Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom: The Water Closet (Toilet Area) Is Finished!

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Kristi Linauer

It has been a long road just to get this little area of the master bathroom finished, but it’s finally done. Here’s how the water closet (the toilet area) in the master bathroom turned out…

water closet area in master bathroom, large DIY storage cabinet with stained interior and painted exterior and French doors, grid gallery wall with butterfly illustrations

It’s a small room, so it’s difficult to get a full view even with my wide angle lens. But this is much larger than the standard water closet in American homes, which you can see by the fact that there’s room enough for a rather large freestanding storage cabinet in there, and with room to spare.

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As you can see, even with the door of the cabinet open, there’s still plenty of room…

So I’m going to back up just a little bit and tell you about the lights that I installed inside the storage cabinet. This is a cabinet that I built using some leftover French doors that I took off of our walk-in pantry. If you missed the storage cabinet project, you can see those posts here:

Once the cabinet was finished, I decided that I wanted some lights inside, not only so that the pretty stained wood inside the cabinet could be seen, but also to serve as a nightlight during the night, just like the lights inside the open shelves in the hallway bathroom.

built-in open shelves with LED tape lighting in guest bathroom

To light the cabinet, I used 24-foot LED tape lights from Home Depot. I drilled a 3/4-inch hole in the bottom of the cabinet, and fed the cord of the light through. Cords on tape lights usually unscrew or unplug from the actual plug that plugs into the wall so that they can be fed through holes in cabinets.

How to add LED tape lights to a display cabinet

Once I had the cord fed through the bottom of the cabinet, I then removed the plastic from the sticky tape backing on the tape lights, and stuck them to the back side of the face frame of the cabinet. I started on the bottom left…

Adding LED tape lights to a glass front cabinet

And I ran the tape lights all the way up the left side…

How to add LED tape lights inside a cabinet with glass doors

And then across the top, and all the way down the right side.

Adding LED tape lights to a cabinet with glass doors

If the tape light strip is too long, there are certain places on the strip (about every 10 inches or so) where you can cut them. So they won’t always be the perfect length since you can only cut them at those specific places, but at least you won’t be stuck with several feet of excess lights.

Then I used a short white extension cord (since my walls are white), plugged that into the wall, hid it a bit with a plant, and then ran that extension cord under the cabinet and plugged the light into it.

DIY water closet remodel in master bathroom

The tape lights come with a remote. They are dimmable, and these will actually change colors. But since I’m using them as a nightlight as well, these lights will just stay on all the time. I keep the lights in the hallway bathroom open shelves on 24/7.

So now let’s take a quick look back at this area of the room. Keep in mind that this room was originally the master bedroom, and this area of the room that is now the water closet is where the doorway from the bedroom into the hallway used to be.

master bedroom turned into master bathroom -- before

And then we moved that whole wall back into the hallway, making the hallway smaller (thank goodness we had plenty of room to spare in the hallway) to square up that wall with the back wall of the walk-in closet, which is behind the closed door on the left in the picture above.

Once that whole back wall was squared off, and the doorway was closed up, and the wall separating the closet from the bedroom was gone (and a whole lot of other framing and other things were done), the new mural wall could be built, and the area behind that wall was separated into the shower on one side, and the water closet on the other.

So this view below is pretty much the same view as the one above.

Master bathroom water closet area

But now, it’s a useful space that not only has the toilet, but also has a large and pretty storage cabinet where we can keep all kinds of bathroomy things. Here’s the view from where my vanity will go…

Master bathroom remodel in progress -- water closet area finished with large DIY curio cabinet

Which is not much different from the view from the doorway between the bathroom and the home gym…

Master bathroom remodel in progress -- large forest mural behind standalone bathtub, water closet with large DIY curio cabinet

So you really have to peek around the corner to see the wall of butterflies. It’s a happy and colorful little surprise once you enter into this little room.

butterfly gallery wall in water closet of master bathroom

If you missed the posts about the butterfly gallery wall, you can find those here:

I’m not really a fan of toilets with round bowls, but I didn’t have much of a choice in this situation. I searched high and low for a toilet with an elongated bowl that would fit behind this wall and not stick out further than the wall. I did find one. It was a wall hugging one-piece skirted toilet. But when it was installed, not only did it not flush properly, but it was so small it looked like a child’s toilet.

So in order to get one that didn’t look like a child’s toilet, but that would also not stick out past the wall, I had to get a round bowl. It’s not my favorite, but interestingly, it bothers me way less than I thought it would. At least this one is a Delta, so not only does it work properly, but I was also able to purchase the little handle that matches the rest of the plumbing fixtures for the bathroom, since all of those are Delta as well.

