Give it a Second Chance

Your smart phone wakes you up at 6am—snooze ’til 6:30—roll out of bed and stumble your way to the bathroom to start yet another work day. Sound familiar? Well for the majority of us, running water is a big part of our morning routine. 100 years ago, you may have been stumbling over to a washstand instead of a double sink vanity with hot and cold water. Imagine filling a porcelain bowl with water from a large pitcher and splashing cold water on your face to start your day.

Well since the advent of indoor plumbing, these old washstands became obsolete waiting for resourceful owners to find other uses for them. Over the years, washstands have migrated into basements and have been donated to second hand stores, because some of us just didn’t know what to do with them.

With a little TLC and imagination, you can resurrect an old washstand into a charming addition to almost any room. Here at the Olde Brick House Shoppes, we strongly believe in giving everything a second chance and finding new homes for lost treasures. Take a common washstand and imagine the possibilities with us.


Many washstands are smaller in size but have a lot of very useable storage. They came in several different door/drawer configurations adding to their versatility. Drawers for utensils and stirrers for cocktails, larger doors to house glasses and bottles. Create a wooden grid wine rack and place into a door opening and some washstands are deep enough to hold wine bottles. It also works great for infused drink dispensers and cups for more casual gatherings. Some washstands had marble tops allowing even more possibilities for a variety of tastes.

Showcase crystal decanters and bottles of spirits on top with a bucket of ice and a few tumblers and you have a 100 year old bar your guests will envy. Some washstands also have a towel bar integrated into the stand itself which is perfect for—you guessed it—towels. You can also use the towel bar to hang a chalkboard sign with the bartenders specialty artfully represented.


Use “s” hooks and hang your favorite coffee mugs from the towel bar and place your coffeemaker or carafe of choice on the washstand top. Add in a few pastries and napkins, and you have yourself the sweetest little spot for an after dinner gathering spot.

Are you starting to get the idea? So when you are down in the basement or wondering what to do with mom’s old washstand, take a moment to think before passing it over. It just might become part of everyday life once again.

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