Last year, after I shared the new vanity we installed in our rental bath – I got a slew of questions as to how we did that. Since we have made a few more small updates since then, I figured I would show the current state of our small apartment bath and touch on some of the most common questions I have been getting.
By far the most asked about is the vanity. We had a tiny pedestal sink here before which always caused problems. It is an awkward bathroom to begin with and adding in secondary pieces for storage aways competed with the sink and caused really odd spacial flow. I knew I wanted to take the pedestal sink out since we moved in, but I debated if it was worth it for about a year and a half. I knew I wasn’t going to put in a fancy replacement (I ideally wouldn’t have a stark white vanity) but had seen a few of the Ikea vanities installed at clients houses which looked great. Ikea was having a sale (they do that sometimes) so I went for it and decided the $300 on a vanity plus the sink topper was so worth it! I went to our local Ikea too so I didn’t pay the high shipping cost. I added pretty bone knobs which changed the look a lot without the hassle of painting it another color. Our brass faucet is also from there and was under $100.
I will say I had nothing to do with the install. I assembled the vanity on my own which even with the drawers was very easy. Daniel took our old sink out and installed this. There are no back legs so you seal it at the wall and the only tricky part is making sure your existing plumbing matches up. There is no back, so he ended up having to make a notch in the back of the bottom drawer that was hitting the p trap. No project ever seems to be as simple as build and install, but overall this only took a few hours for him to complete. Every bathroom is very different and some may require a lot more trial and error.
The second question I always is get is how? How on earth do we get free reign of a rental and why would we spend money on a a place we don’t actually own. We do live in a rental, but our landlords are an older couple that really don’t mind (within reason) what we do to the space. We don’t ask them to pay for anything, so essentially we are updating their space at our expense, which they can likely rent for much more when we move out. We are not technically in a rent controlled space and in this part of the Bay Area it can be hard if your rent increases even by a little bit. For everything we do, they leave us be and haven’t raised our rent. It is a win win!
For me the why is simple. I am affected deeply by my living space and if spending a few hundred dollars on a vanity will help that – I am all for it. Even though we won’t rip it up and take it with us when the time comes to move, I will have gotten to enjoy it for the duration of living here. I often equate this to buying clothes. We all buy clothes that we don’t necessarily plan on having for the rest of our lives. They get worn out or ruined, but we got to enjoy them for the time we had them. Why is your home different just because you don’t own it? I am not going to start replacing windows or kitchen countertops anytime soon (I wish, ha!) but little updates really can make such a huge difference. We just changed out the ugly towel bars for simple brass hooks and I wish I had done it sooner. It cost under $60 for the three hooks (I also waited for these to go on sale) and we can easily take those when we move and put the old towel bar back up. This doesn’t work for everyone, but since our living space has become a part of my job it is fun to play around with and see what we can make work in the confines of a renal.
B E F O R E
For reference – this is the before. I would say it is very worth it! You can also visit My Bath shop page for more pieces we have including the shower curtain.
photos by Torrey Fox