Master Bathroom: Vanity Makeover Plans

October 7th, 2014

I’m headed back to Las Vegas this week to work on the fixer house and the next project I’m starting is a remodel of the master bathroom vanity. Right now it’s one of those builder grade specials that has been there since 1989 and a refresh is so happening. This is the kind of project that’s manageable to update with a reasonable amount of money if I don’t let my starry eyed dreams of pricey marble mosaic tile send me over budget (see below and you’ll see how I’m in danger).

Someday we plan to sell this place so the goal is to not over improve it but at the same time we want to make it stand out with all of its modern upgrades when compared to similar properties. Here is the space right now, as you can see it’s that golden oak and ceramic tile combo that’s not awful but definitely dated. Everything will go except the vanity and flooring.

master vanity before

I had dreams of purchasing a new contemporary floating vanity for this space but I think it makes more sense to salvage this one because the base is solid wood and fits the space so I save a bundle by repurposing the vanity which also means I can spend more on a solid surface countertop and gorgeous tile on the wall which is really where I want to spend my cash.

A few months ago, I experimented with liming wax on a similar door from the kitchen to see if I could pull of a Restoration Hardware style gray/whitewashed look and at first it looked promising but when complete leaned too pink for my taste (dangerously close to 1980s pickled oak, yikes) but I believe that was due to the yellow undertones present in this kind of oak or perhaps first time error and not the liming process itself so I live to lime another day.

So now I’ve turned my thoughts to either a restaining process (dark of course) but I’m not crazy about the way oak takes stain, it’s very grainy so I’m thinking of having new cabinet doors made in a full overlay shaker style and staining the base and frame to match which could prove tricky but I think it could be done.

vanity cabinet

This door style is traditional which is fine so I could paint it and add new hardware but there is that lingering “oak is grainy” fact and even after two coats of primer and two coats of paint you can still see the grain which okay but in my head I have an intense desire to see a smoother finish so again I’m back to the idea of having new paint grade doors and drawer fronts made to accommodate hidden hinges.

I could live with it as is and patch the holes where the external hinges are and instead install hidden Euro hinges which doesn’t look too difficult. All of these things I’m considering. And perhaps overthinking.

bathroom vanity side view

And did you notice the floor tile? Of course you didn’t because it’s the definition of plain in the dictionary but here’s what happened with that. When we bought the house we found a few leftover boxes of this tile in the garage. This little vanity area used to have stained icky carpet and truth be told I think it’s a major crime to have carpet under a vanity so when we replaced all the carpet upstairs in August and installed the new tile downstairs, I had the installers add carpet back inside the closet and bedroom but not the vanity and we used the remaining 12 x 12” plain porcelain tile we found in the garage to fill in underneath because it matches the adjacent shower and toilet area (not shown) so now it all flows together and makes sense.

And let’s face it when you throw down a plush bathroom rug who’s really looking at the plain white floor tile, not me. As much as I adore a patterned tile floor I’m not about to rip this out for something fancier and expensive so it stays. Because again I plan to spend my cash on the countertop and wall tile and light fixtures, so let’s discuss.

First, the inspiration. These sink vanities I just love because of their dark stain on the vanity cabinet and paired with a white or marble countertop. Divine!

sarah richardson bathroom vanity

sarah richardson

warm wood gray tile bathroom vanity

vinci hamp architects 

dark stained bathroom vanity

mcgill design 

 

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Angel Island

October 6th, 2014

I had plans to write about my ideas for the master bathroom at the fixer Las Vegas house today but I couldn’t resist sharing just a few shots of our weekend adventure so tune in for the bathroom chat tomorrow. Yesterday we journeyed to a place I absolutely love, and for anyone who has grown up around or lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know of what I speak: Angel Island.

This State Park a magical place to walk or bike and if you catch it on a perfect day like we did, Angel Island will give you unforgettable views of the San Francisco Bay, the City, and the Golden Gate Bridge – so worth the boat ride and uphill climb.

We’ve hiked here a few times for the exercise and panoramic views and it really is the BEST. For those planning a visit, consider it a worthy stop especially in what I believe are the best months to visit: May, September, and October when you’ll escape the notorious fog bank that tends to hover over the bay throughout the summer. You can take a midday or sunset cruise, we chose an early morning ferry ride from nearby Tiburon in the north bay, where high end homes overlook over the dock and bay.

tiboron homes 2

tiburon sailboats

Catch the ferry service direct from San Francisco or Marin County, either service will bring you to the island and its views.

golden gate view

Bring a bike or rent one there, but packing a picnic lunch is advised since a hike around will take 2-3 hours and there are tables where you can stop and take in the view. If you forget your picnic, there is a cantina/cafe on the island for purchasing food. The adventure is one of those “fill your lungs with fresh air and eyes with a magical view” kind of walks that is work the trek.

picnic table view of sf

 

angel island home

 

hiking trails

 

east bay view

 

angel island coastline

 

golden gate view

 

boats in harbor

 

sf city view

This is such a wonderful weekend day or sunset evening excursion, check out the Yelp reviews here, and add a trip to Angel Island to your To Do list next time you visit San Francisco! .

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