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Bathrooms are inevitably some of the smallest spaces in the house, which is a problem because they are also some of the busiest, high-traffic rooms.
Therefore, storing everything that needs to be stored to serve that traffic can be a daunting challenge. The trick is to find places to store everything from towels to extra toilet paper to body-care products and appliances such as curling irons without disrupting the actual design of the bathroom.
Maintaining the delicate balance between aesthetics and practicality means that finding the right bathroom storage requires a good deal of thought. Fortunately, the bathroom vanity is here for you.
Bathroom vanities are flexible storage solutions adaptable to almost any bathroom. And if the options available on the marketplace don’t meet your needs, you just need to exercise a little creativity—such as adding wine racks for towel storage, installing overdoor cabinets, or repurposing a spice-holder for your cosmetics.
With a little thought and creativity, you will be able to design the perfect bathroom vanity and your bathroom design will shine, with a place for everything and everything in its place.
9 Steps To Choose & Style The Perfect Bathroom Vanity
Your bathroom vanity isn’t just a necessary fixture in the bathroom. It is a focal point. Therefore, do not bypass the opportunity to make a statement with a bathroom vanity.
Follow these steps to design the perfect vanity:
1. Decide on the Layout
Before shopping for your vanity, it is important to consider the available space in your bathroom which will dictate the length and shape of your vanity.
The available space in your bathroom will determine the spot to put your bathroom vanity. Since the vanity is a statement piece, we suggest the following spots:
- Between two bathroom windows,
- Opposite the entrance door for maximum impact especially in powder rooms,
- Against the longest blank wall in order to design a focal wall with a mirror above the basin.
Now, measure the available space to ensure you get just the right length for your vanity.
While small bathrooms will necessitate a wall-mounted unit, a galley vanity layout that includes two vanity spaces separated by a pass-through will be perfect for a large bathroom.
2. Consider the Plumbing & Electrical Situation
The vanity will need to connect to your house water lines through the sink and faucet. Although you can reroute the plumbing lines with the help of a contractor, the most cost-effective way to do this is to work with your existing plumbing lines.
Therefore, for the proper functioning of the sink in your bathroom vanity, proper placement along the drain and water supply lines in a bathroom will place you in compliance with local residential building codes.
Let a professional plumber do the installation for you as they will install the vanity at the correct height, and allow you to easily hook up basins, and any other fixtures needing a supply of water.
Another essential component of any well-lit bathroom is bathroom vanity lighting and an electrician should be able to advise on the same to create practical, and attractive lighting.
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3. Determine the Number of Sinks & Type
You can make a real statement about your style with the bathroom sink. But before selecting one, consider the usability of the bathroom to determine the number of sinks for your vanity.
Vanities with double sinks and gulley vanities will be perfect for a couple’s or family bathroom while smaller vanities that accommodate only one sink are okay for smaller bathrooms.
Next, choose the type of sink you’d want. The various types of sinks for vanities include:
- Vessel sinks that rest on top of a bathroom vanity or countertop hence making such a dramatic design statement as a result of this shape.
- Undermount sinks that sit under the countertop, slightly increasing countertop space. They have no faucet holes as they are connected to the wall. We recommend the professional installation of these sinks in your vanity.
- Drop-in sinks that are almost similar to under-mount sinks just that the rim is above the countertop.
- Wall-mounted/floating sinks that are installed directly onto the wall. They don’t rest on a vanity or counter, making them a great choice for smaller bathrooms.
However, they tend to expose plumbing as an element of design. Make it prettier by going for a console sink instead where you can also hang towels by the bar.
You can also conceal the waste pipe by getting a builder to box it out or build a vanity cupboard around it.
4. Choose Your Countertop
When choosing your vanity countertop, you’ll have to consider the type of material, its color, and cost.
Keep in mind that the countertop that you choose will be coming into contact with moisture quite often, so softer, porous materials such as wood and laminate are probably not a good idea.
Instead, try any of these materials:
- Granite – a very popular option for bathroom vanities thanks to its durability, although it has to be properly maintained and sealed every couple of years. Good thing, it requires minimal upkeep when properly sealed.
- Quartz – tougher than granite, quartz countertops are also great and don’t require sealing. More so, this material is naturally resistant to moisture, stains, and bacteria Also, honed and textured finishes will show fingerprints and smudges, so frequent wipe-downs will be necessary for a clean finish.
