Thursday, August 11, 2011

The List: Medicine Cabinet

I've wanted a mirror/storage for the bathroom for AGES but everything I liked was too expensive.   After a very non-narcistic house guest mentioned there wasn't a mirror in the bathroom we decided we had to do something.  We bought this beauty from ebay for a grand total of 99 pence.  (That's about $1.64 at the current exchange rate.)  Do you see a little head in the reflection?

I took the cabinet apart, taped off the mirrors (couldn't remove them without damaging the frames), cleaned and sanded the cabinet and put on two coats of primer.  Then three coats of Eco-eggshell finish paint.  (It was not working.)  I finally used three coats of Wickes Cupboard Paint that was left over from the spice storage re-do.   That did the trick.

I was kind of proud of myself for hanging this solo.  Now there's a mirror in the bathroom.

 Complete with storage.

Which, let's face it, we really need.  Grand total?  99 pence.  Not bad.

The List: Spice Storage

We like to cook.  And have a lot of spices, herbs, sauces and various ingredients to show for it.  For years we've used a sideboard (which I recently learned is actually a baby changing table.)  It was overflowing, but we've made it work.

Unfortunately, it didn't quite fit in then kitchen.  We turned it on its side, and have made due for months because of budget.  I finally couldn't take it anymore and sold the sideboard on ebay.  And then started frantically looking for a replacement.  Not only constrained by budget, we also had a very limited space to work with  (66 cm at the most.)  I'll spare you the details, but I went to a lot of effort trying to find new spice storage.

Finally!  We found a wall unit, not very lovely, but priced at 40 pounds and space requirement I was just glad to get it.

It's laminate and had some dings.  Niall agreed to go with this piece if I promised to paint it.   The process took a while (allowing the various coats to cure.)  I used Wickes Cupboard Paint in white mist and ended up putting on three-four coats.

I was going to put on a protective finishing coat, but Niall was pretty anxious to get things back in order.  He brought the painted unit back in the house and filled it to surprise me.   I cut some scrap pieces of wood to size, glued them and painted them and used it as steps for some of the spices.

The four drawers weren't deep enough for the storage we watned, so I detached two of the drawers and just used the fronts.  I glued the drawer fronts to the two complete drawers so we had two drawers with deeper storage.  I may have gone overboard on reinforcing the drawers but I didn't want them to come apart.

And we got some small jars from Ikea to fill with spices that never saw the light of day (which isn't always a bad thing) because there wasn't space on the sideboard.

Now, newly painted, reinforced and loaded up...our new spice storage.  I'm pretty happy about it.

The handles are "reclaimed".  There was a wardrobe on the side of the road with lovely hardware.  The owner said I was welcome to take them.

I used the wood steps to give height.

And we finally have a place to put bread and produce.

Oh, bless ebay for helping us get rid of a sideboard that wasn't working.  I love having all these cooking ingredients at my fingertips!

The List: Under-Stair Storage

We have a great little space under the stairs, but were not using it very well.   The stroller is just something that is going to have to stay.  But at least there's somewhere to kind of tuck it away, a luxury we were missing in our rental property.

First order of business was to get the shoe situation sorted.  The moving box just wasn't cutting it.  Second was to get a replacement wardrobe.  The tall 1950's closet/wardrobe used to be for linens, back when we had a big bathroom.  I really like it, but it wasn't deep enough to hang things properly.

So most of the coats and jackets ended up on the newel post at the foot of the stairs.

We got a shoe storage system from Costco.  It works for us, especially because Niall actually uses it.  If he had to lift or move anything to put his shoes away they'd never make it.  Most of the shoes are upstairs but this is a decent holding place.

Since we didn't have budget for a new wardrobe, I sold the one we had (and a few other things) on ebay.  Goodbye cute little cupboard.  You served us well!

It took weeks of searching, but I finally found a replacement piece that fit our budget.  (After several trips to the British Heart Foundation they eventually let me upstairs to go through all their storage.  I found this piece after scaling several layers deep of furniture.  It was in fantastic condition and I felt like it was a bargain for 40 pounds.)

So pretty and all wood!  And deep enough to hang coats properly.  British Heart Foundation delivered it.   I gave it a good clean and found a newspaper clipping from 1980.    There is a tag inside saying the pieces is from 1960.  I didn't even bother tidying for these pictures.

And guess what?  The newel post stays empty.