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Design

Ask the Audience: Powder Room Vanity (and a sneak peek)

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The powder room is 75% done and it’s ready for a mini-reveal. I don’t want to spoil the full reveal so this is just a tiny peak. When we bought the house the powder room was in the old servants hallway (sounds very fancy, but it wasn’t). It was small, as powder rooms are, and it needed some love. Here is the original floor plan, pre-renovation. 

Original_Floor Plan_1

We’ve added the graphic to show you where the original powder room was, but basically you couldn’t get to the powder room except through that utility hallway. And then when you finally got to it, it was in very vintage condition if you know what I mean.

emily_henderson_new_floor_plan_powder_room

The new floor plan opened up the bathroom to the entry, kitchen and den to make it more functional and usable, so it became a big opportunity to do something fun, but not crazy and it wasn’t where I wanted to spend a ton of money.

Here is what it looked like before:

before-pic_demo-plan_text-overlay_bathroom

The sink was actually charming but needed a facelift and everything else had to go. We shoved the whole thing down (taking up the space where the shower was) and made it smaller, but still super livable (and getting a bigger utility/laundry room has been key to my sanity).

before-pic_demo-plan_text-overlay_entry

Here is the mood board for the original design of the room. It’s the usual “playful modern english country” that you see/feel throughout the rest of the house.

emily_henderson_powder_room_moodboard

WallpaperTowel Ring | Toilet Paper Holder | Towel Bar | Floor Tile | Beadboard Paint | Toilet | Faucet | Sink

We installed beadboard to give it some architectural interest and to continue the casual country feel, but then we blew it up with that awesome hand-painted wallpaper. Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this paper is special because it’s stamped with paint – it’s not just printed. It’s SO, SO pretty. The taupe color-way of this paper might be my favorite paper of all time, but I wanted something more fun in here, although there are times when I wished it were the more neutral color. The rest of the pieces are classic – unlacquered brass throughout that has already patina’d perfectly. And the toilet and vanity are simple and classic, with a slightly more edgy light fixture (which was a theme throughout the house).

But, of course things changed. We realized that the space is crazy tight and there wasn’t room for a big vanity + they didn’t plumb for a pedestal and instead plumbed for a cabinet-style vanity. In other words the newly installed plumbing was too wide for the back of the small vertical pedestal to cover. That is obviously fixable but the inspections were in 2 days and we needed to pass in order to move in to the house. So we found this one at Ikea and installed it to get through inspections:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Powder Room_Progress_FINAL_1

I was shocked by how well it worked. Sure, I knew it was cheap but nobody else would have said anything if I hadn’t profusely apologized for this vanity to everyone who toured the new house. there was a lot of ‘don’t worry, we are switching out the vanity, this is just temporary and of course we aren’t going to mix in that modern chrome faucet with the light or the vibe of the house….. ‘. But everyone just looked at me like I was nuts. And then I thought, well, am I?It really looked pretty good and the scale of it is perfect. Just not as amazing as I wanted: 

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Powder Room_Progress_FINAL_2

So we wallpapered and I even found the perfect mirror at an antique store for $60. That mirror is so old and shaky that you can barely apply lipstick, but we don’t care. It’s so pretty and the perfect size/shape and that old glass is gorgeous in there against the wallpaper.

Now that we are trying to finish everything for the house I want to really address this vanity situation. Everything is locked in and installed except the vanity. The sconce is awesome (modern to edge up the bead board and the wallpaper), the mirror is perfect, the tile is good to go…. it’s just this stupid vanity situation.

So we have three options – and while I’m leaning heavily towards one of them, there is a great debate around me and not everyone agrees. So, obviously its time to ask a few hundred thousand of my favorite friends in hopes that you agree with me and I can stop making my case about such an innocuous thing. 

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Powder Room_Vanity_Faucet_Combo_Option 1

Wallpaper | Light | Mirror (vintage ) | VanitySink  | Faucet

This first option is what already exists – an Ikea vanity, but replaced with a better faucet. It’s not bad, but as an interior designer I’m not inspired. But I also don’t want to obsess about every single detail in the house and I know that with the right faucet it would be FINE. At some point I have to stop bleeding money. It’s not amazing but it is definitely good enough. If this weren’t my job I would definitely just replace the faucet but it is my job so I have to/get to obsess about perfection. I’m both lucky and annoying.