I filled the cabinet with our bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, toilet paper, bath bombs, Epsom salts (three different kinds stores in pretty little glass containers with labels), etc.

Large DIY curio cabinet finished and filled with bathroom items, lighted with LED tape lights
Large water closet area of a master bathroom

Here’s a closer view of the storage cabinet items. I love Epsom salt, and I found a new one that is a melatonin sleep formula. So I have that one, plus the coconut oil kind, and then the plain Epsom salt.

Large DIY curio cabinet used in bathroom and filled with bathroom items.

So that’s it! This area is now done, and the next thing is the main wall of walnut vanities and storage cabinet! YIKES!!

Finished water closet area of master bathroom remodel still in progress

If you’d like to see all of the posts about this master bathroom remodel project, you can find those here: Master Bathroom Remodel — From Start To Present (Still In Progress)

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Kristi, this is so beautiful! Love it all.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Melissa L.
      July 29, 2022 at 11:16 am

      This is just amazing! And thank you for describing the details. Beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:17 am

    you got this!!! the prettiest wc I’ve ever seen. bring on the vanities. just a note on the way you trim out windows…I told the contractor that I wanted my windows to look like yours and showed him your pictures. he resisted, I pushed back and now all of my new windows are beautifully trimmed out. thank you!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 29, 2022 at 11:27 am

      Good for you for insisting! And I would imagine that he was glad in the end because NO MITER CUTS! 😀 It’s easy and beautiful — a great combination!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Gretchen Tucker
        July 29, 2022 at 11:47 am

        I also got all of my windows and doors trimmed out the same way. It cost a pretty penny but I really wanted them! I love the bathroom. I wish I could have done the tub in front of a walk in shower. However, I am happy with what I did get. Building from the ground up is no joke…or a job for the weak.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Crystal Griffith RN
          July 29, 2022 at 12:42 pm

          Me too! I’m building my new house to be wheelchair friendly. I decided I wanted the window and door trim just like Kristie’s. Contractor was being difficult so I told him to forget about doing ANY trim! I’m pulling a Kristie and doing it myself! I will save about 5K not having a millwork guy in to do the trim. Plus, I don’t want regular baseboards, I’m using the 4″ commercial vinyl stick on stuff. Minimal dusting and my bookshelves will fit against the walls without cutting anything. I’m also saving another 8K by not doing hardwood floors over the slab. I’ve lived with peel and stick tile for years and like it. So guess who’s going to install 2500 sq ft of vinyl tile! LOL
          Anyway, I am so in awe over the bathroom cabinet and finishing of the toilet room!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        July 29, 2022 at 1:35 pm

        We gutted the interior of the 1938 cottage my husband grew up in in Napa, Ca. It had lath and plaster walls, which were a mess to demo. We replaced all the electrical and plumbing, some of the windows, and then put in insulation and dry wall. That part of our project was all DIY. We also trimmed out the windows and doors following your lead. You’re right! They’re unite easy (aside from all the painting, which hubs wanted done before we installed them). I love them.

        Your bathroom is gorgeous! Nice job.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:24 am

    It’s absolutely stunning!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa Kramer
    July 29, 2022 at 11:27 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:34 am

    Love it, great job as usual!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Absolutely perfect!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:42 am

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL You have such great skills and talents.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:44 am

    This is so beautiful!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 11:50 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    You just convinced me to use the strip lighting for my glass front armoire. Your attention to detail is exemplary. I can’t wait to see the vanity build. Thanks for your showing us all your stunning work.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna Whitley
    July 29, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    It is just lovely. I know you are thrilled with the result and will enjoy it for years. I look forward to the vanities.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Lovely. Congrats. Much to celebrate!!!!!
    Confession…. only have bathrooms to go in our updating so bit jealous. Best I channel that into action, lol!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Love this! You do such beautiful work!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Never in my entire life I would have imagined toilet paper could look so good!!! I was really wondering what the point is in having see-through doors on a toilet stuff storage, but wow!!! I’m impressed! Again, looks like a spa!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    You are the most amazing woman and you just keep out doing yourself?!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous, magazine worthy. ❤️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I love the pink tassels!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    July 29, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Kristi, the cabinet looks amazing, and, in fact, the whole toilet room looks amazing! Thank you for the explanation on how you did the lights! That is so helpful to me because I’m still a newbie doing these kinds of things! So many things you have done over the course of renovating your house has been so amazingly helpful to me! You really would be shocked at the number of ideas I pulled from your renovation when our house was renovated! I really LOVE that cabinet… even the way you decorated it! Nice job! xo

