My Bathroom Vanity

You might remember when Kramer, my husband who passed away from lung cancer, was sick and broke his neck our family went into a scramble to try to get the bathroom on the main floor so he would have a shower that was handicapped accessible for him.  Kramer’s decline was fast and we never got it done.

We took good care of him and in the end, we were able to handle everything without that shower.  But…what about now.  What about me?  I might need that bathroom in the years to come and I’d like it to be ready and there before the kids have to scramble and try to put something in.  So, slowly, I’m working on fixing the main floor bathroom.

When we first did the remodel we were running out of money and just wanted to get into the house.  There was a sink on a free Facebook page.  It was a pedestal sink and I didn’t care a free sink could work.

I’m still not sure what I want to do with a shower.  I’m getting closer but I’m slow at decision making and am only affording this as I have extra money.  That means I’m taking it all one step at a time.

In keeping with that over the summer, I talked to one of my childcare dads who is a cabinet builder, and asked him to make a vanity for me.  I am not super picky and I know Luke does great work so I told him two things I had in mind.  I wanted a space on the vanity for wash clothes to sit so people can grab a fresh washcloth and dry their hands on it…no reusing hand towels.  The other specification is I wanted him to try to make a built-in step stool for kids to step on.  Previously I’ve had two step stools in front of the sink and it’s always been cluttered.

Luke did a fabulous job!!  This is the vanity he built.

I need to do some other things like remove the old towel bar and patch the wall…but the vanity is a step in the right direction.  You can see that Luke did just what I wanted.  There is room for a basket of washcloths on the side and check this out…

It is a fold-out stool.  The bottom “drawer” can be pulled out and a step stool is created.

Here Lucy is using it.  She can reach the sink and it’s awesome.

Gannon is not yet two and he can reach the sink with the stool.  I LOVE IT and am thrilled with Luke’s work.  This is a solid great piece.

I was happy with the company that made our original kitchen cabinets but moving forward, if I need any cabinets built, I’ll have Luke make them.  They are so strong and sturdy.

Now for the rest of the bathroom, it’s pathetic.  See?

Where the changing table is, is where I want the shower to go.  How it all fits in there I’m not exactly sure about.  I have an idea and Luke has helped me a bit to get it in place.  The shower should be to the right (3′ x 5′ shower) where the changing table is…a custom cabinet that Luke would make would go to the left.

Luke has recommended Onyx showers.  You can find them HERE.  They are an American made company and Luke said he has some experience with them and has liked them.  Have any of you tried Onyx showers?  I’d love to know your opinion.

The shower pieces are supposed to snap together.  There’s a base and then wall pieces.  They have a low profile entry option for a base and that’s what I would get.  They also have a “ramp” that can be put on the outside if needed for as close to a zero-entry as possible.

I’m leaning towards something like this…

Glass doors, a chair on the right and the faucets on the left.  I’d make sure to include handles.

There is a whole listing of optional accessories and a large gallery with pictures of option designs that can be custom made.

There are also many colors and finishes for the wall boards.

LOTS of decisions to make.  So many that it is a little overwhelming…thus I’m taking my time to decide.

I have a cabinet on the south wall now and that I would move out of here.  If I’m still in need of a changing table by the time this is all done, it would go where this cabinet is.

This all is on my five-year plan.  Getting the vanity was step one.  There will be more steps along the way.

So for now, I’m celebrating the little progress I’ve made towards my five year goal.

33 thoughts on “My Bathroom Vanity”

  1. Beautiful vanity and I really like you ideas for a shower! Very smart. Taking your time to decide how you want things is an excellent idea.

  2. Hi,

    I love the vanity and the idea for the washcloths. I currently purchased paper towels in a popup container for the same reason. We remodeled our master bathroom last year removing the tub and putting in a walk in shower. I did not have shower doors installed and just use a shower curtain. I did this because while caring for my mother who had cancer and my father who also was ill, they were both in their late eighties, I found the shower doors difficult to reach around while helping them shower. Now ten years later I didn’t want to have that if we should ever need help, my husband and my self are now 70.

  3. Nice vanity! When I re did my master bath, I wanted to make it more accessible too. I had them put in a tub tray with a 3” lip, then tile like a regular shower, including the grab bars. I decided to use a shower curtain with a curved bar, for easier cleaning. It turned out beautiful.

