Bathroom Refresh – Phase 1

For a year, I’ve been laying in my bed, looking through the door to the master bathroom, hating it. I hated the orange-brown wood stain so common to houses built around the turn of the century, turn of the millennium.


IMG_7169I hated the over-sized mirror, frameless mirror. Why do I need a mirror that big? I need wall space, a towel rack, a shelf, not a mirror that big. I can’t see my feet with it anyway, so for dressing, I have a separate mirror. I hated the row of, count them, eight light bulbs on an ugly, faux brass Hollywood strip. It was a revelation when I explained to my husband that these ugly light fixtures have a purpose, but they are supposed to be vertical and there is supposed to be two of them along side the mirror, to eliminate shadows, for applying professional make up. My feelings, as I tell them, sounds extreme. I didn’t lie awake at nights thinking about it. I just disliked it every time I looked at it. And I looked at it a lot.

We tuck our towel in one of the drawers to hang it. The counter is covered with my stuff because I can’t hang a shelf or a basket because the mirror is so large. We hang the bath towel over the shower because the only towel rack in the room is behind the closet door. The space is large and has amazing potential. If I had a limitless budget, I would remove the shower stall, replace the garden tub with a clawfoot tub centered between the two windows, replace the two sinks with a large one sink vanity (preferably a re-purposed antique dresser), and hang a chandelier over the tub. Oh my, it would be romantic.

Miss Mustard Seed gets it:

Master Bathroom Details & Reveal - Miss Mustard Seed

Vessel sinks, faucet mounted in the wall:

I'll just keep dreaming of having this one day.

Or something very modern, but still warm and inviting:

Design Details: Bathroom Mirrors Done Right | Apartment Therapy

If you stare at something enough, and have the diy spirit, eventually, one day, you just go at it. So one day I took my itty bitty jar of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite and started painting the bathroom vanity.


IMG_7170That day I had to go buy more paint. The result: Amazing!

IMG_7172I finished my three coats of chalk paint (didn’t sand enough) with one coat of polyurethane. I learned after the fact I would have been better off using Annie Sloan’s Laquer or Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat. Still it went on fine.

As I searched for mirror options, I couldn’t get past those metal frame mirrors in the inspiration picture above. I found a metal wall mirror with a shelf on Target’s website, out of stock. After some searching I found another better option which I’ll show when we have it all put together. The inspiration evolved into Apothecary references, I don’t know why.

Next we went shopping for hardware and new faucets.

Glacier BayTeapot 4 in. Centerset 2-Handle Low-Arc Bathroom Faucet in Chrome
Glacier BayTeapot Bathroom Faucet in Chrome

Only $32 a faucet. We’re too young to spend more on a remodel at this time. 🙂 Save the big bucks for the house we plan on dying in.

For hardware I really liked these from allen + roth. Thought tempted to use clear glass knobs or white ceramic vintage style knobs, I kept it simple based on pictures I looked up of actual apothecary cabinets.

allen + roth 3-In Center-To-Center Polished Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull
allen + roth Polished Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull
allen + roth Polished Nickel Round Cabinet Knob
allen + roth Polished Nickel Round Cabinet Knob

With a work day made possible by my parents’ willingness to babysit all three kids, finishing the vanity and installing the faucets went from dream to reality!





The mirrors I ordered will arrive in July. The light fixture, Wednesday! So far the transformation is a bit unbelievable. Before the creamy ivory of the sink clashed with the pure white bathtub which clashed with the grreenish-gray influenced on the off white vinyl tiles. The orange-ish cabinets jarred all that subtle clashing all the more. Putting a bold color on the cabinets now balances the other elements in the room. I really enjoy having a lot of white in the bathroom. As things are now, we can’t change the floor, but it will be less noticeable for now.

So, stay posted (hehe) for the July post once those mirrors and the light fixture go in! We’re going to need to learn to cut glass in order to re-purpose these enormous mirrors I’ve removed!