For the India Apartment: Rustic Pedestal and Wall-Mounted Bathroom Sinks

Recently I shared ideas for making a carved wood table-like bathroom vanity for our apartment in Chennai, India. I’ve also collected many pedestal and wall-mounted sinks on a Pinterest inspiration board. Whatever we do, the final result should be uncommon and creative.

Here’s the floorplan showing the master bathroom I’m thinking about right now:

The wall where the toilet is located will look like this (this is a photo of the store display at Vaigai Sanitation in Chennai):

Sorry for the yucky photos below – it’s hard to make gorgeous construction photos. Here are the tiles installed (before grout) in our bathroom, where the toilet will go:

Looking through the door, this is the space where the vanity and sink must fit:

After this photo was taken, the tile was installed in the shower, to the right. We will install a glass door to the shower, where the step is on the right side, so it’s not a wet bathroom. The vanity and sink will be next to the glass.

I have this rustic mirror, purchased last year from One King’s Lane. It will be going to the Chennai apartment, and may go in this bathroom above the sink:

Many of the pedestal or wall-mounted sink ideas that I like have an old, rustic or natural look. Here’s a few inspiration images …

Via Atelier AM:

Via indetail interiors:

This was pinned on Pinterest from Santa Fe Craig’s List about 7 months ago, long gone now:

Via Barry Dixon:

I don’t know the original sources of the next three images; please comment if you do:

Via House Beautiful:

Via Richard Powers:

Via Eleanor Cummings:

Finally, a simple copper wall-mount sink from Copper Sinks Direct:

Mostly I like the wall-mounted faucets. But our plumbing is not designed for that. And the walls are concrete and brick, and the tile is already installed. Changing plumbing would be an enormous messy pain. So I do need a plan that doesn’t include wall-mounted faucets.

I hope this inspires you to try something very different in a bathroom!

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6 Replies to “For the India Apartment: Rustic Pedestal and Wall-Mounted Bathroom Sinks”

  1. Firstly I want to say that I really enjoy your blog – my hubby is from Asia and we have spent a lot of time in the Middle East as well, so I can relate on many levels!
    About bathrooms – love your shell of a bathroom. Isn’t POSSIBILITY exciting? And your mirror couldn’t be more PERFECT!
    I have gut-renovated our house here in England; following 9 years in rented properties, I had thought a lot about what DID and did NOT work in those places.
    The bowl basins look great but are rarely big enough – and think of all the urrrgghhh lurking in that space where the bowl meets the flat surface . . .
    Big wide basins are what I have gone for. However, the more porous/hole-y the surface (in the stone or volcanic sort of basins), the more un-mentionables could be lurking ??
    If you really wanted wall-mounted taps/faucets, you could box-in the pipes with a ceiling-high panel as wide as your basin. No digging on concrete required. But I see you have the tiling in place there already – next time! I went for wall-mounted – again with thoughts of ease-of-cleaning.
    I might be giving the impression here that I am OCD – I assure you I am not!! It’s all about the Simple Life – do I want to look at grime on my basins or do I want to spend my life cleaning? NO! If you design well (thoughfully) in the first place, you eliminate these sorts of issues. This is why designing it yourself is so satisfying.

    In the Richard Powers photo – you’d be banging your forehead on the shelf everytime you bent over the sink! We rented a house with a mirror on the front of a cabinet over the sink – I have the scars!
    And the (beautiful) urns and the bowl sinks on pedestals have no where to put anything – soap, toothbrush, moisturizer . . . and tall vases next to the sink when your eyes are closed??

    Storage space in bathrooms is vital if you want to keep that sleek look – hide away the extra bathroom tissue (loo rolls as we call them in England!), spare towels, face & hair products, spare soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc,.

    This is a long comment ! No apologies – bathrooms are important.

    1. Hi Mandy! It’s good to hear from you and thank you for all your honest feedback! I totally agree with everything you say. I would never do a bathroom like this in a home where we live full-time. That’s good to point out in a blog post — things might look good but are they liveable at all? Can they cause injury? If not, maybe people should reconsider doing them, no matter how good they look. I wonder if homes that these bathrooms are in have many bathrooms, and these are just little powder rooms not used often.

      We’ll be spending very little time in this apartment, maybe a few weeks a year. It’s on family property in a building that needed to be developed — we don’t live such a luxurious life that we’d build an apartment for only a few weeks a year! :)

      When we gutted our Chicago master bathroom, our entire focus was on getting more counter space, wide and deep sinks, everything very functional as the #1 criteria, although good-looking. Just as you advise. I should post about that bathroom here. I even didn’t want lots of nooks n’ crannies on the vanity that would catch dust. Less time cleaning = more time for living. After living with it for 4 years, I can still say it’s very functional and easy to keep clean, and eliminated many problems we had with the previous bathroom.

