From rags to riches. The washstand was originally a simple pitcher and bowl on a wooden frame and its humble beginnings have developed through the centuries to be the must-have bathroom centrepiece of today.
Over time, and as washing routines became more convoluted, space was created to house lotions and potions, drawers were added and richer woods, such as mahogany, updated the design.
Until the advent of the bona fide bathroom in the early 20thcentury, the washstand was part of the bedroom suite, hence the ornate elegance of the legs, which were carved to match the dressing table and other bedroom furniture.
The introduction of plumbing in a tap threw a curveball hygiene-wise, meaning materials such as ceramic, marble and sometimes cast iron, replaced the wooden countertop making it more hard wearing and solidifying its position as a bathroom must-have. Today, vintage pieces are highly collectible but there are plenty of great reproduction designs on the market.
Modern re-makes have taken the basic shape and reworked it with simple steel legs, Corian moulded tops and angular edges - all the while retaining the sense of luxury and grandeur of their predecessors.
Whichever you choose, there’s no better way to inject vintage charm into a modern wash space – a pampering patron’s dream.
Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, Livingetc showcases the world's very best homes, breaks and makes the trends, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. It was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip Rich.
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