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Vitreous China vs Porcelain

September 18th, 2014

The most popular materials for bathroom sinks are vitreous china and porcelain. Many times, people wonder what’s the difference between vitreous china and porcelain. It’s difficult to get a straight answer when reading product descriptions especially when things are worded differently. The truth of the matter is, vitreous china is a coating added to ceramics like porcelain.

Vitreous china/porcelain is commonly used to make basins and toilets. The word vitreous means “Glass-Like” and describes the high gloss shine that vitreous enamel gives to porcelain and ceramics.

Vitreous China Vessel Sink

This is an example of a Vitreous China Vessel Sink. Most sinks are coated with vitreous enamel that was developed by David Buick who is famous for his founding of Buick Motorsports. This same technique remains used today after over a century of time has passed.

Vitreous China

Vitreous china is a glazing technique that is added to porcelain. It is a glass based enamel coating that makes things more durable, denser, and shinier. When a large amount of heat is applied to powdered glass, a liquid called vitreous enamel is created.

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A Guide to Turning a Dresser Into a Vanity

September 15th, 2014

In July 2013 I shared our bathroom vanity on my blog & it has gained some great feedback. I hope this helps in creating inspiration & ideas for you.  When we rebuilt our home I was in charge of working with our builder on the design. I was nervous because the only thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want anything cookie cutter. I’ve never designed anything, but I was up for the challenge.

While there are some truly gorgeous bathroom vanities out there, I knew I wanted to put my stamp throughout the house and that included our vanities in our bathrooms. I wanted to have conversation pieces.

Dresser Converted into a Bathroom Vanity

© On Fern Avenue

Turning a $45 Dresser into a Custom, One of a Kind Vanity

I set out looking for a dresser for the guest bathroom upstairs which is also our girl’s bathroom. I purchased the vanity as a dresser from Habitat from Humanity Restore for $45.

I had gone into our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found what started out as an over painted white dresser. It had some fantastic bones, but there was layer upon layer of paint. Prior to sanding I tested the dresser for lead. In doing this I find a place on the dresser to chip it down to the raw wood, and test on a spot where all of the paint layers are exposed.

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K+BB Design Award Winners

September 11th, 2014

K+BB just announced the winners of the 2014 Design Award competition. Each year, we get to see some of the best designs from around the home. After a total of 55 submissions, the best designs were chosen and the names have now been released. We’re going to focus on those recognized for their outstanding bathroom projects.

The 2014 K+BB Bathroom of the Year Award Goes to…

Design Studio 15, Keesee and Associates and William Edward Construction

Who: Design was made for a Walt Disney Executive and his wife. Located in Winter Park, Florida

Requests: Unique, modern, and luxurious.

Key Features: Large closet, steam shower & sauna, creative storage and organization, ample lighting choices, private water closet, a Jacuzzi, and a unique ceiling.

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Shallow Bathroom Vanities with 8-18 Inches of Depth

September 8th, 2014

Shallow bathroom vanities keep you from cramping your style in narrow spaces. Shallow vanities can be necessitated for a variety of reasons. European bathrooms are known to be slim and narrow and older homes often have smaller guest bathrooms like this as well.

When we say narrow, we’re referring to the depth of the vanity; that is the distance from the front to back. This can be even more difficult to find than small vanities (measured in width) because it is so uncommon. Here’s a list of shallow vanities to make things easier for you. These vanities range from 10-18 inches in depth.

Shallow Bathroom Vanities with 8-18 Inches in Depth

1. Perugia Small Vessel Sink Vanity – 12″ Depth

Perugia Small Vessel Sink Vanity

The Perugia Vessel Sink Vanity measures 12″ deep. $775.00 with Travertine vessel sink.

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Best Bathroom Lighting Options for Shaving & Putting on Makeup

September 4th, 2014

Selecting the proper lighting for your bathroom makes daily tasks like putting on makeup and shaving less problematic. Nothing is more difficult than trying to apply mascara or matching foundation when your lighting is off the mark.

Lighting in the bathroom is an issue because of the angles, shadows, and glares that are created when you’re standing in front of the vanity mirror. The most important concept that we need to keep in mind is layering your lighting vertically just as you would horizontally across the room. This will eliminate shadows.

Vertical Lighting in the Bathroom

An example of vertical lighting. As you can see, some overhead task lighting or recessed lights would compliment this area well. (CC)

Bathroom Lighting: What Not to Do

Let’s step outside of the norm and make our bathroom (and coincidentally ourselves) more appealing. As Carla pointed out on her blog, “Nothing says ‘typical’ like a bar light. Nothing says ‘nothing special’ like a bar light.'” So since we don’t want to use bar lights, what options are we left with? Let’s take a look at the most common bathroom lighting options one by one.

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The Only Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide You Need to Read

September 1st, 2014

Discover all of your options and learn what to look for in this Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide. This guide will show you what types of vanities there are, discuss material quality, and address common design issues.

