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Friday, November 22, 2013

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall filled with Secret Storage!

As promised I'm here to give you the story about our mirror with the secret storage, but I have to start at the beginning.
I actually bought this mirror about 9 years ago, at a DI in Mesa, Arizona.  I paid $25.  At the time we were super poor and I had to really work to convince Les I needed this mirror with an ugly brown carved frame.  It was huge and had a beveled mirror and I could see the potential.
(OK, maybe I see potential in too many things!!
Any way, I successfully convinced him of my dire need and brought that baby home.  I used a gold leafing kit on it, but wasn't completely happy with the results.  I added some gold craft paint and loved my new gold mirror.  I have had it in my room and been very happy with it. 
 Enter new room layout!!  
I decided I wanted a full length mirror. 
So all I had to do was mount my mirror the other way, right?
Of coarse not!! 
It couldn't be that easy!  
I wanted that mirror mounted between these two doors, only problem was this pesky light switch!

Les and I discussed and brainstormed over this many times.  The switch could not be moved and I wouldn't budge on using a smaller mirror. 
 (Come on this one is gorgeous!!)
One of my favorite ideas was covering the switch and using a remote for the light and fan.  But in the end we decided to mount the mirror so it stood away from the wall about 4 inches with a small opening to slip our hand in to flip the switch.  
That should have been it, but then that seemed like a waste of space.  So of coarse we had to figure out how to make it open so we had access to that space. 
 That lead to many more nights of brainstorming!!
OK, now that you know all that history, here is how we did it.  
First up, I had to fix the mirror.  Originally there were mirror clips holding the mirror to a thin backer board.  Unfortunately  these clips were visible from the front and they created a big gap, keeping the mirror from laying tight against the frame.  There were also two other sets of clips that were supposed to be holding the mirror to the frame. They, however, were bending, so they were pretty much useless.
So I took all those clips off and set the mirror back in the frame.  I added a layer of card board to the back and attached a new thin board that covered the back of the mirror and held it all in place.  I needed a good solid piece of wood for the hinge to screw into so I added a 1x2 boarder.  
Then I painted it all white. 
 Lovely, don't you think?
Next, I needed to make a box to mount the mirror to.  But remember my lovely wall treatment?  
Yeah, not a flat wall any more. 
To make my boards fit the wall I used the Empire Contour Gauge. We picked up this tool a few years ago at Home Depot and have gotten so much use out of it.  Go to their website and find who carries it locally for you.  There may be other brands out there but this is what we use.   
 So what is it?  

It's basically a lot of metal pins running through a ruler of sorts.  You push it against your trim and the pins are pushed out in the shape of your trim.  Then you trace the shape onto your wood and cut it out!!!
Once I had each piece so it fit the wall, I assembled my box and painted it white.  That box fits like a glove, baby!!  
We had decided to just enclose the light switch behind the mirror, which I know is a little weird.  And I wanted to be able to remove this whole unit from the wall with minimal damage so I resisted the urge to caulk.  My mirror weighed over 45 pounds,
(Yeah, I said it was huge!!)
I did a lot of on-line research and asked every Lowe's employee how much poundage a piano hinge could support.  I finally decided to go with it and used a 4 foot long piano hinge.   
I had all the parts ready to go but I had to call in Les' big guns and brain power to get this thing on the wall.  This thing was heavy.
(did I mention it was heavy?)
It needed to be mounted securely into the wall studs to hold the weight.  We put a solid wood ledger board in the top and bottom of the box, screwed through the boards to the studs and then screwed the box to the boards.  Did you get that?  
You have to be jealous of all our fancy shmancy tools, like this awesome support tool we used!!
(OK, we searched the house for something to support this sucker, the piano bench was almost the perfect height, just add a pillow.  Everyone has pillows in there tool box, right?)
Once it was all installed and painted I was ready to add the jewelry!! Once again I didn't want to put any more holes than necessary, so I went searching my hardware store!!  I found these cute wooden pegs at Lowe's, $1.28 for a package of 4.  I used a piece of paper and folded it to get a template for my holes and then transferred my marks onto my wood.  I used a butterfly bit to drill holes deep enough for my pegs to fit then painted them, used a little wood glue, and whala! 
Works like a charm!!  For my scarves I just used a tension curtain rod!! 
I'm not sure if I like the mirror or the storage better!! 
OK, the storage is awesome, but I just love the look of this mirror, Mirror wins!!!
Tell me what you would store in there!
  Les was thinking he was storing his ties in there but graciously let me use all the space, what a guy!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!


OrangeBlossom said...

Love your writing style and your design style! Cute pink level, where did you find it? I've been keeping my eyes open for a purple tool belt ... cause it would look so cool on me.
Butterfly bit??? Do you mean a wood spade bit? Thinking that's what I'm going to call it now too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Cristina Garay said...

Simply amazing! I love how you turned a problem into such a creative idea! Kudos to you two!

Rachel said...

Such a clever solution to your 'problem'. And I'm going to have to get me one of those contour tools. Nifty!

Unknown said...

LOVE IT! Brilliant! You guys rock!

Lori said...

Such creativity!
So clever!
This is absolutely the most clever solution I've ever seen to work around a "problem."
Gives me LOTS of ideas for hiding my ugggggly thermostat.

Nana said...

It is beautiful and I am of so proud of you. I love to r watch your creativity in action. The mirror will always reflect your beautiful image. Mom

Unknown said...

This is an great storage idea, but I personally would find it rather frustrating to have to keep opening my mirror up to reach cufflinks and ties when I want to try them on!