TUTORIAL: DIY BATHROOM DOUBLE VANITY

the old vanity in my kids’ bathroom

As you all should know by now, I recently gave my kids’ bathroom a renovation on a budget, and one of the biggest challenges of this reno was figuring out what to do with the old builder grade vanity. I hated the vanity, but my budget limitations made me consider keeping it and just altering it to look better. I considered painting it, updating the hardware, adding some faux feet, and installing new faucets. But that still just felt so blah to me. If I was going to spend some time and money changing the vanity, I wanted to make it something I LOVED! My goal with all of my makeovers is to bring a major transformation to the room creating a space I truly love for an affordable price. My goal is NEVER to create a room that’s just acceptable or slightly better than what was there. Altering the existing vanity would have made this slightly better than what was there, not something I LOVE.

Based on my boho modern design for this bathroom, I felt like a vanity like this (in a different color) would be something I love:

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However, the $1275 price tag (and that’s on sale!) for this vanity was most of my entire budget for the whole bathroom reno! Yikes! Plus I wanted my vanity to be a different color, and I also wanted it to be a little shorter than the standard 60” length. I realized the only option that would fit my space, style and budget was to make a vanity myself from scratch. I couldn’t find a tutorial online for a double vanity that I liked so I made my own tutorial. Follow along to learn how you can make your own custom bath vanity for a fraction of the price! This cost me about $200 for materials!

elevation of vanity wall in bathroom

 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS VANITY IS YOU CAN MAKE IT WORK IN ALMOST ANY STYLE BATHROOM

—RUSTIC, FARMHOUSE, TRADITIONAL, MODERN, BOHEMIAN, INDUSTRIAL—SIMPLY BY CHANGING

THE MATERIALS AND DETAILS.

important notes before you begin
  • My vanity was designed to be used with vessel sinks which will sit on top of the countertop. I have made this vanity 30” tall because my countertop is 1 1/8” thick and my sinks are 5 1/4” tall, giving a total height of nearly 37”. If you are going to use drop-in sinks with this vanity then you will definitely want to adjust the overall height of your vanity in order for it to feel more ergonomically correct. Try 36” tall or whatever feels comfortable for you. (That’s the great thing about making your own vanity, you can customize it to what you like!) Also, if you’re using drop in sinks the top row of drawers in the vanity will not be usable because the sinks will be in the way. You can turn the top drawers into faux drawers with fixed in place drawer fronts.
  • Note that the enclosed area of this vanity (where the drawers are) is 16 3/4” tall. I specifically made it this tall in order to fully enclose all of the plumbing so it’s not visible. Since everyones plumbing can vary, it’s a good idea to verify that 16 3/4” will conceal all of your plumbing (the bottom of the enclosed area is 13 1/4” from the floor). If not, you’ll want to adjust that dimension on your vanity.
  • This tutorial is for a custom 56” long double vanity, but this can easily be turned into a standard 60” vanity by adjusting the length. You could also adjust the length to turn this into a single vanity (it would actually be an easier build 🙂 ).
  • My countertop for this vanity is solid wood because that is what goes best with my design. I have not tried using this vanity with a very heavy countertop like marble or granite. I assume it would be sturdy enough to hold the weight, but if you are planning to use a stone countertop I suggest verifying it is able to hold the weight before installing an expensive countertop. Like I said, it should be fine but I’m just letting you know I haven’t tried it.
  • I personally wanted plain front drawer panels to create a minimal modern look in the room, but you could easily add molding or reclaimed wood to the drawer fronts to change the style of the vanity. What I love about this vanity is you can make it work in almost any style bathroom—rustic, farmhouse, traditional, modern, bohemian, industrial—simply by changing the materials and details.
materials list