  4. We love our Onyx shower. It’s beautiful & easy to clean with hot vinegar water & Mr Clean magic erasers for any stubborn soap scum. I really enjoy your blog and get a lot of good info & recommendations from you. Have a great day!!

  5. Love the vanity Luke built you! What a wonderful idea to have the built in stepstool!!! So clever!

    Shower – I used to have a shower/tub with glass doors. Hated those doors. Hard to keep clean. My daughter has glass doors now and she isn’t a fan either. We have a walk-in shower now with a very small lip on the bottom. I used a shower curtain and liner and have no issues with water getting out onto the floor.

  6. I also have an Onxy shower and LOVE it. However, you still need a bath mat on the floor, I just felt it was too slippery. Ours is one piece with no snapping. Don’t use the corner seat, have him build an actual bench. Some of the additional stuff from Onxy, while beautiful, is very expensive. I can email you a photo of our if you like.

  7. Just had our bathroom redone during Covid last April. These showers both look awesome. The glass doors can be a bugger to keep clean and etch free. You will love a walk in shower. We used to have a shower in a tub but the bottom was curved. The finish on the bottom of the shower should absolutely be slip free without a Matt. Good luck.

  8. Joy Van den top

    Good plan! The only thing I would do different is to get a shower curtain instead of the glass shower doors. Water spots are a pain and glass requires a lot of care and fussing….shower curtain – throw in the water every once in a while! Good Luck.

  9. That built in step is the coolest thing! It’s a beautiful cabinet and fits in so well with your decor. I love that other big cabinet that was in the picture. You’ve found the neatest pieces of furniture!

  10. Excellent vanity – great job!
    I love the look of glass doors, but agree that they can be hard to keep clean. We had glass by-pass doors on all the tubs/showers in our house and have removed one set because it limited the space needed to get in/out of the tub. Putting a shower curtain up instead allowed my husband to use that tub/shower when he had foot surgery and needed that space to swing his leg in and out. We’ll probably remove the doors on another shower in the future. I had a door on a shower that swung out once, but it dripped water on the floor and was a bit of a pain. Good luck with your plans – you always come up with something good!

  11. I love the look of glass showers!! However, my daughter has them and they are a cleaning nightmare. A few years ago, we were adding a bathroom to an 1873 stone farmhouse. We were shopping for a custom made glass shower door (very expensive) and our plumber suggested we just use a shower curtain because our water is very hard, even though we use a softener. When we built our new house a couple years ago, we did not even consider shower doors of any kind. We just use curtains, but of course that is a trade off because they don’t look as upscale as glass doors. But they are easy to clean!

  12. We have the shower doors on our walk in stall. My in-laws lived with us for several years. When Home Health had to help them shower after a fall and hospital stay, they asked us to remove the doors and put up a curtain. It made it easier for the nurses to help them shower. We put the doors back on at a later date. And I agree with others that they are harder to keep clean. I love reading your blog, but I don’t comment very often. Loved your sewing room video and the blog about the popcorn balls. Made me think about what things I or my mom have made over the many years. Some became favorites, others didn’t.

  13. I would only do a white or cream color for the shower and no decorative tile inside the shower. If you put a decorative tile in you will always be limited to those colors when selecting a wall color. This way you may choose any color for walls and other accessories and not change out expensive items. I have a white bathroom and I still love it after 50 years. Hope this gives you another thought to ponder. Good Luck!!

  14. With regards to glass shower doors. First, if going that route, don’t get clear get the waterfall (I think that is what it is called). 2 reasons for this – doesn’tshow the water spots as clearly and since this is a main floor bathroom does not allow clear visibility of the clutter in the shower. The best way to keep the glass clean is to not let the water spots build up. The rule in our house – you use the shower, you wipe down the door. It only takes seconds to do and saves hours of cleaning time. We have had ours for 3 years and no water build up on door. I have also heard, but have not tried it, that if you use a rainx on the door it really helps with cleaning the door.

  15. For me, I wouldn’t want the floating shower seat. I’d pick a bench that goes across the entire end of the shower, one that is enclosed, not floating. I think it would be safer, less likely to slip off of…and less likely to break off the wall. Plus it gives extra room for someone to assist you, if needed.

