A few weeks ago, I decided to remodel my bathroom. I did this for two reasons. One, credit where credit is due, I saw this post on How to Build a Pottery Barn Inspired Vanity by Kitliz on her all around awesome site DIYDiva. I have stolen several of her fantastic ideas so far. I saw her post, and obviously, I had to have, I mean make, a vanity of my own.
Secondly, we were in a bit of a project lull around here, and I’m pretty sure if you could ever see our living room floor under the piles of plywood and MDF, the universe would collapse. Naturally, I had to do my duty to the universe, and a vanity like that cannot live in a bathroom like this:
To be fair, it has improved slightly because I added a shower curtain and bath mat once we moved in, but not by much.
So I decided to take on a full-scale remodel. Because that’s how I roll.
More about the general remodel later though.
Much as I love Kitliz’s vanity, the style wasn’t really right for my apartment, which is a loft in a refurbished woolen mill from 1908. In our great quest for a design style that suits us both, Nick and I have settled on something resembling Victorian/old west meets new industrial, because I like things that are old and have potential stories, and Nick would be happiest if he were living on a spaceship.
I did some hunting of my own for vanity inspiration, and headed to one of my (other) favorite places to scavenge ideas, Restoration Hardware. It took me about five seconds to find the exact piece I wanted to use as the basis of my design:
Okay, let me back up for a minute. I make it sound like I just bam decided I was going to build a vanity, and yes, I am prone to just going full steam ahead once I have an idea, but let me tell you, I waited at least two days before beginning construction on this bad boy. I was very proud.
First, before I even started on the vanity, I priced everything out, not just for the vanity, but for my projected bathroom remodel. My original goal was to do it for under $600, but now that’s more like $700, which is still damn impressive, if you ask me.
I budgeted about $100 for the vanity, not including the top, because most of that cost was actually coming from my projected tiling costs. So, then I went to Lowes to look at vanities, and obviously most of them were super overpriced considering I was now convinced I could build my own from scratch. I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a cheap one and painting it and redoing the hardware, but then decided that building my own was way more fun.
The next step, logically, was to draw out a design. Mostly this was a lot of measuring, figuring out materials, doing math, then redoing math because I did it wrong the first time. (I did that last part a lot.) Finally, I ended up with this, which is actually the second draft, because the first one was so riddled with errors it was unsalvageable:
Being a neophyte woodworker, I made a fatal flaw. You may have guessed it, but I didn’t know, until I started building and went ‘WTF’ that a 1×2 or a 1×4 or whatever, is not actually 1×2 or 1×4, but 3/4×1.5 or 3/4×3.5. This was most problematic with the 2x2s I was using for legs, because it meant I had to resize literally every other piece in the vanity.
So, FYI. Don’t make my mistakes. Because obviously you are all going to go out and build your own vanities now.
Come back soon to find out how I turned a pile of wood into something that actually resembles a bathroom vanity!