One Room Challenge

Before and After: A DIY Vanity Helps Make This 10-Week, Under-$10K Bathroom Redo a True Stunner

published Sep 14, 2022
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Although they’re not as glamorous as a shiny new tile, sparkly new mirrors, or sleek new light fixtures, vanities can be absolute showstoppers in bathrooms — and here are five gorgeous ones that prove it. Vanities can set the tone for the room’s style while also providing functional storage.

In Amy Disselkoen’s (@homeonwoodlark) bathroom redo, the new vanity — a white oak stunner — was a DIY which cost $1,700, as opposed to the $4,000 ones she’d seen online. Amy and Mitch gave their bathroom a head-to-toe redo during the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, changing the once-boring vanity, tile, mirrors, and flooring.

Before, the bathroom was a bit sad, or “ugly, outdated, cramped and worn out,” as Amy puts it. It had an awkward partition by the toilet and a neutral-verging-on-dated look. Amy kept a neutral color scheme for the “after,” though the end result is much more high-end, warm, and modern than before.

The first step was taking all the old finishes out. Mitch did the demo, and then they hired a friend to do the plumbing and drywall —including framing out a new, larger shower — plus electrical.

After that, Mitch installed heated floors and the tile. “He used rapid setting grout on accident which set him back another week,” Amy says, because he had to scrape the old grout up and start over. But the small setback led to a major comeback in the end, as the tiles (white ceramic for the shower walls, small marble-look hexes for the shower floor, and porcelain marble-look squares for the floor) both elevate and brighten the room. (Plus “Mitch learned his lesson to READ the bag before ever buying grout again,” Amy says on Instagram.)

Also helping to give the room a bright refresh is the paint color: Benjamin Moore’s White. Amy did the painting in the space, and she also spray painted the old towel bars and toilet paper holder gold.

Next, Mitch built the vanity, where he saved money by buying lumber and building the base, sourcing $95 sinks from Amazon, and finding a discounted marble slab from a local mom and pop shop.

Lastly, Amy styled things with brass hardware, arched mirrors from Target, and a vintage runner. She says she loves how spacious the room feels now, and she loves the organic modern-meets-vintage feel. Mostly, she loves that she worked on the project with Mitch. “We love working as a husband and wife team,” Amy says.

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.