Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Customizing Your Bathroom For Less 1.0: The Vanity (for your sink not your psyche)

When we first moved into our house we had a partially gutted bathroom to contend with but because we had JUST BOUGHT A FREAKING HOUSE we had no money to fix it up.  So we lived with the 2x4s propping up the sink until we could afford to remodel it ourselves.  I am really proud of how it turned out in that my husband did all the labor and I was able to keep the total cost to around $3,000.  I will be blogging about this process in a short series starting with how to get the look of a custom vanity.

Dealing with small spaces can be tricky because home stores offer few sizing options and custom orders can be pricey.  This is one of the reasons I chose the more time consuming route of searching for an antique buffet.  I needed to find one large enough to accommodate two sinks but small enough to allow for the bathroom door to open.  A couple things to remember when looking for a piece to convert.

1.  Don't be distracted by color or hardware.  These are elements that are easy and fun to makeover!
2.  While length and depth can be very important the initial height of the piece is not as crucial.  Our vanity was too high so we chopped off a portion of the legs.  If you have the reverse problem you can remove the legs completely and add inexpensive pre-made legs to your specified height.
3.  Think about where the pipes are going to go.  Our piece had cabinets on the side so we got lucky.  If your piece has drawers you might need to glue them shut, keeping the look but losing the utility.
4.  Don't be afraid to barter!  Antique malls are a great place to strike up a deal.  Often times all you need to do is tell an employee how much you are willing to pay and they will call the seller and let you know if you have a deal.  Not very confrontational and potentially rewarding.

Once you have selected your piece, and have made any necessary alterations to the skeleton, the fun begins.  Using color and hardware you can create any atmosphere.  I could have painted this piece red and used bronze or copper, Asian inspired hardware which would have totally changed the feel of the room.  The point is to figure out the direction you want to go in and to not be afraid to make a statement.  To paint your vanity the "right" way checkout this link.

Because we were on a very tight budget I chose to use the somewhat tacky brass plates that were part of the original.  By spraying them white and adding cheap pulls I created contrast which, not only  customizes the vanity but complements the rest of the bathroom's design.

Stay tuned for Bathroom Customization 2.0 on the fascinating world of subway tiles!


lacy rain said...

I forgot about how the sink was held up by two by fours for a while. You should add pictures of that, makes you look like you've actually had to rough it go through those lame awkward stages of remodeling. (which you have, I've been witness)

Cheryl said...

Popped over to your blog from Kimba's DIY day. Love your vanity and sink and subway tile makes me swoon. Y'all did a wonderful job with your bathroom redo.

Camiguin Piper Foster said...

Thanks for stopping by Cheryl! It was a fun project but I have yet to recover enough to move onto tackling the kitchen:)

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