When it comes to bathroom makeover, it seems that most bathrooms have 2 main problems: size and a builder-grade vanity. Of course there’s also lighting, layout, and the fact that there’s, y’know, a toilet, in the middle of the room to mess with the design aesthetics of the room. But since you can’t do anything about that, the next best way to update your bathroom is to update the lighting, swap out or frame the mirror, and then tackle the vanity. When you’re working with a small bathroom, opening up the vanity style is a great way to make the space feel larger (eliminating visual blocks) while also adding a great style! Sabrina totally redid her builder beige bathroom, including building a simple open vanity, and now it looks like this:
Read on below to see what Sabrina started with, plus her detailed instructions to build your own vanity (and to see more of her bathroom!) and browse a few ideas to update your vanity along way….
Updated Bathroom with DIY Simple Open Vanity
by Sabrina from Pink Little Noteboook
Hey all! I’m Sabrina, the girl behind the home renovation blog, Pink Little Notebook. I document the ups-and-downs of my DIY journey with my husband, Mike. I love experimenting with new styles and trends, I love sharing tips and tutorials for the home but most of all I love creating mind-blowing before and after transformations.
I wanted to share one of our recent makeover’s in our home, our powder room. Like most people, I had the typical dated bathroom—beige walls, builder grade tiles and pedestal sink. All that changed though with a little DIY magic and a bold hue!
Today I specifically wanted to touch on our vanity. When it came time to finding the perfect one for this powder room, I was stumped. I couldn’t find anything that fit our space, style or budget.
So what do you do? Build your own, of course!
For this project you will need:
- IKEA LILLÅNGEN single bowl
- 2 pieces – 4″x4″x 8′ for the legs
- 2 pieces- 2″x4″x 8′ for the connecting pieces
- 1 piece -1″x3″x 8′ for shelf
- 12 corner braces + pack of 2-1/2″ wood screws
- MINWAX Stain Cloths + polyurethane
- 4 pieces – 4×4’s @ 30″ for the legs
- 4 pieces – 4×2’s @ 16″ front and back connecting pieces
- 4 pieces – 4×2’s @ 8.5″ side connecting pieces
- 7 pieces – 1×3’s @ 11.5″ for lower shelf
Tools: drill, measuring tape, pencil
Average Cost: $143.00 (CND)
Time: two days
Before you begin creating the frame, you need to know the dimensions of the sink you’re working with. I found this sleek looking sink at IKEA for $90. It had the perfect measurements for our space (24″W x 16″D x 5″H).
It’s also important to figure out your vanity height at this stage. Typical vanity heights range from 30″-36″. I opted for a total height of 35″ for this project.
To begin with the frame, we got all our wood pieces pre-cut from Home Depot (look at the ‘cut list’ above). This just makes assembly a breeze!
Since the sink itself has a height of 5″, each of the four legs were cut at 30″ (for an overall height of 35″). Start by creating the front of your base, using two 4×4’s as the legs (30″) and two 2×4’s as the connecting pieces (16″)—one across the top to hold the sink and one across the bottom for the shelf.
Keep in mind that the 4×4’s have rounded edges and in order to line it up for a flush look you need to offset the apron piece by 1/4″ on all the 2×4’s
To assemble our pre-cut pieces together, we used corner braces and pocket holes to fasten our wood together. This gave us a very secure hold.
When fastening the lower apron pieces that will hold the shelf, keep in mind you need sufficient space for your drain pipes. We positioned this 4-1/2″ from the bottom.
Once you have finished the front of the frame. Repeat all the above steps to create the back side of the frame. The two pieces should be identically with the above measurements all intact.
Next, you need to attach the front and back frames to create the box shape. Grab your 8-1/2″ pieces of 2×4’s and configure them at the same level as your other 2×4’s (which is 4-1/2″ from the bottom and directly at top).
Connect the frames together. Simply lay your frames down on the floor on top of one another and connect to create a single unit using corner braces and pocket holes.
Before you continue on, this is the perfect time to dry fit your sink. Just place the sink on top of your newly built frame and make sure everything lines up and sits evenly. If you notice any discrepancies, this is the time to go back adjust
Next we need to create a lip for the shelf pieces to sit on. One inch below the 2×4’s, you can secure lx3″ pieces on all four sides (in our case, we just used left over molding), as we’ve done here. . .
Once you confirmed everything looks good, it’s time to stain. Prep your surfaces by sanding first.
I used Minwax cloths for this project. I tested three colours to see which one I liked best (walnut, chestnut, dark mahogany).
It’s always best to bring your samples to your space and see what looks good against the wall colour.
I ended up like the first one (on the left), walnut!
Once the stain is dry, I finished the unit with a water based polyurethane in a stain finish.
To create the lower shelf, grab your 1×3’s strips. These should be cut down to 11-1/2″. You will need approximately 7 pieces. I chose to paint my shelf pieces white but you can stain this as well.
Each cut 1×3″ piece will sit on top of the lip we created earlier. Keep in mind that both end pieces will require a little bit of notching to fit around the leg of the vanity.
To finish off the look with a clean line, we used a bead of white caulking.
Silicone your sink to the wood frame and you’re complete!
Let your sink sit for 24 hours before your connect your drains.
To view more details regarding this vanity or other DIY bathroom projects, you may visit here.
Wall – Brush Nickel, P5244-62, PARA Paints
Ceiling – Beyond the Sea, P5155-73, PARA Paints
Sink: IKEA LILLÅNGEN single bowl
Wood Frame: supplies purchased from Home Depot
Wood Stain: MINWAX wood finishing cloths
Faucet: Delta 4″ Single hole
Soap Dispenser/towels: IKEA
Pink Little Notebook
Sabrina, thank you so much for sharing with us today! You’ve given that tired bathroom a new lease on life!