basement bathroom palette

We haven’t finalized every decision with the basement bathroom, but I feel like we’ve narrowed it down enough to share our general design direction (click to enlarge).


It’s a shocking departure from the rest of our house, right? Kyle and I joked about how it does have a lot of similarities to our other bathroom but what can we say – we did that space in 2008 and we still like it! Besides, the basement bathroom door is already painted the same aqua color (BM’s “Thunderbird”) so that was a good starting point. As mentioned in our last post, the room is also really small (only 4′-6″ wide) so we wanted to keep it as bright and airy as possible. For now, the bathroom will mostly be used by me while I’m working during the day, but will eventually become a kid’s and guest bathroom. So, something fun and playful yet simple and clean. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what we’re planning:

+ Shower/Tub: we already have a standard tub with integral apron (I believe it’s American Standard but I’d have to double-check) and we’ll be using a shower system from the Kohler Purist line. We don’t need another hand shower, so it will be a bit simpler than the system in our upstairs bathroom. The shower rod is from Moen (need to check that we can cut it down to size for our 4′-6″ width) and the curtain is from West Elm. We’ll likely do a simple white subway tile, though we’re looking for something with more of a rectified edge than the Daltile we used upstairs.

+ Vanity/Mirror: We already bought the IKEA vanity and integral sink (though ours is wider than the version shown). Since one side of the vanity will be exposed we’ve thought about mounting a piece of cabinet-grade plywood to just that face to make it look more finished and bring a little warmth to the space. (Back in 2008, IKEA didn’t have the integral sink/counter which is why we wrapped both the top and side of our upstairs vanity in teak plywood.) We’ve been hesitant about using IKEA’s faucets but decided to give the DALSKÄR a shot after hearing that people were generally happy with it. (Professionally, we get this question a lot so we decided to be our own guinea pigs.) The mirror/medicine cabinet is also IKEA and the sconces are the same ones we have upstairs from Resolute. They’re a bit of an investment but I swear I searched the entire internet and couldn’t come up with something we liked better. We thought about a linear bar light above but they’re not as effective and with the smaller mirror it didn’t really make sense. I’m also considering this floating shelf from West Elm to mount under the mirror. I’m not convinced it will work in real life but that’s what return policies are for, right?

+ Miscellaneous: For flooring, we’ll go with a similar large-scale (12″x24″) tile but are thinking something in the gray range rather than brown. (We’ll also do electric radiant heat below the tile.) We’ll do another Toto Aquia toilet as we love our other one and have had zero problems in the last 6 years. The TP holder shown is from Linnea, but we’ll likely try to find a more affordable option(!) The wood shelf and pegs are from IKEA’s PS line – I’m just showing one of the wood pegs as yellow instead of orange. We’ll have to experiment and make sure it works for holding towels but with an already narrow space I didn’t want a towel bar that projected too far into the room. (We could always do something on the back of the door too, though it’s nice to be able to grab a towel without getting out of the shower. Speaking of towels, we’ll need some new ones (and maybe for the upstairs too, considering we’ve been using the same 4 towels since we remodeled that room). I haven’t checked out these West Elm ones is person, but I like the colors. Finally, we’ll likely add a few small details to wrap up the space (flower image found here) and up the cheeriness factor a bit.

So that’s where we’re at. I’m sure we’ll tweak some things here and there but I’m pretty happy with this current direction. (Ooh…bonus points, the proposed palette also matches our blog!)

Once the space is finished, we’ll be sure to do a full resource list of everything that was actually used (including items not shown here like recessed lights, vent fan, switches, etc.). For now though, it’s back to construction. Kyle worked this past weekend and made some good headway, though we quickly realized that remodeling with a toddler is way more difficult than with a newborn! Even though the space is physically isolated from the main house, the loud drilling/hammering noises created quite the frenzy.


20 Responses to “basement bathroom palette”

  1. Paul says:

    Looks nice! Thanks for the West Elm shower curtain tip, I hadn’t thought to look there.

  2. Deborah says:

    Can you provide info about the toilet? Also, have you considered using a frameless glass shower enclosure instead of a curtain…..makes the room look so much bigger……maybe you don’t really need a second tub either…..creating just a shower makes the room seem even bigger. We did this with our second bathroom and it has been fabulous! As long as you have a tub upstairs….do you really need a second tub? Just my two cents…..what do you think?

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Deb, we haven’t purchased the toilet yet so don’t have the specific model info. But here’s a link to what we’ll likely get:

      We decided to do a low tub since it will be a kid’s bathroom and also a space to wash Bailey (as he gets older it’s getting harder for him to get in and out of the tub upstairs). The shower curtain is definitely a cost-related item and I’m not a big fan of the sliding doors that sit on tubs. I know what you mean though – on many of our client’s projects we do a tub in the kid’s or guest bath and then a shower only in the master bath.

  3. Paige says:

    Hooray! I’m excited to see this space unfold. When I looked at this post on my phone I thought the Ikea mirror was an iPhone. Hah!

    And wondering – do you use your hand shower upstairs to clean the shower and wash Bailey? That’s all we use ours for, so I’m wondering how you’ll do those things without one downstairs.

    • Lauren says:

      Haha, I know – it totally looks like one! As for the hand shower, we honestly don’t use it that much and probably because we’ve outsourced housecleaning and dog washing. 🙂 It’s a little harder for Bailey to get in and out of the deep tub so we generally just use the hose outside. It’s usually just his paws though so I’m thinking we could still get that done in the shallower tub downstairs without a hand shower. The original bathroom had a fancy plastic hand shower that just clipped into a holder and then served as the main shower head. Pretty classy but it worked well for us!

  4. Angela says:

    I was all excited when I saw the “iPhone” — I thought they came out with a new color. It is a cool looking mirror/vanity. Be warned, everyone who uses that bathroom is going to comment on how it looks like an iPhone. Someday it will get on your nerves.
    And thanks for the shower curtain sample. I’ve been looking and could not find what I wanted. I want that one. I’ve been looking for an excuse to go to West Elm.

  5. Heather says:

    Looks great!

    Which sink did you get from Ikea? I bought the Edeboviken sink, and I’m really unhappy with it – it’s impossible to clean, as you can’t use alcohol based or acidic cleansers on it. Hopefully you picked a different one!

    What is the source for the floor tile? I’m looking for something similar for my kitchen.

    • Lauren says:

      Ours is the Odensvik, I’ll be sure to post how we like it! The photo of the floor tile is just a general one, I’m hoping to pick out the actual product this week.

  6. Ron says:

    We have been using a couple of these hooks fro Restoration Hardware for about seven years with good luck. Our bath is very similar in that it is only about 54 inches wide. We have one right next to the shower/tub and one near the sink. Comes in polished stainless and satin. We have the polished and it looks as good as the day we installed it.

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Ron, our original sconces in the upstairs bathroom were from the RH Spritz line and they totally fell apart on us so I’ve been a little hesitant to buy from them. Good to know you like the hooks!

  7. andee says:

    We have a smaller scale sink similar to the Ikea one you have here and just be warned it is annoying. When you wash your face water splashes everywhere and on to the floor because there isn’t a counter around the sink. I wanted the really small Ikea sink but we went a little bigger and I’m so glad we didn’t do the small and I wish we would have gone larger.

  8. thelady says:

    I’m interested in that medicine cabinet so I look forward to your review of it.

  9. Alan says:

    I just used Delta’s Panache line for towel racks and a toilet paper roll holder in a bathroom I just finished. It looks very similar to the roll holder in your post. It was also probably the best installation process I’ve had with all that stuff as well.

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