Earlier this year, I was asked to be a part of IKEA’s Ambassador program, which was the easiest “yes!” If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, you probably have caught on, we’re long-time IKEA fans. Not only did we use their cabinets for our kitchen (and the Pittsburgh kitchen), there is an IKEA piece or DIY in almost every room in our home, and our last home. I went through some training when I first came into the Ambassadorship and I learned so much about the brand (like, did you know IKEA is an acronym?), but one thing I loved most was their focus on Democratic Design for the home. IKEA focuses on combining the right mix of form, function, quality, and sustainability at a low price so it can bring good design to the most people. It’s not something that they just check one or two off—they are committed to checking every element off. As they say, “It’s not about making things. It’s about making things better.” Which is our philosophy when it comes to our home and projects, as well. We don’t want to produce content for the sake of content. Chris and I are constantly thinking, how can we improve our home today or this week or this year. Which is what brought us to this little bathroom refresh.
Before our whole family comes for the holidays, our minds kept going back to the half bath on the main floor. It was the first room we ever updated in this house three years ago, but we never swapped out the faucet, the sink was stained, the linen shelves (that we took the doors off of) felt like they took up a lot of visual space in an already small room. There was definitely room for improvement on every level.
This is how the bathroom looked when we first moved in (you can see more here):
And after our initial refresh 3 years ago:
We started by removing the vanity and adjacent shelves and the room felt like it doubled in size. We knew we wanted to keep that sense of openness as much as possible, without sacrificing storage. Since we added the wall paneling and wood tile flooring around the previous cabinetry, the first task was patching the walls, flooring and paint. We’ve probably never had a paint color as long as we had the Hale Navy walls in this bathroom (over 3 years!) but it’s an easy color to love, so I rolled it on the parts of the walls that were still sporting colors from all the previous years–even some old-fashioned wallpaper with apples on it behind the cabinetry.
When we were shopping for a vanity, I really loved the idea of a sink as the countertop and sink. No crevices for dirt to get into. It’s seamless and waterproof! We purchased this GODMORGON/ODENSVIK combination which featured a floating vanity with drawers in a warm walnut color and added a DALSKAR faucet to the duo. The faucet is designed to help reduce the unnecessary use of hot water by releasing cold when you lift the lever straight up.
The vanity drawers came with moveable dividers (what a treat!) and we filled the bottom with spare toilet paper and towels.
The linen cabinet from IKEA I’m probably most excited about. It’s the MALSJO glass-door cabinet and it’s a show-stopper. I can see it adding something special to any room in the house and it’s really affordable, too. The glass sides keep it airy, but at the very bottom there’s still concealed storage (not all of our towels are pretty). I’m obsessed with the molding and the little brass knob, the magnetic closure. And somehow, everything that we were storing in the massive shelves we had below fit in here—plus décor. We added this large FLADIS basket on top (also from IKEA) to extend the visual height of the room and I packed it with the extra sheets we were keeping in the guest room.
It was an easy, cost-effective upgrade, coming in at less than $750 and a weekend of work. But the best part is definitely going to be welcoming guests into our home this holiday with no faucet self-consciousness. (Is it just me?!)
This post is in collaboration with IKEA. We are proud to be a part of their ambassador program this year and can’t wait to share more ways we can all improve our homes.