Five vintage Lavanette “Vanette” bathroom vanities — oh my, fantastic!

vintage steel bathroom vanityHere’s a rare sight to be seen, five hard-to-find vintage Beauty Queen Lavanette “Vanette” steel bathroom vanities, all found in one building in northern California, and spotted for sale by several readers who sent us tips. Yowza — they look to be in great shape! 

From our original story on Lavanettes: The 36″ model above is the “Lavanette” — the 48″ models for sale are “Vanettes”. There also was a longer “Powder Bar.” Oh. My.

I asked the seller Laurie, how did they happen to come across not one — but five — of these rare vintage Lavanette Vanettes. Her reply:

We are just starting renovations on what was a local family practice.  The doctor was there from the 1960s until a couple years ago… he never changed his decor.  The Lavanettes were used in individual exam rooms. I think that is why they are in such great shape!

Laurie was also excited to hear from us — she is a regular reader! She said:

I am the assistant to the owner of the sinks and the one working on getting these FABULOUS units to their next home!  I absolutely LOVE your website, follow you on Facebook too, and would be more than happy for these sinks to be featured on it…. I soooo hope these amazing cabinets go to a loving new home (wish one could come home with me J ), vintage is the BEST!!!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks so much!!!

vintage steel bathroom vanityThank you, Laurie! We don’t see too many of these vintage Lavanettes in the wild. We think they were quite rare to begin with, but then, when you combine their rarity with the metal-rusting moisture found in bathrooms, we think many of them just didn’t survive. The fact that these examples were not used in bathrooms, but in patient rooms in a doctor’s office is probably why they are in such good condition after all these years.

These are Vanettes from the Lavanette Line

From the Craigslist posting:

Love vintage?? Well then, one of these vintage bathroom “vanity with sink” cabinet units would be the PERFECT addition to your retro bathroom makeover.

vintage steel bathroom vanity

This is one of five cabinets we have for sale. All five are part of the Beauty Queen “Lavanette” line made by Toledo Desk & Fixture Corp., Maumee, Ohio in the 1950s. They are powder coated steel with laminate tops and porcelain sinks with chrome trim and measure 4′ x 2′.

Beauty Queen Lavanette Beauty Queen Lavanette

We have three light blue with light pink laminate tops and two light green units with grey laminate tops for sale. All five of these units are in fabulous condition with minimal dents, scrapes or chips. (for pictures of the other units please see our other postings)

vintage faucetBeauty Queen Lavanette

The sinks do not appear to have any chips but, along with the faucets and nobs, will need some careful elbow grease to remove the hard water stains. There is only one light blue unit that has a visible dent on the front right, bottom drawer. Other than that any smudges you see in the pictures are just dust/dirt from sitting in a vacant building for many years.

vintage steel bathroom vanityBeauty Queen LavanetteBeauty Queen LavanetteBeauty Queen LavanetteBeauty Queen Lavanette

Four of the units have the original “optional” towel bar. All five have the pull out bin in bottom left cabinet, garbage bin in bottom right cabinet and the plastic odds and ends trays in the top drawers.

vintage steel bathroom vanity

Each individual unit is listed at $500 and are located in Northern California, just south of Redding, so you will either need to be able to pick up or pay for it to be shipped.

vintage steel bathroom vanity

You can see more photos of these five amazing Lavanettes on Craigslist. Currently, Laurie has them posted for sale on the Las Vegas, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Reno and San Francisco Bay Craigslist.

Beauty Queen Lavanettes:

beauty-queen-lavanetteBeauty Queen Lavenettes are smaller and have only one set of drawers. Above: A Lavanette that Pam salvaged from a neighbor’s house. Will she find time to restore it? Or will she tire of having it sit in her garage and give it away on craiglist?

Beauty Queen Kitchen Cabinets


Yes, Lavanettes and Vanettes were part of the Beauty Queen line of steel kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Laurie took the info about the maker — Toledo Toledo Desk and Fixture Co., Maumee, Ohio — from our original story here. Hmmm. How many steel cabinet makers were there in Ohio, Pam wondered. She knows of (1) Youngstown Steel Kitchens, out of Warren… (2) Republic Steel Kitchens, of Columbus… and Beauty Craft, from Toledo. Perhaps one day soon we will go through our histories and make a complete list by location.

steel drainboard sink
Above: See this story about a Beauty Queen sink base, which was restored, including with the addition of a new Elkay Lustertone drainboard sink.


Above: Pink Beauty Queen kitchen cabinets — with a long pink drainboard sink, be still our hearts — posted to our buy/sell forum in 2008.

Link Love (Various photos are sprinkled through five different listings):

  • Blue Lavanette on Los Angeles Craigslist
  • Blue Lavanette on Sacramento Craigslist
  • Aqua/green Lavanette on Las Vegas Craigslist
  • Blue Lavanette on San Francisco Bay Craigslist
  • Aqua/green Lavanette on Reno Craigslist

See our extensive archive of stories
about vintage steel cabinetry — it’s fascinating!

  1. Kathy says:

    Makes me think that if you can’t get your own Lavanette, retrofitting an old metal desk with a sink might be an interesting project. I would think about putting a curtain in the knee hole as well.

  2. SebastianPDX says:

    These are really lovely…it would be a shame to expose them to rust in a bathroom. Unless the vents have enough draw or, as in our 1952 apartment, there is an original heating unit to dry up the moisture. I think these would be stunning in a home with minimal bathrooms, to use in a bedroom. Like in European bed & breakfasts or “pensiones.”

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Wonderful! A note on cleaning up the sinks: if they are porcelain on iron or steel, the Kohler Cast Iron Sink Cleaner should do the job.

    And I agree you can’t get a really good new bathroom vanity for under $600 or more, unless you build it yourself.

    As for the locking drawer, I can think of many things to put in it if you have wee ones around, such as makeup. I’m thinking of how lovely my toddler daughter once looked with lipstick all over her face. 🙂

  4. MarissaBee says:

    Just wanted to chime in to say that I LOVE the vintage children’s animal wallpaper in the 3rd vanity photo!

  5. Lynda murray says:

    Wow, what a find! The people renovating are very fortunate to have had one of your followers in the mix! I hope she will benefit from the sale of these cabinets , because featuring them on your site gets a much larger pool of people who might want them. I also wanted to say that I bought a vintage metal glider that was very rusted(holes right through the metal) . I went to the auto store and bought bondo, also asked the sales people to tell me how to use it. It was surprisingly easy! My glider turned out to be so cool looking.

    1. pam kueber says:

      I don’t know if the company is still in business. These vanities are no longer made by anyone, as far as I know.

  6. Joe Felice says:

    I just cannot stand it! How are people so lucky to be “in the right place at the right time” to score things like this? “The stars must be aligned,” is all I can think. Were these cabinets an off-shoot of airplane lavs? That’s what I’ve always thought, and that’s what they resemble.

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