Bathroom vanities greet us every morning as we brush our teeth, shave, and get ready for the day. Every morning, the reflection of a unique individual gazes back from the mirror, why not make the vanity itself as unique as the individual. Try repurposing one of these items of furniture for the washroom and imbue your morning routine with a touch of originality.
A Butcher’s Block
A butcher’s block uses heavy hardwood pieces pressed together to form a durable surface. The surface is usually treated with mineral oils to make it water resistant and give the wood a lustrous, care-worn look that highlights the natural grain. Normally, they are found in the kitchen, but their compact design and water-resistance make them a good fit for a wash basin. Find a cabinet maker to cut out a hole for a sink and mount a mirror to the back and, voila, you’ve got something unlike any of the cookie-cutter bathroom vanities.
Chart or Blueprint Cabinet
In the days before computers, these types of cabinets were very popular with architects and cartographers. The multiple shallow drawers allow for easy organization of drafting tools without any items getting lost underneath. Maybe you have a drawer like that now, with mystery items lining the bottom, hidden beneath hairbrushes and other frequently used items? A chart cabinet offers ample space for separating and storing toiletries and, with minimal customization, can easily accommodate a sink.
Hallway tables tend to be long, relatively shallow surfaces, possibly with a platform underneath, but with no drawers. This makes them ideal for bathroom vanities in guest quarters or other areas that will frequently be used by visitors. The lack of storage space gives it a clean, open look. Avoid an inset sink, as the underside will be revealed. Instead, opt for a glass or stone basin that sits on top of the table.
This look won’t fit everyone’s design sensibilities, but it can provide a neat, rustic-chic touch for certain spaces. Another bonus is that crates can often be bought on the cheap. Get one that isn’t splintering and sand the wood down so that it’s completely smooth. Place a sink inside for a simple, no-frills look that works perfectly for a repurposed barn or cabin. Attach some hooks to the side for hand towels and be sure to place a door on one side for easy access in case the sink needs plumbing work.
A slightly more refined cousin of the wooden crate, an oak barrel (or maple or other durable hardwood) provides a unique look for bathroom vanities that is sure to start a conversation. If you live in a region with wineries or distilleries, talk to your favorite one about acquiring a barrel. Then, cut the top out but leave the metal chime hoop in place. Find a sink of metal or stone that matches the patina of the hoop for a seamless incorporation of old and new.