    Also, I wouldn’t want the shower doors. I’d go with a curtain. If a person uses a walker or a wheel chair, it’s difficult enough to maneuver in a small space (bathroom) – I think the shower door(s) would always be in the way.

    Good luck with the renovations!

  16. I think the step stool built into the vanity is a great idea and since you have more grandchildren being born it will be well used. I also like your idea of using washcloths for drying ones hands instead of a universal hand towel, so clever. I have had the glass doors and I loved them, not hard to clean with soft water but having a shower curtain is certainly easier if you need home health to help you bathe. I did not have a built in seat but we made sure a shower chair would easily fit in the shower should we need one in the future. I would also recommend putting in a hand held shower head that you can raise higher or lower depending on taller people using it. The hand held gives you the ability to easily rinse the whole shower down when cleaning. Much simpler. I really enjoyed seeing your sewing space and how you keep it so organized.

  17. Judith Fairchild

    I love that vanity how much easier it would be for the children is impossible to tell of Gannon can use it, it is perfect. I hope Luke has copyrighted the step stool vanity if he developed it. As to the shower a shower bench is much safer even in the tub I have one from necessity and wouldn’t part with it for anything. And a hand held shower head is worth it’s weight in gold when you can’t stand in the shower. Glass doors are pretty when new but the amount of calcium and other stuff in the water soon has them looking bad no matter how much you scrub.

  18. I love that built in step in the vanity! I have no advice on Onyx brand, but will say get a good seat and put in the grab bars right away. Some seats look good but are more of a perch than a proper seat it seems. And it’s easier to put in grab bars while you know where the wall studs are. We have glass doors in our tub/shower but they are not clear glass, and if squeegied off after showering, they are not too difficult to keep clean. The hard part is training others to use the squeegie.

    DS just texted me asking where we got our antique wardrobe. If the timing were better I’d ask if you were selling yours.

  19. My husband and I just redid my mom’s bathroom with an Onyx shower purchased through Menards. The doors were purchased through an online company at half the cost of store prices. If you want me to send you pictures and additional information shoot me an email.

    Your vanity is absolutely beautiful and fits your needs perfectly. A custom build might be a little more expensive but is well worth getting exactly what you want. I don’t think your bathroom is pathetic at all. It has worked for you for the past few years but it’s time to think ahead as to what your needs might be and get it taken care of. Your kids will appreciate it being done so they don’t have to rush to finish should the need arise.

  20. Hi Jo.
    Onyx is the best. I went through Lowe’s. My priority in redoing my bathrooms was, no tile, no grout. Onyx fits the bill. For my glass door, I keep a small squeegee in the shower and also a piece of shammy type cloth. Takes less than 30 seconds to squeegee and wipe, and I’ve never had to do more than that for cleaning. It’s been 4 years! I live alone, which helps!

  21. Rosie Westerhold

    We put in a master bedroom/master bath combo about 10 years ago. Hubby is a builder, and INSISTED we use Onyx in the bathroom for shower and vanity. I LOVE it!! SO easy to clean. Our shower is a walk-in with a 3” lip to step over. It is about 2’ x 4’, I think. AND we have a glass shower door. If we squeegee it off EVERY time we use it, there really is no calcium build-up or water spots. Still looks as good today as it did 10 years ago. And, it is clear, not frosted or “waterfall.” We have an added-on seat which was REALLY handy when I had my knee replaced 4 years ago. Plus a hand-held shower head. Makes it so easy to rinse out the shower right away. Added a 3-shelf matching shower-caddy which is helpful for all the “stuff” you need in a shower. Hubby got another one for the other corner of the shower, but it hasn’t been install just yet. (Big sigh.) I use a product called Gel Gloss OCCASIONALLY (like every 3-6 months) on the whole enclosure to prevent build-up and water spots. I am not very good about using it, though. Seriously, if you use a squeegee on the whole enclosure every time you use it, there is very little maintenance required. We have an off-white for the double-sink vanity, and chose a mottled-looking color for the shower itself. Also have just regular “silver” fixtures in the shower, but burnt oil for the sink fixtures. Since the shower is closed most of the time, and no one but the 2 of us actually use this bathroom, you would never know that all the fixtures are not the same. I just wipe off the fixtures in the shower when finished using the shower, before I even get out of it. All the fixtures still look as good today as they did when first installed. I can’t say enough about the Onxy finish, though. It is SO easy to maintain. And I am a VERY casual cleaner. One more thing, hubby insisted we install a rain-head shower fixture as well. So, we have a hand-held shower head (which is fully adjustable) as well as the rain-head shower. He LOVES the rain-head shower. Me? Not so much. Onyx is pretty pricey, but the easy maintenance was well worth it for me.

