Bathroom vanities are the focal point of any bathroom. They don’t just provide storage and counter space – they also set the decor style for the entire room. Decorative bathroom vanities allow you to make a statement and express your personal taste. With the right vanity, you can create a bathroom that is truly eye-catching and elegant. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about decorative bathroom vanities and how to choose one that perfectly suits your space.
What Are Decorative Bathroom Vanities?
A decorative bathroom vanity refers to a vanity that has ornamental accents and design features. Unlike standard vanities that are purely functional, decorative vanities incorporate elements that enhance the visual appeal and style of the piece. This includes details like:
- Elaborate carvings
- Ornate hardware
- Unique cabinet door styles
- Beautiful countertop materials
- Eye-catching legs or bases
- Distinctive finishes and glazes
Decorative vanities make a statement. They add personality to your bathroom and reflect your aesthetic tastes. While functional vanities simply blend in, decorative options command attention.
Benefits of Choosing a Decorative Vanity
There are many advantages to selecting a decorative vanity over a plain one:
Adds Style and Visual Interest
Decorative vanities instantly infuse style into your bathroom. Intricate details give the vanity focal point appeal, while colors, materials and finishes introduce your personality into the space.
Elevates the Look of the Room
The right decorative vanity can transform the entire look of your bathroom. It establishes the decor and brings cohesion to the space by pulling together the other elements like flooring, lighting and hardware.
Provides a Focal Point
Decorative vanities draw the eye, creating a natural focal point in the bathroom. This gives the room a polished, pulled-together look.
From vintage to modern and everything in between, decorative vanities come in so many styles. This makes it easy to find one that perfectly aligns with your taste.
Makes a Statement
Decorative vanities allow you to express your personal style. Make a bold statement with a striking, ornate option or something sleek and contemporary.
Adds Value to Your Home
Like other focal points such as fireplaces in living rooms, a decorative vanity can increase your home’s value. Upgrading from a basic builder-grade vanity to a high-end decorative version elevates the whole room.
Popular Decorative Vanity Styles
Bathroom vanities come in an endless array of styles to suit any aesthetic. Here are some of the most popular decorative vanity design styles:
Antique-style vanities are modeled after furnishings from earlier eras like the 18th and 19th centuries. Details like carved cabriole legs, raised panel doors, crystal knobs and marble tops exude vintage charm. Distressed paint finishes complete the timeworn look.
Transitional vanities blend elements from traditional and contemporary styles. Clean lines and neutral finishes keep them modern, while turned legs, arched doors and carved accents add traditional flair. This versatile look suits many decor tastes.
Modern vanities take a pared-down, minimalist approach. They often feature sleek, simple lines, a lack of ornamentation, and contemporary hardware. Many incorporate glass, metal and glossy lacquer for an ultra-modern vibe.
Rustic vanities employ natural materials like wood, stone and wrought iron. Distressed finishes, visible wood grain, granite tops and hammered hardware give them a timeworn, earthy feel. Great for farmhouse, lodge or craftsman spaces.
Cottage vanities have a casual, welcoming vibe. Beaded board cabinet doors, painted finishes in light hues, and quartz or marble tops keep them light and airy. Floral motifs and vintage-inspired hardware add whimsical charm.
Glam vanities dial up the drama with metallic finishes, glass doors, crystal hardware and elegant carved details. Lucite and acrylic legs add see-through allure. These flashy vanities make a vibrant style statement.
Choosing the Right Decorative Vanity for Your Bathroom
With so many options to choose from, selecting the perfect decorative vanity requires some consideration. Keep the following tips in mind:
Consider the Style of Your Bathroom
Choose a decorative vanity that aligns with the overall style of your bathroom. Make sure the details and finish coordinate with elements like the sinks, tub, lighting and hardware.
Decide on the size and layout that best suits your space. Measure to ensure that the vanity and any accompanying pieces fit well within the floorplan.
Select Durable Materials
Bathrooms are prone to moisture. Choose wood vanities made of water-resistant teak, mahogany or poplar. Avoid particle board or MDF. Select non-porous surfaces like granite, quartz or porcelain.
Decide on Features
Figure out the must-have features like number of drawers, cabinets, countertop space. This will help narrow down choices.
Set a Budget
Decorative vanities span a wide range of prices. Set a realistic budget to avoid overspending. Consider long-term value as well.
