What many refer to as the “terrible twos” has nothing on what we are experiencing now. Our daughter, Lina, turned 2 this past fall and has fulfi lled the prophecies our friends told us she would. The skills and traits she has exhibited are exactly what I want for her as she grows up. She thinks for herself, she expresses with her words, she questions things she is unsure about, she remains committed to do things independently, and she is not afraid to say no.

As welcome as these traits are, this has created some not-so-pleasant results. Namely, some broken items in the home, including part of our bathroom vanity. When she can’t reach the bathroom sink to wash her hands, Lina stands on top of cabinet door so she can do it “by myself.” After several months, the cabinet hinge mounts fi nally gave out, ripping from the sides of the inner frame.


The way I see it, there are two potential solutions: Fix it or remove the door completely. Because the entire mount ripped off, the fi x is not simply screwing it back in. Instead, you would have to fill the hole with either a small piece of wood glued in or with an epoxy of some type. Then, remount the hinge.

For us, this solution wouldn’t work. The likelihood of Lina or her brother standing on the cabinet door again in the future is very high. Removing the door completely seems to make more sense and evokes a hotel or spa-like feel. If you decide to do something similar, consider some of these things as you go:

Exposing the area under the sink area means you will have to make it presentable. Start by properly removing the cabinet doors and associated hardware. Then, sand, prime and paint the outside and inside in your color of choice. You may want to keep things clean by making them all the same color, or mix it up by making the inside a darker hue than the outside.


Next, add a shelf to take advantage of the vertical space and separate the upper and lower areas. Depending on your skills, you can do this yourself or hire a handyman. Measure and mark off a place for the shelf. Consider what will go on top and how much room you will need. I prefer a shorter shelf on top and more vertical space underneath. When cutting the wood for the shelf, remember to include a cutout for the plumbing as well.

Finish it off by outfitting the vanity with matching bins. If you have kids, make sure to keep kid-safe items — like towels, toilet paper and bath toys — inside. Move the not-so-safe items, like cleaning supplies, to a hallway closet or another area of the home the kids can’t reach.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.