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Need help with a very outdated powder room.
mpal13
February 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I would like to update this outdated powder room. It has a bizarre shape. Couple questions: if most of the house is in somewhat classic style is it okay to do this powder room in an IKEA style (somewhat modern?) or is it advisable to stay consistent through out the house? Another question is in regards to the countertop. Currently it's wall to wall, would a free standing vanity be okay, but them what would you suggest for the open space once we remove the current counter top? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you.
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sapphire189he
It's YOUR house, you can do what you like. If you're itching for something more modern, then go for it. Also, it's not so hard to mix a few "classical" elements in with your IKEA stuff, ie color, texture, finish on the walls, some accents, etc. Mirror and lights would go for sure. If you put in a smaller sink/vanity or free standing dresser/sink, the sides could be left open (if you have a nice color or texture on the wall, it's great to see more of it and it's artistic in itself) or a towel bar/rack, even a nice floor sculpture. There should be something with some height in the room too to help balance all the horizontal lines but a new mirror will help with that too. Some more curves too; part of what feels so outdated about this is all the straight lines. And the curves would be a nice contrast to your more modern elements.
February 17, 2013 at 12:42pm     
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Barbara Griffith Designs
First I would gut the room, including the mirror and light fixture. Install a base cabinet plus one to continue to wall, of your choice...It could be more contemporary. Measure your countertop space and go to a granite yard and look at remnants..they are VERY inexpensive. Choose one you like. Find a great framed mirror to be centered over the sink area. In the space next to it over the balance of the countertop, a great piece of art and maybe a shelf under it with a few rolled hand towels. This is a great place for wallpaper... something bold and maybe geometric. Choose a beautiful new light fixture to be centered over the sink.
February 17, 2013 at 12:43pm     
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ASVInteriors
Not clear why it is an odd shape. It seems rectangular to me. Anyway, there are many good IKEA washbasins you can use. Also powder rooms aren't occupied for too long, so be brave and make it an experience! Bold wallpaper could really work. Have fun!
February 17, 2013 at 12:55pm     
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nFORMAL design
My first option would be to hire a local designer to tie the contemporary look with the rest of the home. You might find something in the transitional range that does both...not totally modern but really ties in with the rest.

I'm usually in agreement with "It's YOUR house..." However, there is something to be said for mixing extreme styles, etc. Unless you want to redo the bathroom again, it might be a hard sell if you don't want to go more neutral with the bathroom.

I'm attaching a transitional bathroom design by a colleague on Houzz that has all the great modern characteristics that most people like...clean lines, crisp pallette, etc. However, I think it would totally tie into a more traditional house as well.

[houzz=
]
February 17, 2013 at 12:56pm     
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AMN
You could have an attractive magazine rack built in a style similar to the vanity and attach to the side of the vanity. That would take up a little more of that newfound space. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too worried about a little open space in the corner.
February 17, 2013 at 1:02pm   
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I think a magazine rack is inappropriate for a powder room..it should be more classier than casual.
February 17, 2013 at 1:04pm     
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AMN
While I understand that a typical powder room would normally be presented in a classier manner, I added the magazine rack suggestion in response to how the homeowner appears to be currently using the powder room. Someone besides party guests appears to be using the space.
February 17, 2013 at 1:06pm     
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energysaver
The project partially depends on your capabilities. Your budget, what you want the room to be used for and your tastes. It appears to be a small room, so the large mirror helps to make it look much bigger than it is. By the clutter on the top, it appears there is not a toilet paper holder and the storage is maxed out. IF you do not use a stool on the right side of the counter for make-up, might I suggest the following? Replace the cabinets with a unit that extends full length or find an identical to slide in the right side with doors or drawers to hold the magazines, newspapers, and the trash can. Attached is some pictures of my bathrooms. All my mirrors have side wings that fold in for doing the make-up thing. I used a deeper teardrop type fixture to hide the 9w CFL bulbs = 40 watts each.
February 17, 2013 at 1:09pm   
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mpal13
Thank you so much for such great ideas. The powder room will be completely gutted out. Maybe I should've called it a 1/2 bathroom, as it's located on the first floor of our home next to the kitchen. We use it all the time, thus tons of magazines in it :) I have young kids and lots of times it's the only place where I can steal "me" time :) As much as I would love this powder room to be just that, I am also being realistic. I think this 1/2 bathroom gets most use out of the 2 1/2 other bathrooms in the house.

