We were completely remodeling a guest bathroom and decided on a “Dia de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead, Mexican holiday) theme after finding some beautiful Mexican Talavera tiles on that theme. I found an old cabinet, dusted it off, refinished it and installed a vessel sink. The original mirror was not centered properly, so I built this frame to overlap the edges and make it appear centered. (Frankly, if I were doing this over, I would have walked into that room with a hammer and start with a fresh mirror!).
I found a pile of old pallets in an alley. Usually in Florida, wood just rots, but this eight-foot-long pallet was on top of a stack that was in the open sun and high enough to keep it dry so it could cure to a silver weathered finish. I cut the pieces, so the fresh cut edges were toward the wall and at the top and were not visible. The horizontal pieces were trimmed to different widths to accentuate the illusion of distance and height (loosely inspired by Japanese gardens). They were mostly anchored to wooden supports screwed into the wall. I used black finishing screws that are almost invisible when driven sub-flush. (Be careful with old silvered weathered finishes. I had put some masking tape on some of the boards during construction, and some of the finish were pulled off with the tape! I can’t think of any way to protect the finish now. I’m pretty sure any varnish will ruin the silver surface).
The lights were from a clearance rack at the hardware store. Wiring them was tricky. The wire had to be routed from old wiring boxes, over the mirror surface by routing grooves on the inside of the upright boards. The shades are so dark that the light is muted a lot so I put 100 watt halogen bulbs in them and put a dimmer on. (They are a deep amber that is not apparent in the photo.) Usually not much light is needed in a bathroom unless doing makeup. (My wife has confirmed that they ARE bright enough.) Optionally a ceiling light could be installed later. The mask was a gift that was obtained in Mexico. The two skulls on the sides are just temporarily propped up there, but I may add small shelves on either side midway up the uprights. The DOTD tiles run around the wall at waist level. I removed the old medicine cabinet, tiled in the wall cavity and put shelves in it. This is the best arrangement for a guest bathroom for extra toothbrushes, band-aids, aspirin, etc. that is visibly available without “snooping” into the cabinet. We have some blank papier mache skulls that we plan to let our guests decorate as “sugar skulls” and put up on the walls.