Monday, February 2, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Vanity Design

Today, I want to show you my new bathroom vanity. I want to share the plan, the process, the simplicity of the project and the wow factor....Now, you may not agree about the wow factor, and that is OK. But for me, it was a wow factor, and the thrill of seeing what I envisioned come to life. Girls, I tell ya' that is such a fun process to see your plans unfold into reality.

Below, is the inspiration photo I told you about on Friday.

This beautiful bathroom design belongs to The Pioneer Woman and it is a new project in her lodge makeover. This photo is not my photo, it belongs to The Pioneer Women. Enjoy.

I loved the concept of this vanity. Simple, elegant, pretty.

When I told Steve and Matt what I wanted to do, they just looked at me as if I had sprouted horns or something. I asked Matt if this would be hard and do you know what he said? He told me, "No, it won't be is basically a work bench...easy." As soon as he said that, Steve chimed in to the fact that he thought I did not want a work bench in my bathroom. He did not want a work bench in the bathroom. Imagine that.

I explained I wanted my "work bench" made out of the left over red cedar we used when we made beds for our cabin. I explained we could buy cedar wood and post to finish it out....I told them I wanted that look and it would be lovely. Steve was not sold. Matt was not sold, but he really did not want to ruffle my feathers, after all, I was writing the check. Have I mentioned the fact that they both thought I had lost my mind?

This is the red cedar in its rough form. All the bark has to be stripped off and then the boards need to be sanded. We drove to Eastern Oklahoma and purchased the wood from a family owned saw mill in the spring of last year. We built beds for our cabin in Colorado. If you missed that post, click HERE to see that project. I still had one large board left over and it was sitting in our shed just waiting to be used. I knew this was going to be a very unusual concept, but one that I was going to appreciate very much when it was finished.

We purchased cedar boards and post from Home Depot that we needed to complete this project. Total cost for the boards from Home Depot was $43.00. Every piece of wood purchased at the home improvement store had to be sanded just like the raw cedar from the mill. We needed to take the top layer off of all the wood so when the wood was sealed, the colors would come out of the wood and be a beautiful color. Here is Steve sanding on one of the post.

Did I mention the fact that sanding of the wood is really the most important part. Did I mention the fact that the sander is really too heavy for me to use, so Steve has to do it? Did I mention the fact that Steve is allergic to the cedar and he usually has a problem with his allergies and sinuses after all the sanding. Did I mention the fact I hate that for him, but he is a very good sander?

This is the beginning stages of my new bathroom vanity. The wood is raw and freshly sanded, and Matt was almost ready to install the bottom planks.

Here are the bottom planks being installed. What do you think? Remember, this wood has not been sealed, and once it is sealed, the colors in the wood will pop and be a very beautiful shade of reds and creams.

Here is the finished vanity after it was fitted to the vanity top. I was pleased with the finished look, Steve and Matt were still saying that it was nothing more than a work bench that belonged in the garage. Men.

Now, the fun was beginning. My job is to seal, let dry, lightly sand, seal and repeat at least 3 to 4 times. This is what the vanity looked like after the first coat of sealer.

Here is another view. Once the sealer dries, you have to take a fine sand paper and sand again. The sealer brings all the roughness of the wood to the top and it has to be sanded smooth and another coat of sealer is applied.

You can really see how the colors come out when it dries. I love the colors in the wood.

Here is Matt installing the vanity after I had finished with the sealing process. Look at all the colors that came out in the wood once it was sealed. I love it. It is rustic, but not too rustic in design.

Here is another view after the granite vanity top was installed and the faucets were installed. I love how the faucets resemble an old water well pump handle. I am sure my style is unique to myself alone, but I hope you can see how this does resemble the inspiration I got from reading about The Pioneer Women's home improvement project and how I applied it to suit my own taste and style.

Here is another look, see how the wood looks so soft and pale but with little bit of effort, this raw wood quickly becomes......

.....a beautiful work of art. We still have some finishing touches to add to this to hide the large bolts holding this together. I will show you how this looks once we finish this completely.

What was the cost of my new vanity and counter top? Remember I hoped I would not have to spend a arm and a leg for a new vanity....well....this is how the vanity project added up.

Vanity: We Used the cedar boards which I already had....Free.
Purchased wood and a small can of sealer from Home Depot..$53.79.

Counter top and faucets: I purchased the granite counter top and sink from The Home Depot. This is the style that the store carries in stock, and I was lucky enough that it was the right size and color. Price..$200.00.
The faucets were a different story. I looked all over town, pricing and comparing. I finally found this set at the builders surplus store I told you about and I knew these were the ones I wanted. These were a bit more expensive because of the size of the holes needed for the faucets which was already cut in the top. Price..$139.99.
I found the same brand, and similar style of faucets at Lowe's Home Improvement Store and this would have cost me around $380.00 from Lowe's.