The toilet paper roll in located on the wall next to the toilet. I love the idea of wall paper as well. I think it would make this area unique and different. We are trying to do this on the budget and not get carried away :) That's why I thought going to IKEA and getting everything there would make this remodel a quick one. But now, after reading all the responses I am longing for a cosy powder room I've always wanted. I'm only afraid I won't be able to pull this room together on my own if I choose to combine classical with modern. I would like to hire someone, there is no funds for that. I don't want this room to look like all the powder rooms in the area :)

On another note I have another room that needs a major fix up. Don't mind the clutter, please. I believe if you click on my mpal13 you'll be able to see the thread. Maybe you can help there too :) I would greatly appreciate it!
February 17, 2013 at 1:31pm     
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nFORMAL design
mpal13...you'd actually be quite surprised how little the design fee would be for a room the size of your powder room. It would save you a ton of headaches and depending on gas and measuring, etc., and getting the wrong items, it might actually save you money in the long run. What is your total budget for a gutted and redone bathroom?
February 17, 2013 at 4:40pm     
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tasia2596
Thats an easy one,have your bathroom themed. I suggest an underwater theme if you have kids or otherwise just choose one of your favourite theme.
February 17, 2013 at 5:17pm   
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groveraxle
So you're totally on a budget, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great bathroom. This one from Ikea is pretty inspiring. Take a look: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/bathroom/roomset/20132_baro01a/
February 17, 2013 at 5:39pm     
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loroca
I just had to post this pic again cause i love this powder room! I know its probably a little steep in price, but i think it really shows you can pull off an updated classic look with bold colours. If you wallpaper, go modern there, and keep the permanent items classic

February 17, 2013 at 5:50pm     
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nFORMAL design
@groveraxle...that is a nice style for a bathroom, but I'm not sure she has the size to pull that all off. Plus, it is kind of masculine except for the shape of the chair. But hey...she/he may like masculine!
February 17, 2013 at 6:43pm   
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groveraxle
@nFORMAL design, my point in posting the link was not for her to copy that bathroom, but to show that an Ikea bathroom can be very stylish and not to give up on the idea.
February 17, 2013 at 9:42pm     
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spmm
Should be easy to reface the fronts of the draws and cupboards. Ikea has some great under bench storage for the magazines and rather that the toilet roll, fresh or silk flowers or orchids on the bench.


If everyone wants to use YOUR room encourage them to use the other two bathrooms :)
Then as mentioned earlier get a professional in to style in conjunction with the rest of the house.
February 18, 2013 at 12:48am     
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mpal13
@nFormal design - the room is roughly 5 by 5 and our budget is at $2500 as we were planning on working on it ourselves. I looked at your projects and idea books. I love the simplicity and the clean look of them.

@groveraxle - that's one of the combinations I had in mind, a friend of mine has the vanity in dark brown and it looks pretty sharp. I agree with nFormal design that the room pictured looks masculine. But I think there is a way to make it look less that, maybe with a different tile?

@loroca - I will look into this too. Love the pattern on the wall paper.

@spmm - really like the resurfacing idea, I thought about that too. I really dislike the countertop though.

Great comments and ideas, thank you all for pitching in! I really appreciate it.
February 18, 2013 at 6:44am   
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nFORMAL design
If you are doing all the labor yourself, you can get a lot in a powder room for $2500.
February 18, 2013 at 6:49am     
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mpal13
@spmm - I meant - refacing :)

