Before and After: Old Lockers Found in an Alley Become a Cute, Totally Free Bathroom Cabinet

published May 22, 2021
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Ahh, metal lockers. A hallmark of the pre-teen years — of learning how to use a combination lock, P.E. class, and decking out the insides with mirrors, wire shelves, and magnets galore. Lockers can be immediately transportive to middle school, but Apartment Therapy has seen enough totally impressive locker revamps to prove that lockers often make for stylish storage solutions in almost any room. And now, here’s another to inspire you.

Christine Knoerr (@christineallison) and her fiancé Callan Beeson (@callanbeeson) happened across a set of lockers in an alley after brunch one day. “We looked at each other and knew we had to have them,” Christine says. The two were on Cal’s motorcycle, so they had to come back in a van to move the lockers from the alley to the house.

“We did not have a plan; we just knew the lockers were cool and we could have fun with them,” Christine says. “Once we got home, we had no idea what to do with them, but we realized they were too tall for anything functional in our home, so we decided to cut them in half,” she says.

They used an angle grinder with a cut off wheel to carefully cut a line dividing the lockers in half. Once the lockers were split in half, they used a sanding disk on the angle grinder to soften the sharp edges and an orbital sander to distress the metal on the front. “That started to expose the old paint underneath and the locker numbers!” Christine says. “It was so cool.”

Then came another lucky find: the wood for the top. With help from Christine’s brother, Eric, Cal found old growth joists in a dumpster from a cottage renovation a few houses down. “They were well over 100 years old and incredible,” Christine recalls. “Eric and Cal snagged them right up and put them in our yard for any future projects. We used two of them for the countertop.”

Cal cut the wood, and Christine sanded it down. They drilled holes in the top of the locker for screws to mount the wood on top. Once the top was mounted, they brought their new custom furniture piece — with plenty of storage and a gorgeous wooden countertop to boot — inside.

“It took about four hours to turn the lockers into our dream vanity,” Christine says. “We were surprised with how it perfectly fit into our bathroom.”

At first, they thought about placing the lockers in their entryway for shoe storage, but they decided on the bathroom because the little blue beauty seemed meant-to-be in the corner. “Once we saw them in there it was a done deal,” Christine says.

Now, Christine has a gorgeous vintage cabinet beside her pedestal sink where she can store cosmetics (and to display plants, of course). “Storage is VERY important to me, and these lockers are perfect to hide all my TP, makeup, and hair things! I couldn’t love it more,” Christine says.

Her advice after completing the project? “Hang out in alleys more.”