Save Money And Add Character In Your Bathroom By Using Vintage Furniture As A Basin Stand


Image courtesy of Wit & Delight

Image courtesy of Wit & Delight

Bathroom design, unless you have a very large budget, can often be uninspiring. It's very easy to fall into the trap of wanting clean lines and muted neutrals, because we tend to want bathrooms as sanitary, bright spaces. Smaller bathrooms can often end up being completely tiled in one plain design; while bathroom fixtures and fittings are often brought matching each other and therefore lead to a dull & flat space.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design Co.

Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design Co.

One great and very cheap way to create an interesting and attractive bathroom is to DIY your own basin stand with vintage furniture. Dressing tables, chests of drawers, wooden side tables, side cabinets and even wooden tables can be manipulated to be the perfect basin stand to add character and originality in your bathroom. There is something about taking a piece of furniture that is not in keeping with what is expected in the space, and using it for something completely other than what it was designed for.

Courtesy of Park & Oak Design

Courtesy of Park & Oak Design

In the picture below, the homeowners have taken a lovely mid-century modern sideboard and erected a countertop basin on top of the unit. This sideboard is not something you would expect to see in a bathroom, but by keeping the rest of the bathroom white the sideboard basin stand becomes the focal point. This transforms this bathroom from very plain into something much more charming:

Image sourced by Lovely Imperfection.

Image sourced by Lovely Imperfection.

The owners of the bathroom below have chopped off the legs of a old wooden table on one side, and secured the table to the wall. They have then placed a countertop basin on the table and painted the table stand blue, creating quite a rustic feel:

Courtesy of Woodsmith Magazine

Courtesy of Woodsmith Magazine

So, if you want to create something like this in your own home, where do you start? To obtain a beautiful vintage piece of furniture for a small price, you should check out your local furniture recycle warehouse. These charitable, not-for-profit organisations do house clearances and have the space to store large pieces of furniture. I went down to my local furniture recycle warehouse last week and found a couple of cabinets for £20, which would be perfect for a DIY project like this:

If the piece is not in as good as condition as you would like, then a simple sanding down and re-varnishing with a waterproof varnish should make the piece as good as new. You could also paint the piece a colour of your choice. If you are going to do this, make sure that you use a good primer after sanding, then use a durable eggshell paint that will be able to take water splashes.

Designer Antonio Martin' home in San Francisco.

Designer Antonio Martin' home in San Francisco.

For the basin and bathroom taps, SuperBath sell a wide range of basins for furniture that can either be mounted onto the top of the piece, or can sink into the unit if you want it to all look a bit more cohesive:

A selection of the countertop and wall-mounted basins available for furniture and vanity units from SuperBath.

A selection of the countertop and wall-mounted basins available for furniture and vanity units from SuperBath.

And if you've saved a bunch of cash on the basin stand, you can splurge on beautiful taps like this chrome and gold basin tap from Grohe:

Grohe tap

To install the basin and bathroom taps on the furniture unit, you'll need to cut away just the right amount of wood in the correct position for the waste pipe. Depending on your plumbing requirements, you may need to take the back off the unit and maybe cut into any existing shelving to make way for the pipes.

Photo by Lee Garland for The Guardian

Photo by Lee Garland for The Guardian

If your plumbing requirements are simple and your bathroom is small, mounting a countertop sink onto a capable shelf (as per the picture below) will create a feeling of more space, as well as being more interesting than a pedestal sink:

Courtesy of Fired Earth

Courtesy of Fired Earth

Have you adapted furniture in your home for use where it's not usually found? If so, what have you done? Let me know in the comments section below.....

* This post is a collaboration with SuperBath.co.uk