So I just moved a few weeks ago, and took over my friend (and doppelganger) Maggie’s apartment when she moved in with her boyfriend. It’s an apartment I’ve always admired, and I jumped at the chance to make it my own. My elderly great aunt is even nearby--only a block away.
I was extremely lucky to inherit some of Maggie’s taste and hard work, as she painted nearly every wall and put up the most magnificent wallpaper in the built-in vanity hallway.
I’m still getting some things put away, but the vanity is one of the things I made a priority right off the bat. I have this incredible stained glass window that was perfect to prop on the window sill, and it adds some privacy so I still get the natural light, but no one can see me. I needed a mirror, and found a nice one at Target on clearance for only $19.
Even though there’s a large window and an overhead light in the hall, I quickly figured out that the lighting still wasn’t right. The first morning I went to do my makeup, I was totally in the shadows, and things were looking rough. I needed more light! Quick! As a renter, I can’t exactly make many changes to the space, and the closest outlet is in the bathroom off the hall, so I needed a solution. I really had my heart set on traditional vanity lighting, and with a little DIY modification, I had a cheap and easy solution. Here are the results, and how I did it:
Cute, right? I watched a few different videos to make sure the general instructions were the same. There are tons of tutorials out there, but here are two of them which I found helpful:
I found my light fixture at an Ace Hardware for $13, and a set of GE Reveal 40 Watt globe lights (these create a very clear light, so be careful when buying your globe lights not to buy some that will give off that yellowy incandescent light). I was able to get a box of 3 for around $10, which was cheaper than buying them individually. Bonus!
I used an existing extension cord from my “box o’ cords” to wire into the fixture, then hung the fixture above my mirror on some nails. I tried using Command strips, but the back of my particular fixture is slightly recessed, so the Command strips weren’t thick enough to bridge that gap. I snaked the extension cord down the wall and along the edge of the vanity, then into the bathroom where I plug it into the outlet.
I plan on getting a wireless remote, to make it easier to turn on/off. I found one at Target for about $15, so once that’s purchased, all in all the whole thing (including the mirror) cost less than $60 which is WAY cheaper than buying a pre-made lighted vanity mirror, which can cost hundreds. It’s easier and more fun to make your own, and customize it to your individual space. Plus, it’s not permanent, so you can take it from place to place, and not cause damage to the walls!
So, now I have plenty of proper light to play with makeup, and, another bonus, the wallpaper is great for the occasional selfie!
The Peony wallpaper can be found online at Urban Outfitters as of a few days ago, but when I went to grab the link to post here, it's sold out! Bummer. They do have plenty of other lovely papers, and hopefully they will re-stock the Peony paper soon!
So go forth and DIY! Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to help. I'll be posting more DIY projects soon!