Bathroom vanities have come a long way. They are not your grandmother’s vanities, with choice limited to a single sink over a pedestal vanity. Today, homeowners can choose from see-through glass sinks, wide basin sinks and bamboo vanities. The choices are endless. Here’s a primer on the available options.
- The washstand vanity. This IS your grandmother’s vanity, but revamped. The timeless, elegant style offers little by way of storage. However, it’s big on character. A washstand typically has a smaller sink undermounted on a small slab of fancy countertop. The vanity base is commonly made up of copper or gold-plated pipes, which act as a towel rack. This is perfect for a powder room or in a bathroom that has alternate storage.
- The single sink vanity. This type of vanity can be both large or small. A single sink is a necessity when the vanity must fit into a smaller guest bath. However, some homeowners opt for a single sink with a large vanity, so that there’s ample counter space upon which to work and house decorative items. No matter the size of the vanity, a single sink allows for some storage space underneath, at least for a few items.
- A freestanding vanity. A vanity built with legs is called freestanding. It can house a single or double sink, and range in style from modern or contemporary to traditional and ornate. Decorative millwork on the vanity makes for an elaborate, elegant look.
- A perch sink vanity. Much like the name implies, a perch sink is similar to what you’d think of a bird sitting on a branch. In this vanity’s case, the sink sits “perched” on a slab of counter that juts out from the wall. This style does naturally lend itself to a contemporary, clean feel. There may be a slab of wood close to the floor that acts as a shelf for storage; however, don’t choose this type of vanity if the bathroom depends on the vanity for more storage.
- The petite vanity. Similar to the washstand vanity, this unit offers a cozy feel with a smaller sink. It’s tiny in size but rich in style, often featuring a smooth granite counter, a small cabinet underneath and a display shelf on the bottom. It’s perfect for a guest bath, where space is tight but style is in high demand.
- The wall-mounted vanity. Sometimes referred to as the floating vanity, this one comes without legs and must be attached to the wall. As a result, it appears to float, because you won’t see anything holding it up from the ground. To use this vanity, your bathroom will need a lot of wall space. Give underlighting a try, too, which will highlight the open space beneath the vanity.
- The custom vanity. The sky’s the limit if you’re willing to invest in a custom piece for the bathroom – or if you can’t find the perfect vanity to fit in the space. Work with a designer to come up with a piece that suits your style and preferences. But the best thing about a custom vanity is you can get a just-right fit in your space, instead of making a pre-fabricated piece work. Some interesting ideas to try include constructing a double sink unit, with the sinks facing each other (instead of the usual side-by-side design) or custom-making a vanity with elaborately ornate woodwork.
There’s no shortage of various vanity styles. Whether you lean towards modern, contemporary, traditional or natural, there’s a vanity that will fit your design preferences.