Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a very love/hate on-again off-again relationship with modern bathroom design. In a lot of ways, I think I’m a little too traditional to fall head-over-heels for a straight laced industrial modern design. It always strikes me as too cold, too impersonal – not exactly the environment I want for my bubble bath. But I’ve always had a place in my heart for minimalist design. So with that in mind, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite modern bathroom vanities – once that are simple and sleek, but with just a touch of sophistication for a polished, classy (if not classic!) modern bathroom.
Simplicity is the order of the day when it comes to modern design, but there’s a world of difference between modern bathroom vanities made of stark straight lines and right angles and ones with more sophisticated, sinuous curves. This Ronde Vanity from Virtu USA is utterly modern, with a dark, unadorned finish and gravity-defying chrome-and-glass integrated sink that plays cool tricks on the eyes. But swapping a boxy, straight-legged design for this modern bathroom vanity’s elegant and eye-catching curved stems not only adds an instant visual wow factor, but also just a touch of classical form to lend sophistication to the design.
Of course, giving modern bathroom vanities some curve doesn’t mean they have to be vintage inspired. I love this Camber Petite Vanity from Kohler, which has legs that are about as stick straight as they come, but a great retro vibe that’s more Mad Men than Downtown Abbey. The geometric design (rectangles, circles, and cylinders for all!) makes it a perfect pair for a modern bathroom, but the Sapele wood veneers give it a sophisticated, furniture quality finish that will add that little touch of warmth and luxury to your modern design.
Browse Modern Bathroom Vanities:
Even simple modern bathroom vanities, like this curvy Ovale Vanity from Porcher (which, I might add, is a perfect pedestal for a signature vessel sink) can seem a whole lot more sophisticated and elegant if you opt for a natural wood finish instead of the more common black or “espresso” finishes that are common among modern bathroom vanities. Really, it’s the wood that’s the start of this slightly asymmetrical vanity, with wenge, cherry, or maple wood veneers giving it a beautiful natural wood grain and furniture like appearance.
My selections up to now might imply that only round or rounded modern bathroom vanities will make my top picks list. Really, though, I just think that nixing the hard edges and corners that often plague modern bathroom vanities is one of the best ways to make your bathroom a little more livable. Something like this Milton Sink Vanity from Carolina Accents has only the barest hints of traditional design in the paneling beneath the sink and on the bottom drawer. But the wood finish, those panels, and the single button-style drawer pull fuse traditional sophistication with this vanity’s simple modern elegance – perfect for a classy urban bathroom.
You really – reallyreallyreally – have to think about lines when it comes to modern design. The most minimal modern bathroom vanities are made out of plain jane geometric shapes with hard lines and sharp angles. But there’s nothing in the modern bathroom manual that says that’s how it has to be. Modern design focuses on the line, so to get a unique, sophisticated bathroom, you want simple, sleek, but slightly unusual lines. This Ka Vanity from Xylem is clearly destined for an Asian-inspired bathroom, but it illustrates my point nicely: the vanity has four lines to it, but it isn’t a square. Instead you get four elegant brush strokes that take this vanity about a million miles away from standard boxy, table style modern bathroom vanities.
If you really want to get creative (and if you happen not to need a whole lot of storage space), you can go REALLY bold with your lines by opting for something like this Alessi One washbasin from Laufen. Not technically a vanity (even though it takes up as much space as one), this glorified sink is sophisticated in its statuesque elegance, relying on a simple, unadorned ceramic construction and simple tapered sides to make it look stunning – and it works!
None of this is to say that modern materials should be off limits, or that traditional ones like wood or ceramic are somehow unarguably superior. In fact, combining the two can make for a pretty dramatic statement piece. Case in point, this Strela Vanity, which has a wood-patterned MDF body accented with bands and stripes of bright, shiny metal. The effect is extremely modern, but gives that same visual cue of opulence and sophistication that you want for a warm, designer space. Bonus points to this vanity as well having pivoting, shelf-laden doors instead of an ordinary and less-useful interior cabinet.
Flying in the face of nearly all that very good advice is this Aeri Vanity from Whitehaus. It’s made of shiny lacquer and glass – modern, check; with all right angles and hard lines – modern, check. Yet somehow, between the smoky translucent glass sink and subtly reflective surface, it manages to be defiantly elegant. Certainly an anomaly on this curvy, wood-heavy list, I have to admit that with enough coats of gloss, even terribly square modern bathroom vanities can look pretty darn good.
I think mixing mediums is another way to bring a little oomph to boxier modern bathroom vanities. I like this Traverse Vanity pretty much entirely for the way it combines chrome, wood, glass, and porcelain, playing with visual space (the inverted T space in the middle is surprisingly elegant and eye catching) to create something that’s more than its component square parts. Plus the cute and convenient built in towel bar speaks to my deep down, tucked away utilitarian.
But what does “elegant” or “sophisticated” mean to you? What are you really looking for in your modern bathroom vanities? Something to look cutting edge, something to hearken back to something a little more traditional, or just a good way to update your space?