Small Home Style: Small Bathroom Vanity Ideas

I typically share Small Home Style ideas on Monday, but since next week is a long Holiday weekend, I thought I would share today instead. For all my new readers, I started the design series Small Home Style to help fellow smaller home dwellers with design challenges. Decorating and a small home for real life can be difficult, and I'm all about style + function. 

One of the questions I get often asked about is my master bathroom vanity in our small bathroom addition. We rebuilt our home four years ago, at the time was difficult finding a small, stylish bathroom vanity that would work in small space. Ideally, I wanted a vanity that had an open bottom shelf to help provide additional storage in our small bathroom. When I did find a vanity I liked, it was way over budget. All the vanities in the style I wanted were easily over a $1000+ for just the vanity. I wanted the look of Pottery Barn but with a Target Budget. Makes sense right? 

Instead of buying a combination vanity + vanity top, I purchased a vanity and a quartz top separately to save money. I did a little digging around on The Home Depot website and was able to locate the exact vanity we purchased! In our bathroom we have the Home Decorator’s Avondale Vanity, we had the vanity shipped free to store and installed by our contractor. I didn’t love wood finish on the vanity, but it checked off all the boxes with the look I had in mind. I liked the open bottom shelf, that gave me additional storage to hold towels and toilet paper in baskets, and I liked that the vanity felt more like furniture than a cabinet. Plus the vanity fit perfectly in our snug bathroom. 

About a year later I painted the vanity Coastal Storm, and while I love that shade of grey it just never felt quite right with the counter top. Eventually, I plan to paint the vanity Tricorn Black and add trim around the doors to create more depth. Maybe I’ll finally tackle this project on the over the long Holiday Weekend (stay tuned) also; I’m also updating the hardware for a more modern look. 

Below is my bathroom when it's all perfectly lovely and styled and not between projects. On the bottom shelf, I have a pair of these woven baskets (currently on sale!) that fit perfectly underneath and stylish hold our extra towels and sheets. 

Three Ideas to Customize a Bathroom Vanity 

ONE: Paint, it's always the best go-to when a piece of furniture needs an update!  
TWO: Swap out the hardware that comes with your vanity for something more custom
THREE: Instead of buying a matching vanity set, purchase the vanity and counter separately and splurge on a quartz or marble top or visit a stone yard and have a vanity top custom made. 

As I mentioned, it can be hard to find a stylish petite bathroom vanity that doesn’t feel chintzy and generic. I’ve rounded up 15 small bathroom vanities ranging in size from 24 - 36 inches in various sizes. All the vanities in my roundup are under $500; some need vanity counter tops, and most are available in white, grey or dark walnut finishes.  

15 Small Bathroom Vanities 

BATHROOM VANITIES: Top Row L-R Gazette Grey Vanity // Glacier Bay // Diamonds Fresh // Kohler Tresham Grey // Second Row L-R Design House Concord // White Vanity // Augustine Vanity // Avondale Vanity // Third Row L-R Diamond Fresh // Gazette Vanity // Albright Vanity // Bottom Row L-R Ashburn Vanity // Winterfell Vanity // Haven Vanity // Teason Vanity

In need more ideas for small bathrooms? This post Small Bathroom Design Solutions is a must read. I'm seriously loving all the pretty vanities, I came across on my search so many options! My favorites are still the ones that have open bottom shelves! Having the open storage is super helpful. One con for my current vanity, the one drawer! My husband and I each share one side, most of my beauty products fit on the drawer, I use a small tray for make-up and holding perfume.

What small bathroom vanity style do you prefer? Have a small home design question? Shoot me an email at Hello@ChicLittleHouse.com

 

Small Home Style: Cape Cod Chicago Home Tour

Hi, friends! I’m kicking off Monday with another edition of Small Home Style! As you know, I love talking about small home living; it seems a lot of you love talking small home design with me too which makes me thrilled. Last year I started the series  Small Home Style to share ideas and inspiration to help fellow home dwellers to maximize their spaces. This year, I’m expanding the series to feature home tours, once a month I’ll feature a fantastic small home. The tours will include a wide variety of small homes all over the country. 
 
Homes don't have to be huge to be amazing. A small well-designed home is my jam; their cozier and have built in charm.  All you truly need is a vision. Small spaces are uniquely individual, and I love the idea of taking a peek inside these spaces and sharing what makes them so unique, plus sharing tips about living small from the home dweller. 
 
