One Room Challenge, Week 3 – Everything Plus The Kitchen Sink

There are three weeks left in the One Room Challenge! I got behind schedule this week on the back entry and the half bathroom progress, but I did manage to get two things done. First, I did a little vanity lighting makeover, which I shared on Tuesday…

vanity light makeover - before and after - chrome to black with green glass

If you missed that, you can see it here…

And in addition to the light, I finally got all of the hardwood flooring installed in the back entry, storage closet and half bathroom.

back entry hardwood flooring

I generally enjoy installing hardwood flooring. On the spectrum of easy to difficult home improvement projects, it’s definitely on the easy end of the spectrum when you’re working in a big, open room. But when you’re working in tight spaces, like small closets and half bathrooms, it’s such a pain. Having to cut around doorways and work close to walls where flooring nailers don’t fit just slows down the process.

But I finally finished the storage closet floor last night, so now all three of these back areas have flooring…

unfinished red oak hardwood flooring installed in storage closet

The flooring along the back wall turned out nice, but the flooring along the shared studio wall looks a little rough…

storage closet hardwood flooring

I’m still not quite sure how all of this will work out. The guy who installed the HVAC a couple of years ago did such a rushed job making that plywood box that it sits on. There’s nothing square or precise about it. And once I install the pocket door on the storage closet, the intake vent obviously can’t be in the closet, so I’m going to have to cover that big hole in the side of that plywood box and create an intake on the studio wall.

I had originally intended to enclose the while unit in a separate smaller closet (a closet within a closet), but I’ve changed my mind.

storage closet HVAC system

A closet would require a door, and a door will need space to open completely if and when the unit needs to be serviced. Having to allow space for a door to open completely would cut down on the available storage space (i.e., I can’t hang shelves where they would prohibit the HVAC closet door from opening completely). So I have an idea in mind to hide it from view when the storage closet door is open without actually enclosing it in a separate closet with a door.

And on the other side of the back entry in the half bathroom, the flooring is installed, plus I’ve used the full trowel wood filler on it.

bathroom hardwood flooring with full trowel wood filler

I didn’t bother putting it where the vanity will hide the floor…

bathroom floor with full trowel wood filler

So at least I have one room that’s ready for sanding. I’m hoping to get the rest of the wood filler troweled on the other areas today, and my goal is to sand and get the floor finished this weekend.

In non-flooring-related news, I finally made a decision on the sink for the bathroom. Since this is a studio bathroom where the sink will be used for things like cleaning brushes, and maybe even things like dying fabric, I had originally planned to use a utility sink like the type you would use in a laundry room.

But after searching and searching, I just couldn’t find a utility sink that I liked. They either looked really cheap, or they looked (and were) really expensive. So I finally gave up on that idea and just started looking at kitchens sinks. I selected this Ruvati 30″ x 18″ undermount stainless steel sink (I got it here)…

kitchen sink for the bathroom

I have room for a 48-inch-wide vanity in here, so this 30-inch-wide sink will take up most of it. But again, that was the plan with a utility sink anyway. Now I just have to figure out how to build a vanity that will fit this sink.

It’s going to be a non-standard bathroom size. Most bathroom vanities are anywhere from 18 to 21 inches deep (my hallway bathroom vanity is 19 inches deep), but this sink will require a full 24-inch vanity depth, just like a standard kitchen cabinet depth. It might look a little strange for such a small bathroom, but it’ll be worth it to have this big sink in there.

Finding a faucet to go with it was a challenge. I wanted a black faucet, and again because it’s a studio bathroom, I wanted it to have a pull-out sprayer to go with the huge sink. But finding one that wouldn’t look huge in such a small room was harder than I thought. Most kitchen faucets are between 15″ and 18″ tall, and some are even higher than that.

But I finally found this one that’s only 10 inches tall. I found it here.

short kitchen faucet with pull out sprayer that I'm using in the half bathroom

The style is a little more modern than what I would normally choose, but I had very limited options for short matte black kitchen faucets with a pull-out sprayer, and this one had good ratings, so I went with it.

