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Help with bathroom remodel
bcgirl
January 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I hate this vanity! It is the builder's original, complete with light blue laminate. We would like a more modern look. In addition to updating the vanity and sink, we are looking at new tile for floor, and would like to add modern sconces to either side of the sink. The dilemma is that the pipes enter through the side and back of the vanity. In order to replace it with a stand alone model, a plummer would need to reroute the pipes. This would entail remodeling floor and walls which could be costly. Another option would be to pain the wood cabinets and replace the top and sink only. Any ideas out there?? I'm stuck!
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
You could update the look by using a vanity such as this and it sounds like it would hide the plumbing. You would also want it to be taller than the existing vanity to bring it up to today's standard. You can install a rope light in the toe kick area. Be careful though, a lot of time spec builders do not run the tile up under the cabinet and you may have an issue. If so, you could solve it by installing a darker contrasting strip on that area of the floor.
January 2, 2013 at 10:45am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Sorry, forgot to attach image.

[houzz=
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January 2, 2013 at 10:52am     
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GizV
I'd keep it simple. Choose your new floor, paint the existing vanity and replace the top with a granite or quartz to work with it. Replacing the top means you can install a new sink as well. I love your idea of sconces. Brass doors knob and gold mirror frame tells me a faucet in the gold tones would work well. The stainless steel faucet is a distraction.

I'd keep floor, cabinets, and top in a neutral and add color to the walls and use linens for interest.

I've attached a pix starring neutrals with stainless. All you'd have to do is change out the door knob and silver leaf the mirror for this look.

I look forward to seeing what you finally decide to do.
January 2, 2013 at 10:57am   
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bcgirl
I like this vanity...but what do you mean by "hide the plumbing"? Would they drill a hole in the left side of the vanity and slide the pipes through?
January 2, 2013 at 11:02am   
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bcgirl
@ GizV: The mirror is actually a basket weave, although it looks gold in the picture. I don;t really think it is right for this space. I like your "neutral" idea. Do you think painting the existing vanity would eventually lead to chipped paint? (We painted the wood trim in the house white and are having issues with chipping now, ).
January 2, 2013 at 11:10am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
The vanity would most likely have to be made in pieces as you could not slide the entire vanity into an alcove with the pipes sticking out. I have not tried a vanity like this, but would assume it could be made in two pieces. The pipes would have to be cut off a couple inches from wall and yes a hole would be cut in the side. But a hole has to always be cut in a vanity for plumbing - it is just traditionally in the back. You would box the toe kick in separately after the vanity pieces were installed. Would take a bit of thinking it through and it would be custom made not out of the box. But it does give a more contemporary feel.
January 2, 2013 at 11:21am     
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mirage1051
In my opinion simple changes can make all the difference and you should work up to an overall change like the vanity or flooring don't feel rushed, pick at it. By replacing the mirror with a long large mirror with no framing, your space will feel brighter and larger! keep your oak cabinets they are wonderful and opt to to create a beach feel with a sand colored wall and beach glass accessories easily found at most stores on a budget... add a nice framed picture smaller than your mirror and again rectangle in shape above your toilette, and keep it simple and not to complex, a nice print from home with a matching oak frame if you can would look great. Now you'd have an ocean inspired bathroom. If you want to splurge a bit I would recommend putting wall scones on either side of your window to add ambient lighting at night, and adding a wood toilette topper for a more beach feel.

