The Secret to Buying a Vanity Online

October 1st, 2014

Each and everyday, the team at Tradewinds is trying to make it easier for you to shop. We believe that educating the customer helps them make better decisions.  You’re happy with the vanity you chose and we’re able to deliver  an appropriate vanity in terms of dimensions, materials, and build quality.  The more informed you are about the craftsmanship that goes into building a bathroom vanity, the more you will be able to appreciate the one of a kind vanities we provide. We even let you see how we ship and package your orders!

In an effort to do so, we’ve created our Bathroom Vanity Buyers Guide. If this wasn’t enough, we even chopped it up into an easily dissectable slideshow that you can view below. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll learn.

Table of Contents

  • Materials Used to Make Bath Cabinets
  • Deciding What Size is the Right Fit
  • Bathroom Vanity Height Guide
  • Types of Vanities
  • Variations of Sinks
  • Styling Options
  • Being a Frugal Shopper

    The Ultimate Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

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French Hen Farm Shows You How to Wax Wood Cabinets

September 25th, 2014

This DIY Vanity Refinishing project comes from a former customer named Linda. We stumbled across her project after noticing a blog post that she published 2 years ago on her site, French Hen Farm. This is how the story goes.

Linda was doing some renovation around the house and decided to update the upstairs bathroom. After doing some shopping, she fell in love with a vanity from Restoration Hardware. When she tried to place the order, she ran into one problem.

The vanity she had her eyes on was not available in the size she wanted and the price was a bit out of her range. So, she decided to do what any savvy shopper would do. She started perusing the internet and to her surprise, she found something similar on Tradewinds Perhaps the best part of it all was that it was about 2/3 the price!

French Casement Single Vanity from Restoration Hardware

The French Casement Single Vanity from Restoration Hardware listed at $2,345-$3,395.

Above is the vanity Linda originally wanted and below is the one she ordered from Tradewinds Imports.

Bellante Double Sink Vanity

The Bellante Double Sink Vanity shown in a raw finish. Listed at $2,220. Linda saved herself almost $1,175!

*It’s important to note that the Bellante is 4 1/2″ wider and comes with 2 sinks instead of 1.  And it costs less!*

Spotlight on the Bellanta Double Sink Vanity

Just for being catching wind of such an incredible story, I think the Bellante deserves a quick spotlight. It’s your time to shine buddy! Part of the Premiere Collection, the Bellante Vanity is made from natural solid oak. The wood is kiln-dried to prevent any warping that occurs when moisture is left inside the wood during the manufacturing process. It’s also available in a rustic driftwood finish.

The Bellante features high quality dovetail drawers, soft-close glides, and it even comes with an anti-mildew vanish that protects it from humidity and moisture. The Bellanta is available with 13 different top options and it can also be ordered without a top. In this case, Linda chose to go with the beautiful carrera marble top.

Close up of the Natural Oak Finish

A close up of the Natural Oak Finish on the Bellante Vanity.

“I think the one we picked was very close to the one we loved at Restoration Hardware!” – Linda from French Hen Farm

Before and After Waxed Wood Cabinets

Linda purchased a raw (unfinished) vanity with the intention of painting it. After thinking about it, she decided to wax it instead. Using a coat of clear wax followed by dark wax, she finally finished her new vanity off with several clear coats of wax to give it a more noticeable shine.

Here are the before and after pictures of her old vanity, and the new one they installed.

Before and After Waxing the Cabinets

Above you can see what the cabinets looked like before. Below is an after shot showing the new Bellante Vanity with a raw finish that’s has been updated with dark and clear wax.

How to Wax Wood Cabinets

Waxing wood cabinets is a fairly simple process. It’s much like painting but it’s not quite as messy. You can apply furniture wax to give your cabinets a glowing shine or even opt for stained waxes that will alter the color of your finish. Linda chose to add a second layer of dark wax so that’s why the finished outcome is much darker than the vanity she originally received.
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Surprise, Surprise, Toilet Seat Liners Don’t Work

September 23rd, 2014

Research finds that toilet seat liners offer no hygienic benefits. This begs the age old question, “do you hover, or do you cover.”

Even though we do everything we can to avoid it, there’s no doubt that you’ve had to use a public restroom at some point in time. No need to feel ashamed, we’ve all had to tuck our chins and take the walk of shame to the public restroom. Do you hover, or do you cover? Well new research may give insight into the best option.

  • 60% of American refuse to sit when they use a public toilet. Source.
  • Nearly 30% of Americans avoid public restrooms out of fear of germs and 40% flush with their feet. Source.

Should you Cover or Hover?

Should you Cover or Hover? CC)

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Vitreous China vs Porcelain

September 18th, 2014

The most popular materials for bathroom sinks are vitreous china and porcelain. Many times, people wonder what’s the difference between vitreous china and porcelain. It’s difficult to get a straight answer when reading product descriptions especially when things are worded differently. The truth of the matter is, vitreous china is a coating added to ceramics like porcelain.

Vitreous china/porcelain is commonly used to make basins and toilets. The word vitreous means “Glass-Like” and describes the high gloss shine that vitreous enamel gives to porcelain and ceramics.

Vitreous China Vessel Sink

This is an example of a Vitreous China Vessel Sink. Most sinks are coated with vitreous enamel that was developed by David Buick who is famous for his founding of Buick Motorsports. This same technique remains used today after over a century of time has passed.

Vitreous China

Vitreous china is a glazing technique that is added to porcelain. It is a glass based enamel coating that makes things more durable, denser, and shinier. When a large amount of heat is applied to powdered glass, a liquid called vitreous enamel is created.