Now I just need to make a final decision on what vanity I want to build. Since the bathroom is so small, the sink is so big, and the vanity will be black, I kind of think something very simple like this would be the best option…

Mine wouldn’t be so rustic-looking, and it would be black. But I do love the simple design and the airy look that won’t take up so much space visually in the room. I’m hoping it’ll visually counterbalance the fact that the vanity has to be 24 inches deep. And the only things I’d need storage for in here will be hand towels, toilet paper, and soap to clean brushes. I could put those in a basket on the bottom shelf.

I haven’t made a final decision yet, and it’s quite possible that I won’t make a final decision until I’m standing in Home Depot to purchase the supplies needed to build the vanity. 😀 But right now, this is the direction I’m leaning.

Three weeks left. I need to pick up the pace. 🙂

Be sure to check out the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge. You can find them here.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    April 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

    That sink may look strange in a powder room off of a foyer but it will look appropriate for its dual purpose in your studio bath. Your choices look great!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie Prachyl
    April 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Love it all. I like the big kitchen sink rather than the utility sink. I did the same in my last house in the laundry room. The open vanity is awesome.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:14 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the sink!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Why the wood filler on the floors? What is it? What’s its purpose? I’m so overwhelmed, yet excited by your entire project!! I look forward to every step – even when you’re indecisive because indecisive is my life!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 10:23 am

      It’s something that most flooring installers do when installing unfinished solid hardwood flooring. I didn’t use it in the kitchen or breakfast room, and in hindsight, I wish I had because the flooring I’m using is #2 wood, considered “utility grade”, so it’s kind of rough in areas. The wood filler just helps fill in cracks and make it look nicer when it’s finished.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Love your choices, especially the open vanity. I’m wondering about the finish on the faucet, though, for your intended purposes. I know when I clean up after painting, some paint always ends up the faucet. I’m not sure what the finish is on your chosen faucet, but cleaning it without ruining the finish was the first thing that popped into my head. Just food for thought.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Both of the bathrooms in my house have 24″ deep vanities, original to the house built in 1966. I didn’t realize it was unusual.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Really like your choices. Just wondering, how far down will the flexible hose for the spray arm loop down when the faucet is installed and the spray arm is not in use? The one on my kitchen sink goes down pretty far, and I am curious to know if you will need to hide yours with an open vanity.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Oh, that’s a good question! I had already prepared myself for the exposed drain pipe, which I didn’t plan for in advance by using a pretty metal, so it’s just white PVC. But I hadn’t thought about the sprayer hose. I might have to build a little shelf that catches that hose so it doesn’t hang down too far. Definitely something to think about when I design it.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 19, 2019 at 12:49 pm

        Kristi, if I understand you right you think of “shortening” the hose underneath the sink by such a shelf solution? That might not be the best idea: I have one of these hose type faucets and there is not enough room underneath it in the cabinet for it to hang straight (so it is a bit like what I think you want to do on purpose). It really is a bit of a pain, because this way the hose thingy never glides back completely into the faucet and it just looks ugly and moreover is not fully functional… So you might perhaps might want to build a screen in front of the pipe and hose part instead rather than something underneath that catches it? Sorry if my explanation is a bit complicated but I think this is where my English might be a bit lacking in the proper wording 🙂 Other than that I think that sink plus faucet are amazing for your purpose and look brilliant!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Crystal Griffith
        April 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm

        You should paint the PVC black to match the cabinet. The white color will stand out like a sore thumb. As far as the hose hanging down, install a shallow black metal basket under the sink to catch the hose. Sometimes, no matter what kind of hose you have, it wants to catch on the other plumbing fixtures under the sink. What are you going to do about a soap dispenser for washing hands, brushes, etc.? I can see a quart jar dispenser sitting to the side. Rustic but functional.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Elaine Carmichael
      April 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      Regarding the closet-within-a-closet, could you use a roll-up (or down) solution akin to a roll-top desk? I wonder if it might be like a kitchen appliance garage. It would stay out of the way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I love the sink too. I truly hate utility laundry room sinks. They are ugly, the composite ones get stained, and they really are deeper than I usually even need. I’m going with your choice in
    the next laundry room! Love how things are coming out. I really like your thoughts for the vanity too. I sure look forward to your posts!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      these are great suggestions but the lower wall is white so probably staying with white PVC is OK. I am also loving the suggestion by someone else to have the faucet off to the side!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Love the sink and faucet. But what about installing the faucet to the side? I evnvision you having to juggle big objects and catching them on the faucet. Mine is at the corner and I don’t have that problem.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      That is exactly what I was going to suggest, for exactly that reason. My friends Put their faucet to the side of the sink on their kitchen island and it works great.

