Bathroom vanities are the centerpiece of most bathrooms. Unless you have a particularly stunning freestanding bathtub or an elaborately tiled custom shower stall, there’s a good chance that your vanity is the most unique fixture in your bathroom. In a smaller or average sized bathroom, then, the best way to add style and customization to your bathroom is to look for a unique bathroom vanity. That can mean one that’s an unusual shape, one that has elaborate woodwork, or even one that’s made from uncommon or mixed and matched materials. But my favorite way to make a standout bathroom vanity is to look for one that’s painted. Okay, not just painted, but hand painted. Hand painted bathroom vanities often have a much higher level of detail, are more colorful, and are just plain more interesting to look at.
Of course, hand painted bathroom vanities come in a whole lot of shapes and forms, from kid-friendly to contemporary, period inspired and exotic. This Versaille Vanity from Empire Industries is a wonderful example of antique-style hand painted bathroom vanities. It has a curved classical form with subtle column style carvings and beautiful patterned veneer accents. But the most impressive thing about it is the hand painted detailing – the floral bouquet on the front and side doors, and the subtle painted accents on the borders and drawers. The light, summery colors give this sophisticated vanity some warmth and charm, as well as the homey authenticity you can only get from details done by hand.
When it comes to antique hand painted bathroom vanities like this Versailles Sink Chest from Cole+Co, hand painted details actually have a dual effect. In this case, not only does the painted floral detailing enhance the carved woodwork, adding authentic French country style, it also gives the vanity a slightly aged appearance. Intentionally weather-worn looking bathroom vanities are actually surprisingly popular, and while this one doesn’t go quite that far, the aged parchment look of the front panel and drawer add an aged looking authenticity to the antique design.
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Speaking of authenticity, for some designs you really can’t pass up on hand painted bathroom vanities. While your average contemporary or modern design won’t miss it, if you’re looking to build an Asian inspired bathroom, something like this Travel Chest Vanity can go a long, long way towards giving you an authentic, period inspired exotic design. This vanity is absolutely covered in elaborate, historically inspired, hand painted flourishes with just enough weathering and wear to make it look like the real deal. Regardless of how elaborate anything else you put in your bathroom happens to be, hand painted bathroom vanities like this one are show-stoppers, sure to be a major focal point in your bathroom.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s the simplest, subtlest details that lend the most historical accuracy. Kaco is well known for using high-quality Sherwin Williams finishes on all their bathroom vanities, but this Arlington vessel vanity also has some subtle, hand painted finishing details. From the delicate, supremely aged-looking antique floral pattern painted on the front cabinet to the rubbed, weathered gold accents highlighting the woodwork, not only does this vanity look polished and sophisticated, but also more than a little bit antique. The use of weathered details on hand painted bathroom vanities – even if the base finish itself is solid and intact – can bring to mind old world elegance and can make a vanity look antique without making it look old.
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Even subtle hand painted detailing, like the faint, delicate vine patterns that lace over this Antique Vanity from Belle Foret can make a huge difference in a vanity’s overall look and feel. Without the hand painted vines, this vanity is fairly ordinary and largely un-ornamented. But the light wood, paired with the natural, floral-style detailing gives it a touch of whimsy and makes it something you can design, say, a simple cottage style bathroom around. Hand painted bathroom vanities like this one make it easy to add a fairy-tale touch to your bathroom.
Hand painted bathroom vanities can do a lot for your bathroom – add charm, customization, color, age, and authenticity. But more than anything, hand painted bathroom vanities are, plain and simple, the perfect way to add a little character to a bathroom where you might not otherwise have room to do so. I’m not-so-secretly in love with this Glendale vanity, not just for the delicate, antique-looking hand painted flowers, but for the texture created by the two-tone paneling, the papyrus-like color and feel of the panels, and the foresty contrast of the dark brown wood and the deep piney green borders and trim. The hand painting may not be elaborate, but it’s nothing if not skillful, and that kind of subtle, sophisticated detailing is what can really make a bathroom shine. What has you interested in hand painted bathroom vanities? Do you like ones with elaborate painting or more subtle details? Fresh, bright styles or more antique ones? Let me know in the comments!
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