When it comes to interior design, black is always a striking color. Especially if you use it in any dominant way – walls, floors, or large pieces of furniture – it’s an incredibly bold and attention grabbing color. In a bathroom this is even more true. Since there’s so little space to go around, and because white is typically the dominant color, choosing black for something large, like a bathroom vanity, is an especially daring choice. Like a little black dress, a black bathroom vanity is sleek, smooth, classy, and always in style. While wood or even some painted vanities can be dated by their color, black vanities in just about any design will always look updated, modern, and even a little edgy.
Many black vanities are fairly modern in design to start. Because black is such a dominant part of the (relatively limited) palette of modern decor, many modern vanities out there tend to use it as a base color, often paired with brushed steel and tempered glass accents. This Geminis vanity is an excellent example – against a bold white wall, the minimal rectangular design is especially striking… especially paired with the mirror-like glossy finish.
The same goes double for this ultra modern Contento vanity – not only does it have a similar, minimal geometric design, but the black vanity acts as a backdrop for the raised tempered glass sink and counter. The matte black finish makes the stainless steel lifts, pulls, and legs look even more dramatic. Black is a difficult color to deal with – too much and it can make a room seem dark or crowded – but the danger of overdoing it (and people’s corresponding avoidance of the color) just make it that much more surprising.
Of course, not all black vanities are designed to meet the minimal aesthetic of modern decor. This Isabella Console for example, is a simplified antique design. Drawing inspiration from various classical designs, especially Louis IV legs, in plain hardwood this vanity would probably classify as a transitional piece, if not a replica outright. But opting for a black finish makes a big difference, simply because it’s unexpected. Where you’d expect to see a beautiful mahogany, this vanity is sleek black porcelain, and just that little twist make all those classical curves look utterly modern.
This doesn’t just hold true for simplified antique styles, either. This Monte Carlo vanity is nothing if not antique inspired, but once again the slightly glossy black finish is so unexpected that it gives the design entirely new life. While it may not be “modern” in the strictest definition of the term – and the intricate hand carved detailing certainly defies the minimalist aspect of it – the simple choice of color is both playful and daring, and pairs well with cutting edge artistic design elements.
Like all-white vanities, black vanities have a certain charm in their uniformity. They pair more readily with a wider variety of colors, textures, and designs than most wood grain, which makes them a much better choice for those who like to change up the look of their space frequently without having to do a full scale remodel. And because vanities like this Demi-Lune from Hardware Resources combine classical elements with modern simplicity and a neutral-but-bold color, it’s possible to dramatically change your decor without having to replace any of your fixtures. Just re-accessorize and re-paint, and you’ll be able to completely re-envision your bathroom with an afternoon project rather than weeks or months of heavy remodeling.
Black vanities also work especially well in Asian style bathrooms. Because the black lacquered style is typical both of Chinese and Japanese inspired style design, many asian bathroom vanities are often black. This Solid Wood vanity is a more overt example, with pagoda-style trim and rice paper shade-inspired frosted glass doors, but many simple black vanities with slightly glossy finishes, especially those with fine brass detailing, make an excellent backdrop for this style.
While contemporary cottage style bathrooms are typically associated with white vanities and pale pastel trim, a similar vanity in black, like this Montbrun vanity, makes for a really unique twist on the design. While you won’t get the lightening and brightening effect of the white, pairing black vanities with white countertops (rather than the other way around) is a great way to create contrast. Especially in a room that’s very light – like a Cape Cod or seaside style bathroom – choosing a black, rather than a white vanity is the perfect way to add a little visual interest without swaying too far from traditional design.
Lightly aged, hand-rubbed vanities are best for this. While high-gloss or semi-gloss finishes are good for more modern design, if you’re looking for something a little homier, go for a flatter or matte finish. This shouldn’t make much, if any difference in the durability of your vanity, but it will make the fixture seem more casual and inviting. While glossier finishes can have a slight museum feel to them and can sometimes have a problem with fingerprints, a soft matte finish like the one on this Brookfield vanity will make your space seem more relaxing.
Most importantly, if you’re considering black vanities, don’t be afraid to have a little fun. No matter which way you look at it, a black vanity is a very bold decor choice, and if you’re already going big, there’s no reason not to get a vanity that will express your personality. This black and white Scorpio Vanity plays with both color contrast and shape, leaving a little white space in the middle of the asymmetrical vanity and matching mirror just because it’s fun.
Choosing an all black vanity is a bold design choice, but one you’re sure to find rewarding. Whether you want a more traditional look or something very cutting edge, black vanities not only offer the full spectrum of options, but are also incredibly easy to coordinate – maybe even more practical than daring, after all! Do you like black vanities for their modern flair, or for their flexibility when it comes to changing up your color scheme or your decor? Have you ever considered going for an all black and white bathroom? Let me know in the comments!