DIY Shelves In the Bathroom

Happy Monday, everyone! Let’s make this a productive one, filled with enthusiasm for what this week has in store, shall we?

Orrrr should we just aim for survival? :)

Today marks a really fun bit of progress in our hall bathroom saga and I couldn’t believe how easy the project was from start to finish, given that there was a bit of building involved. To reminisce, let’s do a quick review of where we left off with this space. After coming up with the vision for the room, painting it a cool gray/blue, and adding a DIY whitewashed mirror, we left things looking like this…

Whitewashing a Mirror (11)

Over the toilet, there used to be a medicine cabinet. Nothing crazy, just an oak wood cabinet with a few shelves for things and some doors to hide the mess.

Hall Bathroom BeforeHowever, we’ve come to realize that we don’t really use medicine cabinets to their full potential. We had one in the downstairs bathroom of the last house that had NOT ONE THING in it from the time we moved in to the time we moved out. What a wasted opportunity. :)

So, this time around, I thought it would be neat to try something different in that above-the-toilet space. Enter… SHELVES! As blah as we feel about medicine cabinets, we do enjoy a good shelf, as proven by the many we installed in our last house (just click on the pictures below to see each of those posts)…

In the kitchen…

Floating Shelves in the Kitchen (25)

In the downstairs bathroom (we later took these down, but used them for awhile for seasonal nic nacks)…

Christmas Bathroom Decor

In the family room (one of my favorite projects of that whole house)…

Styling Shelves in the Family Room

In the office…

Office Desk Finished!-012

In the laundry room…

Adding a Shelf in the Laundry Room

Yeah, you get the picture. :) We love a good shelf. So why not try a few in the hall bath?

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves-005

These ones were pretty simple to build. All it took were two brackets per shelf and a piece of scrap wood to make the actual ledge. I found the brackets at Ikea for $5 each… they’re called Ekby Valter and come in black and birch. I went for the black in the hopes that they will tie nicely in with the oil rubbed bronze hardware we have in store for this space.

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As for the wood, big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes often have a scrap pile for dirt cheap that you can pick through and purchase. I wasn’t having any luck this time around until I walked into our garage. Which looks like this…


…and saw THIS in the far corner, tucked behind all sorts of furniture, odds and ends that need to be sorted through and thrown out, and a whole slew of cobwebs. See it back there?

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves 1

TREASURE. This was left over from the last owner and it just so happened to be exactly the size we needed for the shelves!

After cutting them to size (I think ours are about 24″ long and 8″ deep) and sanding them down, all I did to finish them off was add a coat of Polyurethane Matte sealer. I didn’t use any stain because I really liked the look of the wood as is, but the sealer does help to bring out natural tones and protect the pieces from any potential damage. You can see the difference of the unsealed (on the left) vs. the sealed (on the right) wood in this shot… just check out how warm and rich that sealed piece looks!

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves-001

Now, all that’s left is installation! The brackets went in first… to figure out the spacing and height, I used some painters tape and just fooled around with it until I had a look that I liked. Here’s a tip: To help visualize how high to hang and how much space you want between them, try holding up various things that you might want to display on the shelves against the tape lines. This will tell you if those items are going to fit within and/or look right in that set up.

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves

Installing the brackets is pretty simple… hold up the bracket (check to see if it’s straight with a level!), use a tiny drill bit to drill through the holes and mark where you’ll be working on the wall, take the bracket down and use the holes to put molly bolts into the wall (unless you’re able to drill right into a stud), hold the brackets back up, line up the holes with the holes in the wall, and add screws to secure them in place. Bam, installed. :)

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves-004

After that, all it takes is adding the board on top, attaching it to the bracket with a few screws up from the bottom, and that’s it! The “hard” part is over… now all that’s left is making them look pretty. My favorite part! I just plopped a few frames and nic nacks on them, but even just that quick set up completely changes the look of the room. It’s amazing what a bit of personality can do for a space!

DIY Hall Bathroom Shelves-007And we’re just getting started because in the next post, we are going to show you THREE WAYS to style a shelf to achieve three completely different looks! Helping us out is a company called Southern Glen, an artisan boutique in South Carolina that has the most charming selection of beautiful things. Not only do we get to play around with some of their goods, but they are also hosting a giveaway for a lucky reader to win a few for themselves AND giving us an exclusive “OTF” promo code to share with you, should you want to take a gander through their online store. So stay tuned because this shelf adventure is just beginning! :)

A Whimsical Shower For Ally

Psst. Get ready for a whole slew of overwhelmingly beautiful photographs in this post… most of them were taken by Hannah Choi. She is an incredibly talented photographer and you should go check her out and show her some love!

My brother is getting married! TOMORROW! Ok, let me back up… this is my brother, Clint:

Leslie's Brother, Clint

He is marrying the girl of his dreams and her name is Ally:

Ally's Bridal Shower (5)

She’s as beautiful, kind, and friendly as she looks and I could not be more happy that my brother was lucky enough to find her. Clint and Ally met during their freshman year of college and have been together for five years. Tomorrow, they will officially tie the knot and I gain another sister! Excited is an understatement here, friends. :)

Clint and Ally

These past few weeks has been a flurry of moving, final wedding prep, rehearsals, and last minute details for them. Just the other night, some of the bridesmaids and I were helping Ally out with the party favors. I can’t believe we’re so close to the big day!

