Okay friends, the bathrooms in this house have had me freaking out for weeks.

Seriously, I can’t seem to make a decision and stick with it – it’s driving me crazy!

Here’s the problem – typically we spring for custom vanities and they can be whatever/however we want them to be, but this time we decided from the outset that we wanted to try out the Godmorgon vanities from Ikea for all of the bathrooms – they’re an insanely great price, they have wonderful reviews, tons of storage, and they look pretty darn good.

The trouble is, while the Godmorgon worked flawlessly when the “crisp & light” design scheme I’m having a hard time making it work with my “rustic modern” design (click here to see the mood board).

From the beginning I’ve been drawn to the white oak option, or else possibly the glossy white:

ikea godmorgon

I think they have the best chance of working with the design, and to me they look the nicest.  However, all of the light fixtures in the house are black, which can work with these options, but it’s just a little tricky.

Here are some images that help me picture how the light wood/black/white could look:

inspiration for bathroom

(via Tribe Studio Architects)

inspiration for bathroom

(via Smitten Studio)

bathroom inspiration

(via Jilly & Mia)

inspiration for bathroom

(via Bo Bedre)

bathroom inspiration

(via Hare + Klein)

inspiration for bathroom

(via Regan Baker Design)

inspiration for bathroom

(via Techné)

inspiration for bathroom

(Ziporah Towels via Interiors Addict)

inspiration for bathroom

(via Amber Interiors)

inspiration for bathroom

(via AlterEco)

The black paired with the white or white oak maybe reads a bit more Scandinavian than I’d intended.  (Translation – does it look too cold?)  A darker stain on the wood option would really warm things up, but I’m not a huge fan of the darker Godmorgon vanity (I’m not sure it looks as nice).  It might be possible to paint the vanities, but I’m not really wanting to add that expense and I’m not sure how paint would adhere to the vanity material.

What’s a girl to do?  If I go with white vanities then I can add darker, warmer wood accents – or I can go with the oak and try to add lots of interest and texture with the tile, like honeycomb, contrasting grout, etc.  There’s a line of insanely awesome tiles at Home Depot right now that look like cement tiles, but that might be a bit too out there for a flip.

cement tile lookalikes

Does this rambling post give you any idea of how jumbled my brain is right now?  :)  It would probably make life a lot easier if I would just spring for polished chrome light fixtures instead of black, but for some reason I’m feeling like it might be weird if every fixture in the house is black except for in the bathroom.  Then again, maybe it’s weird to have polished chrome plumbing fixtures and black light fixtures?


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  1. Adrienne B says:

    I’m thinking about doing this vanity in my upcoming reno… but I’ll probably do custom faces from Semihandmade to make it exactly what I want… Can’t wait to see how this turns out for you!

  2. cassie boots says:

    I like the Hare Klein option the best. You can still do the all white vanity but that wood ledge really warms it up. Maybe find a more raw rustic looking piece of wood? If your floor plan allows, you could repeat the wood in the room with some floating shelves? Or stage it with some other wooden accessories?

  3. Erin says:

    I vote for the white vanity!! White is classic and clean. You can never go wrong with white and you can add color with everything else. We did all oil rubbed bronze fixtures and drawer pulls in our kitchen/baths and all of our light fixtures are brushed nickle. I think as long as you keep everything consistant it works. I am super picky about details and I think we are doing a fantastic job!

  4. Marcia says:

    The white vanity with the wood mirror vanity and white walls I love #1 picture. Also the wood vanity with the white and black accents #5 picture. Both of those have the perfect amount of each component. The diamond tile will be the perfect mix of old and new. Only wish that bathroom would magically appear for me with matching kitchen.

  5. Sara says:

    Hi Liz – have you seen the vanities in person? I have and to me, the white oak is actually the one that has a bit of a cheap look to it. All of the others are about the same. As for the metal mixing, I think it is just fine as long as it looks intentional – meaning the mix is represented elsewhere in the room. It is a modern take, but I don’t necessarily think a Scandi one…

    Love what you have done so far!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Hey Sara! I have seen them in person – hmm, that does concern me that the white oak one looks cheap to you! I’m going to have to think on this one!

