Emily Winters: Bathroom Updates, Six-Months Later

Believe it or not, it’s been a quick 6-months since we finished our big bathroom renovation. Good news: We still love it (especially when we go down memory lane and recall how gross the bathroom was before we took the DIY plunge). The bad news? One particular unfinished detail has been dragging the room down.

Uh oh, time for that light to go.

Allow me to point out a few things:

  • That old light? It’s not on center above the sink.
  • In fact, it wasn’t centered above the old sink either, fancy that.
  • Why did I ever even like it? Well, besides putting out lots of light for my morning routine, it was also only $2 (brand new but on super-clearance), and it’s hard to beat that.
  • After we finished the bathroom, I didn’t even put its faceplate back on it because we never thought it would take so long to choose a replacement fixture. (Note: There weren’t exposed wires ends since they were all tucked behind the fixture in the box, but for safety’s sake, know that it was far out of reach of child fingers, and high enough for it not to be a distraction or danger to curious adults too.)


You must be eager to see what this long-awaited fixture looks like – keep on reading to experience the big reveal!

West Elm’s admittedly one of my favorite sources, and that fact, mired with the detail that I have a specific distaste to almost all manufactured over-the-sink sink lights, I married myself to this Contour Double Sconce, a $79 product + shipping (so, $100 total). The price was right, and I loved the modern powder-coated finish, but it wasn’t until after I bought it that I learned that the light was backordered. Backordered for a long time, I’m talking, since April. West Elm has a single sconce option too, if you’re in the market for something so pretty, but double wide seemed like it would work better with our wide vanity and sink, and was decidedly worth the 4 month wait.

West Elm Sconce.

Swapping out a light itself isn’t actually hard, but when you’re exploring the state of the electrical box and the placement of the studs behind the wall, it becomes a little more complicated and requires some exploratory cuts. Sometimes, big cuts, even bigger than what you see here, and you begin to wonder how you’ll be able to patch that without looking like a patch job.

The tutorials on DIY Network pertaining to electrical, drywall installation, and patching are far more thorough than my amateur description of the process, but for the sake of demonstration, I knew had to remove the electrical box, and reinstall it 5 inches to the right so that it was centered over the sink. There had to be enough room in the wall to get a hammer (awkwardly) and it had to be installed on a stud; fortunately, there was a cross brace between studs (I’m pointing to it in the next picture) which made it a little easier. There was no rewiring to the switch, because thankfully whoever installed it left enough extra wiring length in the wall.

Planning to move the electrical box.

After a few days repairing what I destroyed, crossing my fingers the while while that there wouldn’t be visible evidence of the drywall surgical procedure, I was able to stand back and adore the brand new long-awaited sconce. The vanity and light aren’t tilty, just my camera in a moment of sheer excitement.

New sconce in the bathroom!

There’s one other thing that you may have noticed:

The mirror. I had it cut smaller. It’s not that we didn’t love having a gigantic mirror (it certainly made getting ready in the morning easy), but with the new centered light, it felt worth exploring bringing the mirror down to width with the sink top itself (a clean 32″). I think it looks a lot better, more in proportion with the other features of the room, and still generously wide so that two people can watch themselves brush their teeth simultaneously.

Updated bathroom mirror and updated bathroom light.

The room looks pretty from the entryway too. The profile of the light is beautiful, and the mirror still reflects a generous amount of light in the room.

Profile of the new light.

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

12 Responses

  1. [...] have other things to add to the space (we’ve already added a custom kid-height mirror, and upgraded the lighting) but there are a few more ideas running through our head that will make our only bathroom even [...]

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  3. [...] have other things to add to the space (we’ve already added a custom kid-height mirror, and upgraded the lighting) but there are a few more ideas running through our head that will make our only bathroom even [...]

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  5. sammy9182smith says:

    The new light fixture is perfect for your bathroom. Your remodel is beautiful. I think you made the right decision in cutting the mirror length down. It frames the light and cabinet perfectly and makes the room seem more spacious. I want to remodel my bathroom again, but ever since I ended up with a plumbing disaster during my last bathroom remodel. (I had to call a St Charles plumbing repair company to fix my mistake), I vowed to never redecorate my bathroom on my own again. But you've inspired me, and I think I'll be safe changing the light fixtures. Here's hoping I don't have to call an electrician!

  6. LW9 says:

    I've been known to buy the cheap fixture as well as the good deal faucet. So far so good though :)

  7. [...] via: Emily Winters: Bathroom Updates, Six-Months Later Category: Home Tags: Bathroom, Emily, later, SixMonths, Updates, [...]

  8. Ashley says:

    I love this! I wish I had seen this fixture before I bought a random one at Lowes… :(
    I love what you've done!

  9. Callie says:

    Ooh love it!! West Elm is so classy. I agree that a lot of over-the-sink sconces don't look v. great! We recently redid our bathroom and I actually installed pendant lighting instead. Thought I was v. unique till I googled it and saw that other people had already done it too ;) http://house-capades.blogspot.com/2012/06/bathroo

    • emily says:

      The pendant lighting looks great; we considered something ceiling mounted/dangling too but didn't want it to compete with another hanging fixture in the room! Maybe in a future house :)

  10. Robbye says:

    Glad you found a fixture that you like and that you feel improves the look of your bathroom.

  11. [...] today’s post on DIY Network, it’s out with this old fixture, and in something modern, fantastic, and brand-spankin’ [...]


About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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