I was reading one of my many favorite blogs “Take the Side Street” and she confessed to being a terrible blogger (as in sporadic postings) and also confessed to always being cold. I could have written those very same confessions, writing this with a space heater on under my desk. With 2 teenage kids, 4 dogs, positions on the Middle School PTA Board and High School Cross Country Booster Club, along with a full-time job and a ton of DIY ideas, sometimes its a choice of just living my life and doing my projects or writing about it. Most of the time, I can’t do both.
However, this weekend, I wrote up a big “To Do” list of all the projects that I have pending (meaning I have bought the supplies, just haven’t done the work) and I decided to start tackling them. I even went as far as to estimate the amount of time I thought it would take to do the project so I could keep my expectations real.
Top of the list was adding storage to my bathroom. In my bathroom, I have no drawers and no medicine cabinet to store my incidentals (i.e. toothpaste, makeup, moisturizers, tweezers – the small stuff). The under sink cabinets are cavern-like, dark and completely disorganized. So, I was using these little stackable bins on my counter to hold my stuff.
Did I mention how much I dislike my bathroom? Dark brown walls and no storage and dark cavern-like cabinets. I do like all the satin nickel fixtures, so there is hope that some inexpensive updates could fix the feeling and functionality of this room.
I do not have a picture of how messy this bathroom was with all my stuff in bins on the counter (though there might be a selfie somewhere with that mess behind me), but I can assure you that I cringed every time I walked into this dark and messy room. You know that feeling of hopelessness you get because you need to keep stuff handy, but your current choice of organization is looking cheap and inelegant. I kept thinking it was the wall color that was killing it for me. Or the fact that I didn’t have a place to hang my towel when I was in the shower. It didn’t reflect the spa-like feeling I would like to see in the master bathroom. My escape. My personal space. Nada. Nope.
Sometime last year, when Target was selling their “back to college” stuff, I found an “over the door” hanging medicine cabinet ($30) that I’m pretty sure was meant for a dorm room somewhere. Can you imagine having it hanging over the door and banging all the live long day!?! I could see it hanging on the wall holding my toiletries and sundry. It should be an easy install as I didn’t have to cut a hole in my wall. But would it be in the way protruding from the wall? Should I try and recess it? Where would I place the towel ring or give it up all together? As I pondered these things, it sat in my closet. For a year.
So lets fast forward to a year later and I found it at top of my list.
Clearly there was only one place to put the cabinet, so I removed the towel ring hardware and holding the cabinet against the wall, I made pencil marks to indicate my preferred placement . Then using my stud finder, marked the stud. Since I was working alone and knew I couldn’t hold the cabinet and screw it into the wall at the same time, I borrowed some items from the garage to help me get the height that I needed to hold the cabinet in place.
Installation was nothing fancy, just put two wood screws through the back of the cabinet and into the stud. Then I rehung the towel ring.
Then I loaded the cabinet with my stuff, which all fit perfectly. The wood screws are visible in this open cabinet picture. I figured the door should be closed most of the time and wouldn’t be a visual nuisance.
Frankly, I was stunned how pleasing it looked. The towel ring moved to the right and seems to very comfortable in its new location.
To add some more interest and functionality, I added this cool little cotton pad/ball/swab holder I picked up from Home Goods ($9) and this nifty candle holder ($4 at Hobby Lobby) to hold my toothbrush. I hot glued the candle holder to the counter to keep it from tipping over.
At this point, I am really liking it. Amazing how this medicine cabinet changed this space. I had estimated about 40 minutes for the project and I was right on schedule.
I had to go a step further and add some artwork (which I already had and was planning to add to my bedroom). Just as I was about to place one of the pictures over the new cabinet to draw the eye up, it occurred to me that I needed to break up the space of that huge bathroom mirror. Since I was already using Command velcro strips to hang the art, I just pushed it on the mirror instead of the wall and then added the second complementary picture.
OMGoodness! I am falling in love with my bathroom. (Still needs lighter paint)
Something so very pleasing about the new elements that I can hardly describe. I may even keep the counters picked up.
Feeling empowered, I had to take it one more step . In the above picture, you see a freestanding lighted makeup mirror, which my mother just recently gave me. The electrical cord had been cut, so I bought a new light bulb ($3) and an electrical cord kit ($6) from Home Depot and brought the mirror back to life. Go me!
So once again, here is the before and after.
I will admit that it took only 40 minutes to install the cabinet and relocate the towel ring, but it took me most of the afternoon to find the right cotton ball and toothbrush holders during the post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend. Not to mention a
never quick trip to Home Depot for the mirror repairs.
Paint and shelving are in the plan for this bathroom. Still searching for that spa-like feel. As inspiration strikes and money allows….
Cost Breakdown:Medicine Cabinet: $30 (Target – already had) Cotton Ball Holder: $9 Toothbrush Holder/Candle Holder: $4 Light Bulb and Electrical Kit: $9 Command Velcro Strips: $4 (HD – already had) Art Work: $26 (Ross – already had)
Since I already had the Cabinet, Art Work, Velcro Strips, my cost last weekend was only $22
Stay calm and Thrive on….