      Your point about the “unmentionables” in porous surfaces — I will definitely consider that now. Especially if we wind up renting out the apartment. Unless we find top-notch housecleaning services if we rent it out, it could get pretty nasty over time!
      Thank you Mandy.

  2. I recently moved to Goa, after living in Boston for about 25 years. So right now I’ve been working on my home here in Goa and your blog is full of great ideas. I noticed you mentioned a couple of times you have things you bought in America installed in your home in Chennai. I’m sure you didn’t carry a lot of the stuff with you such as the bathroom mirror you mention. Whom do you use to ship things to India? Or how do you have things shipped to India. USPS, and UPS are incredibly expensive as they don’t do surface mail. Any information, thoughts, ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi Brian, I’m so glad you’re finding good ideas here! Yes we’ve faced this same challenge of getting things to India cost-effectively. The bigger things that don’t fit in suitcases, such as the mirror, are still here in the U.S. Our suitcases are full of interesting stuff when we go to India, not typical vacation stuff — kitchen backsplash tile, faucets, painting supplies, anything that will fit in the suitcase. Whether something will fit in a suitcase, with a reasonable weight, has been a factor for things we’ve purchased. For example, we took just the accent tiles for the kitchen, tiles that we couldn’t find in India — tile is so heavy.

      We flew Etihad airlines when they let us each take two check-in suitcases for no extra fee, plus our carry-on luggage. We got a lot of small things to India that way. Sometimes we did not exceed the weight limit, and sometimes we did — when we had to pay extra, it was still cheaper than shipping via UPS. Etihad has changed its luggage policies now, so I wouldn’t advise that anyone do this now without reviewing Etihad’s current policies.

      A friend in Delhi works with a relocation company called RSI International, (ask for Andy Churchill), which can ship not just full household moves but smaller shipments too. They may be able to help you. We’ll be talking with them too, about shipping stuff too big for suitcases.

      Another option — and this takes time, research and footwork — is to find suppliers in India for the things you get in the U.S. Our copper kitchen farmhouse sink was *almost* ordered from, but then we’d pay big-time to get it to India. My husband found a manufacturer in Delhi that makes copper farmhouse sinks that are sold in the U.S. They usually ship minimum of 250 at a time, but they agreed to ship 1 sink to Chennai for us. The shipping within India was so cheap! We’ve had quality issues in India, so when doing this, we look for sources manufacturing for the big U.S. retailers that are demanding quality.

      I’d suggest contacting RSI, and also and the forums at — this website is for people moving back to India and they all need their stuff shipped. May be some good advice there!

      Anything else you need, I’m happy to try to help, and I would also love to see what you are doing with your place in Goa!! There’s another blogger from New York building a place in Goa — I’ll look up her URL and post it here.


  3. Wow! Interesting luggage. Hopefully you haven’t had to go through Indian customs- they are the worst!!. Thanks for the tips, I will check out RSI. And yes sourcing things locally is probably the best way to go. Just last month I had a local guy that makes iron gates and window grills copy the Nate Berkus bamboo coffee table. Nate won’t have to worry about copies of his table being produced in India, but it was good enough for my home. Right now I really want my 3 Crate & Barrel Dubois mirrors which I left at a friends place. He checked with UPS and it would cost $700 to ship them from Boston to Goa. I figured I could probably buy myself a ticket with that money and try to get a suitcase big enough for those mirrors. But I don’t have any plans to go back to the States any time soon, so I will just have to think of another way to get my hands on those mirrors unless I can get someone to make smoke mirrors in India.

    1. So far we haven’t had a problem with Indian customs. Whew. Our flights landed in Chennai and they just collect pieces of paper, never look at anything.

      We’ve had things copied in Thailand. They do nice work, and cheap. I have mixed feelings about doing that, but honestly Smith & Hawken didn’t lose a customer for a teak dining table — I was never going to pay their price when we had a source in Thailand who could make a similar teak set for our patio, and even with shipping to the U.S. it was a fraction of the U.S. retail cost. Well I’m not counting our travel in the “cost” – that was vacation we would have taken anyway! We’ve talked about whenever we furnish the apartment, maybe doing that again — it’s not far to ship over sea from Thailand to India. But I think India has heavy import taxes. ?

      For getting our mirror to India, I was considering packing it well in cardboard and checking it for a flight as part of my luggage. But then I’d have to travel with one suitcase for everything else! I suppose I could just buy clothes in India, and not take much. Oh the things we do for our stuff … :)

      Hopefully RSI can help you find a cheaper way to get your mirrors to Goa!

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