Maria’s Bathroom Renovation Plans: Lighting and Vanity Design

So I’m pressed for time, the demolition of both my main bathroom and master bathroom starts on July 10 and the electrician is coming July 12 to do all the wiring, this means I need to order my lighting ASAP.

I’m installing wall sconces with shades in both bathrooms because I like the soft light from fabric shades the best.  If you have a steamy bathroom, fabric shades are not recommended, but I am willing to replace them if and when necessary.

My master bathroom only has a tub, and I don’t bathe that often (though that might change when I have a new bathroom). I love to bathe, but I dislike our current bathroom so much that you’ll only find me in the bath if I’m sick, cold or really tired.

I’m installing a thin round brass mirror in the master bathroom with sconces on both sides.

I really liked this 34″ mirror from Lamps Plus (above) because the frame was more visual but it’s sold out (and deleted from their site so more is not on the horizon). Probably because Kate from Centsational Girl included it on a round up she did on thin framed round mirrors.

I spent all morning looking for another one and this 36″ (below) is the closest I could find (actually Jan Romanuk who is my kitchen/bath designer, project manager found it for me). If anyone has any leads on a mirror similar to this one (above), let me know! It drives me crazy when I CLEARLY insert in the search bars, 34″ or 36″ round mirror and you get EVERY mirror any given site is selling. What is the point of the search bar?? Aaaaaaaack. . . can you tell I’m getting a little tired of searching!

Maybe I’m missing the search gene. There must be a trick to it.


{source} CB2

I’m getting two of these for either side of the round mirror. My vanity will be turquoise to relate to my master bedroom colours.

Circa Lighting


Then I will have a chandelier above my tub that I still need to choose. I always wait until the very last minute to choose for myself because I need to ensure I’ve seen every single option out there.

I would be cranky if I had not turned over every stone and suddenly see something else that I like better. It’s a good thing I have a blog, otherwise renos and other decorating projects would probably take longer.

Speaking of time, Jan can make a bathroom renovation happen inside a month.

This is generally how it works:

First, everything has to be ready, delivered and on on-site, the day the renovation starts. All my plumbing was ordered on June 2.

Your countertop cannot be measured unless your sink is on-site. The inside edge has to be polished, sometimes the countertop people need the sink delivered to them.

First, the demolition happens, which is 2-5 days depending in how big your renovation is.  Then the electrical (or plumbing doesn’t matter which order), in my case we have new plugs, recessed lighting as well as sconce lights, we have to break up the drywall in order to run wires.

Now that I’ve been looking at bathroom lighting on Pinterest, you can tell by the sconce installation (and often the mirror too) that it was either not on-site when the wiring was completed or it was chosen later and the sconce is either too high or too low or the mirror is too big or too small.

Then the rough-ins for the plumbing take place, after that all the drywall repair needs to happen before the tile or anything else gets installed.

When you work with a project manager like Jan who runs a really tight ship, her trades know when she says “Be here Wednesday” that everything will be ready, so they are more likely to show up.

Without this, if you are managing your renovation yourself, the trades will say things like “Oh you told me to be there Wednesday but I didn’t think you’d be ready until Monday so I’m working on another job and I’ll be there next Thursday”.

My countertops will be installed 4 or 5 days after they are measured because Jan has a relationship with her guys, and they will work to make her happy to ensure she keeps them as her countertop supplier.

That is why most renovations take way longer than they should. On your own, no trade or supplier is going out of their way to make sure you are happy because you are a one-off job for them.

I will write a better post about plumbing and electrical later with Jan, she’s the expert.

Okay, so this is what’s happening in the master bath:


This is what the master looked like when we took possession 5 years ago (above). The only thing I’ve done is paint the walls, change the towel rods and switch out the bar light. Otherwise, this beauty looks the same.

If anyone needs two gently used vanities from the 80’s for a basement bathroom, contact me 🙂

The bulkhead you see covers up a pipe from the fireplace in the family room which is located on the other side of this bathroom. I would have liked to drywall over all of it and eliminate the bulkhead but this would make the walls on the bay window uneven on both sides, so the bulkhead stays, but at least it will look intentional with lights in it.

This is the main bathroom (below). I spent more time decorating this room because it’s the one guests use. Plus how can you really hide that monster 80s tub in my bathroom? Not possible.

This is essentially Terreeia’s bathroom (below), there’s only two of us so she gets ready here, but I shower here because we only have a tub in the master bath.

 I’m not installing a shower in my master bathroom because it wouldn’t look as good because the longest wall is essentially a bay window. And NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is going to walk into this house when we sell it (as ridiculously over-decorated as it is) and NOT buy it because there is no shower here, so I’m not renovating with re-sale in mind.

My bathrooms will be classic and timeless enough by the time I’m done with them.