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Love this! So so so beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Gorgeous! You must be so amped up to complete the rest of it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Kristi you have been blessed with so much talent. As always, you never disappoint!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    So beautiful! You have such an eye! I am hitting on that row of butterflies tucked behind the side of the cabinet…it seems like going to a 4×4 layout would look more intentional, but that may just be from the angle of the picture. But that’s nitpicking. The WC is simply beautiful! I bet you go sneak a peek every once in awhile!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl SB
    July 29, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    WOW! It is stunning! We knew it would be, tho! Way to go!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Nice job! Be very proud of yourself!
    Re the vanity, we all know you can do it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    It turned out so beautiful! And I love the lights. Great work!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    This is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! The lights are the icing on the cake!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie S
    July 29, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    The most beautiful WC I have ever seen, bar none!! I love the simple inexpensive cabinet lights – definitely storing that idea for future needs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    It’s beautiful. Good job.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Love those tape lights, great idea and I plan to copy it. The whole w/c is stunning! Absolutely LOVE it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    WOW. That is the prettiest WC ever. Just perfect exactly the way it is. You did a fab job styling the cabinet shelves! Really love it all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    As everyone else has said, this water closet is absolutely stunningly beautiful. If I were you, I would be standing in the doorway admiring it, unable to get anything else done for days. It blows my mind you did all that yourself, even though I watched along through this site the entire time – start to finish. I just never imagined it would be so very gorgeous. The way you decorated the cabinet with your goods is just so pretty. Please don’t look in MY linen closet! You put me to shame! 🙂
    Great work and the vanities will be just as awe-inspiring.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri Hepworth
    July 29, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Pat yourself on the back, woman!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. David
    July 29, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Perfection! When you get a chance, please take a picture of it at night with just the cabinet lights glowing. I’d love to see how that looks.

    If you paint your water supply line to the toilet white, it’ll disappear, gold would match your other fixtures. Not that you need another project : )

    The stain in the cabinets, the baskets various places and your tub shelf, bring a warmth that balances all the clean white tile and paint wonderfully!

    Great job!

    YHWH Bless You : )

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    This is drop dead gorgeous, every square inch. Truly a magnificent bathroom. I have to ask, are those towels new? If not, how do you keep them so white? I am quite jealous.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 30, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      Some are new, some are not. I use OxyClean stain remover powder with every load of white towels that I wash, and if there are spots, I use the OxyClean spray and let it sit a while before washing. Those seem to keep my white towels bright white.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    July 29, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    Very pretty! Can’t wait to see the vanities and finished room! I know the struggle to get to the end, but you are so close. I think it will be easier than you are anticipating because you have cabinet construction in your blood!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    I absolutely love this cabinet. Am going to make one to function as my kitchen pantry!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 29, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    So pretty!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Valerie Maddocks
    July 29, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    OMG! I never knew a toilet room could look so glamorous. I love it! Great work Kristi, you’re SO clever.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 1:05 am

    This turned our really nice, the cabinet in particular! I just read about the round toilet (somehow missed it earlier) and I keep wondering how does Matt feel about it? As a man who has to sit – it probably will be pretty uncomfortable.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 3:30 am

    a sanctuary. well done.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 6:48 am

    You amaze me with everything you do. It’s just stunning!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 8:55 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 10:51 am

    This is lovely. Where did you find the butterfly pictures?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 30, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    You’re amazing, as is the home you’re creating. Walnut cabinets? You totally got this!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    marilyn hull-parkes
    July 30, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    It,s absolutely amazing and beautiful, cant wait to see the Vanities and storage cabinets,

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    July 31, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Beautiful, colorful, functional – enjoy it for years to come!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2022 at 11:41 am

    I knew you would finish all beautifully! Always interesting to read and see how you work…I like cleaning as I go, however, at times it is impossible! Here’s to you and Matt for the great team you are!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Leonie Dawson
    August 2, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    You. Are. Amazing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 2, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    You are amazing! Everything is beautiful. You are so talented and creative and have a good eye for color and coordinating everything. I imagine the photos don’t do the water closet or any of the projects/rooms justice. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to all your posts.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 8, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    GORGEOUS! Your details are all so perfect!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 9, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Prettiest, most functional WC ever!