Wedding Favors

Ooo, baby… I cannot WAIT! My shoes are already all laced up for the dancing that’s going down tomorrow night. And don’t you worry, I will be tuning back in over the next few days or so with some snapshots from the day (I did this with Beau and Summer’s wedding here) and then, of course, a full recap. BUT before we get to all of that, I wanted to share a fun, pre-wedding memory… Ally’s bridal shower!

Ally's Bridal Shower (16)

Back in June, we showered Ally with lots of love, games, laughter, and of course… gifts! Unfortunately, I was unable to make it because it was the day we returned from our summer Mission Trip with our high schoolers. However, I got to see pictures and hear stories from the party and from what I saw and heard, it was quite the bash!

Ally's Bridal Shower (13)

The theme, if I can describe it in a phrase, was “whimsical garden party”.

Ally's Bridal Shower (7)

The tent was decorated with beautiful twinkle lights and a pretty bunting…

Ally's Bridal Shower (10)

On the tables were pictures of Ally and Clint, pretty flowers, and quotes from Clint about all of the things he loves about his bride-to-be. :) I’m getting weepy just looking at that picture… tomorrow is going to be WATERWORKS, people.

Ally's Bridal Shower (18)

For lunch, guests enjoyed a picnic lunch, complete with individual lunch boxes!

Ally's Bridal Shower (2)

… Rounded off, of course, with delicious fruits and desserts.

Ally's Bridal Shower (9)

Oh, and we can’t forget the drinks! How classy and elegant is the Sangria Bar?

Ally's Bridal Shower (17)

Ally's Bridal Shower (11)

During the party, Ally and Clint played the “Shoe Game” (Mitch and I tried this awhile back… you can see us play it here)- how fun to see who thought what of the other person!

Ally's Bridal Shower (14) Ally's Bridal Shower (15)

And no party is complete without party favors! These bath bombs were given to each guest to enjoy back at home and remember the celebration by.

Ally's Bridal Shower (4)

I was so bummed to miss the festivities, but Ally was definitely in good hands, as you can see by her entourage of lovely bridesmaids… we’re all ready to stand by her side tomorrow and party the night away as we celebrate her and Clint. We love you guys!

Ally's Bridal Shower (3)

DIY Whitewashed Mirror

We’re back to the bathroom talk today, but only because we wanted to show you a pretty upgrade we made above the sink…

Whitewashing a Mirror (11)

Ooo, la la! I am so excited about the mirror in here because 1. It’s currently the only mirror hung in our house, 2. We got it for a steal at $15 from our local thrift store, and 3. All it took was a quick and easy makeover to make this baby shine… er, reflect! 😉

I really liked the idea of a natural-looking, whitewashed mirror for above the sink in this bathroom because it ties in with the general feel of the space (at least according to our original thoughts and plans), all the while keeping things light and clean.

Hall Bathroom Moodboard

Just looking at that moodboard gets me so excited to see it all come together! But back to the mirror… In the beginning of July, our local Habitat for Humanity Restore (you can read all about our love for this place here) was running a huge sale… 50% off the whole store! Among a few other things, we walked away with this solid wood mirror that was just the right size for over the bathroom sink… for fifteen buckaroos. Not bad for a hefty mirror (that sucker is HEAVY) and a perfect fit!

Whitewashing a Mirror (10)

The only thing it was missing was the whitewashed effect we were looking for, so a little DIY was in order. This project is super simple and you can have it finished and hung in an afternoon if you put your mind to it. The first step was to tape off the mirror with painters tape, protecting it from any paint. Oh, and five points to anyone who can guess which show I was watching during this whole production. :)

Whitewashing a Mirror (2)

After that, take some sandpaper and rough up the wood grain… if there is any stain or shiny topcoat, you’ll want to sand enough of it off that the white paint you’ll be applying next will stick to the wood. Don’t forget to wipe the whole thing down when you’re finished sanding!

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Next step… paint! I just used some leftover trim paint we had in the basement. Isn’t it the best feeling ever to be able to use something you already have instead of having to buy new? It always feels like a little victory to me, like I cheated the system in some way. Or maybe I’m just weirdly excited about being cheap. :)

Whitewashing a Mirror (5)Since we’re going for the “imperfect” white washed look anyway, I didn’t worry too much about a super even paint job… just enough to get a good coat on the whole thing.

Whitewashing a Mirror (6)Let that completely dry and now comes the fun part… adding the character! I used a fine grit sandpaper (go for the higher numbered stuff, like 220) and carefully sanded away some of the paint so the wood grain showed through.

Whitewashing a Mirror (8)This part is totally up to you- the more you sand, the less white it will be, so just sand until you have the look you want!

Whitewashing a Mirror (9)When we finally hung it up, it was like the room came to life a little. Like it finally had a jolt of personality and now it’s just waiting for the rest of the space to catch up. I’m talking to you, missing light fixture and bare outlets…

Whitewashing a Mirror (11)So what do you think? Super simple makeover, right? I bet you’re scanning your surroundings now, just looking for something to whitewash… don’t worry, I find myself doing that often. :)

Whitewashing a Mirror (1)

Psst. This isn’t our first “whitewashing rodeo”… check out this post to see how we gave the same treatment to a pair of bamboo blinds in the guest room of our last house!

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