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A copper window assembly creates a stunning powder room.
Eduard Hueber/arch photo, courtesy Jane KimDesign

When he purchased a spacious, 3,000-square-foot loft in Tribeca, the new owner wanted to celebrate the industrial past of this converted warehouse. He worked with New York City architect Jane Kimto incorporate architectural salvage throughout-cabinets, wood, iron, fixtures, and fittings-creating a unique living space. Of all things, it was the vanity in the powder room that became a centerpiece. The bathroom project began with the discovery of a large, 6’11“ wide by 6’3³ high, reclaimed copper window assembly at Urban Archaeology. The round window became the frame for the mirror.

Steps To Reuse

1. Hanging the window
Plywood was attached to the back of the frame with copper nails, readying it for hanging. The unit was attached to the wall with French cleats, and a round mirror installed over the window opening, creating an illusion of depth. (French cleats are a straightforward and inexpensive way to hang cabinets, mirrors, or heavy art. Basically, it’s a length of wood cut at a 30-45° slope; one half is attached to the wall and the other to the back of the piece. Lag bolts are drilled into the wall to hold the first cleat. The second, attached to the object,
mates with the wall cleat.)

2. A copper wall
A pair of salvaged copper panels was attached to the wall to cover it in copper. The blue-green patina of the panels nearly matches the verdigris of the window frame, making it look like the whole wall unit was a single part of a 19th-century building. Copper panels first were secured with copper nails to plywood, then hung on the wall with French cleats nailed onto the plywood.

3. Barn-wood counter
The countertop is made from reclaimed barn wood. The wood was sealed with Epifanes boat sealer to prevent water stains and deterioration. The sink’s drainpipe and water pipes were run in a wall mount hidden behind the copper panels, allowing a seamless appearance. The room’s walls are painted in ‘Gray Owl’ from Benjamin Moore, a neutral that gives the verdigris a starring role.

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Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

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