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Makeover: From Outdated Pantry To Main Floor Powder Room

Apr 2019

Our friend Erin at @leighkiyoko is renovating a century home built in 1900. This is the reveal of her powder room renovation. Follow along with her Instagram at @leighkiyoko

Our first renovation project in our century home was adding a powder room on the main floor. The dingy, narrow pantry was the ideal location, just big enough to comfortably fit a toilet and sink. Since the kitchen is a decent size with lots of cupboards, we knew we could sacrifice the pantry space. When it comes time to redo the kitchen, we’ll add some extra storage to make up for what we lost. It’s nice to come home from a dog walk and not have to race up fifteen stairs to get to a washroom!

Since I had never renovated a room before, a powder room was a less intimidating first project. I’m glad I didn’t tackle the kitchen or the master bathroom (our second project) as our first renovation. If we made mistakes (and we did), a powder room is forgivable since it’s not a main room in the house.

I read a lot of blogs about powder rooms and one takeaway I repeatedly came across was to have fun and go wild since it is a space that isn’t on constant showcase in the home. While I love the playfulness of pink flamingo wallpaper and the glamour of a crystal chandelier, I knew that style would seem out of place with the rest of the home that has a casual farmhouse feel complete with beadboard and exposed brick. I still wanted a “wow” factor but in keeping with the integrity of the home’s century bones. I decided to embrace simplicity and functionality for a clean, simple and unfussy look.

When I came across Sinkology’s Nobel Vessel Sink and Ashfield Faucet Kit, I knew I had found the focal point of the washroom. Designed to look like the first copper cauldrons found in farm houses before they had running water, the copper verdigris patina sink would be the statement piece I could build the rest of the washroom around. When I took the Nobel sink out of the box, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was in person and all of the thoughtful details like the handmade copper handles. To be honest, at first I wanted to use it as a planter and showcase it in the dining room! It really is that breathtaking in real life!

We decided to showcase the hand-finished copper sink and Pfister rustic bronze vessel faucet on top of a reclaimed piece of barn board with industrial piping legs. I thought I like the exposed plumbing underneath but that was a mistake. It quickly became a distraction so we thought about creative ways to hide it. Several people suggested a skirt but we wanted something less decorative and frilly and more functional. After searching Etsy, we came across a company based out of the UK that could create a verdigris finish copper bar (to match the Nobel sink). It was the perfect union of function (a towel bar) and aesthetic (hiding pipes). We were so impressed with the way it turned out that we’re looking forward to ordering another bar!

We also wanted to compliment the sink’s blue-green oxidized copper finish and decided to go with a floor tile that had hints of blue. We lucked out and found a turn of the century-inspired tile and paired it with terracotta grout that added a rustic aged look.

Finally, to enhance the antique charm of the sink, we’ve decorated with secondhand finds like the vintage mirror with a bronze finish, copper and wood candlestick and a retro copper watering can that belonged to my mom. The amber apothecary jars made from recycled glass are great for rooting cuttings and also add a touch of colour to the space. I am still waiting to find a perfect copper hanging pot for a much-needed plant in the window.

I think this is an ongoing project and perhaps in the near future might add a strip of vintage-style wallpaper to the slanted wall but for now, I am loving the stripped back simplicity of the room. And with the arrival of spring, I’ve discovered how much I love trimming the ends of freshly cut flowers in my Nobel sink.

If you have any additional questions during your search for the perfect copper, fireclay farmhouse sink or granite sink, our Sinkologists are here to help. Contact us or follow us on FacebookHouzzPinterest, or Instagram for more helpful tips and design ideas.