Here the radiator will also be replaced with Nuheat flooring (above). Currently there is a bad, pink beige tub/shower surround insert that you can’t see on the left side, we will be turning it into a walk-in shower instead.

I really hate this tower (above) and wanted to eliminate it, but we need a space to store towels, so Jan designed a vanity with two towers instead (below).

Both vanities will be manufactured by Quality Cabinet

By the way, if you have a bathroom in your house with no natural light, install a small table lamp on the countertop. This light is always on during the day so that when we walk by this bathroom, it’s not just a dark hole. You can get a glimpse of Terreeia’s office on the other side of the hall.

Related post: Tour my House; Learn the 6 Best Ways to Transition Colour

This single tower in this bathroom (below) is a way nicer design than mine. And it helps that it’s current of course.

via Pinterest

Here’s another vanity with two towers (below):

via Pinterest

Okay so I liked the Kate Spade sconces right away with the bows. That was easy for me to decide. Sconces for Terreeia’s bathroom, much harder.

There will be a small scale tile in Carrara with a black accent in this bathroom with a black countertop so I’m repeating the black again in the sconce lights.

Here are the lights I am thinking about, I need you to vote, this will help me decide.

Light #1

Circa Lighting

This light is in lots of bathrooms all over Pinterest because it’s got a simple, classic shape, I like the slightly tapered shade and the price point is really good.

Since my sconce lights will also be installed on a mirror, it’s something you’ll see four times instead of two. It has to be pretty.

Here it is in polished nickel:

Via Pinterest

Light #2

Circa Lighting

I like this one because it’s thin and it’s installed close to the wall or in my case, mirror.

Light #3


Light #4

Hudson Valley – Glenford

Light #5

Bellacor Lighting

This one is nice too! Looks like an oval shade, it’s 7″ wide so it would be a good size on either side of such a wide vanity with a single sink. Ack too many decisions!!

Light #6

Circa Lighting

By the way, I’m over looking for black. EVERYTHING is ‘bronze’, STILL. It’s like when I was looking for entry lighting five years ago. I wanted black, everything I liked was bronze, finally the lighting salesperson just looked at me and said “Maria, blink twice really fast and it’ll be black”.

And she was totally right. My entry fixture looks black to me.

Okay so last but not least, my powder room (below). The flooring is the same as what’s throughout my house and the toilet is new so the only thing that needs to be replaced is the vanity, mirror and lighting. I will install white penny tile on the splash going all the way up the ceiling. And it’s a narrow room, so the lighting has to be carefully considered.

I like this collection of globe pendants (below) but there’s no source for this light (below):


West Elm

These pendants come in singles or a grouping of 3 or 7. To get the look in the inspiration image, I’d need to install them separately in a row.

Coastal Living

Another option for a narrow powder room is to install sconce lighting on either side of the wall. I won’t be installing shiplap in my house, just sayin. You definitely have to measure how far the sconce lights stick out if you’re going for this look.


via Pinterest

If you have the traditional electrical box above your mirror like this image (above) this kind of light is a little more updated than a bar light. But it’s not super bright because it’s only one light.

Schoolhouse Lighting

I like this light with the black and white wallpaper, something to consider for my powder room.

If you need more light then I would choose this one with the fabric shades. You can get it in other finishes with 3 or 4 lights if you need one for a main bath, not just a powder.

Bellacor Lighting

Okay so, please vote on which sconce light I should order for the main bathroom.  More posts on this renovation will be coming.

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leave aREPLY

  1. Rejuvenation has a 36″ aged brass round mirror with a slightly bigger frame than the CB2 option and is on sale today for $349.

  2. I like lights 1 & 5. Pretty and fewer places for dust to gather. A good art frame store might be able to do a mirror for you.

    Looking forward to the after pictures.

  3. I can’t wait to see your bathrooms completed! Would you know anything about glossy vs mat tile on a bathroom floor? I read that there are glossy non-slip tiles? I would like to get large glossy tiles for my bathroom floor but am not sure if it will be a slipping hazard.

  4. My votes on the lighting . . .

    Sconce #2 — My first choice. I love the curl — a modern shape which plays homage to traditional loops and swirls, but is much less fussy. Best of all, since you’re mounting it on a mirror, we get four times the fun!

    Sconce #1 — My second choice. The striped edges on the shade give nice definition, and it looks like the height of the sconce might be adjustable. Added functional flexibility is always a plus in my book, especially if the aesthetics are right!

    Sconces #4, #6 — I’m a fan of both these options. Just don’t like them as much as #2 and #1.

    Sconce #3 — Okay. It has great proportions, but the double taper makes this one less appealing for me.

    Sconce #5 — The only one I’d veto. The shade is low in relation to the sconce back plate which makes it look too claustrophobic for my taste.

    Can’t wait to see the finished product. Love the direction in which you’re headed.