      Also, not putting the faucet behind the sink might allow Kristi to shave a couple of inches off the cabinet depth too.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    I have modern looking screens in front of my furnace, water softener, water heater, etc. They stand straight up, cornered, not accordion like. That would take up too much space. They have a sort of mesh fabric inside circles so they are attractive while there is still plenty of air flow. Simple to move for servicing. I got them at Wayfair.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Wow, great progress! I’m wondering about the decision not put the wood filler where the vanity will be. It made sense until I saw that your vanity will be so open and not have a base that goes to the floor.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      True. At that very moment, I was going to use a fully enclosed vanity. After that, I started looking at more open vanity styles. I’ll probably go back and add it if needed when I make the final decision.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie S
    April 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Just want to say I am tracking with you on the style of vanity you plan to use, considering all your other elements and your usage needs!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    If you use such an open vanity will you need to continue the painting of the wall all the way to the floor? You’ll definitely see that it’s different down there if the vanity is open.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      I haven’t done anything to the lower walls yet. Those areas will be solid white with a chair rail and picture frame molding. But yes, it’ll continue behind the vanity if it will show.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Love the open vanity, love the faucet! Could you install faucet to the corner of sink so hose doesn’t hang down in the way? Can’t wait to see it finished 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    The hose will be most functional unobstructed. If you put a hidden shelf to catch the hose there may not be enough weight to pull the hose all the way in.

    -a false back that matches your wainscoting/ access panel.
    -a quick black curtain on the back.
    -shelf with zip-tied cheap dollar store padlock at a goldilocks height for weight (because too high and you limit hose length),
    -see if there’s a shorter hose available,
    -tie up some slack and add a lose padlock to the new shorter loop.

    For the venting, maybe put in a louvered pocket door. Later you can replace the the excess louvers with a solid panel. That way you can’t see a vent from your desk.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Have you thought about getting one of those touch faucets that you can touch with the back of your paint covered hand or your elbow and the water starts running? It might help keep paint off of your faucet. Just a thought.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    April 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Thoughts about the vanity: I recently saw one somewhere that had a shallower lower cabinet, and it looked like on top of that they brought the sink area out to what looked like about 4 inches with a band of wood the same width as the drawers on the cabinet. So the lower cabinet looked like a step back, if that makes sense? Wish I could remember where I saw it, probably instagram. It was a stained wood. I thought at the time that it was so cool, because they used one of those old porcelain kitchen sinks with the built in drainboard. If you still prefer the one you showed here, Maybe make simple frames and attach a decorative screening in the frame for simple doors and a side on the design you gave. It can still be black, and also hide the pipes and hose. Only other thing I can think of is to use nicer plumbing – chrome drain and stainless hose (not sure about the hose.) Unless you use a closed basket underneath, you will still see the items in it, and they might get messy if you are performing a messy task in the sink. Hope I gave you food for thought!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Everything looks fantastic so far! Not to further complicate your design, but I saw a foot pedal operated sink recently and I thought it was genius- I’d love it for my kitchen or my utility sink so I didn’t have to touch the faucet with grimy hands. It might be a handy addition here too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    The floor will be great when its complete. I like the you have a large sink and will build your own vanity. I agree that simple is better. Go get ’em!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Do you think the sink will be deep enough for how you will use it? We purchased a SS kitchen sink for our utility/laundry room and are happy we bothered with an extra deep one (minimizes splashing, easy to wash buckets, etc.). Just a thought!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Gosh, I just love your ideas. Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 20, 2019 at 11:49 pm


    What brand of wood filler are you using? I have to tackle a project similar to yours soon and wonder if there is a brand you recommend.