Porch House Master Suite // Commissioning A Custom Vanity (ORC Week 3)


This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  So happy to have you following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1, part 2

Well we just finished the hardwood floor finish last night.  Ugh.  After a week of sanding the hardwood floors in preparation for their finish, we made the mistake of applying a sealer that was…colored.  Thankfully not a yellow or red color, but a milky/white color, ironically called ‘natural’. The old house gods were laughing at us, because ‘natural’ is far from natural.  If you caught my Instagram stories, you know that we debated whether to leave the floors lighter, or to sand the sealer off and start over on the floors (a 2-week proposition), but ultimately decided on the former.  The whole ordeal set the schedule back a bit and led to a couple of stressful days, but the floors look good and I’m happy.  Here’s what the floors looked like with the ‘natural’ sealer and 1 coat of clear finish.

The Grit and Polish - Master Closet Floors 1

Now that the wood floors are done, I wanted to chat about a design element that has been in the works for a couple of months: the custom vanity.  Early in the design process for the master bathroom, we decided to commission a custom piece.  The nook where the vanity fits is an odd size (about 70″ wide) so a standard vanity wouldn’t fit.  And while it would have been cheaper to customize some cabinetry to fit ourselves, we really liked the idea of using a local craftsman on this remodel to create something nice.  When we discovered a neighbor had a woodworking shop in his backyard, it seemed serendipitous.  Aaron also repaired a pocket door for us that we found hidden in a wall at the Porch House during filming of our HGTV pilot.  And he did it overnight, which pretty much makes him a rock star in my book 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm 16

For the design of the vanity, I wanted a furniture look, meaning legs and no toe kick.  I also wanted some of the vanity to have open shelving for a little interest and some drawers for functionality.  And because so much of this room is white, I wanted the vanity to be wood, white oak to be precise, to match the floors.  Well, the unfinished floors at least 😉  Aaron and I tossed around an inspiration photo and quickly nailed down the design.  Then he came by the house and measured.  This was done before the drywall and trim were installed so he took that into account for the final dimensions.  He also checked the level of the floor and planned for slight variation in his fabrication.  Aaron then took all that information, and drew a sketch of the vanity.  I gave him the go ahead, and he got busy building.

Oh man guys, I can’t express just how beautiful this vanity ended up.  When I saw it for the first time, I had a moment of jealousy and told Garrett that we had to take it home to the Farmhouse.  I was just kidding of course, because this piece is perfect for the Porch House master suite!  Well, mostly kidding, at least 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 5

These pictures were taken during a test fit of the vanity before we finished the hardwood floors.  And while the vanity looks beautiful in these pictures, it’s so much better in real life.  The finish and feel of the piece is truly something special and it’s sooo solid.  We moved the vanity out of the way during the floor finishing process and have yet to set it back in place, but we will tomorrow so we can get tiling underway.  The vanity is still going to get a marble top (to be fabricated by Garrett), undermount sinks, and wall-mounted chrome faucets.  The only thing I’m still debating about are mirrors and hardware.  Regarding the later, I’ve been going back and forth between chrome hardware (to match the lighting and faucets) or mixing metals and brining in antique brass, which is prevalent elsewhere on the main floor.  Here are a few I’m considering:

Hardware Roundup - Porch House Master

one // two // three // four // five

Decisions, decisions…  For the record, $29 is a little out of our budget for this bathroom, but I sure wish it weren’t!  Don’t be shy about weighing in on your pick.

Alright, we’re off to tile this temple of a shower.  Wish us luck!

ORC guest



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  1. That vanity is stellar! I aaaaalmost bought the #2 drawer pulls for my ORC and didn’t, so that’s my vote! If I can’t have them, I want to see them in your gorgeous space.

  2. I’ve long-admired the Bedford Brass cup pulls, and they have great reviews! I’d love to see brass hardware to warm up the space (although the vanity is already quite warm) and as a nod to the rest of the house. Truth, if it were your bathroom in your house, I’d say splurge. But as a rental, I’d go with the more economical option (that won’t show fingerprints!).

  3. LOOVE that vanity! Seriously gorgeous!! You cant go wrong with any of the hardware options, but I’m especially loving #1. I used them recently on a kitchen island and couldn’t love them more.
    Its coming together – enjoying following along!

  4. I’m loving the mixed metals look, I vote for no. 1. The vanity is beautiful!

  5. That vanity is incredible! I’d want to steal it too. And so stressful about the floors, why is natural not natural?! Really though, all you do ends up looking so amazing. Can’t wait to see more on this one…

  6. Oh that wood is absolutely beautiful! I love #2 for hardware!

  7. wow it’s beautiful!! can’t wait to see the entire space … love the pocket door too!

  8. That vanity is beautiful! I missed the floor snafu, but I think it looks charming the way you left it. It can be hard to switch gears when you see it one way, and that does not happen.

    For bin pulls, you might take a peek at eBay. I scored some real vintage, antique brass library label/bin pulls for cheap!

  9. Wow! Such a gorgeous piece! I lean toward 1, as it’s such a sturdy piece of furniture, the other knobs, pulls look more delicate in scale. That said, your taste is stellar, and we only see a picture, so whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  10. It’s gorgeous! You did an amazing job with the design, and the carpenter did amazing with the execution.

  11. We live in West Seattle. Is your craftsman looking to take on more work? We have a twin mattress in an attic space and are talking about having a custom piece commissioned to fit the angles and our preferences.

    • I think he’s pretty busy through the end of the year but I know he likes to do custom furniture. You could reach out and ask…I couldn’t recommend him enough!

  12. My vote is for #1 on the hardware. That vanity piece is amazing!!

  13. Hey Cathy!

    I found your blog while uploading my own ORC link. I love love love the way the floors turned out! Whatever your original plans were, they look great now. And the custom vanity sitting so perfectly and prettily in that space… Swoon!

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