Repair Into Resiliency

For my repurposed object project, I chose to work with a broken mirrorless vanity top which I found on the side of the road where it had been placed for garbage collection.

First I made a series of observations about the discarded vanity. Despite missing it’s key component (a mirror) the frame was in good condition. The frame top also had two small drawers included at either side of it’s base.

Using my observations I was able to form a question for my experiment in repurposing this vanity top: How can I best repurpose this object to give it daily functionality and save it from it becoming landfill? 

While brainstorming how I might accomplish this goal, I made a few observations about my space that helped to guide my process. I noticed that despite being generally clean and well-decorated, my room has one problem area: my desk. The way the desk is built doesn’t serve the purpose I use it for, which is getting ready for the day and for nights out. The table of the desk is too small and does not make for optimized storage, it also does not have a mirror or make it easy to place the table mirror I have purchased.

Moving forward I decided reimagining my desk space would be a great way to repurpose the vanity top I found in the garbage. This decision lead me quickly to my hypothesis: If I replace the mirror on the vanity and use my dorm-room desk as a base, I expect it will give new life and function to both my desk space and the vanity top. 

I was then able to dive into my experimentation/creation.

I did not have any tools to unscrew the top of the desk but I was able to use a simple butter knife from my kitchen and remove the top. The top limited access the table’s space by creating a canopy over almost half of it. While this was clearly in an attempt to add storage space above the desk, it was not working.

After removing the top I placed it behind the desk to create a place for the new vanity to stand.

Unfortunately, The top was not as tall as I had anticipated and the drawers on the vanity ended up just below the desk’s surface, removing the storage options I had anticipated having with my new desk top. Because of this unforeseen issue, I found myself back at the drawing board – all part of the experimentation process!

To combat this issue I decided to use the drawers as selves, reimagining their intended purpose as means for storage.

Using two five pound command strips per drawer, I was able to secure them on either side of the vanity top, creating box-like wall shelves which now hold my overly cluttered beauty products and most used pairs of sunglasses.

As a final step I measured the empty mirror slot on the vanity and was able to find a mirror in the same size on Amazon (despite taking over the planet, they do have everything and usually for a good deal). The mirror clipped right into the back where there were already bendable hooks to secure the previous mirror.

In conclusionI ended up with a reimagined desk space and vanity that I really like and can see myself using every day. Not only was I able to save a perfectly good vanity top frame from being sent to the landfill, but in revitalizing it I was able to improve the usage of my own space in a way I may never have considered had I not taken a second look at a piece of “garbage” sitting on a street corner.



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