But what about option #2:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Powder Room_Vanity_Faucet_Combo_Option 2

Wallpaper | Light | Mirror (vintage ) | Vanity (vintage) | Sink | Faucet

This option is retrofitting an antique music cabinet that isn’t the right height, but could be great in every other way. I found it at an antique mall for $200 and I didn’t need it at the time but I loved it so much. Now as I realize I need a vanity I’m super tempted to use this. It’s too tall and it’s pretty petite size-wise but it’s so pretty. And I always think that being beautiful is more important than having the exact perfect proportions. I can retrofit this and it will be stunning. Possibly not perfect, but totally wonderful.

The cons – it will cost a lot in mental annoyance. We need to take it apart, buy an under-mount sink, carve out the back and top, get the marble fabricated and I’m sure problem-solve the entire time. This option will definitely cost me way more time and stress, but it will make me so much happier (and be much cheaper than #3). Speaking of … 

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_Powder Room_Vanity_Faucet_Combo_Option 3

Wallpaper | Light | Mirror (vintage) | Vanity | Sink | Faucet | Knobs

This option is customizing a furniture style vanity. It would be fabricated by the cabinet makers that did our kitchen and they did impeccable work. It would be simple and a small scale, but to make it more interesting I would put a grate where the panels are and behind the grate I would put a cute little ruffled curtain. I know it’s terribly sweet, but I like that it feels special and shakes it up a bit.

I’m not dead set on the faucet, but I don’t think we have time to get the unlacquered brass finish – long story but we ordered two of these faucets when we thought that we were going to do a single sink/double wide vanity in the master bathroom. But we ended up getting a double vanity and stealing the faucet from this sink so we had two. Since we are shooting the house in 6-7 weeks, I may not be able to get that finish and mixing in a different brass isn’t ideal (the hand towel, toilet paper and the flush are all unlaquered brass). Thus the black faucet (there is both black and matte gold in the light). We have left-over marble from the kitchen for the top (my favorite marble ever) and lastly we would probably put a cute little colored stripe as the curtain – like a pinstripe, ticking, or the safest choice would be a pretty washed linen. It’s hard to render that out properly so you’d have to trust me that we’d make it look WONDERFUL. We rendered all three options side by side with pricing below to give you an idea of how they could all look. 

Emily Henderson_Home_Waverly_Powder Room_Vanity_Faucet Sink_Ask the Audience_Option_Roundup

1: Leave Ikea vanity, change out faucet. Pros: It’s easy, inexpensive and works with the style of the house. Cons: It’s fairly uninteresting and isn’t a real portfolio piece. 

2. Retrofit a music cabinet – with marble top, under-mount sink, new faucet. Cons: A lot of managing of time with many sub-contractors and it will cost some (I realized that I didn’t really factor in the cost of the faucet in there, too). Retrofitting and install would be $300 (I got two quotes, one for $1200 and one for $250 – HA), marble fabrication would be $200 + sink and faucet costs. 

3. Have a custom vanity made via cabinet maker with cut out window for grill and fabric. Cons: $1000 in labor + marble (left over). Fabrication of the marble might cost $250.  Pro: Someone else manages, high end finishes, unique but still simple. Install would be $150 – $300. 

Obviously those costs are rough but after getting some quotes I think those are good ballpark numbers. Here are the costs of the rest of the powder room thus far: Wallpaper: $690 (gifted), Beadboard: $220 (needed 11 pieces. They are sold as 16′ at $1.25 per linear foot), Paint: $100, Floor Tile: $113.12, Toilet: $1219.24, Mirror: $60, Light: $420 (gifted).

After considering everything I am leaning towards #2. I think it’s special and interesting but it’s more affordable and more approachable. Getting a $1000 tiny cabinet made feels a tad insane, but at the same time I don’t want my retrofitted cabinet to be janky and rickety in the long run and regret it. Here’s what it looks like now, but let me know what you guys think.

What do you think guys? Option 1, 2 or 3???