I’m delighted to share a charming Cape Cod style home in a historic town just outside of Chicago. I adore this house; it’s full of character and charm and lots of pretty greenery. Each room feels serene and relaxing. Almost three years ago, Londen and her family said goodbye to their first small home that had more bedrooms, in favor of an older home that needed lots of love in their dream neighborhood. Londen share's her renovation journey of her Cape Cod on her blog Sixty Fifth Avenue, you can also follow her @SixtyFifthAvenue on Instagram for daily design inspiration. 

Cape Cod Chicago Home Tour 

HOUSE DETAILS: 

  • Built in 1940
  • Location: Historic Town just outside Chicago 
  • 1200 Square Feet 
  • Londen shares her home with husband, 11 year old daughter and their ornery forever sleeping Cat. 
wall color: Benjamin More Edgecomb Grey, lightened 50% 

wall color: Benjamin More Edgecomb Grey, lightened 50% 

Please share some details about your home and does your home have a nickname? 

We bought our cape cod style home almost three years ago. It has two bedrooms, a living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, one and a half baths and an unfinished basement. Our house is located in a walkable historic train town just outside of Chicago. She was built in 1940 and has about 1200 sq. feet. 
 
I named her Ethel since it seemed like a good old fashioned name for an old outdated house. We have been working hard giving Ethel a makeover since the day we moved in. She pushed back a bit in the beginning, but once we named her she seemed to be ok with her new family and the changes being made

What are some of your favorite features about your home and why do you love it?

One of the first things that sold us on this house was the wood burning fireplace and the hardwood floors in almost every room except for the kitchen, which was tile, and the family room, which was an addition at some point. The kitchen banquette my husband built is one of the best features we added. I knew it would help our small kitchen function better, but I didn't realize how much we would enjoy just hanging out there playing games and doing homework. If I had to pick a favorite room, we would all agree on the family room. I think we always gravitate there because of all the windows and view into the backyard.

" My favorite thing about living small is using every inch of our home. We don't have rooms that we never use or go into, that feels good to me. "  - Londen

Any challenges you've faced living small ?

Living small has its challenges, especially in an old home when closets are limited. Our bedroom closets are functional but I could use another storage space on the main level. Being organized is key and getting rid of things we don't use. That is not easy for some of us, but It's easy to get swallowed up in clutter and excess if you're not careful. 

I would like to add one big challenge we deal with daily in our small home. We don't have a mudroom. We have long winters here in the Midwest, so it's not ideal. We use our back door everyday and enter right into our family room. We added hooks for coats and in the summer I hang a market basket filled with sunscreen, sunglasses and whatever else we might need to grab and go. We also have a big basket by the door for shoes. 

 "  If I had to pick a favorite room, we would all agree on the family room. I think we always gravitate there because of all the windows and view into the backyard  "  - Londen

wall color: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal 

wall color: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal 

You recently completed a kitchen renovation, can you share more details about this project?

We gutted our kitchen and started fresh. The original kitchen was in bad shape and there was a bulkhead that kept the cabinets short. We had that removed and installed taller cabinets from IKEA. (We are currently working on crown moulding for the top of the cabinets to create a built in look)
 I don't mind needing a stool to reach items that aren't used everyday on the top shelf. We recently installed the mini subway tile and took it to the ceiling. (Our first DIY tile install) I can't say I will be doing that again anytime soon
 
The apron front sink and butcher block counters are also from IKEA. I love the deep, soft close drawers and Integrated cabinet panel which covers the dishwasher. This is the first time this house ever had a dishwasher, we were sure to fit one in. 

See more of Londen's kitchen remodel here.
 

wall color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White 

wall color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White 

Best Small Space Living tip ?

One tip to use in your own home, is to think about using furniture that functions for you as well as offers storage. For example, I have an antique chest of drawers in our living room that holds all my home decor and seasonal items that I'm not using at the time. I'm always going in there looking for something.

A huge thank you to Londen, for opening up her home to Chic Little House readers and sharing what you love about your home. I love all the pretty greenery in Londen's home; giving me serious fern goals. I hope you're all inspired by her home and small home living advice. Find more Small Home Style style and organizing tips here.

What are your favorite takeaways from this Cape Cod Cutie? 

Still Haven't Canceled Cable?

So you still haven't canceled cable? The other day I realized my household had been cable free since 2012! It’s crazy to think it's already been five years since we placed a phone call to Comcast canceled our cable subscription and sent back that crazy huge old cable box. When we decided to cut the cable cord back in 2012, we still loved TV, but we realized our TV viewing habits had changed. We no longer watched TV live, we often would wait several days before watching our 'must-see TV' or binge-watch several episodes.