(8) 2” x 2” x 8’ boards
(1) 1” x 2” x 6’ board
(2) 1” x 6” x 10’ boards
(1) 1” x 6” x 6’ board
(1) 1” x 8” x 10’ board
(1) 4’ x 8’ sheet 3/4” thick plywood
(1) 4’ x 4’ sheet 1/4” thick plywood
4 sets of 14” drawer slides
4 drawer knobs or pulls
2 1/2” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” wood screws
1 1/4” nails
Wood filler
Wood glue
Sandpaper
Primer/paint or stain

tools list

Circular saw
Miter or chop saw
Jig saw
Drill
Kreg Jig
Electric sander
Nail gun
Carpenter’s square
Level
Measuring tape
Pencil
Safety glasses

cut list

(6) 2×2 @ 53” — long rails
(4) 2×2 @ 30” — legs
(10) 2×2 @ 19” — short rails and braces
(2) 2×2 @ 13 3/4” — stiles
(2) 1×2 @ 25 3/4” — mid-rails between drawers
(16) 1×6 @ 12 3/4” — drawer sides
(8) 1×6 @ 9 3/8” — drawer backs
(4) 1×6 @ 6” — drawer backs
(4) 1×8 @ 25 1/2” — drawer fronts
(1) 3/4” plywood @ 53” x 19” — lower shelf
(2) 3/4” plywood @ 13 3/4” x 19” — side panels
(4) 1/4” plywood @ 24 3/4” x 13 1/2” — drawer bottoms

FRONT

BACK (WITH DRAWERS REMOVED)

The open back of this vanity leaves room for the plumbing.

step 1: ASSEMBLE BOTH SIDE PANELS

If you don’t do carpentry projects often, then let me begin by stating the following:

  • All pocket holes drilled are made with a Kreg Jig and should be facing away from the visible side of the vanity. 
  • Test that the vanity is level as you go. 
  • Use your carpenter’s square to make sure all connections are at a 90 degree angle. 

If your connections are not at a right angle or your rails are not level, then your vanity could end up lopsided and pieces may not fit together correctly… and no one wants a lopsided vanity 🙁 !

Use 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue to connect two of the 2”x2”x30” legs to the top 2”x2”x19” rail.

Then attach the plywood panel to the legs and top rail using 1 1/4” pocket screws and wood glue. Be sure to keep the plywood flush with the back face of all of the 2x2s. This will make the front face of the plywood recess 3/4” from the outside face of the 2x2s giving it a recessed panel look.

Now slide in the lower 2”x2”x19” rail and attach it to both legs (using 2 1/2” pocket screws) as well as the bottom of the plywood panel (using 1 1/4” pocket screws).

Next, attach a 2”x2”x19” rail with 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue exactly 3” from the bottom of each leg. This will be used to support the lower shelf.

Just a note here to say that after my messy kids started using their bathroom I discovered lots of trash, missing socks and lost clothes underneath this vanity (yes, my son is super messy!). I discovered it’s kinda hard to get everything out from under the vanity with only 3″ of clearance. In retrospect, I wish I had made the lower shelf a little higher so it would be easier to clean underneath it. So if you think this is something that will bother you then you may want to raise your shelf a little higher. If my kids weren’t so messy it wouldn’t be a problem!

Repeat all these steps again to make the other side panel.

5 QUICK BEDROOM REFRESH IDEAS

Wishing you could give your bedroom a whole new look? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to make a difference. As little as a hundred dollars and a couple hours can make an impact.

Here are some ideas! Just choosing one from this list can go a long way in changing the overall look and feel of your room…

5R-beddingsource

01. CHANGE THE BEDDING
If you want to give your bedroom a refresh while only addressing one area, it might as well be your bed. After all, you probably spend most of your time in the room using your bed. Treat yourself to some luxurious new sheets, a comforter and fun throw pillows to give your bed a whole new look. There’s nothing more satisfying than falling into a bed covered with fresh new bedding after the end of a long day.

Use your bedding to introduce new colors, patterns and textures to your bedroom and it will likely end up feeling like a brand new space. There are lots of fun and trendy bedding styles out now at very reasonable prices!

Some ideas…

Plum & Bow Soukay Delicate Comforter  |  Coastal Stripe Blue Pillow
Nate Berkus Sheet Set  |  Pia Medallion Quilt & Sham


5R-sittingsource

02. CREATE A SITTING AREA
You don’t have to have a lot a space in your bedroom to make this happen. If you can’t fit a large chair or a group of seating in your room, then try a small bench below a window or at the end of your bed. Even a small chair in the corner can create a nice retreat to relax and curl up with a good book. Whatever you choose, make sure you add beautiful pillows and/or a blanket to dress it up and make it more comfortable.