Total cost of vanity, top, sink and faucets: $393.78 for EVERYTHING.

Oh, and did I forget to tell you what Steve and Matt said after they installed this work of art? They both agreed that it turned out beautiful, and frankly, much better than they could have imagined. Steve was quick to say he did not think at the beginning that he would like this at all. In fact, he was quiet sure once I had this installed in the bathroom, I would agree that it was a mistake.

Both guys were pleasantly surprised by the outcome and the finished (almost finished) vanity. Men, they have little faith and vision sometimes.

I just smiled to myself...this was exactly what I had envisioned from the very beginning. Exactly. I am so very thankful that Matt is such a talanted wood worker and I don't think there is anything that he can not build or repair. And boy am I glad that Matt listened to my plans and built this exactly as I asked him to. Even if he thought it was a strange request for a workbench in the bathroom.

~Tomorrow.....I will show you a secret for a finished, polished look to the plumbing.....


  1. I am amazed. This has got to be the most unique piece of furniture I have ever seen. I love this.

    Are you going to put baskets on the shelf below the sink? I can just see big fluffy white towels in baskets.

    You have great vision, and what a talant your handy man Matt is!!! Tell you husband good job on the sanding.... I am glad they see things your way...when will you post the finished project??? I can not wait!!

  2. Beautiful! I'm so jealous and may steal your idea for my bathroom! Love it, love it, love it, love it. I'll bet Steve is just sad that now he doesn't have a new workbench!!!!!

  3. very beautiful piece. what a way to create something and be able to use and enjoy it everyday!!

  4. Looking GOOD this is really beautiful, I am not surprised, you do GREAT things --- you have cadillac taste and vision and can make it happen on a "horse & buggy" budget.

  5. As a cabinetmaker, I must say I am impressed with what you were able to do for your bathroom. Myself, I am always surfing the net looking for ideas for the remodeling I am doing on our own home. I'm not sure what I will end up in the long run, but if I can come up with something as slick as what you guys did, I'm going to be pretty happy!

  6. Awesome. I really like it. You and your husband do beautiful work.

  7. Absolutely stunning. It turned out so well. I like it better than the Pioneer Woman's.

  8. GM Suzanne, this is amazing seeing your vision come to life and how great this turned out..I love wood and your Steve and Matt did a beautiful job on this..WOW!! thanks for sharing ...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  9. WOW that is Gorgeous! And knowing that it was PERSONALLY HANDMADE makes it even more BEAUTIFUL!!

  10. Very pretty and unique. No one else will have one exactly like it!!

  11. Very pretty and I actually like it much better than Pioneer Woman's out of my budget priced redo.

  12. Suzanne~
    That is so GORGEOUS! I can't believe you all did that yourselves! Wow...that must make you feel like a million bucks! It is definitely something no one else will have that's exactly like it. Two thumbs up from me, for sure!

  13. Hi need to post this on Rate My Space on HGTV...but you'd better be prepared for them to come calling wanting to show this on their show! I always loved the smell of cedar, but I guess the sealer has covered that up... your Steve & Matt did a great job with YOUR design! ;-) Bo

  14. That is amazing and that wood is so beautiful. I love yours more than the original. You clever girl!
    Roberta Anne

  15. This is full of character and beauty. I love this and I am amazed at how much it cost you to build. Very nice....I wish I had a wood worker around here.

    Can't wait to see the finished bathroom with all your touches added.

  16. Congratulations! It must be wonderful to envision a project and then have it made and installed just perfectly.

  17. Your vanity is just beautiful and the wood and tile floor look great together. You have a great inner eye-glad the guys listened!

  18. how beautiful!!!! thanks for the process tips too!

  19. ooohh... and the color of the wood looks GREAT with your tile...

  20. You must be walking around with a w-i-d-e grin, and poppin' buttons!!
    What a lovely, handcrafted, artistic bathroom you're ending up with!

  21. One of a kind, original creative vision brought to life. Hard work does pay off!

  22. That is so beautiful!! What a great job! I am sooo going to have to see if my hubby is willing to make me one of those for me! :)

  23. Thank you for showing the pictures of the steps taken to create that vanity! You could have just explained it and it wouldn't have had the power these pictures provided. I need to get some pics posted soon. I just had my new Bathroom Vanity installed and this image doesn't come close to showing how cool it looks.


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