***Sneak Peek photo by Tessa Neustadt

Fin Mark

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jody

That Ikea vanity is an insult to the very special wallpaper and mirror.
I say option #2. Or could the cabinet maker make something that took on the shape of option #2? With maybe one door with the wire and the little curve at the bottom with a special latch? I like the look of number 2 better. Number 3 still feels too bulky with the mirror. Special mirror and special wallpaper deserves a special vanity. Plus when the powder room is shot this is the only view (they aren’t going to shoot the toilet) so you want it as unique as it can be, right? oh, and I like the black faucet.

kannfish

Agree to all the above

Erika

Agree. If the #3 cabinet was a little narrower it would be a great option to a rickety cabinet. Also, the contrast/warmth provided by the wood is great. Visually, it’s #2 all the way, but if it was rickety it would drive me nuts.

Alexis

Agree. Have one made with pretty wood.

Jody wins this thread; agree with everything (except I don’t actually have strong feelings about the black faucet one way or another).

Michelle T

Ditto, please DO NOT keep the IKEA cabinet.

Naomi

2 all day long! ??

Fil

Agree on #2. My additional 2 cents is that a brass faucet would be better to compliment the other metal accents and warmth of the wood.

Emily

I love the idea of combining options 2 and 3, making one door with wire and curve. The coloring of 2 feels off somehow, and I feel like it would be a headache to make it work, and I agree that 3 feels less elegant and a little bulky.

Amy Keleher

Totally agree. I am very drawn to option 2. However I’m not 100 percent sold on the faucet…

Rebecca

Agree with everything already stated about #2. I think the black faucet is a little jarring to something so dainty. Just me, I guess.

Jenn

Option 2!!!! The natural wood is warm and so pretty with the wallpaper and mirror.

Kelky

Couldn’t agree more! #2 for the win, hands down!

Em

Number 3… Sorry. It just looks the most stylish :-/

Beckasoup

Totally agree! I like the proportions of and detail #3 the best. Love the texture of the layered grate and curtain. The music cabinet is sweet, but I think there is a better use elsewhere, plus turning antique cabinetry into sinks makes me cringe. Let it maintain its full glory elsewhere in the house

Suzy

I’d like to rule out #2 simply because too-tall sinks are not user-friendly for kids or shorter guests – both of which will be in there often.

I’ll cut it down!! Which I am worried will look weird, but I agree – no too tall vanities (I don’t think we can with the plumbing anyway). x

Kimberly

I was going to say #2 hands down since you have managed to find a vintage piece that works as a vanity (finding the right size is hard!!!) but since you need to cut it down…please don’t! #3 is beautiful and doesn’t ruin a lovely antique piece. Plus I agree the proportions will be off. The legs of this piece give it it’s charm and they allow a lightness from seeing the floor and bead-board continue beneath the vanity. If the legs are shorter it will lose it’s charm and it will look just as normal as #3.

laetitia

I don’t mind transforming an antique piece as I prefer people adjusting it to their interior rather than throwing it but I am convinced too that this vanity will loose all its charm and lightness if you cut the legs even a little bit. Plus, what would be the size of the sink ?? As far as I am concern, a good design should be BOTH visually stumming AND fonctionnal or it is missing the point … Nevertheless, follow your gut Emily … and excuse my english, I’m french !

Corrie

I’m sure that you could find a very cute step stool (that can be hidden away when need be) for the kids to use if the vanity is slightly too tall for them.

#2 alllllll the way!!! I think taking off a couple inches won’t throw off the proportions. The warmth of the wood, its genuine vintage patina…ugh, i’m drooling. It just works so well with everything else in the larger scheme. Discreetly hidden braces can always be added if need be.

Danielle

Can you cut it down from the top? So you don’t lose thebpretty legs proportions?

Janine

This is going to be so annoying, but I like the music cabinet best. Sorrryyyyyy, I know it’s the toughest logistically.

Jess

I love #2 because it brings warmth into the space! The others leave the bottom half of the room a little stark.

Diana

Option #2 for sure girl! You rock!

Mara

I love #2, but would be ok with #1 and put some legs on the IKEA cabinet (it looks like it’s floating?) or paint the IKEA cabinet!

Allison

I was about to say the exact same! I love #2, but I think legs on #1 would make a huge improvement.

Julie P

And what if you had your cabinet guy make new doors for the IKEA cabinet with cutouts and fabric inserts like #3? I feel like #3 seems wider, and a smaller unit in here works better.

Debbie

This is exactly what I was going to suggest, and I love the idea of doing that and adding some legs like Mara mentioned.

