1902 Victorian

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Anybody Got a Spare $2,000?

Lately, we've been questioning our decision to use the oak washstand as our bathroom vanity.



First, I had the question about the wood top vs. something more water-proof like marble. Then our friend and neighbor Miss Judy stopped by for a visit and raved about the beautiful old washstand and begged us not to cut a hole in it. Then I started thinking about the further delay cutting holes in the vanity and fitting it for a sink would cause.

So I embarked on on a fact-finding mission. Are there real-wood, furniture-looking vanities in the world?

Why, of course there are, but not - apparently - very many I like. Most of the vanities I found were so-called "French" style ... all scrolls and bulges, lots of ornamentation. Or "hand-painted" with gold or flowers. I'm sure that's perfectly fine for some people, but it's NOT what we want in our simple little bathroom. We want something non-fussy, non-decorator-y.

In all the world I found only two vanities I could tolerate looking at every day. And wouldn't you know it? They're both crazy expensive.

Exhibit A:
I saw this one in the new Restoration Hardware catalog:



It's 32 inches wide in an "espresso" finish, with a white Carrara marble top, undermount sink (faucet not included), and satin-nickel hardware. All for the low low price of $1999.

Exhibit B:
I found this one at Clawfoot Supply:



It's 36 inches wide, made of solid oak with a granite top (small selection of colors), undermount sink (faucet not included) and Stickley-style hardware. The price depends on the granite you choose, or you can choose to buy it without a countertop for $1,326.

What I'd really like is to combine the two - the white marble from the first on the base of the second - and to pay only $500. Ha. I'm still googling and hoping I stumble across a bargain basement bizarro world where solid wood and marble are considered cheapy, and particleboard is the next "it" thing.

I just booked the trip to Italy (we're spending three nights in Florence and two nights in Venice), so the bank account cannot support a $2,000 vanity right now.

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16 Comments:

halloweenlover said...

I want to comment on all the above, but I'm too excited for the trip to Italy! HURRAY!

I still think you should cut into the wood vanity, though. My MIL has it, and it looks fantastic.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous said...

do what greg @ petch house did and get a scrap of marble cut to size and use the oak vanity that you already have- that would probably only cost you the 500

12:20 PM  
amanda said...

K- Can you remove the back scrolly mirror bit and do a top mount bowl on the vanity that you've got? Then you're not cutting a hole. You could coat with with a marine grade varnish to protect the surface from the inevitable spill.

12:51 PM  
amanda said...

correction, my brain is fried, you'd have to cut a hole for the drain, so forget that!
a

12:52 PM  
John said...

If you're a real glutton for punishment, built your own vanity.

12:57 PM  
Marie said...

Have you looked on ebay?

1:05 PM  
Greg said...

That is a dilly of a pickle. I glad to hear you’re not even considering the French Provincial look. There is something about that style that just doesn’t appeal to me. What about getting one of your dirt-cheap deals at Moundville. Get something that you wouldn’t feel so guilty about cutting in to (I agree with your neighbor). If the finish is bad you could sand it down and paint to look like a nice dark oak or mahogany and then get a piece of marble to put on it. I found out after searching for my marble slab that more people can get marble than advertise about it. Anybody who fabricates granite can get marble. You may have to wait for them to resupply their stock of granite, but they can get it from the same supplier that they get their granite from.

1:17 PM  
derek said...

I built my own furniture like vanity. It's only 28" wide, it's a small bathroom. I have yet to complete the countertop. Probably cost around $500 with the sink, wood, hardware etc. Then there's all the tools you need to build it though, so you're back to 2 grand.

1:35 PM  
Kathie said...

I know you're probably not ikea fans and I'm not either, but in the interest of cost....why not check out the Stenskar vanity (sans top) for only $119?

Alternatively there's a whole bunch of great looking ones with marble tops on Overstock.com http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?PAGE=PROFRAME&PROD_ID=1534211 Like this Roosevelt Bathroom Vanity with Marble top for 499.99

Just a couple of thoughts...

4:19 PM  
Anonymous said...

How about this one from Overstock?
http://www.overstock.com/?page=proframe&prod_id=1534211
Good luck!

4:37 PM  
Jocelyn said...

That is a beautiful piece of furniture- I would have a hard time cutting into it too.

I am sure you could find something else, but it might take time. Some of the other ideas people posted sound good too.

9:13 PM  
Maggie said...

good luck today with the gall bladder.
i don't know if i would have the heart to cut that piece of furniture! ~maggie

11:13 AM  
Anonymous said...

Okay

I thought you were going to use a vessel sink on the top which means that you would only need to put a hole for the drain.. and then you can keep the plug and have it fixed later.. Or you could have the top removed and have another top put on it.. Save it for later and replace it when you are done....

I think it would be a beautiful piece when you are done.

2:10 PM  
allison said...

Please don’t cut a hole in that beautiful piece of furniture. How about adding a vessel sink on top? There are some beautiful sinks out there in a wide range of prices. I know www.kohlerco.com has a bunch. You’ll then have to add a wall mounted faucet, which can be a little pricey, but it would be less expensive than a trip to Italy.

8:42 AM  
HLH said...

http://www.costco.com/Common/Category.aspx?cat=1240&eCat=BC|114|1240&whse=BC&topnav=

Hi, you don't know me- um I just ran across your blog and thought I might offer a suggestion. I agree don't cut the beautiful piece you have. The link above is to Costco, they have a HUGE selection of beautiful wood vanities. Some for as little as $800.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous said...

My wife and I purchased a Leg Tub Shower Enclosure Set for $515.97 with shipping. We had a professional plumber install it for us. 3 days later water was spraying all over our newly remodeled bathroom! The riser support rod & riser cone is ONLY held down by a compression fitting. Basically there are only 2 little screws that attach to the tube that hold the shower head in place. The riser is not threaded or secured at all. I called Clawfoot supply each time this took place and was told that the installation is suspect even though 2 different plumbers told us it is a bad design. I called Kate and Mark the owner of the company for over 2 weeks. I finally got Mark on the phone and he told me that he is not able to help us out. So now we are out of pocket $515.97 and do not have a shower! Needless to say we are very unsatisfied with Clawfoot Supply!

11:26 AM  

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