Your bathroom sink is often an overlooked area when it comes to creative upgrades and improvements. But with a little imagination, you can transform this utilitarian space into one that is stylish, functional, and uniquely you. Here are 10 ways to think outside the bathroom sink box.
Embrace an Unconventional Sink Style
When selecting a new bathroom sink, don’t limit yourself to basic rectangular undermount or vessel sinks. There are lots of innovative and eye-catching sink styles that can make your bathroom decor stand out:
- Stone vessel sinks – Handcarved sinks made from marble, travertine or other natural stones make an organic statement. Opt for an asymmetric shape for added flair.
- Hammered copper sinks – These sinks have an artisanal, handcrafted look. The hammered finish hides scratches and is ideal for a farmhouse, industrial or steampunk-inspired bath.
- Concrete sinks – Concrete is a trendy material that lends a modern, rugged vibe. It can be molded into unusual shapes like ribbons or geometric designs.
- Glass vessel sinks – See-through glass sinks have a lightweight, floating appearance. Illuminated from below, they create a magical glow.
- Trough-style sinks – Extra-long rectangular sinks allow two people to use the sink at once. Choose a drain at each end.
Thinking beyond basic white porcelain adds an artistic element to your bathroom. Let your sink be a unique focal point.
Install Wall-Mounted Faucets
Faucets don’t necessarily need to be mounted on the sink or vanity. For a look that’s sleek and contemporary, install wall-mounted faucets. Mounting the faucet directly to the wall above the sink eliminates visual clutter on the sink itself. This custom look also draws more attention to a unique sink shape or material.
When selecting wall-mount faucets, look for models with:
- Long spouts for ample reach
- Adjustable centers that allow flexible positioning
- Control handles mounted on the side for ease of use
- Optional hand shower for hair washing or cleaning the sink
Just make sure your plumbing is compatible with this style of faucet before installation. Wall-mounted faucets require 1/2″ supply lines and usually need rough-in valves inside the wall.
Unleash Double the Faucets
Who says your bathroom sink needs just one faucet? Double up on faucets for his-and-her handling. Or install one faucet for the sink, and add a second for an attached filtered water tap. Two faucets can be a boon for busy bathrooms shared by multiple people.
When planning a double faucet installation:
- Choose a sink long enough to accommodate both faucets without crowding.
- Select faucets that coordinate in finish and style. Mixing metals like brushed nickel and bronze can have an eclectic vibe.
- Make sure the faucets are the same height and aligned evenly.
- Get sufficient plumbing rough-in for both hot and cold lines.
Adding an extra faucet provides custom functionality and cuts down on waiting time when the bathroom is occupied.
Get Creative with the Mirror
The mirror is another pivotal part of bathroom decor that can be enhanced. Bathroom mirrors don’t have to be basic rectangles over the sink. There are all kinds of innovative mirror styles and placements that can make your bathroom feel more spacious and design-forward:
- Unconventional shapes – Try rounded, oval, arched or asymmetrical mirrors for variety.
- Bevelled edges – The faceted sparkle of bevelled mirrors imparts elegance.
- Etched designs – Delicate etched patterns like flowers appear fancier than plain glass.
- Creative arrangements – Cluster round mirrors together, or flank the sink with vertical narrow mirrors.
- Mirror tile – Cover a whole wall in mirrored tile for a glamorous effect.
- Mirrored medicine cabinets – Retro-cool mirrored cabinets with storage add function.
By breaking mirror norms, your bathroom feels more like a spa retreat than a mundane daily space.
Show Off the Plumbing
Exposed plumbing gives a bathroom an edgy, industrial look. Copper or galvanized steel pipes add eye-catching accent lines against tile or drywall. For an artsy look:
- Leave sink, faucet or shower supply lines uncovered.
- Highlight shut-off valves in the open instead of hidden behind cabinets.
- Display drainpipes, P-traps and fittings creatively.
