Why stick to the norm when you can put your bathroom sink on just about anything? We’ll show you a few of our favorite alternatives for a traditional vanity.
Rescued Cow Trough
When New York design firm Carrier and Company converted an old dairy barn into a guest cottage for a client, they saw big possibilities in this soapstone cow trough salvaged from the property. Owner Jesse Carrier and his team added custom hinged wood tops to create one of the most unusual and beautiful bathroom vanities you’ll ever see. The mirror above is made of reclaimed exterior window shutter louvers.
Washup on Wheels
This vanity is a Pinterest phenomenon. “It’s the sink that made me famous,” says artist Benjamin Bullins. “People ask me where the inspiration came from, but it was really more opportunity than inspiration.” Bullins was designing a client’s bathroom, and the client’s mom’s neighbor knew he worked with recycled materials, so she brought over some old bicycles for him to repurpose. Presto! Note: Bullins had to special-order solid rubber tires for this piece so they wouldn’t go flat over time.
Dining Room Redux
This mirrored console table was beautiful as a dining room accent, but it’s absolutely stunning when recycled for the bath. The top was sealed with polyurethane — an important step when repurposing furniture to accommodate plumbing — and the square vessel sinks were sealed with caulk around their edges. Hardware was added in varying shades of brown and a mix of finishes to preserve the vintage vibe.
Start Your Engines
Artist and recycler extraordinaire Benjamin Bullins created this vanity from a vintage boat motor for a client’s lake house. Bullins painstakingly gutted the motor to accommodate plumbing; he also routed out the wood countertop surface and embedded an old wood fishing lure in clear resin for added effect. “A lot of my work looks simple, but it isn’t,” he says. “Fabrication and execution can be a real challenge. But I hope I inspire people to be creative — don’t be afraid to take the first step!”
Water and Wine
If you live near a winery, you may be sitting on an upcycling gold mine. Real oak wine barrels make beautiful furniture — craftsman John Koering painstakingly refitted this barrel as a vanity for Premier Copper Products, which sells the striking hammered copper vessel sink used here. Prepping a wooden barrel for a humid bathroom requires special care, so don’t go plopping a sink into one without researching the finer points of finishing and sealing.
Erin Rodriguez of the blog Welcome Home scored both an old potting table from Craigslist and a salvaged sink from a local shop for her bathroom vanity. The pretty blue finish is another recycling win: it’s from a 50-cent can of mis-tinted paint.
This secondhand dresser makes a marvelous vintage vanity. Drawers like these can still be functional after you make room for the plumbing — simply saw a cutout to accommodate the pipes and construct a frame around it that forms the new back of the drawer.
Sometimes the best vanity is no vanity at all. A simple marble top on an open framework — a “washstand” in bathroom design parlance—looks chic and gives you an instant place to hang linens. This one is purchased, but the possibilities are endless for creating your own supporting framework.
Repurposed Tree Trunk
This onyx vessel sink has found a home atop a salvaged piece of log — courtesy of Ohio remodeling and design firm Architectural Justice. There’s even a bit of embedded barbed wire remaining around the hollowed-out stump. The look is so striking that Architectural Justice is creating a model of the stump to use for other sinks.