That's just 1 idea to get you started toward your ultimate goal bathroom!
January 2, 2013 at 11:26am   
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GizV
In response to painting the cabinet. It requires sanding the original varnish off to give the paint something to properly stick to. I'd sand it, prime it with something like Benz, then paint it. More likely I'd hire someone to come in and do it properly.
January 2, 2013 at 11:30am   
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All About Interiors LLC
I think an easy fix is to hire someone to sand down, prep and paint the vanity, add some updated knobs, replace the top with granite and add an under mount sink and new brushed nickel faucet. I would recommend a large tile on the floor to give the appearance the space is bigger than it is. The more grout lines you have the smaller the space feels. Also a large mirror will reflect more light and also trick the eye into believing the space is more expansive. A fresh coat of paint on the walls that coordinates with your choice in granite will create an entirely updated room without the headache or cost of moving plumbing. I hope this helps, look forward to hearing your outcome.
January 2, 2013 at 11:41am     
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sharleeg
You might consider merely replacing the doors and drawer fronts with a plain flat panel on or shaker which looks more modern and updated. Then, paint it all in place. If you considering new flooring,perhaps a tile in a bigger size or has accents. Big box stores have many inexpensive ones. Also, they have ready-made stone tops with sinks and often faucets too, so that if this is a standard size, it can be dropped right on, complete. Once you find the tile you like, use that as the starting point for cab color, whether it is a light cream,, white, charcoal,etc. Deep espresso is a very stylish , modern choice for cabs now and will modernize the space. Add a great small rug for some interest. Best of luck!
January 2, 2013 at 11:58am     
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Blinds Direct Canada
For the window treatment i would recommend a Cellular shade. It lets in a lot of natural light. Also you get this blinds with a with a Top Down Bottom Up option which is great for Bathrooms.
http://www.blindsdirectcanada.com/blinds-toronto/cellular-shades.html
January 2, 2013 at 11:59am   
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cohoek
Hi, If I were you I'd sand down the vanity first and then stain in a dark bruin, that way you would hardly see the drawers and doors. The grain of the wood would still be seen and it won't chip. I would put a stone counter on it with a RVS basis that you can mount under the stone, with RVS taps, RVS towel holders, all very modern. I would hang 2 wooden medicine kabinets with mirrors one on each side of the window, maybe with a shelf going under the whole thing and a shelf going over it, to make it look like one unit, also stained in dark bruin. You could also paint the window trim dark bruin. If you change the floor tiles, I would match that with the countertop. If you would change the vanity I would choose a floating vanity. The cheapist thing would be to have a cabinet made, you only need the top the bottom and the front, not too difficult for a carpenter. You could also buy a flatpack vanity and not use the back and the sides, and have a carpenter fit it in. A stone counter is expensive so you might not want to make do with this vanity.
January 2, 2013 at 12:04pm     
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Jeff Samuels
One of the least expensive, yet immediately saves you money, home improvements is a hand held bidet sprayer. Ideal for the smaller bathroom as it takes up no additional space and requires no additional plumbing or electrical. The Bidet Sprayer will pay for itself many times over in toilet paper savings which makes this a very smart and green thing to do. Available at www.bathroomsprayers.com .
January 8, 2013 at 6:31am   
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bcgirl
@cohoek...what is RVS?
January 8, 2013 at 8:18am   
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jennydav
Thank you for your input about the bathroom sprayer. I have used these in other countries where they are quite common in hotels and they are wonderful. I recently remodeled our small bathroom and was asking the plumber about one of these. He looked at me like I was from another planet!!! Then proceeded to tell me reasons they wouldn't work. So I gave up. However, I'm getting ready to start another bathroom project (master) and now that I am armed with this information I can get it done! Thank you for this post. I also have input on your problem with the pipes and sconces, we used pendant lights suspended from the ceiling. It looks great and we get lots of complements . We painted our old vanity using a product from Lowe's or Home Depot made by Rustoleum . It's great, easiest thing I've ever done. And it looks great. We took the base off the vanity and added legs and new knobs giving our vanity a whole new look.
January 9, 2013 at 8:09am     
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LM Designers
Paint the vanity with a color that looks good with the floor. Your floor looks nice and neutral. Just a new counter top and sink is what I would do then accessorize.
January 9, 2013 at 8:26am   
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bcgirl
We had a contractor look at the bathroom today. He pointed out the window is not centered. I never noticed! (duh). Anything we did in the existing space under the window would emphasize. He suggested removing the vanity and installing a 32" vanity to the right of the toilet. (when standing facing the sink, the window would be towards your right). The vanity would be granite-topped/undermount sink. Light fixture above the sink, white bead board. We would have to replace the flooring; we would go with hardwood because ultimately we want hardwood thru the entire first floor.
January 22, 2013 at 4:31pm   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Sounds good. Always good to get someone in to look at the space to see actual options. The use of bead board is interesting as your original post indicated you wanted to go more contemporary.
January 23, 2013 at 4:02am   
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bcgirl
Interesting in that bead board is not contemporary?
January 23, 2013 at 6:48pm   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
It is very vintage or traditional that's why I thought it an interesting selection.
January 24, 2013 at 4:23am   
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bcgirl
Deborah, maybe I used the wrong term? how do I post a Houzz pic on this reply? Or. are you able to view my bathroom ideabook? (I am a newbie ;)
January 24, 2013 at 5:22am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
To post a Houzz picture, you need to open a new tab on your browser, without closing this tab. In the new tab also open up Houzz and select to go to your ideabooks. Select the picture you are looking for. When you do, there should be a box at the bottom that says embed. Select this box and in the bottom box that comes up copy the URL. Without closing that tab, come back to your original Houzz tab that should be open to this discussion and paste the URL in a comment box. The picture will immediately come up. If it does not, you didn't get the URL copied correctly and you'll need to try again.
January 24, 2013 at 7:43am   
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bcgirl
Contemporary Bathroom design by San Francisco Architect John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA
January 24, 2013 at 7:50am   
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bcgirl
I can see the picture in the comment box before I click "submit"... then its gone
January 24, 2013 at 7:52am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I looked through your bathroom ideabook. Some of the first pictures are truly contemporary. Some are traditional or transitional. Toward the end of the ideabook you have several pictures that include beadboard. I would classify them as traditional in style. All are beautiful bathrooms and would look lovely in your space.
January 24, 2013 at 7:52am     
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bcgirl
OK...I don't really know what my style is, but I tend to gravitate towards clean crisp lines. The contractor suggested the bead board would add a little interest to the right side of the room, as the toilet and sink will be on the left. I am having a hard time imagining what it will look like to move the sink...
January 24, 2013 at 8:05am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Looked at the picture and also the whole project. The home is very contemporary but has some surprising traditional features thrown in - and very artfully done. This is a lovely bathroom with touches of traditional and contemporary. It is a lovely space to use as an inspiration. I assume I found the correct one.

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January 24, 2013 at 8:07am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I think all of us gravitate toward elements of different styles and are not purely contemporary or traditional. Transitional is the new word to try to describe it. We have a client that pulls it off very well in her own home. The house itself is very contemporary and some of her design elements are as well, but there are pops of very traditional elements mixed in. Makes a lovely and interesting home.

Can you tape things out on the floor in the room to give yourself an idea of how it will look. If not, can you find a picture with a layout that will match yours to give you some comfort? Change is hard to visualize. Sometimes it's easier when nothing is in the space to cloud your imagination.

If the desire is to create something such as your inspiration picture then I think it will be lovely. It makes for an interesting room with twists of contemporary and traditional mixed. The lines are still clean even with the mix of the traditional items. I would go for it.
January 24, 2013 at 8:42am   
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