Before designing an open-plumbing look, ensure pipes are in good condition without flaws. Consider painting pipes one uniform color for a clean, cohesive appearance. Use high-quality joiners and escutcheons for a finished look.
Don’t Overlook the Backsplash
While wall tile typically ends at the vanity, continuing it as a backsplash behind the sink is an opportunity to show off a fun, splashy design.
Backsplashes do more than just protect the wall from water splatter. They transform the area into an eye-catching focal feature.
Backsplash ideas include:
- Vibrant glass mosaics
- Metallic or colorful subway tiles
- Natural stone with interesting veining
- Handpainted tiles
- Mirrored tiles
Coordinate the backsplash with other bathroom finishes for a pulled-together look. Then use lighting like sconces or undercabinet lights to spotlight this design detail.
Get Playful with Cabinets
When selecting vanities and cabinets, look beyond basic wood options. From color to hardware, there are lots of ways to inject interest into your bathroom storage:
- Bold paint colors – Vivid hues like emerald, sapphire and tomato make cabinets pop.
- Wallpapered fronts – Adhesive wallpaper transforms plain fronts affordably.
- ** Glass cabinets** – Illuminated glass-front cabinets showcase collectibles.
- ** Vintage details** – Shabby chic cabinets with architectural salvage bring personality.
- ** Fun hardware** – Whimsical knobs and pulls reflect your style.
- ** Mismatched combinations** – Mixing cabinet styles ties together vintage finds.
With an expanded notion of what bathroom cabinets can entail, they become a focal point rather than a necessity hidden under the sink.
Suspend the Sink
Defy expectations by installing a floating sink that isn’t supported by cabinets underneath. This creates an airier look with space for a chair, storage baskets or just breathing room.
Options for fabulous floating sinks include:
- Wall-mounted glass vessel sinks
- Concrete rectangular trough sinks
- Oval porcelain bowls hung from a frame
- Stone pedestal sinks raised on a tile column
Select plumbing fixtures long enough to reach the suspended sink basins from the wall. Then disguise supplies creatively, like in a tall painted wood box support.
Going sans vanity cabinets keeps your bathroom looking light and uncluttered.
Set the Right Sink Height
Standard bathroom sinks sit at about 36 inches high. But this height doesn’t work for everyone. The rise of vessel and floating sinks gives you more flexibility to customize. Consider:
- Taller sinks – Install the sink higher at 38-40′′ for very tall adults. Reduce strain leaning over.
- Shorter sinks – Place sinks lower, around 32-34′′ high to accommodate children and anyone of short stature.
- Wheelchair accessible – Ada guidelines recommend sink heights of 34′′ max for wheelchair users.
- Comfort height – For those with limited mobility, a sink height of 36′′ makes washing up and grooming easier.
Don’t limit yourself to average sink heights. Adjust to make your bathroom more ergonomic for those using it.
Divide Up the Counter Space
Maximize functionality of your single bathroom sink area by dividing the counter top into defined zones. Keep each zone’s items contained for a de-cluttered look. Helpful zones include:
- Grooming zone – Store products used specifically while at the sink like skin care items, cosmetics, oral care essentials. Use trays, bins and organizers to corral smaller items.
- Appliance zone – Keep appliances plugged in like electric toothbrushes, razors, blow dryers. Install outlets as needed.
- Towel zone – Use wall hooks, rails and freestanding towel ladders to keep towels accessible but tidy.
- Decor zone – Display decorative vases, candles and greenery to enhance the ambiance.
Designate part of the counter to each function, separated by trays or baskets. The divided layout helps keep day-to-day items organized.
Incorporate Unexpected Materials
When selecting finishes, look beyond basic porcelain and ceramic. Unusual sink and counter materials make a memorable design statement:
- Natural wood – Wood counters with an inlaid stone, concrete or ceramic sink feel organic and warm. Use water-resistant wood like teak.
- Poured concrete – Concrete counters cast right in place have an edgy, ultra-modern vibe.
- Recycled glass – Counters made with chunks of recycled glass in concrete have an earthy, eco-friendly appeal.
