How to Transform Your Builder Basic Half Bath- A Simple & Fresh Bathroom Makeover


My Builder Basic Half Bath Transformation


Moving into our house I knew it needed a lot of updating. I saw the potential in the house and I could envision how I was going to make it into our home. This is a photo of our downstairs half bath on the day we moved in- good thing I snapped a picture then because only three short days after moving in I completely gutted it.

This is the only bathroom on the main floor of our home and lets just say it was lacking functionality, comfort and style.

This half bath is small and narrow. Why the builders put a huge vanity like this in here I will never understand. The back cabinet doors were not even functional- you couldn't open them because the toilet was in the way. The dark green paint color only made the already small room seem even smaller. Seeing as though this would be the main bathroom our guest would be using I knew something had to be done.

DEMO DAY! Only three short days after we moved into our house my husband came home from work to find a toilet, vanity and sink top laying in our front yard. Lets just say I took it upon myself to fix the issue before he had the chance to tell me it was too soon. Wish I had snapped a picture.

My Vision and Inspiration...

For this half bath I had a certain style I wanted to establish. Natural wood, fresh colors, satin nickle hardware, and a modern farmhouse feel. I knew I wanted a wall to wall vanity but one that would allow the bathroom to feel more open and not as small. So I envisioned a floating wood top vanity with exposed plumbing leaving all the space under the vanity open. Here are a few pictures I found that were my inspiration.

Click for original source: poshhome.info

Click for original source: poshhome.info

Click for original source: DecorPad.com

Click for original source: DecorPad.com

So now the hunt for a wooden vanity top began. Six months later I finally found what I was looking for. The piece of wood I wanted had to be a solid 18-21" wide and 6' long piece- and of course I didn't want a new piece of wood, I wanted an old piece with character and history. I finally found what I was looking for at Nadeau Furniture in Raleigh, NC. They had a 20.5" x 6' console table with an 1800s Indonesian railroad tie top and large chunky legs. This thing was solid, beautiful and had tons of character. EXACTLY what I had been searching for.

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Getting it home in my small SUV with four passengers was a little tricky. But I assured them it would fit. Maybe not the most comfortable 45 min drive but I got my table home.


Next I selected my finishings- sink, faucet, mirror and lighting. I wanted a modern farmhouse feel so I selected a white rectangle vessel style sink with a wall mount satin nickel faucet. 

Faucet: Kingston Brass

Sink: Signature Hardware

Sink: Signature Hardware

I found my mirror and sconces on potterybarn.com. The sconces matched my faucet perfectly. These finishings really emphasized the modern farmhouse look I was going for.

Click to shop the Covington Articulating Sconce at PotteryBarn.com

Click to shop the Covington Articulating Sconce at PotteryBarn.com

Click to shop the Kensington Pivot Wide Rectangle Mirror at PotteryBarn.com

Click to shop the Kensington Pivot Wide Rectangle Mirror at PotteryBarn.com

The Transformation Process...

 In order to move the plumbing for the wall mount sink and run wiring for my sconces we had to remove the Sheetrock from the wall (we hired a professional for plumbing and wiring). I planned to use shiplap on the accent wall- which was the wall the sink was against. So I thought it would be best to simply leave the Sheetrock off and add the shiplap directly to the studs. This help gain 1/4", which doesn't sound like a lot but in this bathroom every little fraction of an inch counted. To carry out the modern farmhouse look you know I had to incorporate shiplap somewhere in this bathroom.

Next we placed everything in the bathroom for a test fit to make sure all the plumbing lined up before we covered the wall with shiplap.

Everything lined up great so we took everything back out of the bathroom and began shiplapping the wall. For shiplap I used 0.75-in x 5.5-in x 6-ft pre sanded white wood board. And I attached them to the studs using finishing nails and a nail gun. 

I framed the edges of the shiplap accent wall with thin furring strips and painted it all with an egg shell white paint. I also installed the mirror and sconces.

I put down new glazed porcelain wood plank tile in a herringbone pattern. This tile is by Marazzi and is called the Montagna Rustic Bay style. These tiles are 6 in. x 24 in. and a box covers approximately 14.53 sq. ft.  

Click to view this product at Homedepot.com

Click to view this product at Homedepot.com

 

Next I painted the walls before putting the vanity, sink and toilet back in. I wanted a calming neutral color that matched my downstairs color palette- so I decided to use Silver Strand (SW 7057) by Sherwin-Williams. I also added all the baseboard moulding which I painted with the same white paint as the shiplap.

Then we moved the wood vanity top (after I painted the base with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint and gave it a some slight distressing), sink and toilet all back into the bathroom one last time- to stay. We hooked up the drain to the sink using a metal drain pipe kit. And this is when my vision finally came to life!

My Favorite Part- Decorating...

I added a few small finishing touches to the half bath. I didn't want a lot of decor in here and wanted to keep it simple and fresh. I added an antique milk glass bottle holder to the wall behind the toilet and filled the milk bottles with stems of greenery and small yellow buds. For the vanity top I simply added an antique bottle with a single hydrangea stem, a candle, soap dispenser and a hand towel. Later I added a milk glass dish with an extra hand towel and white monogrammed soap. On the wall opposite of the accent wall I hung oval frames (which I painted and distressed with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint),attached old bottles directly to the wall in the center of the frames, and placed a simple greenery stem in each bottle. Since this bathroom is all open you have to get creative when it comes to storage. For all the extra tissue paper I placed it in a metal wire basket under the wood top vanity.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you for those who followed along on Instagram as I posted this transformation in a series of phases. All it takes is a vision and a little bit of work and a builder basic bathroom can be transformed into a custom one of a kind creation!

With love,

 
 

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