Vanities come in all shapes and sizes. They reflect the décor of the home, as well as a little of the homeowner’s personality. Whether it’s your master bathroom suite that you want to use as a respite from a busy world, your home’s main bathroom that will endure children and guests, or the powder room off the kitchen that will be a perfect place for guests to wash up, bathroom remodels include vanities that should be both practical and functional.
After all, what is a vanity, anyway? It’s a place where we look in the mirror and “fix” something about ourselves. We style our hair, we shave or put on make-up, we brush our teeth. We keep “fix-it” products (or prevention products as it might be) within reach of the vanity. Face it. The vanity fuels our sense of vanity.
If you really think about it, the trends in home remodeling and home building products often follow the trends of society. From the retro look to the monochromatic, the free-flowing and colorful ‘70s to the glitz and richness of the ‘80s — fashion, décor and home design complement each other. A bathroom update isn’t complete without a vanity, so don’t choose in vain:
Hanging vanity – This minimalistic approach gives you plenty of space, even in a small room. It makes the room look larger because it does away with the traditional heavy cabinetry often found under sinks. It also allows room for more shelving – whether built-in or hanging. There’s less storage space and fewer places to “hide” linens and toiletries, so if you’re thinking about this option, you might want to make sure neatness is inherent in your family.
Double vanity – It doesn’t have to be two sinks in one anymore! Many people who do bathroom remodeling projects are opting for two free-standing sinks that are adjacent but separated by space, not a countertop. They may be mounted on pedestals of any shape or size. Round sinks on square bases or square sinks on oval pedestals – anything goes.
Natural materials – Granite, marble and quartz are among the most popular natural materials for vanity sinks and countertops. The natural swirling patterns of these stones are relaxing and flow like the water from the faucet. Granite is more often seen in higher traffic bathrooms, because it not only holds up well against the chemicals in the sprays, lotions and potions we use in vain, but it cleans easily, too. Quartz is a man made composite and very rugged in avoidance of staining.
Fixtures – The latest trend in bathroom fixtures is color and sleekness. Brass is back, along with bronzed nickel and soft gold-tone faucets and handles. Shapes mimic the lines of the sink and are minimalistic. High, goose-neck faucets connect to convenient single handles. The faucet itself offers a variety of delivery methods for the water – from waterfall to shower to steady stream. Choose one that suits your style.
Vanity Lighting – Gone are the giant full-wall movie star mirrors with a series of round, bare bulbs across the top. Today’s vanities and wall sconces call for softer lighting to illuminate the more neutral and natural colors and materials. Where natural lighting is available, it can and should be used as the best light for vanities. Where it’s at a premium, choose softer lighting to transition to the outdoors. Always try for a recessed task light above the sinks, especially if you plan to age in place. The older we get, the more light we need for failing eyesight.
Mirror, Mirror – Just as the dressing room lighting has gone by the wayside, so has the giant wall mirror. Mirrors in newer bathroom updates are minimalistic and complementary to the shape of the vanity. Tilting mirrors are popular, making it easier to adjust the height of your reflection or the angle of light. There are also a variety of wall-hung mirrors that are popular, attractive and economical.
Custom Cabinetry – If you simply can’t give in to the trend of shelving vs. cupboards in the vanity area, consider custom cabinetry for your bathroom update. You can get exactly what you want inside for organizational purposes, including drawers, racks and shelves, and you can choose the colors and style that work for your personal needs. The cabinets need not be the full width of the sink or start at the floor. Get creative and blend a suspended sink with a suspended cabinet.
Colors – The most recent bathroom remodeling trends have shifted from warm, earth-tone colors to cooler grays and blues. When done tastefully, neither will go out of style quickly. All white is also popular and never goes out of style. Designers are predicting that the colors for both bathroom renovations and kitchen remodeling will trend toward darker hues, beginning this year. They advise slowly adding darker colors like cherry wood and black as accents and pre-cursors to next year’s trends.