If you want to build a decadent, period-inspired bathroom, chances are you’re going to want an antique bathroom vanity to round it out. But antique bathroom vanities tend to be big, even if they only have a single sink. Smaller traditional bathroom vanities are more common, but tend to be a little generic – truly ornate antique bathroom vanities under the 40 inch range are fewer and farther between. That said, don’t count yourself out for an antique bathroom just because you have a smaller bathroom. Beautiful, designer bathroom vanities that will fit a smaller space are out there, you just need to know where to look.
This Barcelona vanity from Cole+Co is a perfect example: it’s small, but ornately designed and clearly antique inspired. Unlike more generic pieces, which have minimal or no detailed woodworking, this vanity has beautiful tooled legs and delicately carved feet. As well, it has a skillfully aged, painted cross patterning that adds both authenticity and visual interest. And at a lean 28 inches wide, it’s perfectly suited to even the most compact bathrooms.
The difference is in the detailing. Many traditional bathroom vanities have a sort of sameness to them, with little or no carved ornamentation, and often done in the same drab medium oak finish that creates a sort of generic “antique” feel. But truly luxury antique bathroom vanities have a whole lot more personality. This Gatsby Vanity is deliberately designed, with a lighter base wood and dark stain on the extensive detailing. The wood work, the color, and even the curvy shape of the vanity all make it eye catching and authentic. And, again at a mere 30 inches wide, it’s the perfect way to cement a period inspired bathroom design even in a very small bathroom.
This Monroe vanity from Soci is another excellent example of compact antique bathroom vanities. Clocking in at just under 30 inches, it’s perfect for a smaller bathroom, and it has enough detailing to make a foundation for an opulent antique bathroom. Where a traditional vanity would probably have similar detailing on the two front posts, the spectacular quality of detail on the front drawers, plus the antique hardware takes this vanity to an entirely different level. Antique design is all about texture, and the subtly dimpled drawer faces are nothing if not tactilely pleasing.
At 37.5 inches at the widest point, this Sydney vanity is a little on the larger side, depending on how small your bathroom is. But the curved, semicircular shape is a little more forgiving than a traditionally rectangular bathroom vanity. Plus, this vanity has something that many, even larger antique bathroom vanities, don’t: in addition to the beautiful carved detailing on the feet and borders, this vanity also has three gorgeous enameled, metallic panels. The enamel allows for a wider range of colors and more subtle, fine detailing – plus a little water resistance – that you won’t get from plain wood. Plus, it has a beautiful, natural (in this case slightly metallic) luster to it that you won’t find even with hand painted vanities. If you want your bathroom to have a royal quality, this vanity is definitely a good place to start.
That said, antique bathroom vanities that are, plain and simple, made out of a higher quality wood can go a long way towards creating an authentic antique look and feel. This Lorraine vanity is made of solid, high quality alder wood with fine cherry wood veneers. The woodwork is subtle, enhancing the elegant curves of the vanity without overwhelming them, but the most beautiful part of this vanity is the wood itself. The cherry wood is polished to a deep, radiant luster that speaks to antique quality without a lot of ornamentation. Put this lean, mean, 31 inch wide vanity in even the smallest bathroom, and it’ll instantly create an air of luxury and decadence.
High quality finishes are another thing that set apart truly opulent antique bathroom vanities from more average traditional ones. It’s easy to paint a vanity off white and call it “antique,” it’s an entirely different thing to create a white vanity that genuinely looks aged. This Regal Row vanity is hand painted, distressed, and glazed for an aged, almost marbled pattern that looks both sophisticated and as though it’s been taken through its paces. Add that to the beautifully detailed carvings on the front face, and this vanity makes a much bigger impression than it’s 30 inch footprint.
Finally, sometimes if you want the look of luxury, you’ve just go to go with luxury. This Antique Vanity from Legion Furniture is pristine white with gilt detailing to bring out the delicate floral carvings – pretty as a cupcake, with a jade marble counter to top it off. The white finish is softer, brighter, lighter, and will make your bathroom seem more open… and that little glint of gold will add an unmistakable touch of royalty and luxury. All that in a package that’s less than 32 inches wide – with compact antique bathroom vanities like this, all you need to do is find a place to put the clawfoot tub.
So, even if you have a truly small bathroom, an antique design isn’t entirely out of your reach, you just have to find the right antique bathroom vanities. It might be a little more difficult to pull off than a simple, straightforward modern decor, but if you’ve read this far, I think it’s safe to say you want a little more! What are the size restrictions for your bathroom? Anything in particular you want from your compact antique bathroom vanities?