Compact Vanities For A Bold, Beautiful Look Even In A Small Bathroom

When you’re remodeling a small bathroom, you don’t really have the luxury of a lot of the decor options you’d have in a bigger space. No ho-humming about whether to get the 66″ or 72″ soaking tub when all you have room for is a shower – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a stylish, functional bathroom even if it’s more the size of a water closet – you just have to be smart with your space. A funky, eye-catching but compact vanity can serve you two ways: by providing storage with a small footprint, and enough style in a small package to make your whole bathroom pop.

Sagehill Designs Bathroom Vanity Cabinet from the Citation Collection
Sagehill Designs Bathroom Vanity Cabinet from the Citation Collection

In any small bathroom, it’s a fight between having sufficient storage and ending up with a space that looks crowded and cluttered. Curbing clutter isn’t just about keeping your counter clear, though: it starts on a design level. Lots of heavy woodwork, complicated curves or even a very prominently grained wood can all make a small space feel busy and draws attention to the size of your vanity, which is a very bad thing! The smaller the space, the more you want to err on the side of simple, sleek lines and unobtrusive design. Unbroken lines will help your eyes move easily, connecting the different parts of the room rather than interrupting them. I love the subtly staggered style of this Citation vanity, and the frosted glass paneling gives the impression of openness while giving you some completely private storage.

Sagehill Designs Bathroom Vanity Cabinet with Open Shelf from the Seaside Collection
Sagehill Designs Bathroom Vanity Cabinet with Open Shelf from the Seaside Collection

White space can be invaluable in a smaller bathroom as well. While something like this Seaside vanity offers a little less storage than a solid-base vanity (and fewer private places to hide your toiletries), the open middle and raised feet can help visually expand your space and make your bathroom seem much more open. Though, again, it might not be a smart swap for an extremely small bathroom (say, one where you couldn’t make up for the loss of storage elsewhere in the room), but for one that’s very visually crowded, swapping to a leggy, open vanity gives you that nice little bit of empty, uncluttered space that can help make a room seem less busy.

Philadelphia Classic Vanity with Preassembled Top and Bowl from Lyn Design
Philadelphia Classic Vanity with Preassembled Top and Bowl from Lyn Design

Light colored vanities like the seaside one above are great for a cottage or beach style bath, but for a more modern decor you probably want to opt for a darker espresso, chocolate, or even black finish. Especially if you have really light walls, a darker veneer can create a dramatic silhouette. I like something like this Philadelphia Classic Vanity, which manages to fit two working drawers in along with all that open space, and has nice, subtly sassy legs with just enough curve to be eye catching.

Silkroad Exclusive Single Vanities Size HYP-0218-36 in 30 to 45 inches
Silkroad Exclusive Single Vanities Size HYP-0218-36 in 30 to 45 inches

For a very small space, opt for the thinnest lines you can, especially if you choose a darker color. This Single Vanity from Silkroad Exclusive is a little on the chunky side, but makes up for its heft in the simplicity and precision of its geometric design, and the ample white space in the middle and around the feet. Plus, it comes with a vein-cut Roman Travertine counter and sink unit, a rare and unique piece of opulence for a smallish bathroom that can really help elevate the level of style and decadence without visually crowding your space. Pairing it with matching Travertine accents throughout the rest of your bath can even help create a greater sense of space by aesthetically unifying the area.

Emilia Merlot Vanity with Preassembled Top and Bowl by Bath Elements
Emilia Merlot Vanity with Preassembled Top and Bowl by Bath Elements

In that same vein, just because you have a smaller bathroom doesn’t mean you have to opt for an ultra modern chic – though it’s certainly the most minimal (and clutter-reducing) design out there, if you have your heart set on a Regency decor, it certainly can be done. Hardware Resources offers quite a few smaller, freestanding single-sink vanities like this Emilia Merlot Vanity that visually echo their much larger antique style two-sink-and-then-some designs. Just be sure that, if you do opt for a heavier, more antique style you make the most of the available storage space to keep the area clear, and opt for lighter colors throughout the bathroom to keep the space looking airy. I especially like the cylindrical shape of this vanity because, while the intricate woodwork could almost make it too heavy for the small space, the rounded shape keeps it feeling compact.

Sagehill Designs Wall Mount Wood Vanity Cabinet with Drawer from the Modesta Walnut Collection
Sagehill Designs Wall Mount Wood Vanity Cabinet with Drawer from the Modesta Walnut Collection

That said, one of the best options for a truly miniscule bathroom is to skip the traditional vanity entirely, and instead opt for a simple wall mounted version. This Walnut Modesta is modular and pretty plain, but in a teeny tiny bathroom, that’s a GOOD thing! Paired with a simple porcelain vessel sink, this baby is breathtaking, clean and sleek without being sterile, and with a hidden pull out drawer for that little extra bit of storage space. And because it attaches directly to your wall, it’ll not only visually create more open space, but it’ll actually give you a little extra leg room.

Esprit Custom Bathroom Pedestal Vanity Set - Espresso - Wyndham Collection
Esprit Custom Bathroom Pedestal Vanity Set - Espresso - Wyndham Collection

Finally, if the bathroom you’re decorating is one that doesn’t actually need any storage (i.e. your guest bath), consider going with something super modern like Esprit Pedestal Vanity. It’s got nothing in the way of storage, which makes it a poor choice for a bathroom you’re actually using on a daily basis, but the tapered base makes for a tiny footprint, and the pedestal style, especially paired with a blown-glass or unique stone vessel sink makes for a museum style show-stopper.

Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. While it may take a little creativity to come up with some good storage solutions, and a little extra pizazz to make a big impression with smaller pieces, with the right vanity it’s absolutely possible. Just remember: stick with simple lines, allow for ample white space, and for goodness’ sake, keep your counters clear! If you have a small but beautiful bathroom, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for scaled down style, and if you’re thinking about remodeling a smaller space, what style vanity do you think you’ll use? Let me know in the comments!