Vanities, dressers, and antique wash stands.

As promised, a post on our new vanity!

When Jeff and I first viewed our house we saw it through the rose tinted glasses of first love, gone were the nails jutting out of the beams from Christmas decorations past, the clawed up carpet from the adorable cat, the limited number of electrical outlets and finally (and most expensively) the rusted sink in the vanity which had allowed water to drip into the vanity unit. At first we planned to replace the top only and repair the damage to the unit but Jeff developed a deep and abiding hatred of the white cupboard fronts, and as we knew the work was going to happen, we decided to replace the entire set up with the help of the then unsuspecting Paul.

Queue endless trips to various stores, Rona, Home Depot and Lowes, searching for the unit which didn’t cost a fortune but was good quality and nice to look at. There were many, many vanities to look at, some with the perfect shade of wood but feeling like plastic, some with the right look and quality but with very much the wrong price tag, some with the right price tags but wrong counter top. Finally I came across a tutorial on how to use an antique dresser for a vanity and  we started our hunt for the perfect antique dresser instead. Spending lots of time in antique stores is far more restful than spending any time in the big box stores! We finally found an antique washstand which we loved; it had graceful hand turned legs, a beautiful solid wood top, and as we stood staring at it we realised that we would never be able to cut a gaping hole into the top of something so intricate, and we knew we needed something with beautiful details which was not quite so decorative.

I finally found this image and knew that this was what we were looking for:

North Georgia Log Cabin
Image c/o

The next day I was trawling for anything close and discovered that people from the era I was looking at were either really short or had no problem bending double to wash their faces! Finally I extended the search to the Hamilton/Toronto area, hoping to find something we loved enough to be bothered to make the drive and came across this gem:

Image c/o
Image c/o

I immediately emailed the owner, who is a lovely lady called Emily who runs an antique restoration business and she got right back to me with the dimensions and the fact that the piece had the most important pre-requisite, which was that it be solid wood. I also noted that even though she was in Hamilton the cost of the piece INCLUDED delivery! Perfect!

In the mean time, I looked through her other pieces and found this beautiful antique washstand, which was another piece I could not dream of drilling into but really wanted. Most interesting of all is the age of the piece at 125 years and still wonderful.

Image c/o
Image c/o

We put down the deposit, arranged the delivery time, and I am so so excited to get the pieces. The best part of the whole situation is that the dresser was significantly cheaper than most of the vanities we saw on our hunt. Now we just have to decide whether we want a full vessel sink or a partially recessed sink. It will really depend on what Paul thinks as far as the structure of the piece but feel free to weigh in with your opinions (especially if you’ve waded your way through this mammoth post!)

Here is an image which shows what a recessed sink might look like for comparison.

Recessed sink
Image c/o

As always we really love to hear from you all!

Alethea 🙂

12 thoughts on “Vanities, dressers, and antique wash stands.

  1. Alethea……I just love both pieces you have picked..I really look forwards to watching your home come together! I can’t wait to see the actual house..Anyway take care and have fun with your new home..

    • Hi Kim! Thank you for your lovely comments, it’s really wonderful being able to buy furniture and know we will have somewhere to put it. When we finally have a house-warming party (which may be some time as we currently don’t have a back lawn OR a bbq) we will invite everyone and hopefully you will be able to come!

  2. Love the idea of this! The only thing I’m thinking would maybe be an issue is the fact that you may lose a lot of drawer space and may need to rebuild the drawers to fit the plumbing in… Unless you have thought of a way to combat this with Paul who I am assuming is a plumber based on how he is mentioned in the post…very interested in seeing how this comes together because that would be a great idea to mimic here 🙂 love the posts, keep em coming!

    • Hey Jill! Paul is a handyman extrodinaire (and Jeff’s Dad) and we are hoping that we will only lose full functionality of the top drawer and then make cut outs in the second drawer which we will box in for the plumbing, looked at lots and lots of tutorials online and that seems to be the way people go about it but obviously we are not experts so will be going very slowly and lovingly as a mistake could be expensive! We will put up lots of pictures as it (hopefully) comes together and you guys can come visit whenever you like. 🙂

      • Sounds awesome! We would like to visit often for sure 🙂 and any help you need just let us know. Joel’s going to have to be the strength between us but I can carry small boxes 🙂

  3. I hope you’re happy now – I officially regret my new vanity! Damn you and your creative ways!!!

    • Hey guys what a fab idea, I prefer the basin on top rather than recessed but I do think both are lovely. I like the idea of the taps coming out of the wall above the basin that looks so smart.
      I kinda wish our bathroom was big enough for something like this, I really love it

  4. I absolutely, totally love both these items. I too can’t imagine drilling into either but what an end result it will be… Gorgeous!!! U should ask Sarah Pelley’s advice as she is very clever on all things pre-loved and revamped!! Finally from me…. Concern with a small basin such as in picture is spillage and effect that may have on the beautiful wood. I think the “to recess or not to recess” may be driven by the end resulting height? Either will look great. I love the mirror too – really will look great. Good luck with the fix Paul, from the wonderful ideas listed here I am sure you will be busy for a while! I really love following this journey and miss you my niece and nearly nephew xxx

  5. Sorry Benjamin, I can’t seem to figure out a way to do that for you. The only thing I can suggest is to click the “unsubscribe” link in three of the four emails. Let me know if that works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *