a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Sep, 2011

Reno post #14 – crowdsourcing a powder room epiphany

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

One of the things about planning a reno is that you have to really search your brain and figure out how you use your space, how you WANT to use your space, and what changes you can implement that will make your life easier. What I haven’t thought much about is the dog and how she fits into all of this.

If you’re a dog owner you can probably relate to what I’m about to describe.

It’s mucky outside. You walk your dog, come in the house, and you need to rinse your dog’s feet off. What’s the best/easiest way to do that?

I had a large dog growing up. An Airedale terrier. My mother dipped each of his feet – one at a time – in a bucket of warm water and towel dried them. I don’t bother doing this with Piper because she’s relatively lightweight (ETA: 18-19 lbs). I just carry her upstairs and fill the tub with a couple inches of water and rinse her paws that way. But I don’t want to keep doing this. It’s a pain in the butt. Nor do I want to invest in some kind of mudroom dog shower. (You think I’m kidding about dog showers?)

So here’s my question. What if we installed an extra large sink in the powder room off the mud room? Something like this, or this, so I can occasionally dump Piper in there for a paw wash? (I like the corner location of the faucet on that first link. We could also get a single-handed pull out wand for easy rinsing too. It’d be so easy to wipe out the sink afterwards, much easier than a tub.)

I also like the old school look of this Ikea sink but I am not sure if it’d be deep enough. And if it’s curved on the bottom it’d be uncomfortably slippery for doggy feet.

Is this smartly utilitarian? Or just plain gross? Will it look weird dropped into a powder room counter (depicted in the plans here)?

A deep sink in this area could also be handy for other things too. And of course we wouldn’t tell visiting guests that we bathe the dog in there. What do you think?

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16 Responses to "Reno post #14 – crowdsourcing a powder room epiphany"

1 | Lynn

September 11th, 2011 at 9:55 am


I think it’s a great idea! Not only functional, but it will look funky and modern and industrial-cool. I especially like the black/dark grey sink – it’s design inspirational.

2 | Jordan

September 11th, 2011 at 10:11 am


Hey Andrea,

I do (sorry) think those sinks are oogly. But if your dog is light enough to hoist, she’s probably not very big…so don’t think deep, just think flat (so she can stand comfortably). Look for something like this: http://tinyurl.com/3b7slx5

If you ever plan to move, something like the one I’ve posted here would have greater appeal. And if this is the bathroom you expect guests to use, I think you’re better off with something a bit more ‘expected’.

If you’re worried that porcelain will get scratched by doggie nails, look for a granite similiar sink. I know I’ve seen some glass and stone sinks around that are long and flat-bottomed, for that modern industrial look, without actually *being* industrial.

My two cents!

3 | andrea

September 11th, 2011 at 10:22 am


She is smallish. Say 18lbs.
I might be able to find something more bathroomy, less kitcheny. Ideally I’d like a sink that’s flat-bottomed, rectangular, and deep. Side faucet would be a bonus.

How about something like this? I do like the idea of stone instead of ceramic too. Hmm.

[ETA: Link fixed!]

4 | Marianne

September 11th, 2011 at 12:17 pm


Great idea to go with a sink you can use for the dog and for other odd job purposes, but I agree that you shoudl look for wide but shallower, so it doesn’t end up looking like a kitchen sink.

Also, the link in your last comment isn’t working.

5 | Nicki

September 11th, 2011 at 12:54 pm


I think it is a great idea. A functional sink for cleaning close to the door would be awesome if you are also a gardener!

6 | Carrie C

September 11th, 2011 at 1:10 pm


What about a farmhouse style kitchen sink? They are really deep and are similar in appearance (but larger in scale) to the old-school one you linked to. Vessel sinks are interesting, but sit quite high up on top of the vanity.

7 | andrea

September 11th, 2011 at 2:40 pm


Carrie – I’m aiming for a farmhouse sink in the kitchen. And vessels can be dropped partway into a counter.

Someone on twitter suggested a poured concrete sink, but I’m willing to bet this is a pricey option and I’m not sure there’s anyone who does this in Ottawa. (I like this look!)

8 | LO

September 11th, 2011 at 5:04 pm


we have a custom poured concrete island and Deslaurier did it if you are looking to inquire. I love the big sink idea for sure-a nice rectangle one might be great AND you don’t need a really deep one as P so small (well compared to my Bernese Mountain Dog:)

9 | Charlotte

September 11th, 2011 at 5:41 pm


I love the idea … it reminds me of an old fashioned scullery where you might arrange your flowers and clean your boots etc etc. I think the poured concrete would be perfect.

I know you’ve just about finalised your floorplan but it just occurred to me that if you had the “basin/tub” outside of the toilet it might read a bit less weird?? Then there might also be more options for having a benchtop beside it as well?

Finally – I had to google “farmhouse sink” to make sure it was the same as what I would call a “butler sink” and it was :-) …. but in the process I found this page. http://www.chiccoles.com/2010/02/farmhouse-sinks.html
Scroll down to the copper sink – second from bottom. oooohhh. Only downside it whether little claws might manage to scratch it.

10 | coffeewithjulie

September 11th, 2011 at 6:16 pm


Sure, why not use a sink? Your pup is small enough! As for not telling the guests … are they going to use that power room? (Wouldn’t they be more likely to use the one near the office … that way they don’t go through your mud room.)

11 | Amy

September 11th, 2011 at 6:36 pm


We looked into poured concrete, we live in a city of 25000 and have a place that does it. They ballparked about $80 per square foot (promotional special), which to us was reasonable, not sure what you’re budgeting for though. But you do get exactly what you want that way, plus any look you want too.

12 | Carrie C

September 11th, 2011 at 6:41 pm


I love the idea of the poured concrete sink! As a gardener, I would love to be able to have a large sink at the back door area for washing up after being outside – flowers, boots, pets could all be washed down.

13 | Anu

September 19th, 2011 at 11:41 am


I know there are people who do poured concrete counters and sinks in Ottawa. Unfortunately I don’t remember their names so I cannot give you a link, but if you ask around, I am sure you will find them. Also I remember at least one of them using stuff (treasures such as interesting rocks etc.) as stuff to create an interesting surface…
I am with Julie – wouldn’t the guests use the powder room off the office? With that thought, I would not install a toilet in the mudroom, rather an extra cupboard (pantry?) – and the sink for the dog, gardening etc… then no door needed to that space leading to less wasted space too. Two powder rooms on ground floor seems excessive to me but of course, only you know if there is really a need for it.

14 | Anu

September 19th, 2011 at 11:46 am


In fact, mudroom would be a great place for a pantry, close to the door/car for when you bring in and carry extra dog food, extra cereal boxes, oatmeal, cans of beans, a place for seldom used dishes… sort of between the door and kitchen. Close to outside for seasonal dishes… That’s what I’d do (no toilet). But I do love the big sink there! Even without a dog, I see the appeal of it, but especially with a dog, it would be totally handy.

15 | Reno post #34 - more about the mudroom >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 18th, 2012 at 11:16 am


[…] written about the mudroom powder here before, as well as the organization of the mudroom itself. My original ideas haven’t changed too […]

16 | Fishbowl Reno post #54: The Mudroom is finished! Well, almost. >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 20th, 2013 at 1:08 pm


[…] a two piece bathroom with a sink big enough to wash the dog. (Which I first wrote about here.) […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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