My first taste at buying second-hand is a large french provincial mahogany dresser that i got from an antique dealer for around $250 (which is WAY more than what I am willing to pay today!).
It sat there, moved around a few times (not far because it's damn heavy!), waiting for its day to shine. And after nearly two years, it's finally in its rightful place serving as a vanity for our bath.
The dresser had a beautiful curvy top (which i am still wondering what can i do with it, too nice to throw away) that i wanted to copy onto the marble top (we decided on Carrara marble because I just LOVE it and it is not quite suitable for the kitchen...). The stone company we used told us to do a template for them. I tried drawing it free-hand but it was just too long and I couldn't get the symmetry just right. So I decided to use some of that engineering skills and drew it up in AutoCAD, that way I could make sure the dimensions were exact.
The sinks are also one of those first purchases for the house, I might have bought them while we were still looking for a house! They sat in my parents' attic for two years, I even forgot how they really looked like, all I remembered was that I LOVED them when they arrived. The design in each sink was hand painted so there are variations.
We modified some cabinet drawers to accommodate the pipes.
So once we were done, the DH decided to clean it with Windex and what do you know!? the patina I thought the wood had was just DIRT! YEARS AND YEARS of dirt. The vanity is soooo much lighter now, it no longer look reddish brown but a reddish orange. I like it because it matches the flowers in the sinks more.
Afterwards...which was like a few weeks later ( I told you we are slow on this project), I finally came around to buff it with Restor-a-Finish in Mahogany.
Look at the difference!
Cleaned the hardware using Brasso.
We paired it with an antique (dresser?) mirror, which is a bit over-the-top but I like how it contrasts to the subdue tones and clean lines of the rest of the bathroom, which I will reveal soon :) . And look at the shell design, it was meant for a bathroom!
We used kitchen faucets because we wanted the height.