20 Upcycled and One-of-a-Kind Bathroom Vanities
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.
©Carrier and Company
©Brian Patrick Flynn
©Premier Copper Products
Photo By: Nick Lorenzoni ©Nick Lorenzoni
©JAS Design Build
Photo By: Capture One PRO ©Kohler
Photo By: JAS Design Build; Clarity Northwest Photography
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.
Twigs — who’d have thunk it? Architectural Justice did. They cut salvaged bits of twig to uniform lengths, applied a proprietary adhesive, and voila! Instant rustic vanity. A clear vessel sink was installed so the detail on top would be completely visible.
This mahogany serving table was a dining room piece in its first life. A client of Seattle remodeling and design firm JAS Design Build, which did the bathroom renovation, purchased it on eBay for $200 and had a carpenter convert it to a bathroom vanity by adding a curved marble top. The still-functional bottom drawers offer a place for linen storage.
Making Ends Meet
Simple end tables are repurposed here as an attractive double set of vanities. With rolled linens stacked neatly underneath, the tables pair well with the vintage clawfoot tub and a set of Botticelli vessel sinks from Kohler, which are made of Carrara marble.
If you need a unique piece to suit a distinct bathroom design, repurposing a piece of furniture with great character is the way to go — just make sure your piece is wide enough to accommodate the sink you choose with room left over to set practical items on the counter. For this Bali-style bathroom, it’s hard to imagine a better fit than this beautifully carved table with intricate inlay.
Seattle remodeling and design firm JAS Design Build refitted this small vintage dresser into a vanity as part of a bathroom renovation for a client, who found the piece in an antique shop. The team modified the drawers to accommodate the plumbing and then added a stone top and under-mount sink.
Vessel sinks are a natural choice for upcycling a piece of furniture as a bathroom vanity, because they allow you to keep more of an attractive piece’s top intact. Here, a shallow porcelain sink — Kohler's Conical Bell model — atop a rustic console table is reminiscent of an old-style farmhouse washbasin.
This dining room console outfitted with a vessel sink makes a big statement in the bath. Especially because the piece itself, which has an antique feel, is combined with a giant contemporary mirror framed in an identical tone.
Stuck on a vanity idea? A couple of painted table legs are all you need. (Well, and a framework for support, especially if your countertop choice is heavy.) This BATHtastic! redo pared an overwrought blue-tiled bathroom down to a neutral palette and minimalist vanity choices, leaving the sparkling chrome plumbing exposed underneath.
DIY Network’s BATHtastic! crew helped a frustrated homeowner vanquish a relentlessly purple bathroom and update it with rich wood tones. Here, a repurposed computer desk takes a handsome turn in the bath with the addition of a vessel sink and contemporary fixtures.
Alternate End Table
An upcycled end table is a smart solution for supporting a sink in a small space. If you choose one with a built-in magazine shelf, you can stack bath linens underneath. Here, the faucet is wall-mounted and spills into a Kohler Conical Bell vessel sink.
On a Roll
This unusual bathroom features floating countertops at staggered heights — and uses simple rolling storage cabinets underneath as substitutes for a traditional vanity. The almond-colored vessel sinks are from Kohler.