Long before vanities were standard bathroom features, dressing tables were most women’s prize possessions. Check out a Downton Abbey episode on PBS to see Mary, Cora and the other Crawleys wiling away the hours at their vanities in front of a mirror while performing beauty rituals. Atop the vanity, trays of perfumes, lotions and jars were lined up and ready for application. Recreate that experience by filling an empty space in your bathroom with an original vanity installation that’s limited only by your imagination and budget.
Make a Floating Vanity
Glass vessel sinks, sleek fixtures and a desire to create a customized, uniquely designed bathroom decorating plan are all you need to make a floating vanity that’s as much about your beauty routine as it about the plumbing. Mount a prefabricated section of granite, composite or another material to the wall via multiple, sturdy brackets (the number depends upon the length of your vanity top) held in place by sturdy anchors and industrial bolts. Your objective? The vanity countertop should appear to float in space. Add a vessel sink if you like-by pre-drilling holes for the plumbing before hanging the countertop-or forget the sink and use the entire surface for your grooming needs.
Turn an Antique Into a Vanity
Why spend a fortune on a pricey, new Victorian vanity when you can make one from vintage furniture? A Victorian bureau, Baroque chest of drawers or a Rococo-style dresser sized to slide into the area targeted for the vanity–plus carpentry tools and your vision-can convert an empty space into a nostalgic vanity. Seal all surfaces of the piece with polyurethane to protect them from water, cosmetic spills and stains. You may have to remove one or more drawers plus a section of the back to accommodate plumbing and drill holes into the top to mount a vessel sink and faucet. An antique mirror completes the look.
Your Own Roman Vanity
Your bathroom deserves the “Roman treatment” and no togas are required to create a luxurious spa-influenced vanity. Purchase or craft plaster columns, making sure they are sized correctly so you can perform your grooming tasks at a comfortable height. Cement or glue a slab of stone, fiberglass or composite resin countertop to the pillars and then bolt the countertop to the wall to stabilize the installation. Drill into the countertop material if you’re adding a sink, drain and faucet. There should be plenty of room left for your Roman bath and body potions once the sink is in place, especially if you mount a sleek, Roman-style mirror to the wall.
Make a Repurposed Vanity
If you love to repurpose found objects, like quirky furnishings or you’re on a shoestring budget that calls for innovation, turn anything you like into a vanity. For example, a resourceful decorator can even turn a hospital gurney into a vanity. Simply set the height of the gurney to suit your needs (they adjust between 28- and 42-inches), dump the mattress and padding, remove the wheels, side rails, poles and hydraulics. Bolt the stripped-down gurney to the bathroom wall. Place your choice of a countertop, pre-drilled for the plumbing, atop the gurney and hang a mirror. This is only one unusual way to repurpose a found object into a vanity. Bet you can come up with more.