The people who owned my '20s-era LA house before I did never met a DIY they didn't like. In the master bath, they had haphazardly transformed an old, cherry-stained dresser into the vanity. I had no love for the institutional gray tile they laid on top of the dresser, nor the '50s faucet, the fixtures which had no visual relationship to the ornate, and the Victorian pulls on the dresser itself. It was, as they say, a hot mess. But I was duly impressed by the effort. DIY bathroom vanities are no small feat.
Needless to say, we ripped out the DIY vanity as soon as our budget allowed, to be replaced by a simple, modern floating vanity with two drawers and his and her sinks (thanks, IKEA!). But I often think about that sad, sad bathroom vanity and what I would've done instead.
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Here's where I would probably start.
1. Use birch plywood to create a floating vanity.
This chic little modern bathroom vanity DIY cost all of $12 in ½-inch birch plywood. (Credit: @sherylsandersdesigns)
2. Place a cast-iron apron sink within a dresser for a farmhouse vibe.
Leigh at the Little by Little Home calls this DIY vanity "a happy accident." She had saved the cast-iron apron sink for a future kitchen update, but used it, along with a $20 dresser from Facebook Marketplace, to create a half-bath with a vintage farmhouse vibe. (Credit: @thelittlebylittlehome_)
3. Use an IKEA base, but glam it up.
Has IKEA ever looked so glam? Some of the most successful bathroom vanity DIYs start with a simple IKEA base — including this extensive remodel by Marisa and Chris of Oak Apple Decor. (Credit: @oakappledecor)
4. Save money using MDF.
This sleek and impressive DIY bathroom vanity cost just $62, including $1 IKEA pulls, a $30 piece of ¾-inch MDF, and a white vanity top for just $7.50. (Credit: @modernplankcreations)
5. Use wood shelves as a front cover.
Beth Mauck took an IKEA vanity and sink top, added some wood shelves from World Market, and voila! A little bit of rustic modern in the pool house bath. (The before pictures are astonishing). (Credit: @seasonsunderheaven)
6. Believe in the power of a good paint job.
Does a coat of paint count as DIY? It should. Justine Angel transformed dark brown builder-grade cabinets with sleek new gold hardware and a gorgeous coat of Sherwin-Williams Ripe Olive. (Credit: @via_justine)
7. Change out the hardware for a fresh feel.
Similarly, Mercedes McGee did wonders with Benjamin Moore Stonecut and some simple satin nickel hardware from Lowe's. (Credit: @with.love.mercedes)
8. Replace the legs for a lovely new look.
The small details — like the midcentury legs — really make this midcentury bath renovation, by Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed, sing. The pulls are (surprise!) from The Home Depot, and the gorgeous blue is Underwater, by Behr. (Credit: @lovelyindeed)
9. Customize the doors.
It's Semihandmade to the rescue, once again. If your DIY skills are modest at best (raises hand), or if you're on a budget, then customized help is your BFF — as is the case here. A Godmorgon IKEA vanity paired with Semihandmade Tahoe fronts = perfection. (Credit: @caro_kmartin)
10. Transform a dresser into a vanity.
Just… WOW. This attic bathroom is a showstopper — and no one would ever expect that the vanity was once a West Elm dresser. (Credit: @thechrisandclaudeco)
11. Make a small bathroom feel special with veneer.
12. Think outside of the box with a bike.
13. Use a slab of wood for a modern farmhouse feel.
14. When in doubt, think pink.
OMG, that pink. (Credit: @burtsbrisplease)