Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday House of Mirrors

We live in one of those amusement park house of mirrors. You know, the ones that distort everything?
Why else would I look into a mirror, and all of the sudden a greying old lady with a double chin be looking back at me?

I am not amused.

Even though I don't enjoy looking into them anymore; I still find them lovely to look AT.

When clean, they are like sparkly, pretty pieces of jewelry for the wall.

Perusing magazines, and catalogs from Pottery Barn, Rejuvenation, etc. I see a style I like and want for our home, but their prices are not in our budget. It's fun problem solving, and figuring out how to replicate the style for mucho less $. (HGTV had a show like that...but some of their ventures were more successful than others)

Our bathroom medicine cabinet had a large tri-mirror-door, with 80's oak frame. When we took out the clunky oak vanity, and put in the pedestal sink, I had painted the frame white. I still hated the thing. The interior was metal and rusty. I wanted something more in keeping with our more than a century old farmhouse.

Here is the med cabinet I liked:

(from Rejuvenation)

Here is what I built instead:

I got an el' cheapy "box" from Target (they don't show it on line anymore) and retrofitted it, and adding framing and mouldings, made it fit our space.
As I said...this is one old house. The bathroom is like that poem of the little crooked man with the little crooked house. It's got a narrow passage going past the sink to the tub area. This picture actually looks roomier than it is.

I'm not actually a fan of mirrored walls, but this above the wainscoting really opened up the area visually, and has the added benefit of being able to see the back of your head from the sink mirror.

I thought this mirror grouping was lovely :
(from Pottery Barn)

I found reasonable facsimilies at Target for a fraction of the cost.
Off came the satin bows and in their place, added inexpensive "aged" chain,
hanging them from re-purposed glass kitchen knobs.
They hang above my vanity (which doubles as my nightstand).

We had a beautiful mirror that fit my dresser. It was vintage '40's.
With our sloped bedroom ceilings, it didn't fit anymore. We gave it to my sister, and I'm happy that she loves it just as much as I did.
Our lovely bedroom set had taken quite the beating with our many moves, and required repairs that required painting, not staining. It seemed like a great time to make a mirror to fit.
I used the beveled door mirror I had bought at Target when I got the small ones.
I built a frame for it out of similar moulding that had been on our original.
(I've posted about this particular mirror before, here.)
The paint is Sherwin Williams "Black Bean".
It's a very dark espresso brown.
And now for the piece de resistance'

a true fairy tale

Once upon a dandelion, many long years ago....20, give or take....
There was a wife who convinced her husband that she just HAD to have a pair of vintage armoire doors from a local junk store. There was no armoire to accompany them you understand, but that would be no problem....she would build one.
Every so often, the husband would be fishing under the bed for a wayward shoe, and he would.... not be happy.
Over time, they had their scripts memorized beautifully.
He would express his desire to be rid of the monstrosities that she obviously was NOT going to get an armoire built for, or at least let them be moved to the barn loft.
She would exclaim in horror that they would never survive the moisture there, and promise to be better about vacuuming the dust bunnies under the bed.
(All the while, critical of the dust ruffle which CLEARLY was not doing it's job)
One day as the couple was involved in a MBR makeover, and everything was removed from the room.....
It took 20 years, give or take but...
The wife reached a conclusion.
She was never going to build the armoire.
There was not room for one if she did.
Being the control freak that she was:
She wasn't one to let dreams die easily.
These are REALLY heavy.
We first mounted horizontal boards,
top and bottom to the studs.
Then we attached the doors with screws and washers to them.
I used the polyshades finish on them to mask them, so you hardly notice them.
Though not anything I would use on a valuable antique, Polyshades is a great product. It covers imperfections with the appearance of a wood finish stain/varnish. So if you have a thrifted find that you want a "wood" not "paint" look on, but need some help covering unwanted imperfections, give it try. (I'll share more about it in future post)

Even though they weren't in the barn loft, the years had been less than kind.
(Probably all of the dust)
There were more chips in the veneer than I remembered, a piece of the decorative carving had gotten broken off and was saved in my top drawer, alongside the
2 pieces of broken mirror that had been saved since we bought it. (They had been duct-taped on.) All of these treasures were painstakenly re-attached.
Fortunately the mirror pieces were up high, and easily disguised, with a few reproduction vintage postcards and pictures.

OH my lovelies, you were SO well worth waiting for.
Even the husband likes you.
I just LOVE happy endings.


Tamera said...

The bathroom mirror turned out great! And thanks for the comment on my transom...I had no idea what I was going to use. DUH! Wal-Mart door mirror! Can't wait to try it!

Dot said...

For once, your photography didn't do the subject justice--your bathroom is much more charming than the camera "said".

"m" said...

Thanks Dot. I didn't like the pix that well either, but wanted to talk about the subject matter, so went with them anyway.


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