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A Guide to Turning a Dresser Into a Vanity

September 15th, 2014

In July 2013 I shared our bathroom vanity on my blog & it has gained some great feedback. I hope this helps in creating inspiration & ideas for you.  When we rebuilt our home I was in charge of working with our builder on the design. I was nervous because the only thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want anything cookie cutter. I’ve never designed anything, but I was up for the challenge.

While there are some truly gorgeous bathroom vanities out there, I knew I wanted to put my stamp throughout the house and that included our vanities in our bathrooms. I wanted to have conversation pieces.

Dresser Converted into a Bathroom Vanity

© On Fern Avenue

Turning a $45 Dresser into a Custom, One of a Kind Vanity

I set out looking for a dresser for the guest bathroom upstairs which is also our girl’s bathroom. I purchased the vanity as a dresser from Habitat from Humanity Restore for $45.

I had gone into our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found what started out as an over painted white dresser. It had some fantastic bones, but there was layer upon layer of paint. Prior to sanding I tested the dresser for lead. In doing this I find a place on the dresser to chip it down to the raw wood, and test on a spot where all of the paint layers are exposed.

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K+BB Design Award Winners

September 11th, 2014

K+BB just announced the winners of the 2014 Design Award competition. Each year, we get to see some of the best designs from around the home. After a total of 55 submissions, the best designs were chosen and the names have now been released. We’re going to focus on those recognized for their outstanding bathroom projects.

The 2014 K+BB Bathroom of the Year Award Goes to…

Design Studio 15, Keesee and Associates and William Edward Construction

Who: Design was made for a Walt Disney Executive and his wife. Located in Winter Park, Florida

Requests: Unique, modern, and luxurious.

Key Features: Large closet, steam shower & sauna, creative storage and organization, ample lighting choices, private water closet, a Jacuzzi, and a unique ceiling.

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Shallow Bathroom Vanities with 8-18 Inches of Depth

September 8th, 2014

Shallow bathroom vanities keep you from cramping your style in narrow spaces. Shallow vanities can be necessitated for a variety of reasons. European bathrooms are known to be slim and narrow and older homes often have smaller guest bathrooms like this as well.

When we say narrow, we’re referring to the depth of the vanity; that is the distance from the front to back. This can be even more difficult to find than small vanities (measured in width) because it is so uncommon. Here’s a list of shallow vanities to make things easier for you. These vanities range from 10-18 inches in depth.

Shallow Bathroom Vanities with 8-18 Inches in Depth

1. Perugia Small Vessel Sink Vanity – 12″ Depth

Perugia Small Vessel Sink Vanity

The Perugia Vessel Sink Vanity measures 12″ deep. $775.00 with Travertine vessel sink.

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Best Bathroom Lighting Options for Shaving & Putting on Makeup

September 4th, 2014

Selecting the proper lighting for your bathroom makes daily tasks like putting on makeup and shaving less problematic. Nothing is more difficult than trying to apply mascara or matching foundation when your lighting is off the mark.

Lighting in the bathroom is an issue because of the angles, shadows, and glares that are created when you’re standing in front of the vanity mirror. The most important concept that we need to keep in mind is layering your lighting vertically just as you would horizontally across the room. This will eliminate shadows.

Vertical Lighting in the Bathroom

An example of vertical lighting. As you can see, some overhead task lighting or recessed lights would compliment this area well. (CC)

Bathroom Lighting: What Not to Do

Let’s step outside of the norm and make our bathroom (and coincidentally ourselves) more appealing. As Carla pointed out on her blog, “Nothing says ‘typical’ like a bar light. Nothing says ‘nothing special’ like a bar light.'” So since we don’t want to use bar lights, what options are we left with? Let’s take a look at the most common bathroom lighting options one by one.

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The Only Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide You Need to Read

September 1st, 2014

Discover all of your options and learn what to look for in this Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide. This guide will show you what types of vanities there are, discuss material quality, and address common design issues.

Unlike other pieces of home furniture, vanities are installed and fastened to the studs of your home. This means that they are a much more permanent piece. For this reason, you want to make sure that you choose the right vanity built with the proper materials. Here is an outline to the Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide

  1. Materials Used to Make Bath Cabinets
  2. Deciding What Size is the Right Fit
  3. Bathroom Vanity Height Guide
  4. Types of Vanities
  5. Variations of Sinks
  6. Styling Options
  7. Being a Frugal Shopper

To jump to a specific section, click on the appropriate link above.

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18 Bathroom Vanities Made with Dovetail Drawers

August 29th, 2014

Bathroom vanities with dovetail drawers are sought after because of their strength and resilience. Dowels have the tendency to come loose after opening and closing drawers many times. This requires constant retightening of bolds and adjusting the alignment of the drawers to make sure that everything is fitting. Nobody wants a vanity that’s going to fall apart.

Those who are looking for quality vanities that will last for decades know that the type of joint used on drawers is very important. It’s just as important as the material being used to make the cabinets. Here is a list of 18 of my favorite bathroom vanities made with dovetail drawers.

Waterbury Vanity with Dovetail Drawers

The Waterbury Vanity.  Click on images to learn more about each product.

What are Dovetail Drawers

Dovetail drawers are built using dovetail joints, a special type of joint in cabinetry that is known for its resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). A dovetail joint uses a series of pins cut in a way that extends from the end of one board and interlocks with a series of “tails” cut into the end of the other board. These pins are shaped into the form of a trapezoid. Light glue is used as an added precaution but after that, dovetail joints do not need any screws, bolts, or brackets.

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