@nFORMAL design - I have this number in mind, since we haven't done anything (other that the concrete driveway last summer :)) inside the house in 10 years, so when I looked at vanities at Costco, Lowes, IKEA that number made the most sense :)
February 18, 2013 at 7:01am   
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nFORMAL design
Not sure what type of cabinets Costco has, but I would go Lowes over IKEA. Check "Cabinets to Go", too. The quality of the IKEA stuff is horrendous. It isn't worth the money you pay and the hassle of replacing it in the long run. For bathrooms, especially, I'd pay for the upgrade to a plywood sided cabinet instead of particleboard. If it gets scratched deep enough and wet...balloon city.
February 18, 2013 at 7:17am     
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mpal13
nFORMAL design - I totally agree. While IKEAs stuff looks nice I always question the look over time and I am not looking to be reworking this bathroom for at least 10 years. I see you are located in Chicago, do you know of any places that would have similar items to IKEAs but still reasonably priced and better quality. I know DANIA has similar style furniture, but I don't think they have a bathroom furniture line. Thank you.
February 18, 2013 at 7:26am   
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ASVInteriors
I agree with the comments above, but I feel it is fair to add that, in the last 2 years, IKEA have been seriously developing their bathroom and kitchen products. They are prepared to stand behind it with 10 and 25 year guarantees. I do a lot of rounds of home exhibitions and use the opportunity to really test their kitchen and bathroom stuff. I would say it holds up pretty well.

And when a new product is launched and they are trying to convince the market place it is usually at its best... I wouldn't totally dismiss them if you are on a budget but do explore other options as well.

I have some clients on a tight budget and have used IKEA for some bathroom projects (ceramic sinks, unit, and mirror cabinets). They have all been very satisfied as have I. I am more leery of IKEA's taps and appliances. Anyway - all this to say, don't dismiss it outright.
February 18, 2013 at 7:32am     
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nFORMAL design
@mpal13...I use a company that gives me industry discounts here in the city. Most regular cabinet companies now offer more modern door styles. Email me a paul@nformaldesign.com.

ASV...as far as cabinets are concerned, IKEA may have been working hard for the last two years, but if their cabinets boxes are still particleboard that you have to put together yourself, I'd personally and professionally not recommend it. You can warranty anything you want, but having to pull it out and replace it is a lot more hassle than the price of the cabinet. On the other hand, if they have switched to something like a Medex core, then I'd be interested. However, we design and build furniture and we built a bar for a client who already had a cabinet that we were to build around. It was an IKEA cabinet. Although the door was perfectly fine (aluminum with glass), the RTA (read to assemble) connections, etc., would just rip out. We ended up having to put in more reinforcement and be extremely careful.

I have nothing against IKEA. I think there is definitely a place for it, but I do my best not to recommend it. Their pieces are just too "iffy"...one piece is fine while the other design falls apart. I think there are better alternatives for a little more money.
February 18, 2013 at 7:52am     
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Robert
Do you want to redesign it within a budget? And want to do it yourself or want to hire a professional designer for it?
February 18, 2013 at 7:58am   
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mpal13
@Robert naturally if we had large enough budget I would hire someone to do it for me :)
February 18, 2013 at 2:16pm   
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redheadedwmn
check out: http://www.homedesignoutletcenter.com/ Highly recommend.

they have a location in Skokie and carry vanities made of hard wood. I'm in Wisconsin and purchased from them over the summer. I did an entire Full bathroom remodel (removed floor, walls to the studs, added fan/vent, new toilet, new shower/tub, new plumbing, tile floor, new lights, mirror, etc) all for under $2k...so a $2500 budget is a lot for this space. Price shop your hardware too, I found my faucet on amazon.com for $25 less than Lowes and free shipping. If you are going to purchase from Lowes/Home Depot I suggest stopping at the post office and getting a change of address packet. Inside is a code to get a 10% off coupon for Lowes and HD will accept them too. Every bit of savings helps :)
February 18, 2013 at 2:52pm     
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cani
Interesting discussion on IKEA stuff. I defended the bookshelves on mpal13's other post for her living room. Not sure I would like Ikea bathroom furniture though because I think it looks cheap and I think a bathroom needs to be done in something that is more timeless and can hold up for many years.
February 18, 2013 at 4:19pm     
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mpal13
@redheadedwmn - thanks for the link ! I know what I'm doing tonight - looking through pages and pages of vanities and such on their web site :)
February 18, 2013 at 4:54pm   
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spmm
Oh Ikea does some beautiful pieces in timber, completely agree about the melamine chipboard stuff, that said, sometimes they have just the right thing for a small awkward space, so that you can get organised and then hunt for the perfect thing or have the money to remodel.
February 19, 2013 at 2:01am   
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ASVInteriors
Since 2009 I have installed 3 or 4 IKEA units in bathrooms (sink/cupboard units not taps) for wet areas and not had any problems. Given that most bathrooms date within 10 years, and it still suits your needs, I still feel it works.

