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Decorating: Bath Vanities

From the Editors of Traditional Home
  • Written by Amy Elbert and Lucy Fitzgerald

    More than a place to wash up, sinks and vanities win major fashion points in today's bathrooms. From antique cabinets to rustic trough-like pedestal sinks to sleek, glass wall-hung lavs, there are countless style options. Here are some inspiring examples to whet your appetite for a refreshing new look in a master bath or powder room.

    Here, a master bath is dressed in warm whites and creams fills the space with light. Custom vanity cabinetry from Casa Verde Designs is topped with “Calacatta Gold” marble for an elegant touch. Double sconces from Urban Electric cast a warm glow, while a single bowl on the vanity maximizes counter space.

    See more from this Minneapolis home designed by Rosemary Merrill.

    Photograph by Werner Straube
    Produced by Elaine Markoutsas

  • This beautiful bath designed by June Price reflects the rugged mountainous landscape outside the home. A wooden cabinet houses the no-frills sink and faucet, its faded paint and imperfect surfaces lending rustic charm.

    Click to see more of this mountain home with great color.

    Photograph by Emily Followill
    Produced by Lisa Mowry

  • In this inviting bath designed by homeowner Debbie Cummins, an arched marble backsplash, curvaceous mirror, and vintage-style faucets from Herbeau lend shape to the room’s structured lines. The vanity’s clean-lined cabinetry blends with the white paneling and provides plenty of storage.

    See another bath from this home on the following slide.

  • Gothic-inspired edges on the wooden vanity add textural variety to this clean-lined bath. Tiered wainscoting behind blends with the tall mirror above; elements of gold and yellow bring out the warmth of the wood against the vanity’s marble top.

    Explore more of this charming Dutch colonial.

    Photographs by Emily Followill
    Produced by Lisa Mowry

  • Marble subway tiles at the walls set the stage for this luxurious master bath. Custom vanity cabinetry serves as a dressing table and is painted sage green with gilt details for color. Topped with mirrored glass, the vanity provides plenty of space for perfumes, flowers, and other feminine details. Sconces above demonstrate designer Mary Jo Donohoe’s classic aesthetic.

    Photograph by Gordon Beall
    Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

  • Antiqued mirrored drawers separate two sinks at this his-and-hers bath vanity. A wall of mosaic tile and silver countertop accessories shimmer, while a large oval mirror from Stonehenge lends dramatic verticality. A black-and-white photo framed in rich black balances the reflective surfaces elsewhere.

    See more of this Southern home designed by Phillip Sides.

    Photograph by Tria Giovan

  • An antique Biedermeier cabinet (c. 1850) topped with antique marble becomes the base for this stunning vanity in a bath designed by Marshall Watson. Another antique Biedermeier piece hangs above the sink, its height contrasting with the wide cabinet and attention-grabbing floor design. A smaller sink and understated faucet allow for the rich materials surrounding them to shine.

    Explore the rest of this home here.

    Photograph by Werner Straube
    Produced by Mary Anne Thomson

     

  • A double sink vanity designed by Bradley Heppner foregoes lower cabinets for airier storage space. Three simple drawers and “Graphite” paint from Benjamin Moore keep things sleek; marble surfaces and contemporary sconces and a chandelier from Circa Lighting add just the right amount of glamour in this beautifully uncluttered space.

    See more of this remodel here.

    Photograph by Emily Followill
    Produced by Lisa Mowry

  • Anne Page designed this elegant boudoir decorated in soft green, which has all the proper elements of a peaceful yet stylish spot to prepare for the day ahead. Cabinetry at the vanity features classic detailing and mirrored front panels. Glittering drawer pulls add a touch of Hollywood; a built-in dressing table with a mirror from Cachet Ltd. above provides a little extra space for those final touches.

    Photograph by Gordon Beall
    Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

  • A pretty pink bath designed by Kelley Proxmire recalls carefree summers. A curved vanity topped in marble with beveled edges contains two sinks and plenty of counter space. Shaded sconces are mounted to the mirror, which stretches uninterrupted the length of the vanity. An ottoman is upholstered in­–what else?–a pattern with pretty shoes for a decidedly feminine feel.

    Photograph by Gordon Beall
    Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

  • In Julia Wong’s Ritz Carlton Showcase apartment, a white limestone countertop with twin sinks from Kallista features clean lines and modern amenities. The large mirror above conceals a television, perfect for catching the morning news while preparing for the workday. Ebony walnut cabinetry with polished nickel hardware provides a sophisticated counterpoint to the limestone and reflective surfaces.

    See more of Julia’s Showcase apartment.

