Bathroom – the vanity…

The vanity area of our new bathroom was, weirdly, a source of much discussion, re-discussion, and some annoyance for all parties involved.  Who knew that such a small part of a pretty large project could take up so much time.

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During the planning phase, the first debate was whether or not we needed one or two sinks.  You know that double vanities are the thing – everybody has to have a double vanity in their bathroom these days. I didn’t think we needed two sinks.  Our schedules are different and we are never in the bathroom at the same time – and I didn’t want to clean two sinks.  Tad felt very strongly about the two sink thing – he wanted two sinks.  We did have 7 feet along the vanity wall so space wasn’t an issue.  In the end, I wasn’t sure what to do with the extra space if we didn’t have two sinks along there.  So, the argument against two sinks wasn’t one I was feeling the need to win.  We have two sinks in our new bathroom.

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Before we had decided on the one vs. two sink thing we had already agreed on a general design that we both liked for the vanity.  I wish I had saved the picture we used as inspiration.  It was a floating vanity – very modern – slab doors and drawer fronts – with square vessel type sinks sunk part way into the countertop.  The thing that we liked was the sink sunk part way into the countertop.  I also liked the floating vanity idea but felt like it was way too sleek and modern to try to work in – remember that we live in a 100 year old house. I did decide we could still create the airy feel with open slatted shelving below the sinks and by avoiding the whole big block like cabinet sitting on the floor.  I drew up a little sketch – showed the contractor and got a custom woodworker to create this thing.  I sensed a bit of skepticism from both the contractor and the woodworker.  I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be easy.  I prepared myself.

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I was right.  Pretty quickly, things got a bit wonky (aka annoying) with the guys doing the work.  The sunken sink thing was sort of sending everyone into a total tizzy.  They all tried to talk me out the sunken sink thing.  I didn’t give in.  I persisted despite one headache after another.

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The plumbers couldn’t seem to get the plumbing right.  The contractor wanted the vanity to be delivered in one piece so the plumbers could finally get the plumbing behind the wall done correctly.  The woodworker couldn’t install the vanity until the drywall was up behind the vanity – it wasn’t intended to be one big block of vanity – it was made to be partially built/fit into the space onsite.  I didn’t understand why the plumbers couldn’t just use a measuring tape to put the plumbing in the correct spot.  Plus, I had to get the tile guy in there to install the floor tile before the vanity went in.  The tile guy kept telling me that he would install the tile after the vanity went in – claiming he could just cut around the legs of the vanity – I did not fall for this story.  This circling of the pack went on for weeks.  Finally, I got a grip on the situation and somehow it came together – though not as perfectly as I had hoped.  The plumbers gave in first and got the plumbing done behind the wall.  They did not use the suggested measuring tape.  The drywall went up next.  I painted the wall. The tile went in. The vanity got installed.  The plumbing had to be revised – again – because they didn’t use a measuring tape the first, second, or third attempts.  Why couldn’t they just use a measuring tape?  I don’t know – weird.  The  drywall had to be repaired because of the plumbing revision. Then, I had to paint – again.  Tad and I installed the sinks – because the plumbers couldn’t figure it out. The plumbers then came back to install the faucets, drains, p traps – and STUDOR VENTs.  I about had a cow. Studor vents?   The design had always included two sinks – always in that spot – always open underneath – always meant to look neat and clean – studor vents do NOT look neat and clean.  The space was a NEW build.  Why, why, why did I not get real, in the wall vents?  WHY?  I don’t know.  I never did get an answer.  They all just looked at me like I was the crazy one.  I am not the crazy one – even though my rambling now might indicate I was not completely sane over these studor vents.  I wanted them to install real, in the wall vents.  I didn’t care that the project was pretty much completed and they would have to tear out the wall.  Tad felt it was unreasonable at that stage in the project to cut into the walls – just to get rid of the studor vents.  Reason won out.  Though, every time I pee (several times per day), I look at those studor vents and still get slightly annoyed.

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I know what you are thinking – just get over it – I am trying…

Despite the studor vent debacle, the vanity is as we envisioned.   The natural cherry finish warms up the place – the slightly orangey color of the natural cherry is great with the gray, green, and turquoise color scheme of the tiles – and it works with the rest of our house (we have cherry trim all over the house).  The big center storage drawers are the best thing ever.  The open bottom slatted shelves keep that airy feel I wanted.

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We added a stainless steel wrap around the bottom of the vanity legs – to protect the wood a bit – plus, we think it looks cool.

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The square sinks are perfect – good size, good depth (minimal splashing), overflow hole present – sort of hard to find with that type of sink.  Simple chrome, single handle faucets mounted directly on the sink – rather than from the wall or countertop.  The faucets reach into the middle of the sink over the drain – a little bit of an odd thing to think about here, but there is a back story.  We were touring a house at the local Parade of Homes and Tad noticed that the faucets in all the bathrooms were too short – there wasn’t enough room to get your hands underneath the faucet – one of the faucets didn’t even clear the sink edge.  So, we always make sure to pick faucets that you can actually get your hands under and that clear the edge of the sink by several inches.

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Of course, we love the original design inspiration for our vanity – the partially dropped sink feature.  It wasn’t easy to come by, but I am happy I stood strong and persisted!  It reminds me a little bit of a mini farmhouse sink with an apron front.

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