Should a bathroom vanity look like an antique piece of furniture? Aren't vanities supposed to be hulking solid, one-piece, legless monoliths? No, not always.
From Wash Basins To Full-Fledged Vanities
Antique-like, furniture-look vanities are closer to historical antecedents than the monolith-style vanity of today.
At one time, you cleaned up with a pitcher, bowl, and small washstand or basin--not at a 72-inch long cabinet with two recessed sinks. These washstands had legs and were open on the bottom (though later, cabinet doors were added), along with a marble top.
Chippendale and Sheraton wash basins were spindly, top-heavy creations that did little more than hold the basin and hold a couple of tiny drawers for combs and other grooming accessories.
The nearest relatives of today's vanities are the marble-topped 18th-century French commodes that held chamber pots as well as grooming and bathing items.
So, the modern antique-look vanity is more of a celebration of the style rather than a copy of the form. Today's homeowners demand larger counter space, enclosed cabinet space to store stuff and to hide the plumbing and hold more and larger drawers.
A few elements you may find:
- Richly Finished Wood: Exhibiting the grain of natural wood is one of the hallmarks of these antique-look vanities.
- Distressed: Often, the wood will be lightly beaten to give it the old, used look.
- Free-Standing: Most have legs. Even the most ponderous of these "antique vanities" have a lighter look due to these legs.
- Bombe Shape: A few of the fancier vanities on the front have a bombe, or convex, shape.
- Marble Tops: Stone tops are nearly always found on these antique-looking vanities.
Shown here is the Bosconi Mendocino vanity. Based in Southern California, Bosconi manufactures both classical and contemporary vanities. Several of its vanities are variations of the Mendocino. This vanity is 43" wide and comes with a Dark Emperador marble and attached backsplash. All of the brass fixtures come with the piece, too.
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Antique White 73" Double-Bowl Bathroom Vanity
The most striking thing about this double-bowl antique-style vanity is its finish. Natural wood? Whitewash? It's a bit of both: faint white coating of paint, showing the texture of the wood underneath. To get a good sense of the finish, you really need to look at some close-up details. This vanity has a suggestion of a bombe (or convex, outward bowing) shape.
At around $2,000, this piece is not cheap by any means. But it is a big piece of bathroom furniture (73"); it comes with a marble top pre-drilled for two sinks; it has lots of fancy detail work; and it provides tons of storage room, with its four drawers and two cabinets.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Cane-Fronted Bathroom Vanity For Antique "End of Empire" Look
This vanity comes from Pegasus, a little-known brand of bathroom furniture. Their products tend to center around the antique look, and most of them are reasonably priced.
This 36-inch vanity has a cane front on the doors meant to evoke the look of colonial islands and traditional gentleman's clubs. Four small drawers provide storage for grooming accessories, and one extra tilt-out drawer ekes out a bit more storage for toothbrushes or combs.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Half-Circle Antique-Look Classic Single Vanity
Another vanity from Bosconi, a Pico Rivera CA-based importer and maker of classical and contemporary bathroom furniture. This 42" single vanity is included here chiefly because of its unusual, half-circle shape. Rounding off the corners makes perfect sense in smaller bathrooms or powder rooms, where every square inch counts.
This single vanity weighs in at 221 pounds, making this a solid piece of bath furniture.
Interesting, too, is a better look at the Dark Emperador marble top. This dark-brown, highly veined stone comes from Spain.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Highly Unique Single-Sink White Vanity With Stool
Winslow's Single-Seat Vanity is one of the more unusual antique-looking bathroom vanities you may come across. It's a single-sink piece that comes complete with a rolling stool.
Half of the vanity is devoted to typical vanity functions: sink, faucet, and cabinet. The other half is a makeup area, complete with a tiny caster-equipped stool.