For a primary or master bathroom, type and amount of storage is often a main concern in terms of choosing a new bathroom vanity. Even (or especially) in small bathrooms, efficiency and functionality are extremely important. But the priorities and considerations for half bathrooms and guest bathrooms is a little different. There’s less that needs to be stored, and space is often at a premium. For a guest bathroom or powder room in particular, you want a vanity that’s attractive and versatile enough for company, but that takes up as little space as possible.
In a half bath, powder room, or guest bathroom, chances are you aren’t going to need to store a hair drier and electric razor or bottle of shampoo the way you would in a full bath. In fact, you probably won’t need to store anything beyond a bar of soap, spare towels, and a few extra rolls of TP. I actually really like minimalist vanities like the one above – bare bones but well designed, with enticing colors and patterns. Between the towel bar and spare shelf, it’s simple to artistically arrange the necessities in a whole lot less space than a traditional bathroom vanity.
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One summer I sublet the second floor of a house that had been converted into flats. It was a lovely space, with one exception – the only bathroom was a half bath with a bathtub and shower head crammed under the gabled roof. You could easily touch all four walls with your arms extended, and nearly all the floor space was taken up by a big, unsightly cabinet style bathroom vanity. You Cannot. Imagine. what I would have done to get my hands on something like this Marina vanity. At less than 16 inches wide and a mere 10 inches deep, it’s pure efficiency, offering all the utility a just-that-small bathroom needs while leaving space to add much needed shelves on the side.
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In fact, in some bathrooms having a vanity that’s shallow is even more important than having one that’s narrow. This Enjoy vanity is on the wider side for a half bathroom, but about half as deep as an average cabinet style vanity. That means it physically takes up much less space while also offering storage that’s more easily accessible. Granted, there isn’t counter space for much more than a bar or bottle of soap, but the two drawers and small cabinet more than make up for it.
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I particularly like the Abba vanity from the Wyndham Collection because it’s ideally suited for a guest bathroom. With a clear spa/hotel inspiration, it offers four separate smaller drawers to allow guests to easily store small personal items, and two shelves that are the perfect size for rolled up towels. Some guests (myself included) can be a bit squeamish about digging through a larger bathroom cabinet, and having the essentials – towels and bath tissue – where they’re easily visible is a great way to make them feel more comfortable in your home.
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This Catalina vanity from RonBow is an even more extreme example of the same idea: shirking a large cabinet and drawers entirely, it offers only a single open shelf beneath the sink. For a guest bathroom, this says there’s nothing off limits. In a powder room, it offers just enough storage space for the basics while freeing up quite a bit of floor space, which can make a very small half bath feel a little less crowded.
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If open shelves leave something wanting in terms of private storage for your guests, bathroom vanities made with a single large drawer offer a nice alternative. Most traditional cabinet style bathroom vanities waste the space immediately below the sink because it’s occupied by both the sink and the plumbing for the faucet. Vanities that have above-counter sinks and faucets with streamlined plumbing offer a large, U-shaped drawer that’s sectioned off on the inside and ideal for storing small items, like spare toothbrushes or bars of soap. You’ll likely need a separate towel storage and a toilet paper stand, but your guests’ intimate items can be kept private.
What’s the most important feature for you in the new bathroom vanity for your guest bathroom, half bath, or powder room? Are you most interested in size, style, or storage? Let me know in the comments!
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