1 bathroom ↔ 4 people

half of whom can't reach the sink

Ah, the joys and horrors of POTTY TRAINING !!! Let me tell you what is NOT going to work: A bathroom where the kids can’t… :x: access the toilet, :x: turn the light on/off, or :x: wash/dry their hands. (Plus anyway this bathroom was gross and weird.)

The problems: too many to list?!

  • Floor grout is crumbly and stinks
  • Only one sink in the vanity (that the door nearly hits when opening)
  • Toilet is behind said door (can’t be accessed until door is closed)
  • No kid-reachable towel bar/hook
  • No kid-reachable light switch
  • No spot for a stool
  • Windowless white bathrooms can start to feel… dingy.

Check it out now! I replaced the floor, toilet, vanity, and mirror (and added hooks, towel bars, and peel and stick wallpaper). Now the kids can slide their stepstool right under the wall-mounted vanity.

I also added this clever light switch extender for the kids to reach the light (out of frame of this pic).


Organizational treats…of course

There are four ridiculously practical drawers in this Ikea Godmorgon vanity with double sinks that I was able to fit everything we needed into.


Here’s a closeup. I cleaned up my inefficient pile of (mostly empty) TSA-sized toiletries and organized what was left so that I can quickly grab what I need when traveling. Time to pack toiletries for a family (flight) trip is now <5 minutes.


Medicine cabinets, IMO, are the only way to actually SEE what you HAVE! I refuse to store toiletries in deep cabinets (anymore), and since then, I rarely forget about or misplace (expensive) makeup, lotion, shampoos, etc.!


Yet again, I have found a use for the Ikea Glis boxes. This time they’re being used to organize cough/cold meds and drops, bandaids, and miscellaneous wound care supplies.


Before :anguished: and After :heart_eyes:

Remember all the problems I listed at the top of this post? :disappointed:



Our renovated bathroom is so much better for our family! (Btw, you can see the light switch extender reflected in the mirror.)


Cost & time breakdown

To be honest, this bathroom is one of those “keep iterating to make it better” projects that truly occurred over nearly a full year. But the active work time (sans all the thinking) was under two weeks.

Item Cost (+ tax/shipping)
plumber cost $800
Ikea Godmorgon vanity $540.81
peel-and-stick wallpaper $502.35
toilet $352.54
Ikea Godmorgon 2-door mirror $336.69
electrician cost $300
Ikea Godmorgon 1-door mirror $230.44
2 Kohler single-handle faucets $210.38
Ikea Odensvik double sink bowl $191.25
4 cases large format porcelain tile $101.32
6 bathroom hooks $97.92
2 14” towel bars $96.84
Forte shower head $94.56
SimpleHuman XL shower caddy $83.73
3 3’x5’ HardieBackerboard cement backerboards $37.11
cement board screws $30.35
white square and bullnose tiles $24.26
white sanded grout $18.98
Ikea Gormorgon lidded box set $18.05
white unsanded grout $17.98
Versabond white mortar $17.47
toggle anchors $16.26
toddler light switch extender $14.86
3’x5’ Durock cement board $13.28
tile sponges $5.37
2 gallon bucket $4.98
1/16” tile spacers $4.27
TOTAL $4162.05

Shilpa Kobren is a research fellow at Harvard Medical School where she focuses on analyzing genomic sequencing data with patient clinical information to derive insights into human diseases. Shilpa lives in an 1890s urban apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two energetic toddlers. She retains her sense of peace amid the chaos by creating and iteratively improving systems that optimize daily efficiency in her family's constrained living space.

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