I do, however, love the warm woods of #2 in there …

Emma

That’s exactly what I was thinking. Make Ikea resemble option #3.

Jenn

That’s what I was going to say!

I think the reason most people are liking option two in the picture is because its ‘not white’. The white cabinets are just blending into the white beadboard. What about having your carpenter make it look more like #3 AND paint it a dark colour? Maybe a brass faucet?

Robin

Me three. Put some legs on that IKEA cabinet and change the knobs to something similar to 3 and you have a decent Option 3 impostor for 1/6th the price or so.

Dena

A DIY Ikea hack to #1 would be so great!! I like 3 best so I can see a hack working!!

DP

I would like the IKEA cabinet with a fabric apron/new doors, if it did not distract from the wallpaper, but the mirror and lamp is not centered above the sink. I like 1 or 3 if you can move the light and mirror. I have a large cabinet in my powder room because my parents use it as their guest bathroom when visiting. It’s nice to have a large vanity for guests to put their toiletries, away from the kid’s bathroom.

Amyks

So funny, when I saw the price of the other options my first thought was to put legs on the Ikea piece and change out the hardware. The other 2 are very cool, but the cost of the other ones seem like a lot for a powder room.

LisaP

Ditto! #1 do a hack. It’s ridiculous to spend more money on the smallest room in the house.

Rebecca

I agree! Make #1 look like 3 and center everything up. Making new doors and using new hardware and legs, no one will ever know its IKEA. Money saved!

On another note, there is this exact music cabinet on Craigslist for 50 dollars in the Chicagoland area right now.

Sarah Kerr

I love the idea of an Ikea hack… add legs and add black hardware/hinges. Would be great for the audience to see a mix of high and low- stuff we could actually do in my opinion… I also love option #2

jen

Yes, legs will help tremendously!

Sara M.

I love #3, but in a wood, not white. It would help pull in the mirror and tone down the bead-board / tile.

Lauren

Emily, the room is beautiful with that paper. I lean toward option two. I’m finding more and more that rooms without natural textures just lack something. And while I love white and white and all the white – the two white options just feel blah to me. And when I see the wood I go “oooo”. The contrast, the lines of the piece. Beautiful. Now if you weren’t a designer and had to opt for the IKEA it could be fine, can it be centered under the light? Can the doors be squared up? Hinges spray painted or changed to be not chrome? You could also install fake feet on the IKEA piece so it’s not floating and add some interest.

Danielle

Option #2 for sure!!

Viv

Love, love, love the music cabinet! It’s still cheaper than option three, and like childbirth, it won’t seem like it was quite so hard a year later! Cut the legs to make it the height you want. It goes beautifully with your light and mirror.

April

#2. Just cut down the legs.

Brooke

#2, I think, not knowing how off the proportions are. can you cut down the legs?

Emma

I personally like the third option the most (though for my own house bc I’m not a designer would probably do the IKEA), but it sounds like you like the second option the most! If you think that that design is best and want it for your portfolio, then it’s worth the time and effort of getting it done. Also, you’ll be happiest looking at it every single day…

Stephanie

I don’t understand why you don’t clean up the original sink and put it back. That was the cutest option.

Amber

I was wondering the same thing. Restored vintage sinks are awesome. Otherwise, I strongly prefer number 2. The IKEA vanity looks cheap, and I think the room needs more grounding/contrast. Otherwise the mirror stands out as oddly dark.

Chaz

I totally agree, that little sink was interesting, unique and simple. If these options I vote #2- most unique and interesting but still simple. I also agree with the commenter above- the white feels more formal and generic while the wood and beautiful shape of the little music cabinet feels more alive and interesting.

Emily

I like this idea as well though the hardware would be silver not black or brass and it might be cost and time prohibitive to switch out to different hardware. Plus the exposed pvc plumbing isn’t too attractive. It’s possible the original was too damaged and rusted to be usable but not sure.

I have some neat little mid-century square sinks with silver trim that I’m going to look into repairing and reusing. The rust damage has me uneasy though.

J

Stick with the funk! Please keep the old sink or the mid-century sinks. Maybe swap out the pvc pipes for brass. #3 too standard/basic designery. #2 cute but a little precious and will soon be trashed with all the kid traffic from the back yard.

