Our First Floor Bathroom Takes Shape


I can’t believe so much time has passed! We took a couple of much needed vacations, foster care got wild and I simply allowed more time than I had intended to go by with no update! I have to start catching you up on all that has been accomplished at the new house! I hope you like it. Let’s visit the first floor bathroom first.

This house does not have an en suite master bathroom. That fact does not really bother us. Chris and I both grew up in modest sized, older homes with only one bathroom. However, while a designated master bathroom was not a priority for us, having a second bathroom really was our most important goal when we moved.

The first floor bathroom at the new house is the main bathroom for the house. It will be what guests use when they are over and it will be used regularly by Chris, myself, and our four year old daughter.

My design vision for the bathroom was to create a space that is newly renovated, but has classic appeal. The real trick was to squeeze everything into the same footprint, which is crazy small at only 5 feet, 4 inches wide and barely over 8 feet long. When we purchased the house, the bathtub was positioned perpendicular to the door, with the toilet hidden behind the tub wall and the sink squished into a space no more than 3 feet wide- which was also the walkway and only way to get to the toilet! I could not picture squeezing through that narrow space to get to the toilet “nook,” which was only about 2 feet wide!

First floor bathroom, entire space will be rearranged

The old sink would have stuck out into the room off the wall on the left. The previous owner had started to remodel this bathroom, so there was no sink, but you can see the pipes if you look closely behind the boxes.

The first thing I did was re-draw the layout of the bathroom, flipping the tub so that it was parallel to the doorway and fit snugly under the window. The toilet will sit directly beside the tub and the vanity will be next to that and squeeze right into the corner. When I drew up my plans I had in my mind that there would be space for a 30″ vanity cabinet/sink and I would place two sconces over the sink, a look that I greatly prefer to the single light centered on the wall above the sink.

When Sam brought the blueprints, I saw that he had placed a 24″ vanity cabinet in the bathroom. We discussed the code for the width around the commode, which is 30″. I basically begged him to find me a few more inches. He came up trumps with a maximum of 27″ allotted for the sink cabinet. I then began my quest for how to accomplish the double sconce look that I love. I seriously spent so much time on this one detail, with set-backs and adjustments to find narrow enough sconces that I actually liked. I decided that the medicine cabinet would tuck into the wall to the right of the sink (perpendicular) and we’d hang a tall, beveled mirror above the sink. The sconces were to mount on top of the mirror. I had my design buddy, Amy (who has reminded me more than once to stop second guessing myself) come over and vote on her favorite sconce and on the idea of the tall, narrow mirror. We agreed on the sconce and we agreed on the mirror. This next image was my inspiration image.

Then I placed the order for the mirror and my plans were dashed. The hole for the light boxes could not be cut so close to the edge of the mirror. Why did I not think of this myself?! I knew at that point that I was trying to force my vision into a space that simply could not accommodate it. So, on to plan B, which included the tall mirror and single over- the- sink fixture mounted through the mirror. An unavoidable compromise, but that’s the way it goes sometimes, and I really think that the overall room makes up for this one detail. I went back to my first choice sconce and purchased their 3 light option. I actually really like it! And I LOVE the way the tall mirror turned out.

The sink cabinet was another big deal. Why has this bathroom caused me such trouble? I searched and searched for a sink cabinet that was 27″, but it turns out that particular size is not-so standard. As in, only option is a custom one…or ordering a builder basic one online and paying as much on shipping as on the cabinet itself! After much Craigslisting I found a 27 inch cabinet that could be cut down (it was a kitchen cabinet, which is deeper than a bathroom cabinet) by my talented Dad. He transformed the cabinet box and I chose my paint color (Dorian Gray by SW). I sanded that sucker and applied some test paint. No luck. Since the cabinet was not unfinished wood it was having trouble sticking. But usually with some sanding and some No-Sand for tackiness, paint can stick to cabinets even if they are not all solid wood. This cabinet was not having it. I even learned about a primer product by Zinsser that is perfect for laminate furniture…But my wheels had been turning during all of this and I reached the conclusion that I would prefer an open look, more of a furniture look, rather than a generic sink cabinet. So I sketched some quick ideas and asked my Dad to search through his stash of antique wood to see what he could come up with.

What he came up with was a pair of gorgeous mid 1800’s bedposts that he cut to proper height for a sink.


We had the same company (The Stone Studio) that fabricated our kitchen counters also create a beautiful sink top for the bathroom. I am thrilled with how it looks!


This photo was taken at night with my phone, so please excuse the poor quality! Grey paint is SW Dorian Gray.


The room is shaping up very nicely and we’re nearing the finished product.


Wall color is Valspar Abalone Pink