Saturday, December 26, 2009

In search of zinc

Don't you hate it when you have a vision for a space and are unable to source the specific item you need? Years ago, I was on the hunt for billowing dupioni curtains. Nothing to be had other than luxe couture items that were zip codes away from my budget. A couple of years later, dupioni curtains became ubiquitous, found in every mail-order catalogue and suburban mall in America.

Now, I'm on the hunt for zinc wall shelves. Or copper tray shelves. Or any shelves that would look at home in a potting shed. I did find this 19th-century bucket bench with zinc-covered center shelf. This goes a bit too country, and I think that it was an item that had already sold at auction.

Oh, and I need the shelves for the basement bathroom. Why does one want potting shed shelves in a bathroom? Well, it stems from our IKEA Domsjo farmhouse sink.

We'd bought it for our old kitchen. When we moved, I decided I needed a larger kitchen sink. So the Domsjo has been lugged from Austin to Boston and now resides in our attic. It struck me the other day that the Domsjo would be a perfect fit for the basement bathroom. The bathroom is steps away from the walkout door so the Domsjo could double as a mudroom sink, perfect for dirty or chemical-laden washups. With its orange seventies wallpaper (lavished on every surface including the ceiling) and budget motel vanity, the basement bathroom is overdue for a makeover.

The Domsjo sits on the sink cabinet so we won't have a traditional vanity. Instead, wall shelves, in particular zinc wall shelves, would be functional, fit the narrow space, and continue the outdoorsy, unexpected vibe. Because we're using a kitchen sink, I have to be careful of what else to put in the room. For example, stainless shelves might look as if we'd accidentally stuck part of the kitchen in the bath. Very traditional bath cabinetry might negatively accentuate the sink. So to harmonize with the farmhouse sink, I'd like a dark uniform slate floor and potting room shelving. The sink base will be painted an earthy green/putty color.

The one positive to my fruitless search are the wonderful web sites I've discovered.

zinc Pottery Barn lanterns on Katy Elliott's wonderful blog

zinc kitchen island/buffet at Mecox Gardens

Alas, though they referred to zinc-covered materials, none of them had what I need. So...zinc shelves anyone?

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