Also, we got sick of never ending reruns as much as I loved the HGTV channel and the Food Network how many times can they show endless episodes of House Hunters or Cupcake Wars. You feel me! After adding up the cost, we quickly realized we were paying over $ 480 a year for cable to watch re-runs, plus factor in the additional charge for internet. It just didn’t make sense. You can read more about our decision to cut the cable cord here.

I love sharing how our family went 100% cable-free and how we currently watch TV. My mission is to convert all the cable subscribers out there into cable free households. Patting myself on the back, I’ve turned my mom, dad, sister, and friends (who said they'd never go cable-free into believers) along with my blog readers into cable free households. Below, I'm breaking down our cable-free house. 

How We Watch Television

We watch our favorite TV Shows and movies with a ROKU player which is internet streaming device, that has channels on it. You subscribe to the channels to watch the shows. The cool thing about the ROKU player is it’s only a one-time cost to purchase the equipment, no monthly fee afterward, they range between $ 29.99 - $ 129.99 learn more here. There so many options on the market to make going cable free accessible including Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Google Chromecast

What We Pay For 

Roku has several channels on the streaming device you can subscribe to, some are free and some a paid. In addition to our internet each month we have three paid subscriptions with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime (love that two-day free shipping option!!) We pay around $28 bucks a month and have way movie movies and TV show options compared to when we had cable. Thanks to HULU we’re still able to enjoy all the current TV shows on the major networks. 

Plus, I’m able to enjoy my favorite BBC TV shows from across on the pond. Last month HULU added a bunch of TV shows from HGTV, so now I can catch up on House Hunters International and The Property Brothers. One of my favorite free channels available on the RUKO player is PBS. I’ve freaking love PBS! Their period TV shows are bananas my recent favs: Victoria and Poldark (free if your currently subscribed to Amazon Prime) and Call the Midwife. 

I also like the CW channel which is free and allows me to watch my new favorite teen suspense 'who did it' TV show Riverdale. Have you seen it? It's a little campy, yes but I got hooked

SPORTS// We're also able to watch sports on ABC live or ESPN the channel. We haven't missed one game of the NBA Finals. 

In the past we tired out SlingTV which is paid subscription that allows you to have access to 'live TV on the major networks.' I don't know if it was our internet connection, but the connection always felt rough and spotty and certainty not worth the $ 19.99 monthly fee. Online streaming is becoming more and more popular and with popularity brings more access to watching the hottest favorite shows, I can now watch many HBO or AMC shows thanks to my paid subscription with Amazon Prime and HULU.  

Oh! I should share how we watch new releases since it can take a while for Hulu & Netflix to have new movies available. We often rent movies on Amazon Prime for $1.99 - 3.99 depending on the movie. I love the option to rent new movies, I also love being able to rent older movies thanks to Amazon Prime. Specifically movies from my childhood that I know my kids would enjoy. We recently watch Arachnophobia, that movie still makes me jump and gives me the chills!   

Evolution of Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime 

It's so exciting how much Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime have evolved over the years; they’re changing the landscape of TV as we know it. Seriously those three are #GameChangers. Only a few short years ago Netflix was just Netflix and Chill lol. Now Netflix is creating TV shows,  documentaries and even making movies! Did you catch The Crown on Netflix, it was incredible. I’ll be honest it took me two episodes to hooked but once I did I was all in, I’m patiently waiting for Season Two to arrive next year. I also totally dug Stranger Things, my teen and I got hooked last Summer. 

Amazon Prime also has some fantastic TV shows they’ve created. HULU is killing it! They have created some amazing TV shows they refer to as HULU Originals. Let’s talk about The Handmaid's Tale, are you also watching it? I’m currently watching it very slowly and still deciding on how I feel about it. I will say its fascinating and eerie how fast society can flip, that part gives me the chills.

Binge-able TV Shows I love 

What did we do before binge watching? Gone are the days I used to wait for TV shows week after week, I typically let my TV shows stack up for a while before watching. I seriously live for weekends that are super chill, which means I’ll stay up late and binge watch. Below are a few of my favorite TV shows that are binge-able, yup its made up word! 

Period TV Shows:
Downton Abbey, The Crown, Victoria, Poldark, Underground, Mad Med, Grantchester and Father Brown 

British Shows:
Doc Martin, Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Broadchurch and Scott & Bailey

Positively Good Shows:
The Good Wife, The Carmichael Show, The Goldbergs, Switched at Birth, Riverdale, The Flash and This Is Us (which is incredible, get a box of tissue) 
 
Have you gone cable free? If so do you miss anything about cable? If you still have cable, what do you love it / loathe? Lastly, what are you currently binge watching?