  6. Bob Bies says:

    As I am planning with general renovation, I think I’d go for this idea. I love the bathroom and its exquisite design. Elegant and I love it.

  7. kristin says:

    If you have to go the IKEA route maybe play it safe and go with the white. I like the idea of darker woods in the bath with it. As for the light fixtures I think chrome in the baths and black elsewhere is TOTALLY fine!!! I would do a more classic tile (yet interesting) but not sure about those HD ones. If you tried it I think keeping it more simple/classic like the petal one (top right) or the scroll one right below it. Otherwise way too graphic in a modern and cold sort of way. But I really think a more classic tile on the floor would those vanity options. Like this kind but where each center is black to look like a flower?×11.75-in-Victorian-Hex-1-in-White-Porcelain-Mosaic-Tile-Pack-of-10/5550235/product.html?searchidx=2
    Or this?×9.75-inch-Casablanca-Glossy-White-Porcelain-Mosaic-Tiles-Set-of-10/7619986/product.html?searchidx=6
    With darker wood shelf, black lights/accents the white could look good? Or maybe I am waaayyyy off. :) Oh, what about a cool wood looking tile in a warm brown with the white vanity??

  8. deb says:

    OK, this may be strange, but it seems you’re doing black and white, right? Why not gray gloss? Gray, black and white certainly go together and it wouldn’t matter whether you use brass or polished nickel, or whatever with that…IMO anyway!

  9. qs777 says:

    I agree with Deb above. Love the cement tiles too.

  10. AceBaker says:

    I rarely comment but I love your blog and look forward to your posts!! I love those cement tiles and have been looking for EXACTLY that in a less expensive version than encaustic tiles. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Please keep sharing!

  11. Sarah says:

    I already showed my bath progress to you ( In person I liked the dark wood best, and I love Scandinavian, so that isn’t a bad thing for me. Right now mine is cold, but I’m hoping once I’m done it will be less so.

    I think you can pull it off with the white or wood. Can you get a black faucet that works with the godmorgon? Or you could use an odensvik sink with a custom vanity and have it be whatever finish you want. (Which of course that affects scheduling and budget!)

  12. mary says:

    I just want to chime in and say that I knew exactly what blogs you were going to cite as inspiration before you actually cited them. I just want to throw a little ‘caution’ in there and advise that you pull back and make choices that fit in the space that you’re rehabbing and also connect to you and your potential buyers. I also am a big fan of the amber/daniel/anna/emily look, but don’t lose your own gut. It’s a good one.

  13. Tim says:

    Have you thought about doing the white but doing actual cement countertops on it to give it that rustic modern look.

  14. Tim says:

    These people did it with the kitchen island but I think it would work in the bathroom with the sink built into it

  15. acm says:

    I’m using the white oak vanity in a current rehab, but I’m going for a spa look that involves a lot of white, gray, and chrome. I think it will work less well with the overall look that you’re going for.

    I think you can make the white work, as with the “paired with wood and a little industry” examples you picked. However, I think you’ll feel a lot less like you’re swimming upstream if you do either the dark brown (but I agree it’s the least… classy finish) or the polished grey. You can tame the latter with your fun tiles, and/or by pairing it with a mix of weathered and finished textures to bring out your industrial theme — maybe you could even use some tiles with a weathered-board look (like those below); am liking that idea more and more, even if you stick with the white!

  16. acm says:
  17. joe says:

    Wow some of those images were just simply beautiful, what amazing images and pictures, the bathroom sinks are amazing and beautiful at the same time wow how pretty

  18. Is painting the cabinets an option? I think that white counters with weathered gray cabinets would warm the space up a bit and give it more of the rustic feel you’re going for.

  19. Rob K. says:

    I love ceramic in bathrooms. You mentioned wood that feels like ceramic, I would definitely go that route.

    Also keeping the cabinets a blackish/grey would be a great option as well.

  20. BHS_John says:

    Ouuu…i love this bathroom designs. Wood looks so beauty!