Anthropologie-Inspired Storage Cabinet

2 Materials
4 Hours

Handan is always shoving some piece of junk or another into my face and then demanding to know if I’m aware of what I’ll be doing with it. This usually happens while I’m trying to concentrate on something important, like television or video games or food.

“Babes!” She cries, as a smile spreads across her face. “Babes! Do you know what you’re going to turn this into?” Whereupon she thrusts some splintered

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

The print is a famous painting by Johannes Vermeer titled “The Lacemaker.” He painted it in 1670, five years before his death at the young age of 43. You may also know another of his masterpieces, “The Girl with the Pearl Earring.”

Though we are separated by centuries, I feel a kinship with Johannes Vermeer. He painted several self-portraits, and in each of them, he has the same tortured look that I have when Handan hooks me into another project.

Anyway, Handan had a vision for this frame. She had seen a bathroom storage cabinet on Pinterest that Anthropologie was selling for $228:

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

You can guess the odds of Handan forking out $228 for something like that. Instead, I got the Vermeer in my face.

She didn’t show me the picture she found on Pinterest; she just explained what she wanted.

“You’ll make a box, my babes, about this deep.” She held up her two hands, spaced several inches apart. “And it will have two shelves.”

“Two shelves. Got it.” I said. I extricated myself from the sofa, shuffled down to the basement and set to work.

I chose 1/2 inch plywood for the back and 1/4 inch for everything else. After taking some measurements, I cut my pieces to size. I would cut the shelves after building the cabinet frame.

I didn’t take any process pictures. I was so riveted by the complexities of the box, that all other thoughts were dispelled from my head.

I’m kidding. I just forgot.

Anyway, I finished the cabinet. It was a fine thing, resplendent with its two shelves.

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

I filled in the imperfections with spackling and sanded everything smooth. I marched my fine creation upstairs to show Handan like a three-year-old with a crayon scribbling for mommy.

“Look what I did, my babes!” I beamed at my wife and awaited my praise. Perhaps she’d make me a dry martini? Nahhhhhh, that would never happen, but surely she would crow over such magnificent craftsmanship!

“My babes…” And with those two words, my world collapsed. It was how she said them. I had done something wrong.

“My babes,” She continued, “I asked for two shelves."

“Yeah…?” I was so confused. We were both looking at the same gorgeous masterpiece of a cabinet. What the heck was she babbling about? “There are two shelves.”

“My babes,” She pressed, “You made three shelves. How am I going to fit toilet paper in those shelves?”

Three shelves? I mouthed the words silently to myself.

“Babes, look.” I pointed at each of the shelves I had installed. “One. Two. Two shelves!” My logic was sound. My argument was watertight. This woman was a loon!

“My babes,” She said, irritation and anger creeping into her voice. “There are THREE shelves here. She stabbed a finger towards my creation. “ONE. TWO. THREE!” Her finger came to rest on the bottom of the cabinet, what I had been thinking of as a base, and what she considered a shelf.

“Ohhh….” Realization hit me like a spotlight in the dark. “OHHHHH!”


“Okay, my babes. I’ll make another one.”

~~~One Year Later~~~

Hey, I never said when I’d make another one! So it took a year? So what?

This time, I would not fail.

I gathered my plywood and cut it to size. I would build this cabinet into the frame, piece by piece, cutting new pieces as I went along. I remembered from the year before that the frame was not square, so even the three-shelved masterpiece didn’t fit in the frame properly.

A little wood glue…

And some brad nails…

I completed the frame.

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

Then I fit the cabinet frame into the picture frame.




I handed it over to Handan to repair the frame’s face. There were a lot of cracks and chips. This Vermeer print had seen some years and miles.

Handan filled the cracks.

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

Then she painted it with her homemade chalk paint in old white color, distressed it, and there it sat in her crafting area until a fateful Saturday morning this past March when she suggested I hang it and then write about it.

We all know how that turned out, right? What? You don’t? Well get with the program, Madam, and click here to read about the guest bathroom renovation! I’ll wait…

You’re back? Oh, good. Let’s continue.

Since everything else in the new bathroom was pure white, Handan repainted the cabinet to match.

Just as we were hanging this Anthropologie-inspired storage cabinet in our newly-renovated guest bathroom, we broke it. If you’ve read the bathroom renovation series, you know that that project was plagued with misfortune, and breaking the storage cabinet was the last mishap in a long line of mishaps (or maybe it was the toilet paper holder fiasco that was last…I can’t remember, or I’ve already blocked it from memory). As I was holding the cabinet by its sides, one of them snapped in my hand.

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

Handan started laughing. But it wasn’t the happy kind that makes me laugh. It was the scary kind that makes me want to duck and cover. Although my first instinct was to Hulk-Smash the cabinet and run, screaming, down the middle of the street, I put on a brave face and told Handan that it would be alright. We could fix it. I got my super glue, and we had it back together in no time.

All's well that ends well, and our Anthropologie-inspired storage cabinet looks great above our new toilet in our newly-renovated bathroom.

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

anthropologie inspired storage cabinet

I’d love to tell you how we saved $228 by building it ourselves, but that would be just about the biggest load of bullsnot this side of the Ozarks, since this little cabinet launched the bathroom renovation that cost us almost two months of our lives and many many hundreds of dollars. Though it may not have saved us any money, it has given us a beautiful new bathroom that I like to call The Dapper Crapper.

Thanks for reading!


Suggested materials:

  • Frame
  • Plywood
Handan & Greg @ The Navage Patch

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • R.s31773944
    on Dec 12, 2017

    It's great. But after you did all that work, why didn't you also cut a hole in the wall & install the whole cabinet with the frame flush with the wall?
    Russ, St. Louis

    • Judith Northcutt
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Studs in the wall are most likely 16 inches apart in most homes and they would have a more expensive job if they cut the studs

  • Rebecca Tuchalski
    on Dec 27, 2018

    I like the window treatment. Where can I get it?

  • Melita Todd
    on Dec 28, 2018

    Is there glass in the original frame? I see a reflection and don't know if it is you. Truth be told it looks like an image of Christ. Your blessed if it is.

    Love reading your stories, keep it up.

Join the conversation

2 of 376 comments
  • Melissa Young
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Project turned out great, but I especially enjoyed the way what you explained it. I can totally relate asked my husband to do things. Awesome writing skills!

  • Joan Harris
    31 minutes ago

    Love it! The bathroom is too nice to use’

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