    Photography by Werner Straube
    Produced by Hilary Rose & Jo Ann McVicker

  • A gilt mirror, mirrored console, and lavender walls create an ambience both sophisticated and soothing.

  • Antiqued mirror tiles applied to the front of a built-in vanity add glamour to this Texas bath. The top and backsplash are Carrara marble. Crystal scones are attached to the mirror, which is trimmed with a marble frame.

    Produced by Helen Thompson
    Photograph by John Granen

  • A pair of rectangular sinks was mounted on top of a vintage wood table for this rustic bath by Atlanta interior designer Kay Douglass. Matching mirrors are made from old wood window frames that Kay found in France. She converted twin mercury-glass pendant lights into sconces that hang above the mirrors.

    Photograph by William Waldron
    Produced by Eleanor Roper

  • A narrow trestle table makes a charming vanity in this Old-World-inspired bath, also designed by Atlanta designer Kay Douglass. Wall-mounted faucets serve simple porcelain bowls. Mirrors were made using antique wood frames from France. Stained concrete pavers on the floor look remarkably at home in the Old World setting.

    Photograph by Emily Minton-Redfield
    Produced by Eleanor Roper

  • The guest bath dazzles with a mirrored washstand, designed by San Francisco interior designer Kendall Wilkinson. Above it hangs a magnificent Venetian mirror.

    Photograph by Matthew Millman and
    Michal Venera

  • This vanity takes artistry to a whole new level with its handcrafted copper basin and mirror frame by artist Robert Kuo and basket-weave wainscot tile designed by Erin Adams for Ann Sacks. The rich copper tones are set off by the warm sand-toned Corian solid surfacing vanity top and backsplash.

    Photograph by Gordon Beall
    Produced by Robert Young

  • Interior designer Larry Laslo knows how to dazzle, and he showed his stuff in a stunning black-and-white bath for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Showhouse in New York. Matching rectangular, stark-white sinks are set into charcoal-colored iron bases. Frameless circular mirrors hang above the two vanities, which are illuminated by dramatic black-crystal sconces. Walls are covered in heavily veined Italian marble tiles.

    Photograph by Tria Giovan
    Produced by Bonnie Maharam

  • A 19th-century mirrored red cabinet from a Spanish monastery was modified with a sink for the powder room vanity in a Beverly Hills home by interior designer Kim Alexandriuk.

    Photograph by John Granen
    Produced by Robert Young

  • Moorish influences inspired the design of this California bath, as showcased on motifs used for the windows, custom chandelier, silver-leaf frieze, and vanity details.

    Photograph by David Phelps

  • When designer Missy Connolly renovated a bath for the Baltimore Symphony Showhouse, she wanted to remain true to the house’s early 20th-century heritage while providing modern amenities. She started by designing a vanity with bowling pin legs and a chunky profile that gives a modern twist to Empire design. “The legs are designed to accommodate a low shelf,” Connolly says.  “Since we couldn’t install a medicine cabinet (a chimney wall was in the way), we used the shelf for storage.” Glass knobs on vanity drawers and crystal sconces add sparkle.

    Photograph by Ross Chapple
    Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

  • A long granite-topped vanity accommodates two sinks, plus a convenient sit-down make-up and grooming area in this Asian-inspired Seattle bath. Interior designer Midori Yoshikawa designed the vanity with deep drawers that seem to float above the floor, and incorporated U-shape cutouts on the back to allow for the sink’s plumbing. There’s more storage at each end of the vanity, where narrow cabinets reach nearly floor to ceiling.

    Photograph by John Granen
    Produced by Linda Humphrey

  • Square, shallow sinks with high-arch contemporary faucets combine with dark-wood cabinets and a black, honed granite top to create a soothing spa-like mood in the master bath (also shown on previous slide).

    Photograph by John Granen
    Produced by Linda Humphrey

  • Two furniture-style vanities flank a comfy window seat in this upstate New York master bath. The homeowners created the bath from a spare bedroom, giving it a vintage style that complements their 1880s home. Honey-color onyx countertops and cross handle faucets dress up  classic white oval sinks.

    Photograph by Michael Partenio
    Produced by Donna Talley

  • Floral fabrics and antique furnishings contribute to the bath’s old-fashioned grace (shown on previous slide). Beadboard-front drawers with glass pulls under the windowseat offer storage for towels and hair dryers.

    Photograph by Michael Partenio
    Produced by Donna Talley

  • The New York bath’s focal point and design inspiration (shown on previous two slides) was an antique clawfoot tub. The twin vanity mirrors are framed in wide painted trim that extends into handy storage cabinets.