NOTE: Granite and quartz tend to be pricier than other countertop materials but you should weigh the cost of possibly having to replace the countertop further on down the line due to water damage.
- Marble – long-lasting and strong enough to resist most chips or dents, and can be polished for a high shine or honed for a casual, matte finish. However, marble is porous and therefore prone to stains, scratches, and etching from acidic substances; and requires periodic sealing to maintain the finish.
- Tile – ceramic tiles can be charming for vanity countertops. They are affordable and with many patterns available, you can perfectly customize your vanity tops. However, maintenance is necessary since grout can attract stains and mildew and may be difficult to keep clean.
- Concrete – an appealing organic material that can mimic the look of natural stone on your countertops. They are eco-friendly and extremely durable. However, concrete is naturally porous hence such countertops need to be waxed and sealed regularly.
- Laminate – not only are they super affordable, but laminate countertops are also durable, DIY-friendly, pretty low-maintenance, and non-porous. So, all you really need to do to keep them clean is wipe down with some warm water, soap, and a microfiber cloth. It’s that easy!
5. Combine Storage Types
For the perfect bathroom vanity, we recommend choosing a bathroom vanity that has a variety of both open and concealed storage for an amazingly useful addition to the room.
A unit with both open shelves and concealed cabinet storage provides almost all the storage that you would need in the bathroom.
The mix of storage types allows you to display high-style towels and attractive personal care products while hiding away more utilitarian objects such as toilet paper and general cleaning products.
You can also choose a vanity with a mix of drawers and shelves. Such a mix is often the best solution for a shared bathroom, where many different items need to be stored.
The secret here is a vanity with a clean look of a pair of cabinet doors on the front of the vanity and hidden drawers inside. Drawers, in particular, go a long way toward keeping odd-shaped items in order.
6. Match Your Vanity to the Room Style
With so many styles, sizes, and types of bathroom vanities available, you should have no problem matching one to your particular bathroom design. To ensure your bathroom looks cohesive, consider matching your vanity to the overall room style.
For instance, the vanity in this room is a warm, linear design that suits the room’s modern look, and the wood finish plays perfectly against the accent wall.
7. Match a Pair of Mirrors to a Pair of Vanities
His-and-her sinks are alluring when paired with his and her vanities. This twin setup illustrates just how attractive mirror-image sinks and vanities can be.
So, if your vanity has one sink, consider just one statement mirror but if it has double sinks, then two mirrors should do. However, you can also go for a large mirror that extends to the ends of your vanity so that both users can use the mirror comfortably.
8. Perfect Vanity Lighting
Your vanity is not yet perfectly designed if the vanity lighting is not yet set up!
Keep in mind that vanity lights are considered task lighting, therefore, don’t expect them to fully light a bathroom on their own. Be sure to incorporate other layers of light throughout your bathroom for the right bathroom atmosphere.
The most commonly used vanity lights are wall sconces and mirror lights to illuminate the head and face evenly and eliminate any shadows that might impede tasks like shaving or makeup application.
In many cases, this will entail:
- Hanging the light above the mirror, or,
- Placing two wall sconces on either side of your mirror, at eye level, especially if it is narrow enough to cast even lighting across your face.
- Mounting LED strips under the cabinet, particularly if wall-mounted or by the vanity toe kick, to provide subtle illumination and indirect lighting at night so you don’t have to turn on blinding overhead lights for those late-night trips to the bathroom.
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- Using a back-lit LED mirror to give you beautiful and functional lighting without the need for separate light fixtures. The warm glow will transform your bathroom into an inviting and relaxing space while giving you the functionality of a well-lit mirror.
Considering the vanity creates a focal wall behind it, having a functional, well-lit bathroom vanity that also inspires peace and relaxation will have a positive impact on your mental health and well-being.
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9. Style Your Vanity Like Bedroom Furniture
Bring the same classic style you might choose for a traditional bedroom suite into your bathroom by choosing to elegantly style your vanity.
- Start with the vanity top, ensuring your faucets are well polished and the surface is clean. Next, arrange your bath products in beautiful dispensers or candles to fill the empty space without cluttering it.
- Anchor your vanity with a statement mirror that stands out yet still blends with your decor, and hung it at this spot.
- Balance the vanity surface by adding taller objects like a flower vase, a potted plant, or highlight with a candlestick.
These vanity styling tips will add height, volume, texture, and style to your bathroom vanity, bringing loads of refined personality into your space.