In Renovations

Bathroom Reno – Vanities

A demo date for our main washroom has been set for the beginning of May. I’ll move into my Mom’s house with Oscar and Aubrey will handle the demo. I asked Aubrey to set a date so I’d feel the push to pick items because without that date on our calendar I was delaying making any design decisions. So we’re now finally moving forward.The first thing on my to-do was/is deciding on the vanity. If you’re considering a small washroom reno, or are just interested in the process there’s a super long post after the jump. (again, a long post which is why I break these things up sometimes)

As is common for houses in our area, and perhaps just semi-detached homes in Toronto, we don’t have a huge bathroom to work with. For the last few years when we talked about the bathroom we thought that we would have to go the custom route because of how small of a footprint we have. Too big of a vanity and it cuts into the walkway and makes it impossible to move around, or even get INTO the washroom. Too small and we’re lacking any much needed storage. I kept coming back to the realization that with the space we had for the vanity, we’d HAVE to go custom.

The lowest cost we were quoted was $800 and it went all the way up to over $1,200. I felt a little sick spending that much money especially when it wasn’t going to give us that much more counterspace or storage.  We could have found super small vanities (Ikea has a lot of options) but I didn’t fall in love with anything. It’s a classic tale of trying to decide where to save and where to splurge on something fancy. With not many more options out there, I was feeling pushed into a corner and perhaps, why I wasn’t too excited about the washroom.

But then recently we made the decision to bump out the wall of the washroom into the hallway to make more room for the footprint of the new vanity.

Aubrey measuring to see how much space we’d gain by bumping out this wall for the vanity.

This is a decision I’m totally nervous about – I really like our upstairs hall but the space that we’re considering giving to the washroom is unused space in the hall. So it makes sense. This decision that will allow us to shop “big box store” cabinetry from stores like Lowes or Home Depot. Which brings the cost of a vanity significantly lower. Instead of $1,200 we’re looking at under $300.00.

Saving money isn’t necessarily the only reason we’re doing this. The demo of the wall and rebuilding of the wall is going to end up costing us money that we wouldn’t have had to spend had we left the wall in place. But what bumping out the wall will do will allow us also a vanity that has more storage space AND more counter space.  So dollar wise, we may end up at the same point we were had we spent the money on custom – but in the end, we’re getting a lot more bang for our buck.

Now that we’re shopping big box store cabinetry – I’m facing the problem  that big box store cabinets don’t look custom and they don’t necessarily fit the look I want. Thankfully our world has been graced with the likes of people like Sarah Richardson who have shown people like me via their TV shows, that you can take stock items from a big boz store and hack them to look custom.

First step was that Aubrey and I went to Lowes and browsed their cabinetry. We were there looking at a shed, so took the opportunity to look at their vanity selection.  At first I thought nothing was right. I got grumpy. I may have muttered “I hate everything.” But then after the shock of seeing a ton of vanities wears off, your eyes adjust and you can start to differentiate between cabinet styles. If you can picture a vanity painted – then things start to kind of become clear. So a-la Sarah Richardson, we’re going to paint a vanity in a colour to compliment the room.

So here is what we found at Lowes. We can go with a 30″ cabinet which allows us to find cabinets that have drawers – which is AWESOME. Having drawers means that Aubrey and I each can have a place to put our own items. Right now they are in a creaky old medicine cabinet that really doesn’t fit much. Drawers = happy marriage.

Not all of the vanities needed a coat of paint to make them appealing. Above is a 30″ cabinet from Lowes on clearance for $178 and is awesome. I love it (I quite like the beachy look) but it doesn’t have drawers which is what I was really itching to have. Drawers are a deal breaker at this point.Drawers – why the big deal? In a washroom you need a place for the little things. I need a place for my stuff, Aubrey needs a spot for his. We have two options. 1. Buy a medicine cabinet that sinks into the wall – Restoration Hardware has the most gorgeous one that I really, really loved. But it’s really, really expensive. The other option is to not invest that $ in a fancy medicine cabinet and make sure we have the space in the cabinet below for our personal items.

So that is where we’re at. We’re going to buy a big box store cabinet (not sure which one yet) and I’m going to paint it myself. (Yup, I’m doing it myself – which may be a really dumb decision but I don’t want to pay someone else.)

And that my friends is the tale of the vanity. Next step is tiles. (And I have to go to the store tomorrow to see if I can borrow some to bring home to test)

xo Linds

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