Making A Statement With A Bold, Decorative Bathroom Vanity

A lot of the advice I give about choosing a new bathroom vanity has to do with maximizing efficiency – finding a piece of furniture that offers the storage you need in the space you have to spare for it. But as important as it is to have a vanity that’s practical and functional, sometimes you just want one that looks good. High end, designer bathroom vanities might not always be the best for storage, but if you’re looking for something that can really make a statement, a beautiful, unusual bathroom vanity can make a great centerpiece for any master bathroom.

Think Outside The Box

Oasis 72" Double Bathroom Vanity 378-V72D-OAE from James Martin Furniture
Oasis 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity 378-V72D-OAE from James Martin Furniture

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So where do you start looking for a more attractive, decorative bathroom vanity? If you ask me, one of the best ways is to stop thinking square. The vast majority of bathroom vanities are modeled after traditional cabinetry, with square cabinet boxes embellished with varying degrees of ornamentation and detail. If you want a vanity that really stands out, look instead for one with curves – rounded shapes and sculptural elements that veer away from the traditional 90 degree angles and hard edges. It’ll mean a little less storage space, but the look will be immediately striking.

Add A Splash Of Color

Energia 36" Red Modern Bathroom Vanity FV5092RD from Fresca
Energia 36″ Red Modern Bathroom Vanity FV5092RD from Fresca

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Another way to get a more eye-catching bathroom vanity is simply to look for one that’s done in an unusual color. Most bathroom vanities have a wood finish or a plain black, white, or gray paint, so anything outside that limited set of colors will be striking and stylish. A bold red vanity is a great choice for a modern bathroom, but “colorful” doesn’t have to mean bright, bold, or primary – a powder blue or teal vanity can be a charming addition to a cottage style bathroom and almost any splash of color will make your vanity feel unique.

Splurge For Decorative Woodwork

Bliss 30" Walnut Free Standing Modern Bathroom Vanity FMB30-WNT from KubeBath
Bliss 30″ Walnut Free Standing Modern Bathroom Vanity FMB30-WNT from KubeBath

Plenty of bathroom vanities have wood detailing on them, either hand- or machine-tooled, antique-inspired ornamentation like floral patterns or seashells. But it’s rarer to find really genuinely nice woodwork on a vanity – like high quality, patterned veneers, inset designs, or really elaborate detail work. Showcasing quality wood and craftsmanship is a great way to make your vanity stand out, and while “woodwork” is generally associated with traditional vanities, beautiful precious wood veneers can be a lovely addition to a more modern space as well.

Make Your Vanity An Installation

Scorpio Bathroom Vanity JWH-4115 from JWH Living
Scorpio Bathroom Vanity JWH-4115 from JWH Living

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Of course, a vanity doesn’t have to be decorative all on its own just to be attractive, and there’s nothing wrong with sharp lines and angles if you enjoy a more modern, minimalist aesthetic. If that sounds like you, don’t veer away from simple, square wall mounted vanities, but lean into the simplicity of the design. You can find some really spectacular asymmetrical vanities that are simple and streamlined in design but that, paired with wall-mounted cabinets, shelves, towel bars, and so on can turn a whole wall into a really arresting high-contrast display. Bonus: all those add-on pieces not only help create the look, but make up for the lack of storage in a smaller vanity.

Showcase An Artistic Sink

Rome 36" Single Vessel Sink Wall Mount Blue Stone Bathroom Vanity Set Rome-36B from MTD
Rome 36″ Single Vessel Sink Wall Mount Blue Stone Bathroom Vanity Set Rome-36B from MTD

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Maybe one of my favorite alternatives to a conventional vanity (and admittedly one of the least functional) is to nix the vanity entirely and opt for a decorative pedestal or shelf topped with a really nice, designer vessel sink. This works equally well with a decorative pedestal/platform or a simple one and has a really nice, museum-like feel. Installing a small spotlight to highlight your vessel sink enhances the artsy, elegant ambiance and brings out the detailing in the sink. Since you won’t have any storage or much (if any) counter space, this is definitely a look that’s better suited to a guest bathroom or powder room, but the right sink can really take your design to the next level.

Break The Mold

40" Vanity WTB034 from Legion Furniture
40″ Vanity WTB034 from Legion Furniture

If you’re willing to do a little searching, you can find some pretty wild bathroom vanities. Vanities with odd shapes or designs, unusual colors or materials, or just an arrangement that isn’t quite what you expect can all elevate your design, transforming your space from functional to fabulous and really showcasing your personality, rather than just being another piece of furniture. It’ll take a little searching, since these vanities are by nature few and far between, but if you’re looking to build a bathroom that’s truly unique, it can be well worth the effort!

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