MAR 4th

Vanity Variety: Then & Now

So it’s 1890 and you are going to look at vanities with your interior designer.

Your designer might show you one of these from the local craftsman:

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

1890 wash stand -

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

Faux Bamboo Wash Stand 2013-02-19 17-11-21

Most wash stands had a stone top (to protect the wood from splashing water) and some had towel bars on the sides.

Wash stands were just that.  Stands.  And you had your choice of pitcher and bowl.

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

 

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

 

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

 

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

The one below c. 1890 was constructed of pine and had a removable bowl–very much an ancestor to our sink bowls today.

1890 washstand - Google Search 2013-02-19 17-15-34

Although millionaires like George Vanderbilt could boast a porcelain tub and modern plumbing in his 1855 estate, it was not the norm.

In 1940 only one half of American homes had running water.

This 1936 picture of a home in Indiana (via Shorpy) is a pretty good indication how some folks did their personal washing.

Washstand: 1936  Shorpy Historical Photo Archive 2013-02-19 17-18-44

Fast forward a mere seventy seven years…the possibilities are endless, the choices overwhelming!   We’ve come so far in our design!

And yet…

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog- Candace Barnes

Designed by: Candace Barnes via Veranda

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog- Giannetti Home

Designed by : Giannetti Home

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog- Barry Dixon

Designed by: Barry Dixon

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog

via Google Images

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog- Palm Design Group

Designed by: Palm Design Group

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog- Brandon Barré Photographer Brandon Barré Photographer

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog-via Elle Decor

via Elle Decor

I have gratitude for those who came before us and those who figured out how we can live better!

@

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10 Responses to Vanity Variety: Then & Now

  1. Mr. V says:

    The bathroom second from the bottom is fantastic. As for pitchers of water and a bowl, well it sure makes me appreciate running water AND a water heater!

  2. sally hutchison says:

    Loved this posting! My mom has a pitcher and bowl that was in my grandmother’s house that is absolutely gorgeous and I look forward to having it as mine one day. OMG…..the black and white pic of the personal wash area…..my stomach turns at the thought of the dna in that wash bowl!!!

  3. Claire Denzler says:

    As beautiful as most of those pieces are, you can keep your old-timey gracious living! Give me my leaky pipes any day!

    Why did the Giannetti design have only one faucet?

    • Amy says:

      Agreed Claire!!
      I think Gianetti design might have used a two way faucet (like a kitchen) to be able to access cold or hot from one.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    Some of the old time woodwork on the first couple was very nice — simple,worn, warm. Considered by itself. But the combination of stone and wood, tho necessary seems awkward and ugly… but this may be an unfair comparison with our modern desiigns which can make use of some many more fabrics, materials, plumbing… The one Brandon Barre photo’d bathroom was superb, my favorite — Japanese latticework for the shower, what a great thought!

  5. Geoffrey says:

    Some of the old time woodwork on the first couple was very nice — simple,worn, warm. Considered by itself. But the combination of stone and wood, tho necessary seems awkward and ugly… but this may be an unfair comparison with our modern desiigns which can make use of some many more fabrics, materials, plumbing… The one Brandon Barre photo’d bathroom was superb, my favorite — Japanese latticework for the shower, what a great thought!

  6. Since I live in a home old enough to have had the first kind…I too am grateful to those that paved the way. I love those black iron doors and the one designed by Giannetti…every detail is lovely…the mirror, the the lamp on the vanity, the sink…lOVE!

  7. from shorpy to verandah in only 77 years, EGADS! aren’t we very very lucky
    xo
    debra