Design Dilemma: Affordable Bathroom Vanity


In my marriage there’s a lot of home-decorating push and pull that keeps things interesting. I love to remodel homes, he hates the process. I care about the way things look, he ignores appearances. I don’t mind spending money on good design, he doesn’t see the point. We are in the thick of renovating a Sonoma County home, and I’m down to brass tacks on the budget—so things are REALLY interesting right now. I was thrilled to discover a design solution in an unlikely spot: the pages of a CB2 catalogue.

On an espisode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshow said this about a man: “He was like the flesh and blood equivalent of a DKNY dress—you know it’s not your style, but it’s right there, so you try it on anyway.”

That’s how I feel about CB2; there’s no denying it looks good, but it’s a little too mass-market, first-apartment-style for my taste. But, like clockwork, the catalogues keep arriving in the mail—it’s right there, so I check it out. And there was the answer for my circa 1972 Healdsburg home:

Now, I’m not going to be drilling buckets as sinks (an idea I spotted in Pottery Barn SVP Celia Tejada’s Napa-area home years ago), but I love the clean, industrial lines of the vanity and it could easily be dressed up with a simple Toto vessel sink like this:

The problem was, I couldn’t easily locate the vanity shown in the photo—it wasn’t referenced on the page at all. That’s because it isn’t a vanity, it’s a desk that’s shown later in the book.

The Go-Cart desk, priced at $149, is a steal compared to most vanities—even though I’ll have to ask my contractor to drill it to make it sink-ready. But, by the time I buy a countertop and sink, and even after the labor fees, it’s still $1,000 less expensive than the other item I had my eye on. Marriage saved!


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