The new bathroom

Five weeks seems to last forever and go by in a flash. Five weeks ago, this was our bathroom:

bathroom renovation before

Every single thing came out.

bathroom renovation progressAnd now:

The seedlings of the bathroom renovation took root pretty much immediately after finishing the kitchen. The kitchen was so clean, bright, and open, and I wanted the rest of the house to feel the same. We used a Pinterest board to collect ideas and refine what we wanted in the space. In the beginning, it was all soap stone sinks, but as time passed, I can see the evolution towards the elements that more readily fit our home and budget.

Overall, the bathroom was a much bigger undertaking than the kitchen. Since we went with IKEA cabinets for that project, we were able to use their 3D home planner tool to play with multiple configurations, generate a supply list and hand our contractor exact blueprints of the project and most of the finishing materials. The non-IKEA supplies — flooring, backsplash tile, light fixture — were much more limited. It took two weeks and three days, from demolition to completion.

In the bathroom, on the other hand, we designed and sourced every element from scratch, and it was much more work intensive, both to find the best option and convey that to the contractor. I learned a lot about the roles of the contractor and a designer in the process. There were a lot of meetings that took place in the hallway before my coffee even finished brewing (why are contractors all ready to start their day so damn early?). In the end, though, we got both exactly what we wanted and more than we had hoped for.

bathroom vanity afterWe didn’t avoid IKEA entirely. I really love our soft-close kitchen cabinets and the deep drawers. So we looked at the Godmorgon series early on, but none of the finishes were quite right. There was nothing well built or modern at the box stores, and we had such a frustrating experience at a local bathroom supply showroom when the salesman stopped speaking to us in mid-conversation about the price and availability of a vanlty we liked and turned his attention entirely to the (male) customer that had just walked in. After ten minutes, we walked out.

During one late night of research, I came across a company that was instantly the perfect solution. Semihandmade Doors makes just replacement doors for IKEA cabinets. We went with Flatsawn Teak Classic doors on the high-gloss white Godmorgon with Odensvik sink.

bathroom renovation semihandmade doorsI love these hooks. We originally bought two to use as drawer pulls, but the contractors installed the white pulls that came with the vanity, and they’ve grown on me. These became hooks like they were intended to be, and the sleek lines make me so happy.

20151108-213203.jpgThe only real change to the layout was that the water was rerouted to the other side of the shower and pushed back into the corner, which gained us about 8″ in either direction, allowing us to fully open the door and open up the toilet alcove.

This cramped space:

20151005-093140.jpgBecame this palatial expanse:

20151108-212939.jpgSeriously, I could stage a musical in the space around the toilet.

One of the most challenging and pleasing parts was matching the finishes of the fixtures. I mentioned in a past post the quest to find the perfect fixtures. I was dead set on using a brass tone, and Delta’s Trinsic line in champagne bronze was exactly the right line at the right price point. They had so many components available, so I was able to order the sink faucet, tub faucet, towel bar, toilet paper holder and even the flush handle in the same finish.

And the lights, these damn lights, match perfectly. For some reason, the lights were one of the most difficult things about this renovation. I placed the order weeks before the renovation, and in the last couple days, they still hadn’t arrived. I rush ordered these lights at the last minute, but when they arrived, their shades were all wrong, and the sockets were an ugly white, so they couldn’t be left bare as they were. I convinced the electricians to wire in new sockets, which were perfect, but on the first night post-renovation, I blew out once of the sconces while trying to adjust it. I want to tell this full story another day, but  in short, I wound up rewiring one of the sconces myself, which was not a difficult as I thought it was going to be, and these lights, as difficult as they were, are one of my favorite parts of the whole bathroom.

20151108-212844.jpgAnother beautiful match was the tub faucet and the tub drain. After reading a million descriptions and pros and cons of choosing different materials. I ordered this acrylic tub, sight unseen, from the internet. Weirdly, the tub came from Lowe’s, and is not available through Home Depot, but requires a special drain assembly, which is only available at Home Depot, not Lowe’s. I have no idea why it’s that difficult, but I’m glad that the internet gave me the information I needed to source everything and that Vibrant Brushed Bronze perfectly matches Champagne Bronze (who knew?).

20151108-213246.jpg20151108-213303.jpgI searched high and low for an L shaped shower curtain rod in black and have concluded that it does not exist. I got it in my head that nothing else would do, though, so I started researching what it would take to get a chrome bar powder coated. The quote I got seemed pretty reasonable (or maybe I was under the delusion of design myopia, it’s been known to happen), and I actually wound up having the bar shipped there and then directly to me, which was a lifesaver when the transmission of our car started to fail in the middle of the ordeal (non-stop fun!). I actually don’t think you would even have to be local if your item was fairly easily shippable. I worked with New Age Powder Coating, and they were so awesome. At the last second, I didn’t order black at all, but went with flat mint, which looks like more of a jade green to me. It’s gorgeous.


