Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wall Heater Junk to Jewels Remake

I've shared with you in the past that I live in a house built in 1929.  To see some pictures of my old house, go here.  Living in a house from the 20's is actually really lovely.  There is so much charm and beautiful detail.  I love it!

However when you live in a house this old, you do have to make decisions about the functional workings of the house. Heating systems, water systems, kitchen appliances, windows, etc., all need to be evaluated for their efficiency and whether they can even be maintained.  While it may not make sense to continue to use a particular item, the character of it would be missed.

A perfect example is this old wall heater in my lavender bathroom.  It was still functional when we moved in, but I'm not crazy about the smell of natural gas that seeps from these old units.  My father-in-law disconnected them all for me.  Despite that, the outer casing of the heater was beautiful, and I did not want to remove it.  I mean, who else can boast of having a lavender porcelain heater?  

The tiles and inner workings of the unit were not so pretty, though.  The metal had oxidized and that part was quite ugly.  I decided the shape and box of the heater could still be useful in a bathroom and might be a convenient place to keep reading materials. So, I detached the heater from the wall and removed all of the ugly parts.  I did put them in a box to keep in case we, or another homeowner, decide to hook the heater back up.

It's fun to open up an old house and get a peek at how it was made.  What you are seeing in this picture is the backside of a plaster wall.  The plaster was floated over the boards, called lathe, and the oozing helps secure the plaster to the walls.  Unfortunately, this system is not ideal for hanging pictures; can you see why?  

Edward is always anxious to peek around as he is sure we will find the original family's silver or jewels!  All we've found thus far is a lot of plaster rubble and some very unhappy spiders.

Once the heater was taken apart, I cleaned everything really well.  I then spray painted the inside metal box with Krylon's Satin Ivory.  It's funny how this ivory matches the yellow in my bathroom much better than any yellow paint.  The rest was just reattaching the box to the wall, and the outer casing to the box.

It looked like it needed a little something more, so I printed an antique French advertisement on some clear overhead projector vinyl and attached it with a small magnet.  You know how I love to change my mind, and I wasn't committed enough to paint it.  I found the graphic on The Graphics Fairy's blog. You can find her button on the right side of my blog.  I might still look for something like an old, ladies magazine cover, but for now I really like the advertisement.

I know it's kind of crazy, but isn't it fun?  I think it's a great way to upcycle a beautiful old relic into something quite useful.  What other ideas do you have for how I can use it?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll lock the door and grab some bubbles.  I have about 3 hours of reading to catch up on!

Thanks for stopping by.  I really love you guys, do you know that?



  1. Your bathroom is sooo pretty. I love old houses too.

  2. What a wonderful and creative idea! Just beautiful.
    Your bathroom looks like a delightful place to soak and read.

  3. Such a cool and inventive idea! I love it when you can take what you have and use it in a different way!

  4. Oh clever was that?! It is the perfect size to hold magazines.

    I think you bathroom is full of charm. Now I have to look at the other rooms...

    I host a party on Wednesdays that is a showcase for bloggers with less than 500 followers.... and I would like to invite you! (the linky is open now)

    xoxo BunnyJean @ BunnyJean's Decor and More!

    I am # 141 in the Met Monday party.

  5. Can I come over and just sit in your lavender bath and drool? Pretty please!

    Great ideas and fun post to read- Thanks!!!

    Visiting from Bunny Jean's Linky Party (Bunny Hop)

    ~Suzanne in IL

  6. Of course you can!!! Bring some bubbles and just spend the afternoon in there. I'll put some iced tea on.

    Thanks ladies for all your encouraging comments.

  7. Wow, you are a genius and so creative! I never would have thought of that. Love it!

  8. I want to say thank you for joining my Bunny Hop party.

    I also became a follower... I thought I did that last time :o)

    xoxo BunnyJean @ BunnyJean's Decor and More!

  9. Ellie~ What a fantastic idea!!! Just love it!!

  10. Great idea. You kept the aesthetics of the old house but made it useful and practical. Bravo!

  11. Actually the thing that I want on this blogsite is the color, another one the information and the lovely photos. Keep up the good work! -Wall Heater Los Angeles.


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