We’re sharing how we designed a bathroom wall treatment that incorporates a countertop and open storage, all while working around the Kohler Brockway sink.
We’ve been obsessed with Kohler’s Brockway wall-mounted sink for pretty much forever. I don’t think we’d go so far as saying that our entire Tree House bathroom renovation was designed around it, but from the moment we started planning this space, this big hunky double sink informed every decision we made. So yeah, maybe we did plan our entire bathroom renovation around the sink?
Either way, we’re thrilled that it’s finally installed. We’re also thrilled that we’ll be able to reveal the fully completed bathroom in the very near future! In the meantime, we’re talking through how we designed around the main challenge of the Brockway sink; a complete lack of countertop space and cabinet storage. Challenge accepted!
The Magic of Caulk and Spackle
Our contractors applied the beadboard wall treatment before they installed the sink, so what you see above was our starting point. Once it was our turn to take over, we began the storage integration process by caulking and spackling the beadboard. The wall treatment is comprised of 4′ x 8′ sheets of beadboard cut to approximately 39″h with a 1″ x 6″ board installed as a ‘cap’. The same baseboard that we’ve utilized throughout the rest of home was then installed on top of the beadboard. Once the seams were caulked and the spackle was sanded smooth, we were ready to address this storage conundrum.
Creating a Countertop
Since people need places to put their toiletry bags, makeup, toothbrushes and other bathroom necessities, we knew we’d need a substantial shelf above the sink for space to remain functional. We started the shelf construction process by fabricating three support brackets out of leftover 1″ x 6″ board. The brackets needed to support the shelf across a span of almost 9 feet, but we wanted them to disappear as much as possible. We settled on a shape that probably has a technical name (is it a trapezoid?), but is essentially a right triangle with a squared off front tip.
We used wood glue on the back of the brackets, then straightened and leveled them into place using a speed square. The brackets were then held into place with frog tape and allowed to cure overnight. Our initial intention was to shoot a finish nail or into each bracket, but the nailing angles were tricky and the glue alone turned out to be incredibly sturdy, so we decided to call it good. If we had installed the beadboard wall treatment ourselves, we probably would have screwed the brackets into place from behind before attaching the cap to the wall, but everything worked out great in the end!
Adding Towel Hooks
With the shelf brackets in place, it was time to add some towel storage hooks! We’ve used these beech hooks in the past and love the simple, paintable design. We drilled the required 3/16″ pilot holes and the hooks simply thread in by hand. Once the holes were measured and drilled, we removed the hooks – bear with me a moment – to make space for some super cute towel organization, and then we painted All. The. Beadboard. That was a beast of a task in itself, taking almost 4 hours (with no breaks)!
Simple Towel Organization
Keeping track of which towel belongs to which person can get a little tricky when 6 adults are sharing one bathroom, right? To combat confusion, we found these cute hand-numbered brass tags that will make keeping track of towels a snap! The number plates included coordinating brass nails for installation. To avoid damaging the nail heads, we wrapped the head of our hammer in a few layers of frog tape. It worked like a charm!
Installing the Oak Shelf
Once we had hung the number plates and reinstalled the hooks (and then touched them with up paint), it was finally time to fasten our 1″ x 6″ oak shelf into place. We again used a thin bead of wood glue to attach the shelf to the each bracket, then clamped it into place and allowed it to cure. In addition to the brackets, the shelf is supported on three sides by the 1″ x 6″ beadboard cap (in similar fashion to our DIY floating shelves). We also shot one finish nail into each end and one into the center for added stability. Side note: We finished the oak shelf with three coats of matte Polycrylic to protect it from water.
The shelf turned out as sturdy as we’d hoped! It’ll easily provide space for toothbrushes and dopp kits and all the small things we store in our bathrooms. For good measure, we also hung a small vintage brass hook (that was previously on the door) next to the sink. It’s a perfect place for a cute hand towel!
We love the way the bright brass number plates play with the color we chose, Sherwin Williams Anew Gray! Honestly, picking just the right greige paint tone was one of the toughest parts of this project, but we couldn’t be happier with how all of the tile, wood and metal tones play together. While everything else in this bathroom was getting upgraded, we also stepped our textile game up a notch and picked up these organic cotton towels in a pretty off-white.
We’ll post the full bath reveal early next week(!), but in the meantime, we’ll just be here reveling in the fact that every interior space at Tree House is finished! Finished. Finished! We can’t wait to show you!