Monday, January 30, 2017

wine shelves, an updated shower and a quick guide into becoming a handyman!

Oh wine boxes, how I love thee!

Is there anything as versatile as a wine box? I don't remember ever buying one for myself, but they seem to thrive in my house: the good old wooden wine box.  I use them as planters, fruit trays, storage boxes for crafting supplies, a few posts ago I made shoddy bird houses with them, and now I'm going to use them as... shelves!

because... who doesn't need extra storage space?

I was in dire need for shelves in two places in our house: above our bed, and in our tiny, ugly  retro walk-in shower (bathroom just doesn't cut it here) :

That will be me!!
Pretty, no? Well, I feel the same, but until we have found time and money to build our new bath room, this will have to do!

I gave the place a quick update by painting the tiles, windows and adding some plants and decoration ( pictures below!) , but still there was something missing: a place to put our shampoo and bath foam. And since we didn't need a lot of space, I thought... why not add a wine box?

So here's what I did.... 
The process was really simple: I picked a wine box, give it a layer of varnish ( wet rooms and bare wood are not a perfect combo) and attached it to the wall. So in fact, that would be the end of this tutorial...

But oh no, it involves drilling in my wall! I can't do that!
I hear that quite a lot! but don' t worry, you can!
And you'll need indeed a bit of knowledge to know what you are dealing with, but once you know the basics, it will be a piece of cake ( and a lot of noise)!

To help you along the way here is the...

Quick flowchart to hang stuff on your walls! 

Easy, non? and bonus points for knocking on your walls like a pro. For those of you without power tools: you can also rent tools at the hardware store.

Now, depending on the wall you are working with, the steps are as follows:

1- Find matching screws, wall plugs and drilling bits (the packages will tell you the matching sizes, and otherwise there is always friendly staff to ask)
2- Measure where you need to drill, and mark the spots ( use a builder's level to make sure it won't be too shoddy)
3 - Drill a hole in the wall
4 - Push the wall plug in place (if necessary, hammer it gently)
5 - Place the item in case (the wine box) in place, and use the screw to fasten it to the wall

the steps above don't go for timber walls: there you can simply screw the screw directly into the wall ( those lucky bastards with timber houses!)

Le result!
So, that was basically what I did, and soon I had a...

bathroom shelf!

and a....

night stand!

Always remember to colour match the books you are reading with your walls.
I absolutely love them! And they are oh so cheap!

Since I really dislike shampoo-bottles, I simply poured my shampoo and shower gel into nicer bottles (some sort of fancy hand soap package). Luckily, Joost and I are quite no-nonsence when it comes to shower gel, so these three bottles have so far been enough for us, and it has cured me of my habit of buying unnecessary amounts of shampoo! 

French yoghurt jars are used to store q tips and candles
And here's the rest of the shower after it's modest transformation :)

A bit of hamman in your shower never hurts!
I'll admit: it's still not the most glamorous room ever, but I find myself quite liking the light and the atmosphere in there, and I'm always a sucker for bare wood, so I really like the simplistic look of the wine box.

freshly painted tiles and some decoration to transform the place from droopy seventies into retro style

I made the hanging planters and the hanging tea lights like this, and added thrifted wooden blinds from the thrift shop (2,-) for some privacy and beautifully filtered light. The plant is a cutting from my monstera plant (which is the easiest plant to propagate ever!)

because even the smallest shower needs candles!

So, wine box shelves, good idea or nah?




  1. Looks good! I'd also be really interested in a how-to for painting the tiles with stuff that's available in Dutch hardware stores. My bathroom resembles your before-pic, but I've been hesitant to paint the tiles: I'm afraid it's gonna take at least a day and involve some nasty chemicals...

    1. Hi there!

      Cool! I really think you should try it!

      I've tried it so far on two shower rooms, a bathtub, a bathroom, and kitchen tiles, and except for the sink ( Which I probably didn't clean well enough) it all worked perfectly well! There are several examples here on my site! ( for example the kitchen update)

      I do have to admit: the paint is a epoxy-based one, so it probably isn't the most ecological one, but on the other hand, I think that removing tiles and buying and replacing them with new ones is more damaging to the environment( and more expensive/more time consuming)

      here's the steps I take:

      1- remove all silicone sealants (~30 minutes)

      2 - thoroughly clean and degrease the tiles ( I use st Marcs, as it's more environmentally friendly and a new scrubby sponge), let dry. (~30-60 minutes)

      3- apply a primer:
      I use a paint roller for terpentine-based paint. let dry (~1 hour)

      3- apply the paint ( again, a paint roller is the quickest) (~1 hour)

      concluding: If you don't count the time needed to let the paint dry ( it dries fairly quick, but you might want to let it dry over night just to be sure) it doesn't take that much time. I've read about people that skipped the primer part, and had perfectly fine results, but I haven't tried that myself.

      The cleaner, primer and paint( in a few basic colours) are available in most Dutch hardware stores.

      hope this helps!

  2. Thanks, that does help! So you also just paint straight over the grout? Not just the tiles?

    1. Glad I can be of help! :) And yes, I painted straight over the grout!