Saturday, August 30, 2014

Floating Bathroom Shelves

The area above our toilet needed some storage space. There used to be two white shelves there long ago, but we thought we might sell our house, so they came down. Thus, the wall has been bare for about a year. We missed the storage space and decorative possibilities, so decided to add some permanent floating shelves. We chose a simple style, inspired by this post, that would be unobtrusive and consistent with our towel racks. Hopefully, future buyers would appreciate having this extra storage as well.  

I made a trip to Lowes to pick out a 2"x8" interior board, and a nice man at Lowes cut it down into three 18" pieces for me. Why 18"? Wall studs are typically spaced 16", and are 2" (actually 1.5") thick, and our toilet was fortuitously placed exactly between the two studs. To center the shelves over the toilet and anchor into studs, I would need 16" of shelf, plus a little space from the screw holes to the edge. Once I got home, all I needed to do was sand and stain them (leftover Weathered Gray stain by Rust-Oleum from our bathroom hook project.) 

I skipped all the sanding and staining pics, here are the shelves ready to hang.

A kind neighbor let us borrow his Kreg Jig to drill angled holes into the top of each shelf. We hadn't heard of this tool before, but it's incredibly useful. The combination of the guide apparatus and special drill bit gives precise angled "pocket holes" to sink my 3" screws through the boards, and into the stud.

Joe found the wall studs and drilled the screws into the pocket holes from the top.  The level was used to ensure the shelves were straight. The longest official Kreg Jig screw available at Lowes was 2" (they were out of stock of 2.5"), and we wanted extra strength and length into the stud, so Joe used 3" deck screws. He had to be extra-careful not to strip the screw head, but in the end worked out well.

Here's the finished result!

Needed a shot from the doorway to show the whole bathroom.  We were happy with how the gray shelves turned out to coordinate with the gray mirror frame and wall hook backing.

I found the cute orchid at the grocery store today and a pretty candle for the top shelf.  The bathroom is feeling a whole lot more spa like than before.

It's so nice having stuff off of the toilet lid as well. I used a pretty clear vase for cotton balls and cotton swabs and added a picture of the kids.

Now I need ideas for what to hang above the towels. Pictures of the kids? A big piece of art.  I'll have to keep my eye out for inspiration.

Have a great weekend ya'll. I need to start planning a 4-year-old Hello Kitty Birthday party!


Friday, August 15, 2014

From Bars to Hooks

This is what happens when life happens.  Our hallway bath has seen better days. There used to be two pretty silver towel racks on this wall, but since the kids couldn't figure out how to hang the towel without pulling on it really hard one kept falling off the wall. We had screwed it on several times before we just had to give up on the idea that the kids could hang their towels gently. 

There was a bit of miscommuncation about the stenciled wall.   First I discussed painting the whole bathroom white for resale purposes. Then I talked about just leaving it because it took 4 hours to complete and I thought it still looked pretty.  I gave up on the idea of a white bathroom and also vowed I wasn't going to do anymore painting in this house.  So Joe happened to find the same purple-gray paint in the storage shed and went to work patching and painting the entire wall.  I think I said to just leave the stencil, but oh well!  It wasn't my best work anyhow.  So here's the wall after he painted over the acrylic stenciling.  It covered well and didn't have the edges I thought would for sure pop through.

Our plan was to give each of the kids a hook to hang their towels on.  And instead of directly mounting those hooks to the walls, which wouldn't give us the stability we were looking for since they would have to be mounted directly to a stud behind the wall we opted for a nice piece of wood that could be mounted into the studs and the hooks could then be evenly spaced.  We decided to stain this piece of wood "Weathered Gray" by Rust-oleum.

I first sanded the wood from Lowes with fine grit sand paper and then used a cloth and made sure to protect my hands with rubber gloves.  I used one coat, let it soak in for 10 minutes and then rubbed off the excess.  And nothing goes unsealed when I do it, so it got three coats of Polycrylic Water based protective top coat.   This would ensure good protection from mold since it was going in the bathroom.

I found three pretty silver coat hooks in the knob and hook aisle at Lowes. They came to about $5 a piece. The wood and stain came to around $5. 

To make it fun for the kids too they each got their own charcoal gray towel embroidered with their initial.  Scored these at JCPenny on clearance.

I have been tossing different ideas around for something to go above that wood.  I like the idea of a big piece of art or perhaps black and white photos of each of the kids.

And this guy approves of the new bathroom look.  I think he's ready for his bath and towel hook! Is there room for another!?

Have a great weekend everyone!


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