One of the big dangers of chasing design trends is that the bold, breathtaking styles of today don’t always last. For some things, that’s fine: it’s easy to slap up a new coat of paint or replace some throw pillows or bath towels to keep up with the latest color trends. But for big-budget items like your bathroom vanity, you really want a piece that’s going to last you for the long haul – ideally closer to a decade than a year. So today I want to look not at the hottest, newest, most cutting-edge bathroom vanity trends, but the ones that look like they’re going to hold steady into the new year and beyond.
Vanities With A Shaker-Style Inspiration
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For years now, interior design in general and bathroom vanities in particular have been slowly trending less traditional and more modern. But that doesn’t mean that people who once had very traditional style decor are swapping outright to sleek, contemporary setups. Rather, it’s more like a slow slide, with traditional designs getting streamlined and simplified, so the two styles meet somewhere in the middle. Because the shift is so gradual, this in-between, transitional style is definitely going to stick around, and Shaker-style cabinetry has become sort of a hallmark of the look in both the kitchen and the bathroom. Vanities with simple, square, shaker style cabinet doors and drawer fronts have enough roots in historical design to feel classic, but are simple and streamlined enough to work well in a contemporary space; a “hot trend” that works so well because it’s timeless.
An Emphasis On Storage
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Another product of the shift to a slightly more modern aesthetic is that bathroom vanities are getting a more efficient, storage-smart makeover. While more traditional vanities have large, roomy cabinets and little else, transitional and contemporary designs put a much stronger emphasis on drawers, dividing up the space and compartmentalizing it so it can be used more efficiently – storing small items where they won’t get lost, and designing cabinets that aren’t oversized for what you put in them. Of all the bathroom vanity trends on this list, this one is definitely the most practical consideration, but both for your own comfort and if you’re thinking of selling your home in the next five years, utility really is one of the most important considerations, even if “add more drawers” doesn’t sound particularly trendy.
Gray Is The New White
Over the last few years, the color gray has taken the design world by storm, and while most color trends tend to come and go and peter out quickly, this one has stayed surprisingly strong and doesn’t show any sign of slowing. All shades of gray have seen a spike in popularity, and grayscale color schemes in particular have found a place in designs ranging from the most traditional to the most modern. Gray is a neutral color, but unlike beige or creams that have yellow or pink bases, gray can work well with absolutely any color or color scheme. In terms of bathroom vanity trends, that means gray vanities can work well with an ever-changing decor: you can swap linens, repaint, or re-tile without having to worry about colors clashing. Right now, gray is a safer long-term bet than almost any wood tone in terms of keeping your bathroom from looking dated.
Stick With The Classics – A Timeless White Finish
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On the flip side, if you’re planning a major remodel and are really concerned about your choices showing their age after a few years, you really can’t beat a classic: white. Particularly if you opt for a Shaker-style vanity, a white finish will give you a really timeless, iconic cottage style that fits beautifully with a transitional aesthetic. It’s simple, humble, a little old fashioned but never outdated, because turn-of-the-century cottage and farmhouse style bathrooms never go out of style. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, you can even opt for a pedestal sink backed by classic white subway tile instead; accessorize and paint however you will, but if you want timeless, this iconic setup has stood the test of time for more than a hundred years already!
Weathered, Reclaimed, or Upcycled Wood
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Crisp, clean gray paint has been at the forefront of a lot of design conversations over the past year, but one of the big bathroom vanity trends that’s been lingering around quietly in the background is the use of natural, aged, often grayed wood that has a very rustic, tactile feel rather than the sleek, polished finish. Part of this trend goes hand in hand with environmental consciousness, using salvaged elements to reduce a project’s footprint. But it’s also a slightly more rugged (and interestingly literal) take on the same trend towards more transitional spaces: taking old elements and making them into something new. On the more urban end, reclaimed wood vanities can have a very industrial feel, but this look also works really well with a cottage, farmhouse, or seaside look, giving your space a humble heirloom quality just by virtue of the apparent age of the materials used. As with a white finish, this look has built-in longevity; it has an inherent sense of history, but without the overly-ornate detailing of an antique that can make a space look dated.
Not Just Painted But Detailed
This is the most untested of all the bathroom vanity trends on this list – it’s started to re-emerge over the last six months or so rather than the last year or three. But if you’re not too risk-averse, I personally think that hand-painted detailing is one of the bathroom vanity trends that’s going to stick around, and it’s certainly a trend that keeps coming back around, even if it doesn’t always make a huge splash. It’s not a look for everyone, certainly, but the notion of couture interior design – highlighting one-of-a-kind or otherwise unique accents or decor and putting them at the heart of a room – has become increasingly popular and desirable. Usually in a bathroom that means a hand-painted vessel sink, but vanities with fine, hand-painted detailing have started to become more common, and are a great way to give your space a little more personality.
You shouldn’t be afraid to chase after what’s popular or cutting edge, but for big ticket items? Sometimes it’s best to stick to bathroom vanity trends that have been around a while – and that look like they’re here to stay!