Of course, designers are paid to give advice based on their experience and this has been mine. If I have a client with a budget constraint (and in Europe 75% of the costs are in labour) I will recommend it.

I wonder if Europe and the US use different suppliers? It could be the case - one assumes they are the same but there may be slight differences...
February 19, 2013 at 3:18am     
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energysaver
If periodicals (Magazines, papers) are a big thing and do not want them to show, install mag. racks on the inside of the cabinet doors. Each person has a place to store their own!
February 19, 2013 at 1:15pm     
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energysaver
Here are some examples of inside -the-door mag. racks.
February 19, 2013 at 1:28pm   
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lepstein
Back to your original question of whether traditional and modern mix: I have a 100 yr old house and was insistent that my demos tie in...except in the bathroom. There, I decided to create a more modern surprise. I love it! Also, you could do a small storage tower in the corner where you want to shorten the counter. A freestanding cabinet could be lovely if you find one you like...staying out of the IKEA vs other argument,nets.
February 20, 2013 at 12:12am     
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patty526
I just did a small bath, took built in out and went for a more elegant look with a freestanding vanity w/ marble top and very nice faucet. Vanity with marble and bowl from uniquevanities.com and a suite of fixtures from kohlor. House kept its century old feel with classic tile combo. Restoration hardware stuff has a timeless vibe to it, pick up the built in med. cabinet for a couple of hundred. Because it had a scratch. Deal done! I'd warn you that you'll lose storage space, but I don't thinl that makeup counter is doing anything but using it up for nothing, so if you go almost wall to wall when ordering cabinet with top, you'll end up with more storage! Be careful measuring, you still need to be able to clean down the sides. I put tile out the side walls just beyond the base so not to worry about painting there down the road.
February 20, 2013 at 7:02am     
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Southern Patina Interiors
I have dressing area very similar to this.
You need good lighting to brighten up the space -
Light color cabinetry that's not heavy or too ornate.

There are lots of ready made, free standing cabs which would look great in your space. They look like a piece of furniture, they come with customized tops, and there's no fudging with measurements. I have a 60" space in my vanity area and I'm looking for a 48 or 55" free standing cab that I can center on the wall. I've seen this done before, and although some designers will tell you using a free standing cab between two walls is not a good look - I would argue that's not entirely true.


Consumer Reports gave IKEA quite a high rating recently. I was specifically looking for cabinet manufacturers, and IKEA was one of them.

According to CR, key features in cabinets are hinges and gliders, and apparently IKEA did very well in this category. It all boils down to BUDGET.

I did a kitchen reno with a medium grade cab from Home Depot that lasted 20 years - no knicks, peeling, no issues with glides, hinges.

Once you have your budget, it's easy to pick and choose your materials.
February 20, 2013 at 7:23am     
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seharris79
I redid my kitchen at my old house about 5 years ago with cabinets from IKEA and they were great. I moved a little over a year ago and I can't wait to gut and redo my current kitchen. The cabinets will come from IKEA, no question. The quality was great, the features were amazing and the price was unbeatable.
February 20, 2013 at 12:31pm     
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mpal13
I am still figuring out what kind of mood I want in this bathroom. It doesn't have a window, so if I go transitional/contemporary I think more light would be better, but if I go with wall paper and free standing vanity I think I'd want something of a cosy light in there.

Thanks all for all these comments! This is great, tons of ideas to refer to. Feel free to jump over and help me with my "all purpose room" too if you wish. I will try to compile some photos of possibilities for this bathroom. Maybe you can all help to pull this bathroom together?

@patty526, would you happen to have the photo of your tile?
February 20, 2013 at 12:37pm   
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patty526
White hex with black insets, white subway on surround and up walls around sink. My house is 100 years old, so while both are trendy to a large extent that decision was based on keeping to the age and style of the house.
February 20, 2013 at 1:24pm   
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