Unlike other pieces of home furniture, vanities are installed and fastened to the studs of your home. This means that they are a much more permanent piece. For this reason, you want to make sure that you choose the right vanity built with the proper materials. Here is an outline to the Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

  1. Materials Used to Make Bath Cabinets
  2. Deciding What Size is the Right Fit
  3. Bathroom Vanity Height Guide
  4. Types of Vanities
  5. Variations of Sinks
  6. Styling Options
  7. Being a Frugal Shopper

To jump to a specific section, click on the appropriate link above.

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18 Bathroom Vanities Made with Dovetail Drawers

August 29th, 2014

Bathroom vanities with dovetail drawers are sought after because of their strength and resilience. Dowels have the tendency to come loose after opening and closing drawers many times. This requires constant retightening of bolds and adjusting the alignment of the drawers to make sure that everything is fitting. Nobody wants a vanity that’s going to fall apart.

Those who are looking for quality vanities that will last for decades know that the type of joint used on drawers is very important. It’s just as important as the material being used to make the cabinets. Here is a list of 18 of my favorite bathroom vanities made with dovetail drawers.

Waterbury Vanity with Dovetail Drawers

The Waterbury Vanity.  Click on images to learn more about each product.

What are Dovetail Drawers

Dovetail drawers are built using dovetail joints, a special type of joint in cabinetry that is known for its resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). A dovetail joint uses a series of pins cut in a way that extends from the end of one board and interlocks with a series of “tails” cut into the end of the other board. These pins are shaped into the form of a trapezoid. Light glue is used as an added precaution but after that, dovetail joints do not need any screws, bolts, or brackets.

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Using Your Toilet to Make Your Small Bathroom Look Bigger

August 28th, 2014

A typical bathroom is only 7′ x 5′ giving you only 35 square feet of space. One secret way to maximize your bathroom real estate is with the toilet. The size, color, and placement of the toilet are among a few things that can make small bathrooms look bigger.

Small bathroom syndrome is experienced by many homeowners. I’ve found many different tips and tricks over the years that work well. Some work well in combination with others but it depends on your layout, design theme, and personal preference. Make sure you check out my Expert Tip Series at the bottom of this post. There you’ll find 20 different ideas to make a small bathroom look bigger.

Toilets Make Small Bathrooms Look Bigger

The Diana Dual Flush Toilet.

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How We Ship Your Vanities

August 26th, 2014

We’ve been in business for over 7 years now. What started out as a small drop-shipping operation based out of Encinitas (A quiet community just north of San Diego, California) became a warehousing operation about 4 years ago, when we began designing and manufacturing our own unique bathroom vanity models. With this new adaptation in our business strategy, we also needed to learn how to organize our own shipping to all of our customers across the country.

Most of this learning was of the trial-and-error variety, but within a year, we had hashed out most of the logistical problems that come with orchestrating shipping operations on such a large scale. We figured out how to coordinate shipping times. We learned how to talk with shipping terminals and how to stand up for our customers, ensuring their furniture gets delivered as quickly and safely as possible. We devised new ways of packaging our vanities to minimize their vulnerability while they are in transit from our warehouse to your home.

Is this guy delivering your vanities?

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Eco-Friendly Solid Rubberwood Bathroom Vanities

August 25th, 2014

Solid rubberwood bathroom vanities offer 90% the strength of solid oak. They offer durability and a solution to growing concerns over deforestation. Rubberwood bathroom vanities are made from the Hevea Brasilienesis rubber tree. This material makes use of wood that would otherwise go to waste.

As one of the most sustainable solid wood materials, rubberwood is compared to bamboo which is not even a wood. This is a common misconception. Bamboo is actually a type of grass, believe it or not. That said, rubberwood is the most eco-friendly type of wood used to make home furniture.

Rubber Wood Trees

A shot of a rubber wood trees, also known as parawood. (CC)

What is Rubberwood

Rubber wood is a hardwood belonging to the Euphorbiaceous family. Rubberwood is often called by a variation of names including Paráwood Thai Oak, Asian oak, Siam oak, or simply Thai Oak. It does not bounce or stretch as the name may imply. It’s a sturdy hardwood that resists cracking and warping very well. The name actually comes from the type of tree it is harvested from; the rubber tree.

Rubber trees are primarily platnted for their naturally occurring latex sap (as compared to synthetic latex materials) which is used commercially. Rubber wood is relatively inexpensive because it is an byproduct of latex farmers on these rubber plantations. It’s almost like recycling materials that would otherwise be thrown away.

Paráwood trees stop producing latex after 20-30 years. In the past, these trees were cut down and either burned or chopped down to be used as fire wood. This was done because space needed to made for new rubberwood trees that would produce latex. Rubberwood offers several key advantages:

  1. Eco-friendly material that upcycles latex byproducts.
  2. 90% as strong as solid oak.
  3. Strong and flexible yet workable, making it the perfect material for handcrafted furniture.
  4. Natural resistance to moisture, bacteria, mold, and other fungi.
  5. Economical in terms of price.

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