Customizing Our Ikea Vanity

Hi Friends! I am still waiting a few more weeks to do the full reveal of our guest bathroom. To make a long story short, I found a cool vanity light to hang over the mirror but we are waiting until after our final inspection to install it since it’s not quite up to code – nothing dangerous, just won’t be on a dimmer, blah, blah, boring. So, I’m holding off on the serious photos until after that light is installed because I am a perfectionist and really want you to see the finished picture.

But in the meantime, I wanted to give you a sneak peak and talk about our floating vanity. I partnered with Semihandmade, a company that makes custom wood cabinet fronts for Ikea cabinets and a number of other pieces, to help turn my white Ikea Godmorgan vanity into a piece that feels more custom and special. For our guest bathroom, I really wanted a vanity with some storage for extra towels and soap but didn’t want anything that felt too bulky. I love pedestal sinks but only would consider if there was a secondary storage solution somewhere else in the bathroom, and in our case, there wasn’t room for that. Then there’s everyone’s favorite topic…budget. Our budget was pretty dang tight for this bathroom considering we remodeled everything else in the home and allocated more money to spaces that we use most like the kitchen and master suite.

I knew I wanted something that looked a little more modern for the guest bathroom but didn’t want to pay the price for a fancy floating vanity so turned to my budget-friendly friend Ikea and found the exact style and size vanity I was looking for (The Godmorgan). The one downside with the Godmorgan (aside from actually having to assemble it) is that cabinet fronts aren’t the best quality and can appear to be rather cheap so I was pretty determined to find a way to switch these out. I turned to my friends at Semihandmade and they helped me pick some custom wood drawer fronts to replace those that came with the vanity. After looking through all of the beautiful material options that Semihandmade offers, I ended up deciding on the Flatsawn Walnut wood and was delighted with the overall quality and ease of installation. The best part is that the entire vanity cost less than $500 (including the faucet)! Here’s a few more shots of the outcome and a product breakdown below with links to shop.

Product Links:

Godmorgan Cabinet + Sink

Semihandmade Sink Cabinet Door Covers (mine are flatsawn walnut)

Lundskar Faucet

Thanks to Semihandmade for partnering with me to create yet another awesome piece of customized Ikea furniture. Check them out if you haven’t already!

Brett Foken
Before and After: The Canning House

Hello. It’s me. I know it’s been about 10 years since my last blog post but things in Decorotation land have been CRAZY. Crazy in a good way though with some fun projects in the works which means less time to spend on creating blog content. I’ve been turning more to Instagram lately to share what I’m up to, my design tips, inspiration, etc. so follow along there for my daily tid-bits. However, today I’m sharing a reeeeeeeal good before and after on here of the Canning house that I’ve been working on for about the last 8 months.

If you’re just joining in, my husband Brandon purchased this house in September as an investment property to flip (he’s in the business of investing in real estate and stuff) and Decorotation was at his service to do the design for it all. It’s hard for me to put into words what this house was like before (think the worst episode of Hoarders) and all of the changes we made to it. Needless to say, this was a gut renovation – there wasn’t an inch of the house that remained untouched except for the roof and foundation. We moved walls, rebuilt the staircase, added bathrooms, built out the downstairs, really just redid everything within the four walls of the home. Things surprisingly went really smoothly, just took a long time because the home was pretty massive as far Oakland homes are concerned.

We hired a stager to stage the home and then I came back around after the house sold to style and have my photographer photograph some of the key spaces – the kitchen, master bath, hallway bath and a few other nooks. Scroll, scroll for all of the photos from the styled shoot as well as some horrifying before’s that now I’m questioning why I included because you can’t even make out the actual rooms beyond the piles of junk. Oh well, enjoy.











Photos by Hamee Ha Photography

Brett Foken is the owner of Decorotation, a full service residential interior design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in refined, natural + minimal spaces. Her work has been seen on Apartment Therapy, Today, The Everygirl, Curbed + more. To work with her, click here.

Wood Dilemma: Part 1

A few months back I shared with you guys the biggest design dilemma we encountered during our house remodel (read part 1 here)- “what to do with all of the original wood detailing.” We went back and forth, and then back and forth again, trying to decide what to keep, what to remove, what to refinish, and what to paint. I think I mapped out every possible scenario of wood/paint combinations and I would be lying if I said I didn’t lose sleep over it. But alas, we made it through and couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Here’s the before and after!



For the living room we ended up painting all of the built-ins (bench, shelving to left of fireplace, mantle) the same bright white as the walls. The color is “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore – probably my favorite white. To make the room feel a bit taller, we removed the wood crown moulding that bordered the ceiling but you will see that we left it in the entryway because I liked the more “regal” feeling of it in there. We both loved the look of those wood pillars and knew we didn’t have it in our hearts to paint those so ended up refinishing and staining them to match everything else.

Next up is the dining room which felt almost cave-like because dark wood covered all four walls and most of the ceiling. We ended up painting the built-in the same “Simply White” as well as that beautiful detailed moulding on all walls except for the one that we knocked down leading into that bright sea-foam green monstrosity of a kitchen.



Both of the beams in the after shots were actually not the originals. The original beams were so beat up and funky that it would have cost us more to try and salvage them then to just replace completely. I think when all was said and done these beams only cost an additional $200-$300 which is nothing considering the amount of impact they bring to the space. Lastly, those glass pane doors, I had envisioned those doors in the dining room being a crisp black from the second I walked into the house and think the black adds the perfect bit of contrast and modern feel. The doors are painted in “Onyx” by Benjamin Moore.

So there you have it. One of the toughest design dilemma’s to work through but we came out on the other end just fine.

Brett Foken is the owner of Decorotation, a full service residential interior design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in refined, natural + minimal spaces. Her work has been seen on Apartment Therapy, Today, The Everygirl, Curbed + more. To work with her, click here.

Brett Foken