  22. Hey Jo,

    Love your ideas. Maybe the cabinet that you were going to remove could be converted into a changing station. Google for ideas. Then when not in use, everything is nicely put away. Just a thought.

  23. shirley Theresa Kleve

    I also lost my husband in a similar way. We had a bathroom remodel ready to go, for when he would get home. I retired to be able to care for him. We had a handicap walk in tub ready to go and the plans done and contractor ready. He then took a turn and left me way sooner than we planned. Fast forward to the next year, tub still sitting in my garage. I decided I was not getting younger and told the contractor to go ahead. So glad I went ahead and completed it. It has become a memory, because there was so much put into it for him and gave me a focus.

  24. Hi Jo. I have an onyx shower and I love love it. And yes so many colors and options to choose. We took our tub/shower combination out when my husband started to decline from cancer treatments and did a full seat along with two grab bars. Finished it in February of this year, husband passed in August. It was so easy for him to use and never sorry we did it.
    A couple things that others have said I agree with, no doors and put in full seat not corner one.
    Vanity is lovely and a clever idea for step stool. Enjoy the process.

    1. Jill, I am so sorry about your husband. Thanks for the comment. I really wanted to get some input from Onyx owners. THANKS.

  25. Jackie Trembley

    The vanity looks great! What a clever idea to have the stool built right in. When my dad was alive and could travel, my husband put handrails in the water closet for him. Even though it was only used by Dad for a couple years, we’ve both found those handrails to be useful when I had knee surgery and my hubby had a back injury. Do the handicapped accessible shower when you can – you won’t regret it. It will be ready for you when/if you need it.

  26. Margaret Miller

    I’ve been in your situation. With hind sight I would stress making your shower handicap accessible and a full bench. A real godsend with knee surgery or broken bones as well declining health. Really pick your nursing daughters brains as I sure the y can imagine scenarios to be prepared for and it will be so much more sensible to do it in the original redo. By using the shower curtain rather than door it was very easy to get a wheel chair right up to the bench. Hard to imagine just what you want when you’re walking around and healthy.

  27. I’ve had Onyx Collection shower walls, seat, and floor (shower pan) since 2014 and I’m very happy with it. Very easy to keep clean. We have sliding glass shower doors that run in a track so the shower pan isn’t low-entry like you’re thinking about; there’s a slight rim and then the track. If you get glass doors, buck up for 3/8″ glass, much sturdier than 1/4″ glass, and less wobbly. If I were doing it again, I’d get the kind of glass that’s translucent and has a texture on the outside, rather than totally clear, easier to disguise water spots. We do squeegee after every shower. Back to the Onyx walls, they’re easy to squeegee clean, too. I even squeegee the shower floor after use to dry it to prevent build up of soap scum and hard water. A few seconds to squeegee, and then I only need to thoroughly clean once a month or so. And Onyx Collection is much more affordable than tile.

  28. That builtin step stool in the vanity was a great idea. So handy with small kids around. The walk in shower is a great idea too. I’ve been thinking the same thing might be good for our bathroom since we ARE getting older. I would suggest a shower head that can be hand held with a switch to shut off the flow if you would rather not have the water running while you’re washing your hair or soaping up. The seat would be a must for an older person who might not be comfortable standing for the full shower.

  29. That vanity is beautiful. Put a larger seat in the shower. If you should break a hip, knee whatever you will want it. Plus make the doors wider just in case. Honestly, it might cost more but if you should need to wheel up to it you will be happy. My husband had our whole first floor built wheelchair accessible. No regrets on my part. He needs the space now.

  30. I have found Lemishine spray is great on shower and tub doors. Better yet, when new polish with car polish to repel water spots. I didn’t and now use the Lemishine spray. It works without damaging my brass fixtures too.

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