Look for Quality Construction
Examine details closely for marks of quality. Look for solid wood over veneers or particle board, dovetail joint drawers, full-extension glides and soft-closing hinges.
Choose a Reputable Retailer
Opt for a retailer that specializes in bathroom vanities over big box stores. You’ll get better selection, customization options and higher quality.
Decorative Bathroom Vanity Ideas
Ready for some inspiration? Here are some striking decorative bathroom vanity ideas to elevate your space:
Make a bold statement with a dark ornate vanity adorned with carved details. Pair with glam elements like glass vessel sinks, brass fixtures and a stunning mirror.
Modern Farmhouse Vanity
Give your bathroom breezy farmhouse flair with a wood vanity featuring classic beadboard doors and a distressed white finish topped with marble. Copper or bronze hardware adds chic contrast.
Rustic Stone Vanity
Rough-cut stone slabs give this single vanity rustic texture. Wood accents like the cabinetry and shelf warm up the stone while cast iron hardware continues the earthy vibe.
Bright Cottage Vanity
A cheery sky blue vanity keeps this bathroom light and airy. Pretty white marble, woven baskets, floral accessories and vintage silver knobs emphasize the playful cottage charm.
Exposed plumbing, metal surfaces and clean lines give this double vanity an urban loft vibe. The tobacco-stained wood provides natural contrast to the industrial elements.
Decorative Vanity Materials
From the countertop to the base, numerous materials add decorative detail to vanities. Here are some top options:
- Teak: Naturally water-resistant and beautiful caramel color. Develops rustic patina over time.
- Cherry: Rich red-brown hue with prominent grain. Stains easily. Often used for traditional styles.
- Maple: Very hard and durable. Subtle grain with light reddish-brown tint. Works with many decor styles.
- Oak: Prominent grain patterns. Yellow to reddish-brown shades. Rustic, traditional or modern.
- Walnut: Prized for rich, dark chocolate color. Smooth grain with subtle figuring. Pairs well with contemporary spaces.
- Poplar: Affordable pale hardwood. Subtle grain accepts paint well. Ideal for cottage or farmhouse looks.
- Granite: Highly durable with excellent stain and water resistance. Available in wide range of color patterns.
- Marble: Classic material that adds elegance. Softer than granite so requires sealing. Veining provides decorative detail.
- Quartzite: Hard, non-porous surface. Resists staining. Subtle natural patterning.
- Soapstone: Highly heat-resistant. Has smoother look than granite. Needs yearly sealing. Rich, dark charcoal color.
- Stainless Steel: Sleek, modern look. Very durable and easy to clean. Can show water spots and smudges.
- Copper: Warm, reddish-brown color. Naturally anti-microbial. Develops patina over time. Dramatic aging effect.
- Clear Glass: Provides see-through allure. Susceptible to etching and scratches. Frosted or patterned options help hide wear.
- Colored Glass: Adds vibrant accent. Back paint or add colored resin between two sheets of clear glass.
Decorative Vanity Tops
The vanity top plays a big role in the overall look of your bathroom vanity. When choosing a decorative top, consider:
- Durability – Bathroom vanity tops take a lot of wear and tear. Select a highly durable, water-resistant material.
- Style – Let the vanity top enhance the style you want to achieve. Materials like marble and granite have distinct decorative visual effects.
- Practicality – Consider the maintenance needs and how easy the material is to clean and care for within your lifestyle.
- Edge styles – Decorative edge profiles like ogee, bullnose, chamfer, bevel and eased provide design flair.
- Backsplash – A coordinating backsplash protects walls and provides another opportunity for decorative detail.
Decorative Vanity Legs
Legs provide ample opportunities to inject decorative detail. From Queen Anne cabriolet legs to sleek stainless steel, here are some top options:
- Turned wood legs – Spindle-style legs add traditional charm with subtle curves and shaping. Oak, maple and mahogany work well.
- Canted legs – Angled legs provide visual flair. Works with vintage, modern and eclectic spaces.
- Carved wood legs – Elaborately carved legs create an ornate focal point. Ideal for glam spaces.
- Tapered legs – Subtly flared legs introduce casual elegance. Great for transitional styles.
- Metal legs – Brushed brass, antiqued bronze and stainless steel legs impart industrial edge.
- Lucite legs – See-through acrylic legs lend airy, floating effect. Wonderful modern accent.
