Vanity Hutch with Recessed Lights

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Build a hutch for your bathroom vanity with recessed lights! Free DIY tutorial from

Hi everyone and Happy Friday!!!

Man have we ever been busy up that the Momplex - and I can't wait to show you our progress!  But we aren't quite there  ... just yet.  

We've been busy on the stairs, but as always, I'm already day dreaming about the next project we can tackle. We'll be moving back into the bathroom here shortly.

The bath vanity is done and in, and I've been going back and forth on what type of mirror/bath vanity light combo to go with.  Sewing Mom's only request is simple and low maintenance.  Talk about an easy client to work with!

One of the ideas I'm contemplating is adding a hutch over the vanity like this one from Restoration Hardware (above).

But the only problem is what to do about the vanity light?

Well, duh ....  I just have my own bathroom vanity to turn too!!!

Way back before I even knew what a blog was, we built this vanity hutch and recessed cabinet lighting into the top of it.  It's one of my favorite projects in my house.

I'm so sorry I haven't shared this project plan with you yet.  It's a tiny bathroom (the inspiration for adding more storage) and there's one tiny window that doesn't get much sun, so photographing this bathroom is always a challenge.  

Please forgive the terrible photos.

We had already bought the vanity itself (I'm still pained by the $600 we spent on it), so for the hutch, we just painted it the same color so it looks like a set.

And if you are looking for the mirror plans - they are here.

We aren't sure yet if a hutch is the way to go for the Momplex bathroom - but just in case a hutch is right for your bathroom, I wanted to take a second and share the plans with you.

Have a wonderful weekend!

XO Ana

Designed to fit a 48" wide vanity with a 24" opening for a sink/mirror with a 96" tall ceiling and a 36" tall vanity. Measure and build your hutch to fit your vanity top.


Shopping List

6 - 1x8 @ 8 feet long (I used primed MDF boards)
1 - 1x10 @ 6 feet long (I used primed MDF boards)
1 - 1x3 @ 6 feet long
1 - 4 1/4" base moulding @ 6 feet long
4 recessed cabinet lights

Common Materials
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
Cut List

5 - 1x8 @ 48" (you can cut these at 47 3/4" if you need to to get two cuts out of a single 8 foot long board)
8 - 1x8 @ 10 1/2"

1 - 1x10 @ 48"
2 - 1x10 @ 6 1/2" (cut to fit!)
1 or 2 1x3 @ 7 1/4 (depends on if your vanity is in a corner)
1 - 1x3 @ 48 3/4" or 49 1/2" (depending on if your vanity is in a corner)

4 1/4" base moulding cut to fit

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

First, build two towers. Now, you may need to adjust your tower size depending on where your vanity light is located, how much room you have on top of your vanity, and how wide your vanity/sink is.

We build the towers with finish nails (1 1/4") and glue.

Step 2

Once the two towers are built, we added a board on top for the recessed lights. we have a standard 48" wide vanity, so this board is 48" long for us. We just nailed it to the two towers.

Step 3

To make things easy, we installed the recessed lights on the ground, and connected all the wires. Then when we put the vanity in place, we just have to wire the fixtures to the vanity light box.

Step 4

Then we moved the hutch in place. We were able to secure it to the inside wall, but the towers themselves didn't fall on a stud so ours is just resting on our vanity top (acually held in place by the crown moulding) and we haven't had an issue in 7 years. But you can attach yours with brackets or adding cleats to the underside of shelves.

We build the box first on the ground and then just slid it in place and nailed through the bottom board to attach. The base moulding (to be added shortly) really beefed up this joint.

NOTE: Depending on your ceiling height and vanity light location, you may wish to use a 1x8 or 1x12 on top. Just leave enough room that you can position the box in place without damaging your ceiling.

Step 5

Step 6

And then the base moulding added a little detail and also strengthened this joint. You'll want to use shorter nails here as the base moulding is usually less than 3/4" thick.

Step 7

Then we added crown moulding around the entire room, including the vanity itself. This finished out the top joint.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:48

We have one teeny tiny bathroom in our home, I added shelves along the ceiling for extra storage a year or so ago and I have been contemplating how to add more shelves working around the light fixture and mirror. I LOVE this recessed lighting! It is a perfect solution. Thanks!


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:29

A hutch looks like a perfect way to make a medicine cabinet or mirror look built-in and beautiful, just like in your blue bathroom! :) I'm so excited that we're privy to your builds while you furnish the momplex for two different ladies! =D Are the mom's styles vastly different?


Sat, 10/12/2013 - 21:22

I never would have thought about adding a hutch to a bathroom vanity, but what a great way to add storage and style at the same time.