Category: Locke-Marchialetti Home

Bathroom Remodel……Project Scope Creep

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Wow!  The bathroom floor looks fabulous.  Unfortunately, the shower tile and fixture are not worthy.  The square tiles look too 60’s-70’s; the brass fixtures have water marks and the finish is actually peeling; and while I love the wainscoting in the rest of the bath, it just feels like too many textures/materials in the shower.  Total style clash with the new floor and my vision for this first floor guest bath (shhhhh…dog bath).  I am going to do this once, so I will do it right.  Again, I looked to the Locke-Marchialetti project house for inspiration.  Carrera marble looks fantastic in Victorian era homes.  It has such a classic, timeless look.  I am going to have to develop a plan for the tile on the drawer cabinet.  It also has the square tiles on the side and top surface.


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The Search for the Perfect Bathroom Vanity


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When restoring the 1898 Locke-Marchialette home, not just any bath vanity would do. I walked through aisle after aisle at the big box stores, spent countless hours searching the internet, and paged through mountains of magazines.  Clearly, I obsess more than most on such details. Everything I was found was too generic or way, way, way over our budget. During my internet searches, I came across some photos of beautiful dressers turned into vanities.  I decided this was the perfect solution and purchased a bedroom set with a dresser that was just the right size. The set included 2 dressers, a mirror, and headboard.  I was on my way to the perfect bathroom!

The first step was aligning the dresser with the new plumbing connections extending from the wall. The back of the dresser was then cut out to accommodate supply and drain lines.  I did have to sacrifice the function of the top center drawer to accommodate the sink basin, but the configuration with the two small top drawers on either end provides adequate storage.  We also had to notch out the center of the larger drawers to accommodate the drain line.  The openings were enclosed with 2 x 4’s to protect the pipe and we didn’t sacrifice too much space.

Once the dresser was installed and the plumbing connected, I painted the dresser using Amy Howard chalk paint.  Next time, I will thin the paint with some water for a smoother, thinner coverage.  I absolutely loved the ‘Atelier’ deep gray color with the white marble floor.  The bathroom was beginning to look elegant, so I abandoned plans for a drop-in sink on the wood dresser surface for a white marble top with an under mount sink.  Definitely achieved a more elegant end result.  Once everything was painted, I sealed the dresser with Minwax Polyurethane for water/moisture protection.  I applied three coats with a light sand in between.

After completing the project, the drawers were sticky and didn’t slide easily.  A good friend taught me an old trick….I rubbed the wood guides on the bottoms of the drawers and on the dresser base with a bar of soap to lubricate things.  Problem solved!

What makes this project even more rewarding is that the new homeowner appreciates the unique vanity.  I look forward to your comments on this project.



Before: Original hardware was saved, but replaced with nickel-finished knobs to complement other bath features. I loved the raised, arched panel.  Beautiful design template to work with.

During: Note the notching of the drawer at the bottom of fixture.


After: I love it!  Look forward to your feedback.  I need another ‘project house’ to experiment with a different dresser for an alternate style.  So many options to chose from.

An old beat-up dresser gets a new life as a bathroom vanity with a few coats of chalk paint and a marble top. Even the dresser mirror was used for this bathroom renovation.

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