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Vanities that deserve centre stage

Choosing a bathroom vanity is an important decision. And we know thatchoosing the wrong one can result in an expensive design crime,something you definitely want to avoid.


Choosing a bathroom vanity is an important decision. And we know that choosing the wrong one can result in an expensive design crime, something you definitely want to avoid.

When you’re looking for a finished vanity, keep in mind that it often ends up being the centerpiece of the bathroom. In fact, the room is frequently designed around it — its presence is that prominent.

Many people decide on a vanity after they’ve already chosen tiles and paint colour. This is usually the wrong thing to do. If you build a bathroom around a vanity, shop for it early in your bathroom reno. Everything else should follow that decision. (In the odd case, tiling or other decorative treatments such as wall hangings or a sculpture will take centre stage.)

When you choose a vanity, it must be attractive — it is, after all, a centerpiece. To choose a non-descript bathroom vanity is to choose a non-descript bathroom, and who wants that? But it must also be functional. The top must be water resistant, and the sides must be able to take some wiping and scrubbing.

There must be enough countertop surface to support basics such as soap, nail brush or whatever else you need, and enough storage to hide your bathroom clutter. Take an inventory of things you require in the bathroom, and assign them places in the vanity or other storage areas.

Another no-no is a grungy, hard-to-clean area around taps and faucets, so make sure they’re installed with sufficient room to keep the surrounding area clean. Or consider wall fixtures: They can look smashing in compact powder rooms and modern or country-style bathrooms.

And speaking of choosing styles for your vanity, there are a number of pointers in choosing the right look for you.

First of all, ask yourself whether you prefer a modern or traditional style. Frameless cabinets tend to look modern and give a contemporary look, while cabinets with frames look more traditional and formal. Another indicator of style type is finish. Glass and shiny coloured foil-type finishes look modern; light woods can look contemporary or country; while darker wood or light painted vanities lend themselves more to classic or traditional styles

Also note geometric patterns in the vanity. Does it feature rectangular elements? Or does it look curved, with a rounded front? Echo these in your accent pieces, such as extra shelving, detail around a mirror, towel warmers or toilet paper holders.

Another way to unify finishes in the bathroom is to complement the grain pattern in wooden vanities by choosing accent pieces that have the same or a similar grain pattern. Or, if the vanity features marble, glass or brass, you may also choose to bring them into your accent pieces.

And speaking of metals, pulls and metal accents of stainless steel or chrome tend to look more modern, while gold, antiqued finishes in pewter or bronze or copper look older, more traditional or formal. Brushed nickel is more transitional, and falls into the classic style category.


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