Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Vanity of Vanities

Living in a house with a single, tiny bathroom, I've never had much reason to shop for a vanity.

The mother had a small oak one installed not long after we moved in and this was removed a few years back when the bathroom got yet another makeover. (The work in progress now is a continuation of what started back then when beadboard went up, the vanity came out, and a new pedestal sink and coordinating commode went in.)

But Another D*mn House has three bathrooms, all in need of some TLC. And, now that I think we've found wallpaper, the debate rages on over flooring. Before a floor goes in though, the vanities in the two downstairs baths -- the ones where the majority of diners visit -- will need to be purchased. You'll want to do that AFTER the wallpaper and new flooring go in. So, I began a quest.

Much like our bath, both of these rooms are small and both are exceedingly narrow. They currently have 18x16 vanities. While the ladies' room could accommodate something just a teensy bit bigger, that's not really an option in the men's room. In a perfect world, where size and cost aren't an option, we could put in something like this.

Unfortunately, the black top wouldn't be right in the ladies' room and the unit's 21-inch dept would be stifling in the men's room where it would otherwise look great. Oh. And I almost forgot: Its "sale price" for just one of these babies, combined with the delivery charge, would likely be more than the entire budget for both bathrooms!

So, clearly not an option. Instead, for the men's room at least, it will have to be something infintely more practical and cost conscious. Something more along the lines of this, a perfect standard 18x16 replacement.

Yeah, not exactly what I saw in my mind's eye either. But, I'm hoping that some nice, old-fashioned fixtures and hardware will dress it up a bit, or at least enough that it doesn't take away from the rest of the updates currently being planned for the restroom. The ladies' room may be able to get by with something a little fancier. I haven't suggested this one yet, but I really like it, even if it is twice the cost of the standard one here. Even the handles on this one would work, though they are a separate purchase.

Another option was a pedestal sink. Unfortunately, I don't know what is behind the existing vanities, meaning did they put beadboard around the existing vanity or did they put it in after the beadboard was in place? This wasn't among discussion topics on Saturday so it wasn't something I checked. I've made a note to look into this on the next visit.

The plusses with all of these are that they come with sinks. I saw many, many models that did not, further driving the cost up.

If you've recently redone a bathroom or are currently doing one, you have my sympathy. I don't know how you decide. I'll admit that I never knew there were so many choices!


Sarah said...

We are doing a pair of pedestal sinks in our master bathroom with a dresser between them for storage. Assuming the beadboard runs behind the existing vanity, do you need the under-sink storage a vanity provides? We got our sinks for $89 each at Lowe's (American Standard, I think), so it's a reasonably-priced option if you don't need the storage. If not, I'd still put a small stool or something similar (between sinks?) in the ladies' room to set down a purse, etc.

Karen Anne said...

That's some vanity. Is that an original or a reproduction?

My complaint about vanity tops in restaurants, etc. is that they tend to have water on them. Not so good with you have a quilted purse or if you lean against the edge.

Plus, hooks for hanging a sweater, purse, whatever are sorely missed when not present.

MonkeyGirl said...

I'm not sure what your budget is or the timing of the remodel, but have you tried Home Decorators? They have an online site and an online outlet with many things that would delight the mother. Plus, their scratch and dent sale is coming up the first weekend in March and they always have sinks.

Jayne said...

I second Karen Anne's wish for hooks in the bathroom for a purse or a jacket.

MonkeyGirl, have you ordered anything from Home Decorators, and if so, how was the quality? I'm eyeing an upholstered bench but am a little put off by some of the customer reviews.

Why S? said...

I'm down with the pedestals and hooks.

NV said...

Sarah -- Good ideas! I'm not sure that we could fit anything bigger than a stool in there. And, while I love the pedestal sink idea, not sure about the wall or if we could adequately hide the plumbing. And we'd only need one since it's a single restroom, just like in a home.

KarenAnne -- Isn't it though? I love it! I think it's a repro. Yeah, not much of a way around that water on sink. But no worries -- we've got plenty of hooks that will be going up. Pretty ones, too!

MG -- Funny, I don't know either of those things either! And we are clearly sharing the brain because I wondered if that place had vanities! I will add them to the contender list. Thanks!

Jayne, Why -- Yup -- hooks are purchased and will be going up. That was actually something my godmother noted right off the bat.

MonkeyGirl said...

Jayne -

I haven't purchased anything from their catalog but am a devoted scratch and dent sale shopper (helps that it is 25 ft from my office door!). I have bought a bed frame, nightstands, cabinets, coffee table, a couple of rugs and an upholstered storage bench from the sale amoong other things. I wouldn't say it is heirloom quality furniture but I have been very happy with the quality. We have had our bedroom set for almost 6 years and it still is holding up well. I got a steal on the bench and the only complaint that I have is that the springs in the hinges fell out. I haven't fixed it yet because it isn't a big issue for me. Again, I paid less than $90 for this at the sale and that may have been the original issue why it was so deeply discounted. I think I have at least one piece of furniture from them in every room in my house. I'm pretty sure they have a good return policy if you aren't happy with what you get.

Kate said...

I'd love that last one for my bathroom! Can you tell me where the pic is from?

Vicki said...

Do you get or have you seen the Home Decorators Collection magazine? I don't know how their prices match up but they have a lot of sinks.

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