I have a client doing a couple of bath renovations, and she is keeping the old cast iron tubs (good choice) and having them re-glazed. Her hope is to have the bathrooms feel vintage still, but fresh and updated. The floors will most likely be in marble mosaics, in different patterns perhaps with accents of a color interspersed, but nothing out of the box– timeless and classic. Think herringbone, penny tiles, basket weaves.
Walls will either be wallpapered or partially tiled and papered in quiet marble subway tiles or good quality ceramic subway tiles. Again, very very simple. The only way, except wallpaper and lighting, to inject any whimsey into these baths is to play with the vanities, which play, we plan to do. The main question is what to use for vanities? Do we find vintage case pieces like the ones below and retrofit them or build them from scratch? I think we need to explore both options and see which looks more original and has the best price value.
If this is the look you want, the is is better to build it or buy it? It’s not that tough to retrofit a cabinet or dresser into a vanity, assuming you have a good carpenter, furniture refinisher and plumber. Especially if you get a good deal.
Of course, you lose the top portion of storage, but you get a one of a kind vintage vanity. If that doesn’t work, and you have access to a great cannot maker, copy it and make a new version. Or, show your builders picture of a piece of furniture you like and translate it into a vanity. Your bath storage does not have to be cookie cutter; it is just as easy to build something fabulous as it is to build something run-of-the-mill, so seize the opportunity to do something original. Why not? It will be interesting to see how we fare– which option she chooses. I will let you know!
Here are some furniture pieces we may use as “inspiration” for shape, leg and tone: forget the color and texture– that will all be toned down, probably white or a bright bold lacquer color:
This one, perhaps with an apron sink on top: