This weekend’s restful activities (still recovering from the Kitchen Project) included a trip to IKEA on the way to a party at my In-Laws house. The mission of this spur of the moment IKEA trip: to scope out bathroom vanity options for our master bath.

I have been searching high and low for the bath vanity of my dreams, with little to no luck. I have contemplated high end modern vanities, looking for retro vanities, making a vanity out of a retro dresser and building my own vanity. The main problem I have is that I want a vanity with lots of drawers for storage and I don’t want a vessel sink. This is proving difficult to find as most modern vanities have drawers and a vessel sink and most retro vanities have doors instead of drawers. Then I found a possible vanity/sink combination at IKEA that I wanted to check out in person…



1. Round Metal Mirror (IKEA)

2. Mid Century Towel Bar With Star Plates (Rejuvenation)

3. Vitviken Sink – 2 bowls (IKEA)

4. Godmorgan Sink Cabinet with 4 drawers (IKEA)

5.  Brio Blend Palasades Glass Mosaic Tile (Modwalls)

6. Mint Paint (shade to be determined at a later date)

7. Metro Soho Subway tile, 2 in x 7.5 in (Home Depot)

8. Single Handle Bathroom Faucet, Chrome (Home Depot)


I made this handy dandy mood board to see how I might pull off a mix of retro and modern in the master bath. The vanity has four drawers that would hold all of our personal care stuff (hairdryer, makeup, mouthwash, etc) and the coordinating sink top that I liked was not too shallow for my liking. My adorable husband Jim thinks two sinks would be really cool, but they do make a one sink variety that would also work for us. I would echo the round sink(s) with a round mirror (or two-depending on the sink situation) and add a nice modern looking chrome faucet (or two).

To sprinkle in some retro, I would paint the walls a light mint (what’s with my mint green obsession lately?) add a few starburst towel racks and finish with a retro-inspired color blend of glass mosaic tile on the shower floor and as a backsplash behind the vanity. Rounding out the design would be a slightly more modern elongated version of subway tile on the shower walls and bathroom floor. Hopefully I could locate some bright turquoise or coral towels to finish up the look!

What do you think? Would this blend of modern and retro work well in my 1962 Retro Ranch Master Bath? Anything you would do differently?


18 thoughts on “MASTER BATH MOOD BOARD

    • In this mock up, the subway tile would go on the shower walls and the main floor of the bathroom. I would put the mosaic colored tile on the floor of the shower and the wall that the white vanity cabinet is on. The rest of the walls would just be drywall painted a light mint color.

  1. Hi Kate–
    I’m not sure about subway tiles on the floor, but in general I really like your choices. I like the idea of mixing modern with retro, something we’re trying to do with our bathroom renovation, too. Also went to Ikea and thought they had good prices on their sinks. We looked at the Molger leg frame with a sink dropped into it. We like it because it’s made of real, solid wood and it’s got a minimal look to it we liked, but we don’t think it will give us the storage we need and that it would be a pretty unconventional choice. We’ve considered all the other options you mention here, and we’re feeling a little stuck. Nothing is grabbing us right now–which we know means we haven’t found the right thing yet. Really looking forward to seeing what you go with.

    • I agree Rita! It is very difficult to find a nice vanity with drawers that is Modern or Retro looking! My one reservation about this choice for the vanity is that it isn’t wood. I wonder if it would stand the test of time. I’m also not sure about the subway tiles on the floor, but this mood board is in no way final…just a way to get some design ideas floating around out there…what would you suggest for the floor tile?

      • I’m not sure. I haven’t looked at floor tile at all. (Tiling the bath/shower feels like a big enough challenge!)

        We’re thinking about going with cork for our floor. We put cork in our main living area and love it, and it can be great for bathrooms. (My (blogging and life) partner Cane wrote all about cork here, if you want to know more about it:

        Going way in a different direction, we’re also thinking about this vinyl we saw on Pam’s site: (the silver metallic one).

        We’re realizing that we really need to figure out our ideas about the bathroom before we can start making some final choices. Hard because we’re definitely on a budget, and we could go several different ways, depending on what we might find.

