One item that gets a lot of love on our Instagram feed is our upcycled bathroom vanity unit. We have taken inspiration from similar vanity units that are for sale, but they all seem astronomically priced and we thought there must be a cheaper way of doing it. We decided that if we could find the right unit surely it wouldn’t be too hard to convert it ourselves. The issue that kept holding us back from doing it was… where the hell do you put the bloody pipes?? After a bit of research we realised that a lot of vanity units have the pipes hidden in the walls. This was not an option for us as we had only just re-tiled that particular wall in the bathroom. Somehow we needed to hide the pipes within the unit without losing the storage to hide a multitude of brightly coloured kids toys.
After perusing the auction sites for what seemed an age we eventually stumbled across what seemed the perfect article from Ebay. It was the right size, had a bit of age, three drawers with beautiful handles, was only 5 minutes down the road from us and was only £25!! So we thought lets buy it and even if we cock it up we haven’t lost too much. Once we got the unit home we couldn’t wait to get started with the up cycling. Firstly we gave the unit a good sand to get rid of the varnish on the top using an electric sander (sand paper and elbow grease will do the trick if you don’t have one) and a light sand on the sides. We then painted the sides in Farrow and Ball Railings and used a good quality gloss varnish on the top to help protect against any water that an unruly two year old leaves behind. This was the easy bit done; we now had to work out how we were going to plumb it in without losing the use of the drawers.
We took a bit of plumbing advise from a friend who said the plumbing should be fairly easy to take on ourselves (it might be easy for a qualified plumber but nothing seems easy when you have never done it before). He recommended we used an ‘in-line space saving waste trap’, what is one of those I hear you ask; well until recently I didn’t know either. It basically replaces the standard ‘U’ bend trap that takes up a lot of room and is the secret behind still being able to use the drawers! Yay! All we had to do was cut a small section out of the back of the top drawer to allow for this. With this purchased (from any good plumbing merchants) we were good to try and plumb in the basin and taps that we had bought from Victorian Plumbing. And you know what, it was much easier then we ever imagined. We cut the pipes to fit around the back of the drawer and the in-line space saving trappy thing worked perfectly. The vanity unit sets the bathroom off beautifully and adds an interesting focal point to a traditionally pretty boring part of a bathroom! You can shop the look below (the unit itself was from Ebay but do check there for similar).
The costings for this project were: Vanity Unit: £25.00 from Ebay Plumbing: £25.00 from B&Q Sink and Taps: £100 from Victorian Plumbing Paint: (Left over from an old project) Farrow & Ball Railings Wood varnish: £9.00 from B&Q