Simran Sethi's old pedestal sink

Photo: Jessica Sain-Baird

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Choosing What to Change
Before I called a contractor or put pen to paper and sketched out a bathroom plan, I made a prioritized list of what I wanted to change in my bathroom. This served as my touchstone throughout the process. My first goal was to maximize space. That meant I needed to build a small cabinet to accommodate toiletries, thus ensuring I wouldn't have to precariously balance contact lenses, saline, toothpaste and more on the tiny edge of a pedestal sink. Because of my commitment to greening my house, the cabinet needed to be constructed of eco-friendly materials (mine was built from scrap eucalyptus) and finishes.

Recognizing that most of the water we use within our homes is used in the bathroom, my next goal was to conserve water. I made sure my budget could accommodate a water-efficient toilet and low-flow faucet. Additional extensions of resource conservation meant I strove to save energy using radiant heat, efficient lighting and an on-demand hotwater heater; improve air quality with eco-friendly paints and finishes and proper ventilation; and minimize waste by using recycled wood and tiles, saving whatever I could, and donating anything I could not use to my local Habitat for Humanity Restore.

The plan took loads of research, many late nights and an incredible amount of support. And it was all worth it.
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