Emily, love you, long time reader. Keep some of the funk we love you for. Don’t go the way of successful bloggers whose sites all of a sudden become perfect, a little blander and much more upscale because of their success. It is ok that everything not be perfect for the shot. We all have to make compromises for time. I was thinking that as I was looking at the Ikea vanity and thought you should just paint it one of the colors from the wallpaper and deal with it later. (And your process for making the compromises would make great copy for the magazine article on the house.) Saying this with love.

Jennifer

I agree! But I was afraid to suggest that given the angst of the whole situation. This is my first choice, with option #2 next.

Patty

Love the original sink! Totally the best option. The other options pale in comparison. Such a darling shape.

Lynn

I could go for that, as well — it was cute (but maybe she wants some storage).

Carrie

I thought of that as well but I’m guessing it’s out because it would require re-plumbing the whole sink area.

Kate

Idk if that was ever really an option given the condition of the sink. Even if it was the plumbing was accidentally done for a sink with a cabinet and from the post re-doing it isn’t an option (mostly time issues it sounds like.

KatieV

I think Emily told us in the post that now she can’t use the original–or any pedestal sink–because of how the pipework got installed.

MM

2 for sure! Less whitey, white, white and more interesting for a narrow space.

Lynn

Option #2! More work but worth it!

LynnR

Number 3 all the way. The Ikea doors look wonky and as a whole just seems cheap. Number 2 is better, but too small for the space. Number 3 will be charming and you’ll forget the $$$ after it’s done.

Marcia

I’m glad you pointed out the doors being wonky – I thought I was the only one to notice.

Katy DeBardelaben

TWO!! For the love of god, pick twoooo!!! That contrast of wood and white, vintage and modern, oh it’s so good! Definitely warms the space up and feels in keeping with the rest of the house (like the wood beams in the living room that you thought you wanted to paint but look so much better with its natural wood charm!). Ugh, I will be so sad if you don’t pick the beautiful antique cabinet and retrofit it.

Hilary

I feel just as strongly as Katy that you MUST do some version of #2–the wood/white contrast is fantastic. Maybe you can find a wood vanity that won’t require so much effort to achieve the same finished look? My second choice is option 3. I hate the floating design of option 1 very, very much.

Carrie

Agree!

Definitely, DEFINITELY agree that option TWO is the way to go. There’s so much white already at the bottom and I think a vintage wood piece adds amazing contrast and warmth to the space, while complementing the vintage mirror. It’s worth the extra work IMO. Cheers!

Natalie

TWO!!!! I also feel strongly about it. The wood, the shape… ?. But height is an issue especially with toddlers. Ours is normal height but with a vessel sink and it’s been an issue.

Same feels as Katy here! Maybe there’s a better option if you’re worried about the proportions, but this is a must do! (Of course we know that time constraints are a concern, which makes this tough) Undoubtedly the third option would be very well made, but it doesn’t seem nearly as special as the rest of the room. I also agree that the Ikea cabinet is an insult to this space. And that’s not to knock Ikea specifically, but that particular piece looks cheap (the un-level doors are so distracting in this gorgeous room!)

Shannon

Yes this space is begging for the contrast of rich warm wood against the white. If not #2 it needs to be close to it in color. There has to be a ready made vanity in that color somewhere that would eliminate the hassle but carry the same visual weight!

Carolyn

#2 because of the warmth. Could you trim the legs down to make it shorter or would that ruin it?

EBeth

From these pics, it definitely looks like option #2 is the best. I agree with others that the white cabinets just don’t do the wallpaper and mirror justice. If you end up keeping the Ikea cabinet, please, I beg you, replace the knobs! They look like two crooked eyes! Creepy! (Yes, I have an over-active imagination…)

Meghan

I don’t mind the IKEA cabinet, and I think since its so much cheaper that’s what I would do. But the knobs aren’t great.

Jazz

Number 2 FOR SURE!!! So worth the extra effort. I think the wood in the lower half of the room will help ground it, bringing down the darker tones from the mirror and wallpaper.

I’m torn. I really feel like you need the wood tone in option #2, but it is slightly too tall in proportion to where the mirror is. I’m sure I’d be fine using it (5’10”), but for some (and your children) it just isn’t practical.

I’ve been watching too much Flea Market Flip lately, but is it possible to cut down the “box” part of it 2 inches from the top since you’re taking the top off anyway? It only looks about that much taller than the custom option. Obviously it would be easier to cut the legs, but I think it would look out of proportion if you did that. Now I’m making the already logistically challenging piece more challenging.

