Monday, February 9, 2009
With that out of the way, let's get down to business. When undertaking any home improvement project, it's imperative that you outfit yourself accordingly:
For us, the snag came in the sheer size and weight of our mirrors. The mirror in our upstairs' bathroom was approximately 7 feet long and 3 feet high. I'm not sure how that works out in terms of weight, but I'd imagine several hundred pounds as the combined force of David and I couldn't so much as lift the mirror an inch, let alone lift it off the wall, onto the ground, down the stairs and out the door. Since we're both rather impatient and disinclined to seek outside assistance (even when required), we pushed on undeterred and decided we would just break the mirror into pieces and transport those pieces outside for disposal. As when you have to resort to a crowbar to pry a mirror off the wall, whenever you decide to break a large mirror up into smaller pieces, it is wise (a relative term here) to first tape the mirror -- we used blue painters' tape -- in a cross-hatch pattern to prevent splintering and help the mirror break up into larger pieces. I'm not familiar with the science of it, but trust me, it makes a difference.
Of course, when breaking a 21 square-foot mirror, it's best to keep pets and children as far away from the chaos as possible (our animals were all safely in the backyard). Dave also broke the mirrors with the doors closed to avoid any pieces unintentionally flying into the hallways. After a break or two, Dave and I would stop and clean up the pieces as we went. All told, it took us several hours to break the mirror in the guest bathroom (and another afternoon a few weekends later to break the two mirrors in the master bath). We ended up storing the mirror shards in the boxes that the new mirrors came in for disposal (particularly convenient since those boxes were lined in Styrofoam, thus reducing the likelihood any jagged edge would poke through).
But let's move on from such depressing topics and take a look at the guest bathroom "after" shots, which were well worth a few minor cuts and some sore muscles (though quite obviously not hurricanes or economic meltdowns):
The mirrors we replaced our contractor-grade mirror with are the Hutton mirrors (size small) from Restoration Hardware and are the same mirrors we used in our master bath. The hanging equipment and instructions included by RH are very detailed and easy to follow and hanging these up was no big deal. Also, since RH has been running pretty steep discounts and shopping incentives almost continuously since last summer, you can probably score them at a substantial discount (we gout ours for $100 off). At the same time we did this mirror project, we also painted the bathroom from a dull beige to a light blue-gray (Benjamin Moore's Feather Gray). Bath towels are just basic black towels from Pottery Barn -- a hint from Martha actually, who argues that darker towels and linens are great for guests as they hide stains and look fresher longer. The shower curtain is the Dobby-Stripe shower curtain in ash from Restoration Hardware. The canisters on the counter and the large canvas print of the stack of art books are all from Pottery Barn's summer 2008 collection and the artwork (entitled "Bird in E Minor") between the mirrors is via Wall Blank.