- Stainless steel – Brushed steel makes a sleek counter material, often found in modern and industrial baths.
- Stone resin – A matte solid surface like quartzite or corian can mimic stone at a lower cost.
Unique material combinations feel bespoke and custom. They lend artistic impact to your bathroom sink area.
Wrap Up with a Stylish Surround
An often-overlooked final touch for finishing your bathroom sink area is adding a decorative surround. This frames the space above and on the sides of your sink and faucet. Surround ideas include:
- Floating wood shelves with decorative brackets
- A marble, travertine or tile backsplash
- Beveled mirror tiles or silver leaf tiles
- Painted or wallpapered walls with trim
- An architectural or shiplap wood surround
- Framed mirrors or artwork on the walls
The sink surround completes the aesthetic, pulling together your faucet fixture, counter, mirror and other details into one styled space. It’s a finishing touch that makes your bathroom feel designer-done.
Transform Your Bathroom Sink Area
With an imaginative approach, even the most mundane sink basin can become an artistic centerpiece for your bathroom. Making distinctive choices for the sink, faucet, counter, mirror and backsplash transforms this utilitarian space into a personalized oasis.
So as you plan your dream bathroom, look at every element as an opportunity for creative expression. Don’t limit yourself to safe, expected options. There are limitless ways to think outside the bathroom sink box for a completely custom look.
Frequently Asked Questions about Creative Bathroom Sink Ideas
Here are answers to some common questions about thinking outside the box with your bathroom sink design:
What are some budget-friendly ways to make my bathroom sink area look custom?
Some easy DIY ways to update your bathroom sink on a budget include:
- New faucet – $100-300 can get you a unique style like wall-mount, two-handle or color finishes
- Fresh light fixtures – New lamps, sconces or undercabinet lighting instantly modernize
- Paint or wallpaper – Color transforms plain walls and cabinets affordably
- Backsplash tile – An eye-catching mosaic or decorative tile backsplash adds flair
- Accessories – New towel bars, mirrors, trays, soap dispensers and decor
With clever styling using color, lighting and accents, you can make an inexpensive sink area look custom.
How do I select a unique sink that will fit my existing bathroom counter?
When choosing an unconventional sink for your existing bathroom countertop opening, always precisely measure the hole size and compare it to the sink specifications. Look for a sink that is either exactly the same dimensions or slightly smaller. An oversized sink basin won’t fit. This may limit your options, but an unusual vessel sink style can likely work.
What type of sink is easiest to clean and maintain?
Porcelain, ceramic and stainless steel sinks are among the most durable and easiest to keep clean. Their non-porous surfaces resist stains and buildup and simplify cleaning. More delicate materials like copper, concrete and natural stone require special cleaning methods and sealers to protect them. Balance your design preference with practical maintainability.
Should I get a single sink or double sink for my master bath?
The choice between a double vs single vanity depends on your bathroom size and habits. The pros of a double sink are more privacy, less waiting and easier sharing for couples. But a double vanity requires significantly more space. If your master bath is small, a well-organized single vanity may work better. Prioritize traffic flow and what you need from the space.
How do I add storage to my bathroom without big vanity cabinets?
With floating and wall-mount sinks, you can still incorporate storage in more creative ways:
- Freestanding furniture like a dresser or armoire
- Wall cabinets only on top to keep the look light and open
- Woven baskets or fabric bins on open shelves
- Towel racks with built-in shelves
- Small pedestal cabinets or shelving beside the sink
Get creative with storage solutions that aren’t bulky vanities so your bathroom feels more open.
Your bathroom sink area doesn’t have to be boring or purely functional. With inventive choices in sink styles, faucets, mirrors, materials and more, you can create a space that feels custom-designed just for you. Thinking beyond traditional bathroom elements allows you to express your personal taste.
Next time you’re dreaming up bathroom remodel ideas, remember there are countless possibilities if you think outside the bathroom sink box. Be bold with your design choices to end up with a sink area you love seeing and using each day.