Sarah D.

So smart to cut the top. I only imagined cutting the legs:)

Thora

I like this idea too. Whether you cut the legs or the top, I think you should go with number 2 (and use the leftover marble on tips, if you can). Like most people here if it was my house I would just keep the IKEA cabinet because it would be good enough, but in your home I would definitely do number two, for the warmth and age it brings to the room.

Kate

That’s a great idea if it’s feasible.

I agree 100% about the wood tone. The white on white on white with the tiles and the beadboard and the white vanities makes the bottom half of the bathroom feel completely disconnected from the top whereas the wood really grounds the whole design.

Christina

#2, please! Or, you could paint the IKEA cabinet and add feet. Options #1 and #3 as they look now just make the lower half of the powder room so starkly white, but probably in slightly varying shades (floor tile, headboard, toilet, cabinet, sink…). I feel like there should be some more contrast. I absolutely ADORE the wallpaper–it’s so special and deserves something as equally stunning in the space to complement it!

kellie

Swap out the faucet and knobs on the Ikea vanity and call it a day. Is the mirror/faucet/vanity combo properly centered? (Personally, I would have heartburn about the $1.2k a toilet.)

Victoria

I know, the toilet price got to me!

Alicia M

Same! The toilet price and the crooked Ikea door made my eye twitch.

I like the Ikea sink and the cabinet size. What a bout retrofitting a different door on the Ikea cabinet? A la Semihandmade? Maybe adding feet? I agree with other comments, the custom cab is too bulky/expensive and the music one isn’t quite the right color/expensive for what it is.

Noelle

Love the warmth of the wood from #2. I say absolutely go with this option (or something wood… I like it much better than the white)

Jamie

Option 2.

I get that it’s time consuming and will require more effort than it’s probably worth in an objective sense, but it’s gorgeous and plays off the mirror so well in a way that Option 3 does not. Go with Option 2.

Michelle

Nothing wrong with #1, all I see is the beautiful wall paper and the light fixture. I barely notice the sink.

OBSESSED with Option #2!!! That wood is so pretty…It really pops!

Samantha

Option 2:)

Cortney

Two, two, two!

Okay, so I love IKEA but don’t love that vanity. The doors look crooked, the unit is just an awkward box with no legs, and the door design is too matchy-matchy with the beadboard. I love the antique music cabinet option. The rich wood tone provides contrast with all the white and also ties the darker mirror. The size of #2’s vanity also goes really well with the mirror. #3 is beautiful, too, but I had a few greivances that I’d like to air–in the spirit of belated Festivus. The cloth part on the doors is a reaally great opportunity to layer in another pattern and texture but I do get a little grossed out by bathroom fabric that can’t easily be tossed in the washer. Another issue with #3 is the scale of the vanity to the mirror. I think you’d either need a larger mirror or something hung on either side to help it stand up to the vanity. Okay, time for feats of strength, which I will surely lose!

Maura

Agree! I love IKEA and the idea of it is not bad here, but the doors do look slightly crooked and it’s cheapening the bathroom, unfortunately. #2 FTW!

Amanda

I like 3 best, #2 if want to save $. It’s easier to do now what you like than when your kids get older, just imo. You always make everything lovely! 🙂

Antonella

How about finding something old as n. 2 (for wood, contrast and interesting shape) but with a size that can accept Ikea’s sink?

I’m sure there’s a lot of old cabinets out there in flea magkets that could be repurposed but with an height and width more useful than those of n. 2.

Just my 2 cents 🙂

Brooke

Center the IKEA vanity, paint it black, add some legs. Then, in 6 months or so when you have the headspace, create the custom/retrofit vanity of your dreams!

Juanita

Yes! I love this idea. Black (or dark gray) painted vanity with feet added, and perhaps knobs swapped out. Will contrast nicely with the wallpaper and white sink.

Or, #3 with natural wood stain instead of white paint. The #2 option looks too rickety to me, which reads more “quaint/precious” than “awesome vintage.” Plus, probably easily water damaged (even with a counter), which might be a drag.

