Bedroom Closet / Dressing Room The Victorian House

A Few Quirks

I’ve repaired the corners in nook above the closet sink! I’m chuffed about this, though I don’t look it.

Closet Sink Nook

I’ve only primed the walls, so the (dusty) mirror is going to come back down when I paint.

I used mesh tape (Fibatape brand), Sheetrock joint compound 45 (you mix it with water and the number refers to the working time — you can get stuff that sets up more quickly or takes longer), two putty knives (1.5″ and 6″), a corner trowel, and a plastic mud pan. To sand, I used a corner mouse electric sander for the first rough pass, then moved on to sanding blocks working my way down from 100 grit to a one that was just marked “fine” for drywall.

No tutorial on the corner repair because I was winging my way through, but I’ll tell you how it went. The process: Put mesh tape on the nonexistent corners in a rough approximation of what a wall should be like. Glob on a bunch of joint compound with the corner trowel and 1.5″ putty knife. Let dry. Slightly panic about how awful it looks, take a picture and post it anyway. Sand smooth, feel relief that it’s really not so bad. Apply another coat of joint compound, this time doing one side of each corner at a time with the 6″ putty knife. Let dry, sand smooth. Touch up any problem areas with a final coat, let dry, sand smooth, pat self on back. Well done, me!

The nook had a sheet mirror up before and I’m glad I took it out (it was streaked and had black splotches, making it not so useful for getting ready in the morning), but it did disguise the fact that the sink is not centered. I’m guessing the house’s previous owners found the antique marble sink top and had it cut down to fit, but they only cut along the right side. Not a big deal, but it’s definitely more noticeable with a mirror centered above instead of spanning wall to wall.

Uneven Sink

We’ll go ahead and call that an old house quirk. Here’s another!

Ceiling Junction Box

I wanted the closet ceiling fixture centered in the space. The junction box only had to be moved over 8″ but of course there was a ceiling beam blocking the way, plus wires that had no extra slack. Apparently the only way to move it and patch the old hole would be to gain access from above? This is according to the electricians, so I’m taking their word for it. Without doing that, we would have to have a cover where the old box was, which: ugly. Ceiling medallion to the rescue! This was the electricians’ suggestion and I’m going with it.

The medallion is supposed to arrive on Friday, so my plan is to put it up this weekend, paint the walls and ceiling, and bask in empty space before bringing everything back in. I need to figure out what light is going to go up in the closet now, too. The old one was an antique flush mount that won’t work with a medallion (and it isn’t large enough to cover the ceiling damage). I figure I should aim for something that won’t cast weird shadows, but beyond that I’m not sure because I hadn’t planned on replacing the light. Pendant? Lantern? Maybe one of these? (Just kidding. Crystal pirate ship all the way.)

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  • Lora
    January 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    In our last house the chandelier was not centered in the dining room…why? But we had a similar problem to yours and I, too, covered it with a ceiling medallion. And wouldn’t you know, when we sold that house the medallion was one of the things the buyers raved about.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      So funny. I do think the medallion will actually look nice in the closet, but it’s definitely a solution to a problem and not just a decorating choice.

  • sarah
    January 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    You did an awesome job patching those corners! And gotta love those old house quirks… I love ceiling medallions. When we moved into our house we changed out a bunch of light fixtures in bedrooms, and some of them didn’t fit exactly to where the old fixture was. The results was an unsightly circle of different colored paint (or rough drywall edge) around the new ones. Medallions to the rescue! We got fairly small, simple ones and they look like they’ve always been there :)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Thank goodness for ceiling medallions!

  • Lisa
    January 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for teaching me the word chuffed!

  • Amelia
    January 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I’m really glad I clicked on the “one of these” link. Yikes!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Ha! So which one do you think I should go for?

  • Renov8or
    January 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Looks so much better already! The reclaimed marble is great, even if a little off center. How about a shallow shelf on the left to take up some space? Would that help make it less noticeable? Or would it draw attention to it?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      I thought about it, but I think that because the space is so narrow and awkward, shelves might be annoying there. It’s not off the table though.

  • Kacie
    January 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Despite the weird cuts, I still think the marble looks awesome! I like the electrician’s ceiling medallion suggestion. We have so many weird access spots for electrical in our house, if only I could cover them all with medallions!

  • Laura C
    January 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    You got me. I clicked the link. What the heck? Is it for sale? Not that I want to buy it! Thanks for the laugh. and I love the pirate ship!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      I bet you they’re crazy expensive if they are for sale! Not a lot of demand to bring costs down, I would venture. ;)

  • Kristin
    January 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Where do you source your ceiling medalions from?

  • judy
    January 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    awww…. you look like a 17 year old wondering why her Prince Charming is not calling her. Instead you’re a hard working Mommy and Amatuer Plasterer? I still love that old marble and what a pretty mirror you could place there. It ought to be a little bit (or a lot) French. That little nook just makes me think of charming french garrets with Music and laughter floating into the window from the rain glistened street below. And maybe a faint scent of roses. Imagination trumps reality every time IMHO

    Rock on there any end in sight? Oh..and bye the bye why does your comment thingy always say -no comments-when there are always comments? Weird?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Not sure about the comments issue. I suspect it has to do with my site caching system (to reduce server load and speed up the site). Such a lovely thing to imagine though, the streets of Paris below my window!

  • Liza
    January 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for the laff, Nicole! Love that light fixture. Has all that sanding made you a wee bit punch drunk? The corners look great. Our 1912 house is due to be rewired soon, so I’m watching your every move these days!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      I feel for you. Rewiring is not a fun undertaking (necessary though).

  • Peggi
    January 13, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Freddie Mercury’s estate is selling some light fixtures? Snort. Also, high five on the corners; they are a bear!

  • Kelley
    January 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I had an identical experience when tearing out the built-out closet to enlarge my daugter’s room, exposing lots of crumbled plaster along the corners. I used basically the same exact approach that you did and had (what seems like) the same semi-panicked reaction after seeing the wet joint compound-covered mesh tape clinging to the walls for dear life, haha. a
    A pro probably (definitely) could’ve done a better job, but it all turned out alright and I’m also a big proponent of chalking things up to “charm” and “old house quirks”, haha

    • Making it Lovely
      January 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Aren’t they tricky? I read and watched a bunch of tutorials that warned of corners, but sheesh.

  • Nichole K
    January 13, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I took the bait and clicked on your “maybe one of these” link and lol-ed. Definitely statement pieces ha! I’m excited to see your finished closet! Who knew closets were so intriguing…

  • Getting the Closet Back in Order | Making it Lovely
    January 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    […] the perfect replacement. I hadn’t planned on ordering a new light, but when I had to go with a medallion to cover an access plate from the electricians’ rewiring, the antique flushmount I had planned on reusing no longer fit. (You can see the new and old […]