We had always planned to have a knee wall ledge, but the wrap-around ledge was necessitated by the plumbing, and the shower shelf was a design improvisation along the way. And now we have a shower plant! #showerplant

20151108-213623.jpg20151108-213544.jpg20151108-213558.jpgI want to live in the bathroom.


It feels like home.




  1. WOW! What an amazing transformation, I love how every detail is meticulously designed to match your vision for a space. You two rock! (I hear you about being dumped mid-conversation for a male customer, ridiculous that it still happens, but it does.)

  2. It looks so so great!!! I really need to do my bathrooms too… one day. Good work! 🙂

  3. Amazing job! I love how it turned out. Would you consider doing a post that included a budget breakdown? It would be super helpful for those of us dreaming of this bathroom to know how much we need to save to make it happen. Also a blueprint /sketch with dimentions… I’m having trouble figuring out just how big the space is and how there are two doors. Thanks as always your style is just what I like!

    1. Thank you! I think I put budget info in here and there, but I’ll consider doing a post.

  4. It is so gorgeous!

    1. Thank you!!!

  5. This is absolutely great! I’ve been looking online for about 3 weeks for an upcoming renovation and have been stumped trying to come up with a decent affordable vanity. We walked around a pretentious bathroom showroom today in New York (with no prices displayed on anything) and felt ashamed every time we asked how much something was — there were vanities there that didn’t even look as good as this for $2500-$4000. This is exactly what we are looking for and even going for one of the more expensive semihandmade panels it’s still going to be way more affordable than the overpriced competition. Thanks for posting this. I haven’t come across your blog before btw, but I can’t get over that this is only the third comment on what you achieved here. The vanity is prefect and is definitely how we are going to proceed.

    1. Thank you so much! My long hiatuses probably contribute to my lack of blog-momentum, but I’m okay with that. I do it for my own edification. So glad to hear that the vanity inspired you. I really love ours, and you’re right, upgrading to a fancy door is still way cheaper than a lot of “luxury” bathroom fixtures.

  6. francis000 · · Reply

    The bathroom looks fantastic, can’t believe this is only the third comment on what looks like a really impressive transformation. I’d also like to go with Godmorgon vanity and go with semihandmade drawer panels and new pulls. Nearly every review I’ve found about the Godmorgon vanity has been very positive about its quality. But I’ve found a few comments here and there online about the odensvik sink — a few people have said they had developed chips after minor knocks or small grey lines after cleaning. Have you found any issues with the odensvik at all? Thanks.

    1. Hello! Sorry for my delayed response of this! But now I can say with more authority that we’ve had no issues with our odensvik sink. No chips or grey lines, despite my cat’s obsession with walking all over it every time I brush my teeth. My only minor issue was that the brass sink stopper and emergency drain that came with our faucet didn’t fit the metric sink holes. If I had realized in advanced, I might have gotten them powdercoated when we got the shower curtain done, but at this point, it doesn’t bother me enough to take apart the assembled sink. And the Godmorgon vanity is so good! We have an Ikea kitchen, too, and I’m spoiled by all my soft-close cabinets and drawers.

  7. Chance · · Reply

    Where did you purchase the shower curtain rod from? I love it!

    1. Thanks! The shower curtain is an inexpensive L shaped chrome rod from Amazon, and then we had it powdercoated in jade green at a local shop.

  8. Hi Maura – I caught your reno on Really love the aesthetic you achieved. Where did you purchase the tile (white subway and black border detail)? And what color grout did you use?

    Many thanks!

    1. Thank you! We bought the tile from Lowe’s and used a dark gray grout. I don’t recall the brand, but the color was Delorean Gray.

      1. Amazing. Thanks so much for the response. Was the floor tile purchased at Lowe’s as well?

      2. That actually came from Avalon Flooring, a local chain in the Philly area. It’s matte glazed porcelain that we got on clearance for $3/sq ft, which really helped us save some money.

  9. Thank you for this post! We’ve been searching high and low to see what the “Champagne Bronze” color look like in an actual bathroom before purchasing. This is perfect! Super helpful, thanks! -Jen

    1. You’re so welcome! It’s so hard to tell from a store’s website. I liked the color so much, I also installed it in my next kitchen. I haven’t updated the blog with after pictures, but I’m sure there at least one on Instagram, if you’re looking for more real life examples. (All my kitchen pics are under #warrickhousekitchen)

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