Hot New Trend For 2018: Bathroom Vanities With Built-In Makeup Tables

This time of year, many designers and furniture manufacturers are rolling out their new spring collections. That means it’s also the time of year that the biggest up-and-coming trends start to solidify themselves, and you can get a good sense of what’s going to be popular and what you should consider including in any remodels or renovations you might have in the works. This year, one of the big stand-out trends in bathroom design is elegant in its simplicity: making large bathrooms (and big bathroom vanities in particular) a little bit more usable by including makeup tables.

Why Add A Makeup Table?

De Soto 118" Double Bathroom Vanity Set With Makeup Table 825-V118-BW-DU-CAR from James Martin Furniture
De Soto 118″ Double Bathroom Vanity Set With Makeup Table 825-V118-BW-DU-CAR from James Martin Furniture

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Now, technically this trend isn’t a “new” one – built-in makeup tables, bridges, and old fashioned dressing tables have been around for ages and available here and there in pre-made vanity designs if you knew where to look. But rather than just being a clever idea you need a custom cabinetmaker to execute, in 2018 this is becoming a setup that’s commonly available in pre-made vanities from well-known manufacturers. If you’re looking to furnish a large master bathroom but don’t relish the idea of having a full suite of cabinetry built for the purpose, bathroom vanities with built in makeup tables are a perfect custom-looking option that will cost you a fraction of the price.

What Exactly Is A “Makeup Table”?

Roosevelt 97" Double Sink Bathroom Vanity Set in Walnut With Makeup Table from Ariel
Roosevelt 97″ Double Sink Bathroom Vanity Set in Walnut With Makeup Table from Ariel

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In most cases – whether you’re talking a pre-made vanity or a custom-built one – a “makeup table” is little more than a simple bridge connecting two vanity cabinets. They’re typically built with the same material and counter top as the vanities they’re connected to but installed at a slightly lower height, so you can sit comfortably in front of them in a regular chair or stool rather than a bar chair. Sometimes these bridges have a built in drawer either beneath the surface of the counter, up against the backsplash, or sometimes to either side of the sitting area, allowing you to store small toiletries close by and keeping them organized and easily accessible.

Makeup Tables Make For A Leaner Bathroom Vanity

Copper Cove Encore 86" Double Bathroom Vanity Set With Makeup Table 301-V86-SL-DU-3SNW from James Martin Furniture
Copper Cove Encore 86″ Double Bathroom Vanity Set With Makeup Table 301-V86-SL-DU-3SNW from James Martin Furniture

In a large master bathroom, it can be easy to overload on the cabinetry. If you have a lot of space to work with, chances are you’ll need a bigger bathroom vanity to make the space look full than you’ll actually need for storage. Makeup tables take space that would be wasted on cabinets you don’t need and make it functional again, giving you a nice separate place to sit, ample counter space, and storage space for small items rather than large ones. Ditching a big cabinet or two won’t hurt in a larger bathroom, while gaining that little bit of extra surface and sitting area can make your vanity a whole lot more usable.

Flexible Design To Fit Any Size Bathroom

London Stanmark 36" Single Vanity Set with One Make-Up Table DEC076D-W_ MUT-W from Design Element
London Stanmark 36″ Single Vanity Set with One Make-Up Table DEC076D-W_ MUT-W from Design Element

Another great perk of large vanities with this “bridge” style design is that they’re incredibly flexible. While the makeup tables themselves typically stay about the same size from one model to the next, the size and style of the vanities on either side can vary quite a bit. Often, sets sold together include two matching bathroom vanities, but more rarely you can find manufacturers that offer mix-and-match sets, giving you a little more room to customize your setup and get exactly the size, shape, and style vanity you want for your space – including very large or even asymmetrical designs.

A Simple Way To Stop Fighting Over Space

Brittany 118" Double Bathroom Vanity Set with Makeup Table 650-V118-BKO-DU-CAR from James Martin Furniture
Brittany 118″ Double Bathroom Vanity Set with Makeup Table 650-V118-BKO-DU-CAR from James Martin Furniture

Many master bathrooms have large double vanities, or even two separate vanities – one for each partner, to save couples from stepping on each other’s toes first thing in the morning. But if you and your significant other still find yourselves vying for counter space, installing a vanity with a built in makeup table can actually help keep the peace. Having space to spread out and use your toiletries – whether it’s a shaving kit, an elaborate set of moisturizers, or just an over-full makeup bag – can help save your morning routine from overflowing onto your partner’s vanity (sometimes literally, since most makeup tables are walled in by the surrounding vanities!).

A Smart Solution For Any Size Bathroom

Brittany 48" Single Bathroom Vanity in Cottage White 651-V48-CWH
Brittany 48″ Single Bathroom Vanity in Cottage White 651-V48-CWH

All that said, this particular trend isn’t limited to big master bathrooms or even double vanities. While the vast majority of makeup tables are a thin bridge between two full-sized vanities, this year we’re starting to see smaller, single vanities that are designed to be makeup tables all on their own. These have a really unique design, abandoning the traditional under-sink cabinet to  make room for a seat and moving the storage to drawers or leaner cabinets directly under the counter and to either side. These are a little less convenient since there’s usually a sink right smack dab in the middle of the “table” and you’ll need a slightly taller chair to use it, but if you’ve ever found yourself wanting to spread out for your morning or evening skincare routine, this is a great way to do it if you don’t have the space for a larger vanity or a separate dressing table.

If you’ve found yourself hurting for surface space or just wanting a slightly leaner-looking, more decorative bathroom vanity, 2018 might be the time to upgrade!

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