I love furniture with history, and we have been fortunate to inherit a house full of it. On the flip side, I have a very hard time parting with any of these sentimental pieces – even when they may be damaged beyond repair.
Take my great-grandmother’s buffet, for example. I acquired it around 2004, after the death of my mom’s first cousin Tommy. He had a storage unit filled with furniture from my great-grandmother Hazel’s house, and this buffet was one of the pieces I claimed. (I was pretty low on the totem pole when it came to choosing items. Obviously.) It was filled with mildewed linens, and only had 3.75 legs – and only two of those were attached.
I put it in my garage in Alabama, vowing to do “something” with it.
Fast forward 14 years and four moves.
Our master bathroom is a decent size but featured a small pedestal sink and almost no built-in storage. When we moved in, it looked like this:
Over the last year, we painted, removed the large wall mirror, and replaced the light fixture. We planned to replace the pedestal sink with a vanity, add shelving, and replace the tumbled tiles with something more historic-looking.
Then the pedestal sink top came dangerously loose from the base. That moved the pedestal replacement to the top of the priority list. And I thought about OG Hazel’s buffet, which was resting upside-down in the guest house closet.
When we pulled it out, it looked even more rickety than I remembered. But it was constructed of solid pieces of wood, and Jason stabilized it with some small angle brackets.
We decided to salvage the front legs and use wood blocks to mount the buffet to the wall.
We bought a basic vessel sink at Home Depot, a drain on Amazon, and splurged on a cool faucet from Wayfair. Including miscellaneous plumbing equipment, we probably spent $400, which seems like a lot until you look at the price for a new 48″ bathroom vanity. We would have spent at least twice that – maybe three times – for a similar piece.
Jason had to modify the drawers on the left side to make room for the plumbing, but that ended up being a lot simpler than I thought. We decreased the depth of the top drawer to about five inches, and cut a wedge out of the big bottom drawer. I used this article from This Old House as a guide.
After some trial and error in the plumbing department (and only a moderate amount of cursing), we were done.
(This bathroom is particularly difficult to photograph, because the window and light fixture keep all the light at the top of the room. I apologize.)
And just as a reminder…..
Our next bathroom project will be installing some chunky shelves in that recess to the right of the vanity. We’ll get to it. Eventually.