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Soap-Dish Shelf

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1999


Remove a soap dish from its natural environment, and you'll discover it's the perfect size and shape to hold all sorts of odds and ends. Two vintage porcelain soap dishes mounted on an entryway wall organize keys, stamps, and loose change -- small necessities that might otherwise get lost or misplaced. A soap dish above a bureau in a bedroom can keep rings and earrings; beside a fireplace, one might hold matches. These soap dishes date from the early to mid-twentieth century and range from about $5 to $35; they can be found at flea markets and antiques shops; vintage chrome and brass examples are more expensive than those made from porcelain. Don't forgo a metal soap dish because it looks too dirty or corroded to salvage: If you really like its shape or design, you can clean it up with metal polish or have it replated. Metal soap dishes can be spray painted, but don't paint porcelain.


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