Builder Grade to Floating Vanity

January 5th, 2015

Welcome back to a new year and a brand new week! First I must say "Yay for the return of Downton Abbey!" I’ve ignored all spoilers and enjoyed the beginning of Season 5 last night with a cup of tea as a Sunday evening January tradition!

I thought I’d kick off the year with one of the projects we completed during our holiday stay at the fixer house in Las Vegas. A few months ago I posted about plans for the master bathroom vanity and went back and forth between stain and paint but opted for gray paint for two reasons. 1) I’ve had mixed success staining oak, often it enhances the grain and always requires stripping varnish which is more work. 2) Since natural light comes only from adjacent rooms it made sense to go with a pale paint instead of dark stain in this vanity space.

We began this remodel by repurposing instead of replacing the existing vanity to save money. After removing the old mirror and countertop, we updated by transforming the builder grade cabinet into a floating vanity raised to a 33" height.

builder grade turned floating vanity

To achieve the look and new height, first we extended the floor tile so that it would continue all the way to the back wall. My Dad helped Matt modify and install the cabinet. They cut off the old base with a jigsaw so only the vanity cabinet remained.

cut off base

Next they hoisted up the vanity so that it sat at a new height of 33" (with countertop and plywood base it will be 34 ½") instead of the old 29" height which felt too low.

hoisted vanity

The guys secured it to the wall with the help of 2x4s. They added "legs" in the corners and 2×4 boards along the back to support the base, making sure there was enough space for the plumbing to clear the bottom of the cabinet base at its raised height. Additional 2x4s helped secure the sides of the vanity cabinet to the wall to the studs.

rear support

2x4 in wall

I had an idea to swap the doors around, as nice as the raised panel cabinet doors were, I thought I’d experiment and swap the door fronts, flipping around the back to expose the Shaker style instead.

reverse doors

I filled in any cracks and the holes from where the old hinges were attached with spackling then sanded it before priming.

spackling primer

I also beveled the edges of the drawer fronts, removing the curved ogee edge with an orbital sander so they were refinished as curved and smooth.

beveled edges

Primer and paint assisted with the disguised reversed doors and sanded drawer fronts, I’m so pleased with the outcome !

shaker style bathroom cabinet door


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Weekend Reading

January 2nd, 2015

I said farewell to my family today, they’re driving home to California while I stay here in Las Vegas for another week awaiting our kitchen cabinet delivery and finishing up other projects in the master bathroom and laundry room. In my spare time I’ll be shopping for tile for the kitchen backsplash, much to do in the week I’m still here but I’m looking forward to returning home. Thank you so much for all of your kind comments from my last post, I treasure every one. 

Here’s the short list of favorite links from the week, enjoy!

black painted vanity


15 beautiful paint colors from 2014

Great decorating advice from real spaces.

15 minute decluttering tips.

Helpful advice for home resale.

18 best libraries in the world.

Illustrated: film stars living in iconic residences.

Creative Samsung ads: famous artists taking self portraits.

Coming to NYC – a floating park on the Hudson River.

"Real" moments in parenting.


P.S. – I’m having LASIK surgery on my eyes tomorrow (eeeeek!) and feeling slightly anxious about it but so happy to be rid of glasses and contacts, wish me luck !