What if you’ve created a perfect Victorian bathroom complete with a marble console sink, a sitz bath, and even a rib-cage shower—but the right medicine cabinet remains elusive? Wall-hung and recessed cabinets, especially those with a period-furniture feel, are small and have little storage capacity. If only it could look like a 19th-century mirror carved of burled walnut ….
Solution: using an actual Victorian walnut mirror! The beautiful piece above came from a local antiques shop. At 32″ tall by 20″ wide, it fit perfectly above the bath sink. It was a good size to become a door for a generous cabinet to be built into the wall behind it, with a mahogany frame that projects a bit from the wall. Fortunately, the antique frame was in good condition, with its original finish intact. It required only a gentle cleaning and polishing with lemon oil on a soft cloth.
Brian D. Coleman, M.D., is the Editor-at-large for Arts and Crafts Homes and Old House Journal magazines and has written numerous articles on home design. His work has appeared in magazines ranging from Old House Journal to Period Living in the U.K.
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