Decorative Vanity Hardware
Small details like knobs and pulls make a noticeable decorative impact. Consider:
- Style – Should complement the vanity style – traditional, modern, cottage, etc.
- Finish – Polished chrome, antique bronze, brushed nickel and more
- Size – Larger hardware makes a bolder statement. Scale to vanity size.
- Shapes – Look beyond basic knobs. Opt for interesting hand-forged, crystal or ceramic pulls.
- Patterns – Textured and patterned hardware adds an artistic element.
Additional Decorative Vanity Ideas
Looking for more one-of-a-kind ways to add decorative flair? Here are some striking ideas:
- Incorporate glass cabinet inserts for delicate allure. Works with any style.
- Choose an unexpected vanity shape like oval, arched or curved.
- Use luxurious materials like crystal, mother of pearl, or malachite for the knobs and pulls.
- Panel the sink base with a decorative metal like embossed brass or copper.
- Attach beadboard just to the lower half of the vanity for a pretty cottage touch.
- Opt for an intricately tiled or mosaic backsplash.
- Add character by mismatching knobs and pulls.
Getting the Decorative Vanity Look On a Budget
Don’t have the budget for a full-on custom decorative vanity? Try these budget-friendly ideas:
- Paint or stain – A fresh coat of paint or stain can give a basic vanity a new decorative twist. Add painted accents like stripes or patterns.
- Add trim – Molding and trim details go a long way in dressing up plain vanity styling.
- New hardware – Fancy knobs and pulls make inexpensive cabinets look far more custom.
- Wallpaper inside – Lining the cabinet interiors with a lively pattern or texture injects unexpected flair.
- Change the legs – Leg updates make a dramatic impact. Try tapered, bun or even metal pipe legs.
- Add a skirt – Softening the base cabinet with a pleated skirt conceals budget materials.
- New countertop – An updated countertop material like quartz instantly modernizes a dated vanity.
Decorative Bathroom Vanity Inspiration
For a quick shot of inspiration, browse through these stunning decorative bathroom vanities:
A glitzy gilded vintage-style vanity with plenty of ornate carvings. The understated marble top counters all the embellishment.
This warm double vanity features a rustic barn wood body atop a textured base. The earthy stone sinks and modern matte black hardware strike a perfect balance.
The clean lines of this gray double vanity pair nicely with the sleek floating shelves and modern decor. Crisp white quartz tops keep it fresh.
A cheery retro sky blue vanity pops against crisp whites. A marble herringbone backsplash and antique bronze fixtures emphasize the vintage charm.
Decorative Bathroom Vanity FAQs
Still have some questions about selecting and styling decorative bathroom vanities? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is the most popular decorative bathroom vanity style?
Transitional and modern styles are currently the most sought-after. The soft contemporary edge suits a range of tastes from traditional to contemporary. Plus, clean-lined vanities feel fresh and current.
How much do decorative bathroom vanities cost?
Cost varies widely. Simple painted vanities run $300+. Custom hand-carved vanities can cost $5,000+. Quality woods like oak and rising materials costs increase prices.
Should I get a furniture-style or traditional vanity?
It depends on your style. Furniture vanities work for transitional to contemporary spaces. Traditional vanities better suit antique, traditional and some cottage baths.
What height should a decorative vanity be?
Standard vanity height is 31-34 inches tall. For a decorative statement, consider 36 inches or taller. Add interest with staggered heights for double vanities.
How can I make an inexpensive vanity look high-end?
Beyond decorative options like new hardware and legs, use luxe materials only where they’ll show like on the counter. Quality installation like anchoring into wall studs also looks custom.
Should I get an integral or top-mount sink?
With top-mount sinks, you can easily swap out materials to update the look. Integral sinks blend in more seamlessly for a furniture look. Top-mount offers more design flexibility.
Decorative Bathroom Vanities: Final Thoughts
The right decorative vanity can take your bathroom from bland to beautiful. With endless options for materials, colors, shapes and details, it’s easy to find the perfect vanity to reflect your personal taste and style. Invest in quality construction and materials to get a vanity that will last for years. Look for vanities with striking focal point appeal from ornate carvings to sleek contemporary lines. The vanity sets the foundation for the whole room, so take the time to choose one that really makes a statement. Then have fun styling your one-of-a-kind bathroom retreat.