The 80’s called, they want their vanity back.

Now that the bedroom is complete, the dreaded aqua bathroom is due for a long overdue update. After all it’s the bedroom trendsetter and must keep up .


This is what I have:

Old sink and vanity




A light oak wooden vanity given to me by my sister. While visiting my sister she was doing some remodeling to her home. On my return trip to NY I stuck the vanity in the car and 15 yrs later its now being updated.

A sink recently purchased. This I will reuse.





A large light oak mirror a gift from my mother to complete my old bedroom set.

mirror in progress



The bathroom is very small. I hoped to gain more storage and have it function more efficiently.IMG_7490



My thought on this job: Turn the bath in to a coordinating space with the bedroom. One that was a little more sleek and a lot more functional. Oh and play up the aqua color with accessories. I’m starting to like aqua. It grows on you!!

On this job I knew I was going to need help. I set to work doing what I knew I could do.

THE VANITY (reuse)

vanity close up

My first project, the vanity. I removed the hardware and taped off the sink. I lightly sanded the entire cabinet. I then used a blow-dryer to remove dust and wiped down the cabinet. Next, the fun started. I started staining. I wanted the cabinet DARK. So I applied as many coats as I could. I lost count, probably 5 or 6. I am not a patient person and probably should have waited a little longer between coats. I do know I used a dehumidifier between coats. My husband tells me that did nothing. I think it made them dry faster. Doesn’t matter, they dried. I am very happy with finished project.


THE MIRROR (reuse)

The second project, the mirror. Because I wanted a more modern look, I simply removed the decorative molding attached to the sides of the mirror. This completely changed the feel of the mirror. I now had a contemporary looking mirror I could definitely REUSE. Once I removed the decorative molding, I simply stained a piece of molding and attached it to mirror to cover any holes the old molding left. I followed the same steps staining the mirror as I did the cabinet. I was starting early before I had even called a contractor. Knowing that if I had the pieces ready the job would go that much faster. I knew I wanted to use the mirror over the sink.

old mirror in bathrmvanity and mirror













Going for a sleeker more polished look, I knew exactly what type of light fixture I wanted. Something long and rectangular would do. No matter what, I definitely wanted oil rubbed bronze. This is where my annoyance set in. I found hundreds of light fixtures that I really liked for very reasonable prices. Those same light fixtures in oil rubbed bronze were double if not triple the cost. This annoyed me. I am not cheap, but come on it’s a bathroom light fixture. BUT, I wanted oil rub bronze.

SO…. I bought a light fixture at Home depot for $79.99. and a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint and made my own. This is something I did 5 yrs ago and that fixture still looks great.

light fixture unpainted




One of the best decisions we made was putting a closet in the bathroom. This would tap in to an existing bedroom closet. It would leave the bedroom closet. Although making it narrow but perfect for long hanging clothes. Also laundry at the bottom.

This was a big job and I hired a contractor to do this. My first thought was to have a bi-fold door behind the existing entry bathroom door. My thought was that this would take the least amount of space. After talking this over with my sister, I decided to split the bi-fold door and make it into two doors. Much easier to open and close. I was concerned about the two doors hitting each other until the contractor suggested changing the swing of the bathroom door. The door now swings out into the bedroom making the bathroom feel twice its size. GREAT IDEA for small spaces.

wall before closet  inside of b-room closet  B-room closet






Aqua is the theme. Here we go. Taking inventory, what do I have? What can I Re-cycle, Re-purpose or Reuse?

The last of “THE BUCKET of TILES”

radiator boys b-roomRadiatorThat’s right the tiles are finished. Or are they? Because the bathroom lacked counter space I decided to use the last of the tiles to build a shelf. I asked the contractor to build a frame for the radiator. He framed it out and added the screen. Once finished I stained the wood and added the tiles to the top. This took care of all of the tiles except 2 small pieces.


 OH NO!  The bucket of tiles is back!  replenished bucket

I opened the doors to the bathroom cabinet, and guess what I found?  A stack of aqua tiles.  I thought -You’ve got to be kidding me.  The tiles were from the wall that was demoed to make room for my new closet. Neatly stacked in 3 rows .Ready for a future re-cycled , re-purposed or reused, project.




I only have one small window in the bathroom and I wanted to make this a focal point. I had the perfect fabric from a Kicked to the Curb summer project. Perfect color scheme, perfect amount of fabric.(again, you can’t make this up).  Tassel, which is  actually the tie back from  my bedroom curtains. Which I also used on the Kicked to the Curb bench in bedroom. I wanted something very linear, no curves.


I don’t sew, and for the life of me couldn’t find anyone to do it for less than $ 75.00, if at all. I thought that was ridiculous. After all I had put the entire curtain together.   Cut it, lined it, pinned it, you name it I did it!  Maybe I was missing something since I don’t sew (I have now  signed up for sewing classes). As far as I could tell I needed four straight lines sewed. And I was just not willing to pay $75.00 to have that done.
I had to get creative. Fabric glue and duck tape. I cut the  material to the size I wanted. I then folded the edges under and pressed them. I added a brown ribbon to the edges for decoration using fabric glue. For the lining, I cut a plain cream material to size and using cream duck tape taped the lining to the back. I was almost done. The tassel went across the top adhered with spray glue. Six curtain rings that clamp to the curtain hold the curtain in place.
Will they feature this in Better Homes & Garden probably not, but it worked.  My plan is to re-do the curtain, if and when I learn to sew. I hope the instructor is  good one. Me and directions don’t work to well together ever since my brain surgery.

Full bath



THE COAT – Salvation Army

While shopping for my bedroom re-do, I spotted this suede coat. It was $5.00. I thought that was a great price. Debated about 5 seconds and bought it. I love it and it is one of the most comfortable things I own.

I decided to take the coat up a notch. I would add mink trim to the coat

I had been given an old mink coat. After talking to two furriers they both agreed the coat was in very bad condition and could not be salvaged. They did say the fur at the bottom of the coat was OK as well as the sable trim at the collar. These I would RE-USE.




I drew up a quick picture of what I wanted and headed to the tailor. He assured me he could do it, we settled on a price and 4 days later I had my coat.









After this never ending post I’m ready for a cocktail. Good thing I built a bar. Oh wait that’s a whole other post, stay tuned I’ve been busy.



Re-cycle Re-purpose, Reuse and Reap the benefits


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6 Responses to The 80’s called, they want their vanity back.

  1. Janice Hayes says:

    I love the bathroom redo. I do get ideas from you that I hope to use in my small home one day. You are quite talented, Nancy. You can use these talents to help others do projects on a budget. Thank you!!

  2. maureen says:

    Bathroom came out great. I also like the “new” coat!

  3. Devan gorie says:

    love the site!! Can’t wait to go thrifting and redo some great pieces!

  4. Joe Gallin says:

    The bathroom closet looks great. Genius idea to change the swing of the door!

  5. Awesome..! This article is very nice ..I like your style…

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