I’m meeting people who after long searches are wanting solid timber vanity cabinets: made to order and to compliment other items in their bathrooms. I would welcome more inquiries. I’m wondering if people are not sure how to proceed with items like this. Or afraid of the cost. I’ll address this issue in a later blog.
Margaret in Leichhardt, Sydney, was looking for a solid timber vanity to fit the bowl she’d selected and match the other items in her renovated bathroom. She chose recycled Oregon, which is a reasonably priced timber with plenty of character and saved a few dollars by keeping the brass knobs from the existing cabinet so they could be fitted on the new.
Not a big project, but the minimising of the dimensions of the cabinet and being able to fit the actual bowl was a challenge. Now, Margaret has what she wanted: more space and a vanity made to order to suit a modernised Federation home.
For more ideas. Please go to Woodwood woodwood on Pinterest and see the board “The Vanities”
Hillary wanted a replacement bathroom vanity cabinet for her Victorian era terrace house in Enmore, Sydney and she didn’t want a plastic coated, toxic chemical emitting version commonly offered by the usual outlets.
An Australian 100% sustainable plantation timber was chosen and measurements to suit the position in the upstairs bathroom were taken.
The pictures below show the cabinet almost completed and also just installed and plumbing done. Hillary intends to make do until she herself can fit some decorative ceramic tiles for a personal touch and after wall and floor issues dealt with, fit the large timber framed bevelled glass mirror on the wall above, also made by woodwoodwoodwood (not pictured).
See for yourself a solid timber vanity that will age gracefully, feel good to the touch and be what she wanted: something to fit and compliment other original pieces in her bathroom.
…or the one that got away.
Met someone recently who lives on the north coast of New South Wales, with a happy family and a business, kiln drying Australian timbers such as brush box, blackbutt, rose, blue and spotted gums for furniture and other uses. See pictures kindly supplied below
He and is partner were in Sydney to find a bathroom vanity to purchase. They’d seen imported models and had questioned the materials used. Is it veneer or particle board? Was it a certified wood product? The sort of queries you make when you have an impressive occupation dealing with high quality woods.
With my background, advising and promoting sustainable local woods, it seemed naturally my duty to advise him on the alternative: something made to size in a solid timber. And at a similar price to the mass produced, factory made and imported item. Just think of all those carbon miles saved. I felt sure that here were people who would make the ‘right’ decision.
I am, I must admit, a little sad and very disappointed. The family have spoken.
The vanity cabinet will not be made in a little place called Sydney.
A familiar sight in Sydney are rectangular dark red apartment blocks built in the early to middle 20th century. The blocks were constituted of four or six “flats” arranged two per floor and accessed by stairs through a front or side ground entranceway. .My clients, Jane and Chris, were lucky to have one of these flats. Theirs was at the top and to the rear facing east with middle distant views of the ocean.
Wishing to renovate the area around the front door and adjacent bathroom, they discussed with me their ideas to improve storage for linen and general items and their wish for a solid timber vanity cabinet with separate mirrored top cabinet to fit between an exterior wall and yet to be built internal wall.
All items were custom made in sustainable plantation Australian hoop pine. The 2 section storage cabinet alongside and above the inner entrance doorway was painted after installation by the client to blend into the space and walls. The vanity cabinet was finished in clear lacquer at the work shop. The real timber effect creates a warm natural feature amongst the surrounding painted surfaces.
The client chose the “sea shell” knobs for the bathroom suite. They correspond with the red colour on the Art Deco wall ornaments. And also with the chrome bathroom fittings such as the taps and the window fastener. This provides that extra detail and personal touch that makes a really, truly satisfyingly result.
In Sydney, with housing stock including apartments and units having variable living space dimensions, I am being told by people that there is a constant need to “tailor” functional, practical items to fit. Vanity cabinets are a good example. Often displayed in standard uniform dimensions in showrooms across the city, the look and feel can disappoint and usually does.
I believe that for contemporary bathrooms now being built, it is forgotten that timber as a material can provide an underlying texture. Even when painted, the subtle grain and imperfections soften the overall effect and are an improvement on “plasticated” chip or fibre board materials, usually constituted using production glues and finished with polymers.
The pictures demonstrate the use of the North American Shaker style: one of the most subtle and traditional “world” styles. As you can see, it easily compliments the selection of materials by my client Carrie. Note the white knobs chosen too. A nice touch.
The first picture is of a larger bathroom tiled with handsome stone and the second pic shows eye catching black and white tiles. There is a third even smaller bathroom, or specifically shower room. See images below.