      • Ohhh thanks Rita (and Cane) for the extensive post on Cork flooring! I really want to put cork in my hallways and bedrooms (right now they are beige carpet) but after looking at some samples at Menards and Home Depot, I thought no way would this stand up to my large (70lbs) dog Leo’s nails. He had beat our hardwood floors to a pulp with his running around. Now before I decide that cork has no place in my house because of the dog, I will look into some higher quality samples that I can abuse a little before I totally rule it out.

        I’m not sure if I would put it in the bathroom (although I know it is possible) because I tend to like tile floors in bathrooms (personal preference). Thanks for sharing all the info on Cork!

        It is always good to get your ideas firmed up before you make final choices. That’s why I am planning for my bathroom remodel now, because by the time we have the $$ saved up, I will also (hopefully) have the plan figured out…at least that is the goal!

  2. We looked at this cabinet and although I like the style, I wasn’t thrilled about pressboard in a wet environment. I do love the double sinks though. I have lived in a house with double sinks for 13 years and I would never go back. One of my friends told me “double sinks make a happy marriage” and I believe it.

    • I agree, I wish the cabinet was solid wood, but I have yet to find something that looks like this cabinet and has the storage of this cabinet in solid wood that isn’t like $2,000. Jim is trying to convince me on the double sinks thing, though I’m still not totally sold. I tend to like extra counter space over a second sink, but then again, if we have a lot of drawers for all my stuff, maybe I won’t need the extra counter space?

  3. I don’t think subway tiles would hold up on a floor…despite how awesome they are! I’d put those in the shower, with the multi-colored tile as a backsplash around the vanity…if that makes sense?

    Also, I loathe vessel sinks. We’ve been looking for a house/condo and all we’re seeing in the bathrooms are those stupid sinks. Yuck.

    • That’s what I am afraid of Diana,

      What would you suggest for floor tile instead of the subway tiles? With this design plan, I would put the subway tiles on the walls of the shower and the mosaic tiles on the shower floor and the backsplash behind the vanity. Amen on the vessel sinks! I suppose if there was a vessel sink in a half bath, I would be ok with it, but in the bathroom I use every day to get ready…no thanks!

  4. I agree with no subway tile on the floor. Daltile has some nice rectangular-shaped tiles for the floor in larger sized that could be placed in a running brick (subway pattern) to echo the shower walls.
    Love your mood board and color scheme and love the tile selection thus far.
    I have two suggestions . . .
    1. Have you thought of doing stripes on one of the walls using two of the colors in your mosaic? Or if not stripes, going with the more turqouisey color rather than the mint?
    2. If you considering modern vanities (which can be pricey) and I echo the concern about the pressboard Ikea vanity in a moist environment, have you considered a custom cabinet maker making a drawer filled vanity to you specifications? Or alternatively, modifying a MCM dresser to take a drop in or two sinks? You would need to add a countertop perhaps which might increase the cost. Good luck. Your house is so appealing!

    • Good idea on the larger floor tiles, those are easier to keep clean as well (less grout to clean!)

      I’m not sure about the stripes (I tend to not be one for too much pattern in a room) but I have thought about using the turquoise instead. I have also been on the lookout for an MCM dresser that somehow could be converted into a vanity, but no luck thus far. I have considered trying to make a cabinet myself, but I don’t know if I could make the drawers correctly (I’ve never built a drawer before!) and I suppose I could try hiring someone, but I haven’t looked into what that would cost (I’m sure it would be a pretty penny!). Thanks for the ideas!

  5. As the owner of a dual sink from Ikea I would just like to offer a warning. Although it looks great, it was a nightmare to install. Despite assurances from the Ikea employee to the contrary. It took two separate trips to Home Depot (and $50 in additional hardware) to connect it to our plumbing. The piping just barely fits in the cabinet This causes the drawers to pop open. Also it is advised that you purchase a third set of legs for the center to prevent sagging. To top it all off we tend to only use one side of the sink.

    • Thanks for the heads up Zak, that’s what I was afraid of! I have assembled many an IKEA product in my life (including a full kitchen) and I am very skeptical about their sinks. I was already not sure about the particle board construction of the vanity, now that I know about your sagging problem I am even more leery of it. I’m still trying to convince my husband that we only need one sink!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s