Before & After

Builder Grade to Floating Vanity

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Welcome back to a new year and a brand new week! First I must say "Yay for the return of Downton Abbey!" I’ve ignored all spoilers and enjoyed the beginning of Season 5 last night with a cup of tea as a Sunday evening January tradition!

I thought I’d kick off the year with one of the projects we completed during our holiday stay at the fixer house in Las Vegas. A few months ago I posted about plans for the master bathroom vanity and went back and forth between stain and paint but opted for gray paint for two reasons. 1) I’ve had mixed success staining oak, often it enhances the grain and always requires stripping varnish which is more work. 2) Since natural light comes only from adjacent rooms it made sense to go with a pale paint instead of dark stain in this vanity space.

We began this remodel by repurposing instead of replacing the existing vanity to save money. After removing the old mirror and countertop, we updated by transforming the builder grade cabinet into a floating vanity raised to a 33" height.

builder grade turned floating vanity

To achieve the look and new height, first we extended the floor tile so that it would continue all the way to the back wall. My Dad helped Matt modify and install the cabinet. They cut off the old base with a jigsaw so only the vanity cabinet remained.

cut off base

Next they hoisted up the vanity so that it sat at a new height of 33" (with countertop and plywood base it will be 34 ½") instead of the old 29" height which felt too low.

hoisted vanity

The guys secured it to the wall with the help of 2x4s. They added "legs" in the corners and 2×4 boards along the back to support the base, making sure there was enough space for the plumbing to clear the bottom of the cabinet base at its raised height. Additional 2x4s helped secure the sides of the vanity cabinet to the wall to the studs.

rear support

2x4 in wall

I had an idea to swap the doors around, as nice as the raised panel cabinet doors were, I thought I’d experiment and swap the door fronts, flipping around the back to expose the Shaker style instead.

reverse doors

I filled in any cracks and the holes from where the old hinges were attached with spackling then sanded it before priming.

spackling primer

I also beveled the edges of the drawer fronts, removing the curved ogee edge with an orbital sander so they were refinished as curved and smooth.

beveled edges

Primer and paint assisted with the disguised reversed doors and sanded drawer fronts, I’m so pleased with the outcome !

shaker style bathroom cabinet door

 

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Work Ready Closet Open House + Buffet Makeover

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Ten weeks of planning, building and design, and our work is complete! I wrote about the Work Clothes Closet project back in October, since then we’ve spent dozens of hours on this project to benefit our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). I’m proud to say that with a team of volunteers, donors, and brands stepping forward, we’ve laid the foundation for a space that will serve the needs of our community’s Work Ready program, transitioning people previously homeless back into the workforce.

This picture will give you an idea of what we started with back in September, nothing but taped sheetrock and a cement floor. I was brought in to help with design and saw this space as one with so much potential. Over the course of 2 ½ months, through a lot of efforts and generous donations, this project took shape and I’m so proud of the result!

cots work closet 2

Here’s a peek at a few corners now complete. We added dressing rooms with framed partitions and built four pipe garment racks to hold clothing, two on the women’s side and two on the men’s side.

womens side

Many local community members stepped up to help finish the project, and it’s an amazing space with a boutique vibe but soon it will be filled with more garment racks in the center to hold much more clothing and we plan to build shoe racks in January for the official opening.

womens side outfits

 work clothes closet mens side

 

The way it works is this: once the COTS Work Ready clients are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce. Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. With this program, they don’t have to worry about it !

Many of you donated money to the project and with those extra funds we were able to purchase extra building and painting supplies, thank you! The floors were painted with Glidden’s Porch and Floor formula in ‘Regal Wave’ a vibrant blue that is a cross between teal and navy. Blue Bori curtains on dressing rooms from World Market.

buffet and dressing rooms

On one focal point wall I created a jewelry station with an old buffet and accessories donated by World Market. This buffet was one of my first thrift store scores ten years ago, it sat in my friend’s dining room for a decade and when she upgraded her furniture asked if I wanted it back and I said “sure!” since it would serve as storage and display in the Work Ready Clothes Closet space.

It was damaged and the stain was discolored in many places, but a paint job reinvented it for our space.

buffet before

I primed and painted this piece with the same method I always use for furniture and for cabinets. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Advance formula in semi gloss in ‘Waterbury Green’ which is a sea green hue, almost aqua, but such a gorgeous color! 

painted buffet waterbury green

To hold jewelry I used World Market’s gold tiered stand and gold mirrored tray, also their wall jewelry holder (spray painted gold) for necklaces and their hooks jewelry stand for earrings.

gold tiered stand

 

world market gold tray

 

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