We did it, y’all. We finished the master bathroom makeover. It took about six weeks and cost about $2500, and we had pretty much no idea what we were doing at any point along the way, so no one is more surprised than we are that things turned out so well in the end. But the bathroom is still functional and looks seriously good, so I’m calling this project a success. And I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you.
But first let me fill you in on the last few DIY details. Once the tiling was finished, there were really only a handful of things left to do to get the bathroom in working order. The biggest project was getting the bathroom sinks operational. We’d hung the frame of our IKEA GODMORGON sink cabinet on the wall before tiling and installed the ODENSVIK sink on top of the cabinet before caulking, so all we still needed to do was hook up the plumbing and install the vanity drawers. Sounds simple, but the plumbing was a bit more challenging than we’d anticipated.
That’s because the plumbing that comes with IKEA bathroom sinks is sized in metric units, so it won’t connect properly with U.S. standard-sized plumbing right out of the box. That means we had to come up with a hack. If you Google “IKEA bathroom plumbing hack,” you can see how others have dealt with this problem, but here’s a look at our solution:
The plumbing that travels down from the sink drains and overflows is all IKEA plumbing, until you get to that little gray doohickey with silver bands; that’s the piece that connects the smaller, metric-sized plumbing on top to the larger, U.S. standard-sized plumbing on the bottom. From there, the P trap and the rest of the plumbing is all from the local hardware store. I guess this really doesn’t look all that complicated, yet somehow it required three or four trips to Lowe’s and a whole lot of cussing.
And we weren’t quite finished with hacks yet. I mentioned in an earlier post that GODMORGON sink cabinets allow for only about three or so inches of clearance between the back of the vanity drawers and the wall, and despite our best efforts, our plumbing stuck out from the wall further than that. It kept the bottom right drawer from closing completely, so we came up with a work-around:
We just marked where the back of the drawer was hitting the plumbing, cut out the offending drawer slats with a hack saw, and then nailed a few of the scraps back down perpendicularly to hold the remaining slats in place. It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done. The drawer now closes perfectly, and we have a pretty new functioning vanity and double sink.
From there it was all downhill: put the doors on the GODMORGON medicine cabinets, install the LILLÅNGEN wall cabinets over the toilet, replace the bath tub faucet and spout, screw in the towel hooks, hang the roller blind in the window, and hook up the vanity light fixtures (which are nothing more than $1.50 porcelain light sockets from Lowe’s that I spray-painted glossy black). As you may have noticed, I’m not very good about taking action shots during our DIY projects, but here’s one of Ben drilling the holes for our Normann Copenhagen “Dropit” wall hooks, which I’m completely obsessed with:
See how they stick out from the wall? They’re absolutely gorgeous. But I’ll admit that I did suffer minor heart palpitations when we had to drill through our pretty new tile to install them. Here’s a tip: make a cross with masking tape over the spot where you’ll be drilling; the tape gives your drill bit something to grab onto and keeps it from jumping around and scratching your tile. Oh, and always use a carbide-tipped drill bit, and don’t apply too much pressure–let the drill do the work.
Well, there were times when I thought that the day would never come, but finally, after about four hours of thorough cleaning, we were finished. It was time to move our stuff back into our bathroom! All of the new storage we added got put to immediate use, and I’m so thrilled with it. The GODMORGON medicine cabinets hold so much stuff, as do the LILLÅNGEN cabinets that we hung over the toilet. And having those lovely large drawers beneath the sinks is so convenient. I really couldn’t be happier with our IKEA bathroom furniture, or with any of the rest of our choices. We’ve been using the bathroom for a few weeks now and sometimes I still like to just sit in there and appreciate how nice everything looks.
Here are a few more photos:
Take a look at these before-and-after shots:
So much less busy now, right? The simplicity is soothing.
And the finishes are so much more modern now–much more in line with the direction I’m trying to take this house. Here’s a super-wide view:
Aaah, so, so satisfying. It was certainly a lot of hard work, and there were more than a few white-knuckle moments, but I’m so glad that we were brave enough to tackle this project. It gives me great hope for future renovations. We may take a little bit of time off, though, before starting on the next bathroom!
GODMORGON/ODENSVIK 47 1/4-inch sink cabinet with 4 drawers, high gloss white, from IKEA
GODMORGON 23 5/8-inch mirror cabinets with 2 doors, from IKEA
Hansgrohe 31701 Focus S bathroom faucets from FaucetDirect.com
Porcelain light sockets from Lowe’s, spray-painted black
G25 silver tipped bulbs from 1000bulbs.com
Nate Berkus for Target arrowhead rug
Black porcelain wall hooks from Rejuvenation
Normann Copenhagen Dropit wall hooks
Turkish bath towels by Bathstyle
Dip-dyed stool from Serena & Lily
Red-rimmed glass from Anthropologie
ENJE 48-inch white roller blind from IKEA
LILLÅNGEN white wall cabinets from IKEA
SimpleHuman 1.2 gallon round step white trash can
Coin Nitro black vinyl garage flooring roll from Rubber Flooring Inc.
Matte white ice ceramic wall tile, 4.25×10 inches, from The Home Depot
Frost white Tivoli Model One radio
Hugo Guinness “Briefs” linocut print in vintage frame
“Holy Shit I Love You” screenprint by Kyle & Courtney Harmon
White terrycloth cube from Serena & Lily (no longer available)
Acrylic tank tray from CB2, filled with vintage pieces and neon orange faceted bowl from Target