A word of warning on the vanity countertop – I’ve lived with white marble counters in the bathroom, and they absorbed every drop of soap/makeup remover/any liquid, which marked it up significantly (even if wiped up right away, which guests might not always know to do). In the kitchen that’s sort of fine, it gets a nice used/weathered look, but in the bathroom it’s less charming!

Kelly

Option 2 brings so much warmth-and really makes the wallpaper pop!

Annie

Option 2. I like that the cabinet has a darker finish– pretty with the wallpaper. When given a chance to re-purpose something old, I would take that chance every time. Reduce, re-use, recycle– it’s good for everyone!! I also like that this option saves $$. Yeah, option 2.

Brynn

#3….as others have suggested, a wood finish would be lovely. Maybe a qtr sawn oak with a light stain. No to #1….please!

jill

without a doubt #2. love it.

Dar

Music cabinet – definitely

Teresa s.

Ok, I’m gonna mention the obvious thing that I think most of us DIYers would try first… IKEA hack that sucker! It seems like you could do something better with the doors of the IKEA vanity, perhaps even looking a bit like #3, as well as change out the faucet.

Dar

#2 cut the top down not the legs.

Tracey (From KY)

#2
If you stay with the IKEA vanity, I would at least put some glass knobs,or some that have a little vintage look to them but still look right with the vanity.

Jess

#2 all the way!!

Jordan

I vote #2 but really my only thing against #3 is the expensive. I think either are viable options

Inês

Wow Emily, I am loving all the wallpaper in the new house!!
I have to say, despite my love of all things white, I really love the natural wood of option 2, the contrast is beautiful. But if it is too tall and too narrow, I wouldn’t choose it – it is such a nightmare when you have to use a tiny sink, and it makes a huge mess (especially with kids). Don’t you have another beautiful natural wood “would be vanity” in your stash of finds? Anyway, don’t be too hard on yourself, I will love anything you do!

Maya

I loved option 1 until I saw option 2! I think option 1 could work if you added a bit to up the “special”– for example, maybe special legs, maybe some more framing around the doors.

I LOVE the shape, specialness, and dark wood tone that option 2 brings, and you seem excited about it too. If you’ll be happy putting in that extra work, GO FOR IT!

I bet the people who like option 3 and hate option 1 would feel differently if they were told that option 3 was cheap and option 1 was expensive. Just sayin.

Maya

By the way, it actually looks from the renderings like the proportions of option #2 are the best. It looks centered under the mirror instead of shoved over into the corner. The height issue for kids and short guests can be easily resolved by the addition of a stool (once photoshoots are done) 😉

Brigid

I’m all for highs and lows in design, but that Ikea vanity is just…no. I definitely vote option 3. But I’d prefer the unlacquered bras faucet to match. You sure you can’t get something in 6-8 weeks from Newport Brass? We just sold a Waterworks faucet on eBay, maybe you’ll have some luck there 🙂

Callie

Option 2 or 3 for sure! I like 2 the best aesthetically, but it’s hard to tell from the pics if it’s big enough. You, I’m sure, can tell in person. If it works, I love that idea. So beautiful and unique.
If it doesn’t, the 3rd option is beautiful with the chicken wire-esque cabinet detail.

I have to admit though–I’m a little disappointed to see the original sink, redone in a mint or baby pink, isn’t an option! 🙂

Lauren

I like 3!

Emily P

I like #3 the best, but I think staying with the ikea vanity would be better than a sink that is too tall like option #2.

What if you kept the shape of the ikea vanity, but swapped out the doors with a semihomemade thing or got your cabinet maker to build the ruffle curtain doors for it?

Anon

Have a new cabinet built that is similar to the Ikea one…simple box floating cabinet, possibly with a little thicker frame. Stain the wood, rather than paint. Hang curtains and skip the doors entirely. Center the cabinet under the mirror.

Or keep the Ikea one, center it, remove doors for the curtains, and find a little stained wood step stool to slide under…to bring in the warmth of wood and help the kids.

Both would be cheaper and quicker and still adorable. English/country it up more with vintage wastebasket and vase/soap/whatev. things.

jessvii

I like these ideas.

Lisa

A curtain would bring in color and texture AND leave a place to hide that step stool you’ll be banging into for several more years. Practical. Easy. Washable. Provides storeage. I LOVE the wood tone of #2, but shudder to think of what kid handwashing will do to it over the years. Keep the sink, swap the faucet and hire a seamstress.

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