Adding a special sitting area can not only expand the use of your bedroom, but it can also make it feel more tranquil and luxurious.

Some ideas…

Boston Loft Lindley Storage X Bench  |  Campground Throw Blanket
Safavieh Marcella Bench  |  Poang Chair


DIY WOOD COUNTERTOP

angdoor2

In case you missed it, I recently gave our upstairs hall bathroom a major renovation. I made my own wood countertop for the vanity (which I also made myself… tutorial coming), and I love how it turned out!

The countertop ended up being one of my hardest decisions for this reno! I considered going with a white quartz or marble countertop hoping to find a remnant for a discounted price, but I’d still have to pay someone to install it so the price was creeping higher than I wanted. I then considered doing a wood countertop because we have friends who installed wood countertops in their kitchen themselves for a low price and it looks great! I realized that regardless of the price advantage, the wood countertop actually fits the boho modern casual style of the room better than the marble or quartz does anyway.

My only hesitancy was whether the wood counter would be durable enough to withstand repeated exposure to water and all the products that tend to get used in a bathroom, especially because this is the bathroom my children use and they are not the best at cleaning up after themselves 🙂 . So I ended up doing some research to figure out the best way to make a wood countertop as durable as possible. I came up with three things I could do to help make sure it was able to withstand the conditions of a bathroom:

  • I chose to make my countertop from hardwood instead of a softwood like your standard pine is. Hardwoods are more durable and less porous than softwoods.
  • I made sure the joints between each plank were nice and smooth and tight with no cracks for water to seep into.
  • I sealed the countertop with three coats of Waterlox Original Tung Oil. Based on all of my research, this seemed to be the sealer that gives the most durable finish.

I actually ended up spending a lot of time researching EVERYTHING about wood countertops—from lumber options, to construction, to how to install them. If you’re considering using wood countertops in your home, here are some tips and instructions based on what I learned from my research and my experience making my own wood countertop. Hopefully it can give you some insight and save you some time!

01.

The species of wood you choose for your countertop is important because it will affect both the durability and the overall final look of the counter. As I mentioned, wood species are generally divided into two categories: softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods include spruce and your common pine, and as the name suggest they are usually softer and more porous, making them easier to nick or absorb water. Hardwoods include wood like oak and walnut, and they are generally more durable and denser, making them harder to cut or drill through.

I highly suggest going with a hardwood for your wood countertops. It will not only give you a more durable countertop, but it’ll also offer a wider range of choices in color and grain to get the exact look you’re going for. Your local big box home improvement store is not going to offer many choices of wood species so you’ll likely need to go to a lumber store.

I considered using walnut for my countertop because I’m a big fan of the look of the wood in general, but it was more money than I wanted to spend. I ended up going with ash instead. It’s a wood commonly used to make furniture, it’s very durable, and has a really nice grain to it. Plus it was about half the price of walnut! I went to a local lumber store where I could look at all of the pieces they had in stock and choose the exact boards I wanted (some boards had a much prettier grain than others).

chosenlumberone of the boards of ash I chose

REVEAL: A NEW BATHROOM ON A BUDGET!

I am so excited to announce that I am done with the renovation of my kids’ bathroom!!! Bathroom renovations are never fun as you usually have to spend some time living without a useable bathroom. We spent three months without a fully functioning bathroom, including the holiday season when we had guests staying with us, but fortunately we do have two other full bathrooms in the house. I literally had a couple days in December where I spent all day out in the garage building the vanity, working hard, covered in sawdust and paint, and then quickly had to clean up to look nice and rush off to attend a Christmas party. It made for a unique and extra busy holiday season but it was all worth it!

Let’s get to it… Here’s a reminder of what the bathroom used to look like:

bef-1

bef-3

bef-2

And here is the new bathroom!

oaangle

angdoor2

back

oavanity

shower

I wish I could have gutted the tub/shower combo and replaced it with a new tub and tile surround, but our limited budget kept me from being able to do that. As much as I wish I had a nice new tub area, I still feel like it was the right decision to not invest money in that.

So let’s get to the details of this reno…