Bathroom Renovations - Vanities & Storage

From concept to completion

Many people spend more time at the vanity, applying makeup, grooming hair, brushing teeth and washing hands, than soaking in the bath or enjoying a shower. Yet when it comes to bathroom design, vanities often get less attention than those scene-stealing bath tubs and showers. Like any hard working area, the vanity will benefit from the efficiencies of good design.

If space is not an issue, the vanity cabinet can certainly be designed to the scale of a grander room, it may stretch from wall to wall, with twin basins, huge volumes of storage, built in lighting and more. Twin basins, championed by those who prefer not to wait, while other family members apply their makeup or finish brushing their teeth, are almost mandatory in newly built bathrooms.

A simple wall mounted basin, perhaps partnered with a mirror, is a sensible choice in a small bathroom or a separate powder room. These self contained units can be installed almost anywhere, even in a corner or behind a door. Visually, they have a space saving impact as they do not take up floor space and sight lines are unobstructed right through to the wall in which they are fixed.

Pedestal basins are almost as valuable in a small space as wall mounted basins, though this does not apply to the period models, which tend to have handsome shapes, but bulky dimensions. Modern versions of the pedestal are extraordinarily diverse, from futuristic stainless steel to handblown glass hand basins.

Setting a basin into a cabinet of some kind means coupling the hand washing functions of the vanity with some useful storage space. This approach can be very practical, providing foot space in a cramped bathroom.

The items that need storing in a bathroom tend to be small: cosmetics, bottles of perfumes, medicines, grooming tools such as combs and manicure sets, and perhaps some linens or cleaning products. Almost always, these can be contained in shallow shelves or cabinets. Infact, items stored on broader shelves or in deeper cabinets are likely to be lost or forgotten.

Look to the walls above the bathtub, the basin and the toilet for extra storage space; often these can be fitted with narrow shelves or a slim cabinet, but don't install anything too wide or you'll risk hitting your head with irritating regularity.