    Photograph by Michael Partenio
    Produced by Donna Talley

  • A new, carved stone sink on a pedestal was designed to replicate an Old World water fountain. The sink occupies a powder room in a new French home.

    Photograph by Andreas Von Einsidel

  • A basic dual-sink vanity is upgraded with a new marble top and a slender glass-front cabinet at counter level between the two sinks. Custom molding integrates the cabinet and flanking mirrors into a polished seamless whole. Beadboard cabinet doors and paneling and vintage-look faucets give the renovated home the charm of an old-fashioned England cottage.

    Photograph by Michael Partenio
    Produced by Donna Talley

  • Large mirrors, tall windows, and luxe surfaces set an elegant tone in the vanity area of this South Carolina master bath. Custom backsplash tiles pick up the blue in the marble countertops. The windows are dressed in tasseled Roman valances and sheer café curtains.

    Photograph by Jeff McNamara
    Produced by Sandra L. Molhmann

  • A hall closet in a Minneapolis home was converted into this jewel of a powder room, featuring a vanity front custom painted to resemble an antique lacquered tray. The vanity was left open below and faucets were mounted on the wall to save space in the 3-1/2x5-foot room.

    Photograph by Kim Cornelison
    Produced by Chandra Hammond

  • A marble top, crystal faucet handles, and a hammered nickel oval sink in the Minneapolis powder room (also shown on previous slide) suggest jewelry.

    Photograph by Kim Cornelison
    Produced by Chandra Hammond

  • Two sculptural vessel sinks pair with sleek, wall-mount faucets on a zinc-topped vanity in this Seattle-area bath. The vanity base is open, with baskets rather than drawers corralling bath essentials.

    Photograph by John Granen
    Produced by Linda Humphrey

  • White-framed mirrors tastefully disguise built-in medicine cabinets above the vanity (shown in previous slide). The mix of surfaces--zinc countertop, wood vanity, and porcelain sinks--appeals to the sense of touch, says interior designer Roberta Brown Root. “It’s very textural.”

    Photograph by John Granen
    Produced by Linda Humphrey

  • Matching custom made wood vanities are tucked into each end of a master bath. Round mirrors above the vanities were purchased in London. Large baskets on lower shelves keep towels and grooming essentials handy.

    Photograph by Bruce Buck
    Produced by Jenny Bradley

  • Lucky homeowners discovered this hammered-steel sink on sale at an Asian artifacts store. The sink is mounted on a custom-made bamboo vanity and a mirror with a faux bamboo frame completes the Asian-inspired look.

    Photograph by Emily Minton-Redfield
    Produced by Elaine St. Louis

  • A hammered-steel vessel sink shines in this Asian-inspired Colorado powder room (shown on previous slide). Glass backsplash tiles and a wall-mount faucet add more shimmer.

    Photograph by Emily Minton-Redfield
    Produced by Elaine St. Louis

  • His-and-her vanities give couples their own spaces, says California designer Robert Young. He defined “her” space with an ivory cabinet vanity featuring an X-mullion center door backed by watery-blue art glass. The vanity is topped with Corian solid-surfacing material in soft pewter. Backsplash tiles in pewter, charcoal, and cream tones surround the mirror, adding drama and texture.

    Photograph by Greg Scheidemann
    Produced by Robert Young

  • Small spaces call for simple solutions. In a Washington D.C. Design Center Showhouse, designer Victoria Neale tucked a crisp white vanity with bowed front next to the door of a charming girl’s bedroom. Narrow, shaded sconces mounted on the mirror frame are functional and fashionable; apple-green walls and a checked valance add pops of color.

    Photograph by Gordon Beall
    Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

  • Sophisticated “Chalkstripe” vanities by Kohler fit comfortably in either traditional or contemporary design schemes. The no-nonsense cabinets are accented by a square keyhole aperture on the fronts, which makes for easy access to interior storage. New York designer Amanda Nisbit kept it clean, with a “Blizzard” Caesarstone Quartz Surfaces countertop. Round mirrors and glass sconces add sparkle to the New York beach house bath.

    Photograph by John Bessler

  • A pair of vanities from Kohler seem suspended against a wall of silver-leaf glass tiles in this New York beach house bath designed by Eric Cohler. The “Purist Wading Pool Lavatory” sits on top the Traverse vanity, which is made with engineered wenge wood. Slow-close drawers on either side feature removable cosmetic trays. In addition to being beautiful, the Traverse vanity was designed and constructed to have minimal impact on the environment.

    Photograph by John Bessler

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