf prior to screwing it to the wall; using the measurement between pieces of blue tape. ;) I love my spirit level!Here's the shelves all spaced differently for different height items.Then I used two pieces of wood (not these two, as I decided they were too small, but I didn't take a photo of the larger wood) and screwed them into my shelves as so. These serve as the boards to which I attach the hinges for my mirror. And I painted them white.Under the bottom shelf I did a little side project. I found some eye screws at the hardware store the size of some thick dowels I had. I screwed it into the bottom shelf, then I bought two rubber gromets to place on the dowel either side of the eye screw. This kept the dowel where I wanted it, and I am able to hang my bracelets from the dowel.At this point I did a few things I didn't photograph.
I painted the walls white, and the wall on the left of the vanity I painted "Cafe Au Lait".
Then I hung the mirror I "made". I just built a frame larger than the mirror to fit the size I needed, but used wood thick enough the mirror could still fit in the opening. I painted it white before I decided I wanted it the same color as the wall, so I painted it again. Then I attached some braces across the corners of the frame, painting them with black metal paint first. These will match my black door handle.
Also at this point I attached the wood to the frame. I did not photograph this process either, but I can explain what is here. At the top back of the vanity I have a solid piece of ply that spans the width, but is only about 14" deep. To this I attached two piano hinges, then two pieces of ply for my left and right sections. (Obviously I stained my plywood before attaching it.)
I also attached a piece of ply to the front of the frame. (ps to this... I had Home Depot cut my 12mm board when I purchased it. I think I paid for about 9 cuts, and then refined it at home as and where I needed. But, by having them cut it, I saved myself lots of work with my lack of ability to chop up an 8'x4' sheet.)
So... Then I screwed a board to the bottom of the vanity... I think this is like Malamine, but not as stif... It's textured one side, and flat the other. I painted the flat side white before screwing it to the bottom of my frame.
Then I did this little project...
I have designed this vanity so that I have to lift open to access my crap. I did this for two reasons. 1. A drawer would mean I would have to keep moving back and forth from the mirror, opening it towards me. Not good. 2. A lifting top would FORCE me to keep the top clean. Can't set something on it if I want to get something else out.
Here, you are seeing my solution for the hairdryer side... Ya I want the ability to keep my hairdryer put away, but I also want the ability to use it easily while it's out. I tend to dry my hair in 2-3 five minute stints.
I couldn't find brackets the shape of a C, so I bought two L's and attached them together with a short bolt and nut. Then I screwed them to a shelf I covered with a faux leather remnant. (I found this remnant at JoAnn's. It was from a bolt that cost 16.99 a YARD, and this little piece of left over was $1.89! I bought it not knowing what I'd use it for, and the following day I thought of this! Bargain tangent over.)
As you can see, I also used the short bolts to attach it to the bottom of the vanity.
This is hairdryer out and in use...
Did I say I drilled out a groove to accomodate the cord?
The reason I drilled it on the right side of this section is because I will be sitting in the middle of the vanity, and when I pick it up, the cord will be near me.This is hairdryer put away.We are nearing the end! ( I wish Blogger were more friendly with uploading photos and moving them around. All these photos -on an updated post has taken AGES! I won't do it again.)
This is the vanity with the mirror open, my earring frames hung on the wall. A shaving mirror attached to the side for me to see the back of my hair, and the shelf above the vanity boxed in to match the vanity top! This also hides my electricity box and wires for the lights.I keep a blue duster on top to polish and keep my vanity free from dust so prevalent in a bathroom. 
One day the floor will get redone, then skirting board will go back up, and the child height sinks will be replaced.... one day. And then towels can live in a cabinet again.
One thing I forgot to mention or photograph once I finished it... I attached a stay-hinge to either side of the lifting tops. This is so it will stay open at an angle if I'm going in and out.
I hear the yawning! Sorry this was so long. I don't do long ones like this often :)
Hope it was worth the long read.
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July 6, 2009

PageMaps Blog

I don’t often share my scrapbook pages on my blog, (since it's all about projects) but the wonderful Robyn Weatherspoon pointed out a challenge Becky Fleck posted on PageMaps, so I went a lookin’.

Here’s Becky’s sketch and challenge

Here’s my take on the sketch…

Thanks Robyn, and Thanks Becky!
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