Everyone knows about the little black dress – the one just-right, all-occasion dress that makes you feel as good as it makes you look. Black is both classy and classic, simple but stunning, and the perfect way to go if you want to get dressed up. And I got to thinking, if it works for dresses, why not elsewhere? Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of using black in home decor, and I’ve got to say, I think black bathroom vanities are the LBD of the bathroom. If you know where to look, you can find just the right one to make your bathroom shine, no matter what your personal style.
Dress Up Your Cottage Chic
Typically when you think of country cottage bathroom design, you’re thinking of a white bathroom vanity paired with white beadboarding on the walls and probably more than a little in the way of pastels. But swapping from white to black bathroom vanities is the perfect way to dress up a turn of the century style, adding dramatic visual interest and even a little extra sophistication. In the same way a white dress is light and springy, black bathroom vanities offer the opposite: something a little more formal, and a little more daring.
Improving On Tradition
Bathroom trends are moving away from tried-and-true traditional designs and more towards the modern. But if you happen to like more traditional bathroom vanity designs, a good way to keep the style you like while also keeping your bathroom on trend is to add a simple coat of black paint. Antique bathroom vanities are often made to showcase beautiful, natural wood, and are decorated with elaborate hardware, both of which can be a little too busy for a contemporary bathroom space. But black bathroom vanities are able to maintain a maybe slightly simplified traditional form because the simple black paint (and simpler hardware) help streamline and update the style for a more modern use.
There’s a reason that black is one of the most dominant colors in modern design, and it’s basically the same reason that black is the dominant color in little dresses, and I don’t mean that it’s slimming. Modern design is all about simplicity and sophistication. Traditional bathroom vanities get their luxurious look from wood, woodwork, hand painted details, and elaborate hardware. Modern design strips all that away and forces designers to look elsewhere for elegance. Black seems to be the answer, still uncommon enough to be bold and with an air of formality. This is true with black bathroom vanities, too. Pair one with some bright silver accents – like the trim, drawer pulls, and feet – and just like a LBD with the right accessories, you’ve got something eye catching and modern, even without a whole lot of showy detailing.
For those that want the best of both worlds – ornate antiques and sleek modern styles – look for bathroom vanities that do both at the same time. Regular readers will remember that I’m a big fan of this type of bathroom vanity (or, let’s be honest, furniture in general) that combines antique shapes with modern materials or finishes. In terms of black bathroom vanities, these are typically a little simplified in design, often with a glossy finish that makes them ultra modern despite the luxury and sophistication we register when we see them due to the antique silhouette. Perfect for an urban chic decor that borrows old world sophistication for an extremely modern style.
Add A Little Age
That said, not all black bathroom vanities are necessarily super formal or posh-looking. In fact, I think black paint opens up an excellent opportunity to add a little age to your bathroom (in a good way!) with a weathered finish. Antiqued white bathroom vanities can be hard to pull off, because when white gets old, it gets dingy. But when black paint ages, instead of looking stained, it just gets roughed up a little around the edges, hiding the bad wear and tear and leaving you with something that looks homey and lived-with. My personal favorites are bathroom vanities with a distressed black finish that wears all the way through in places – but just enough to add character.
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Because black is such a bold color choice, you can also find many more black bathroom vanities in interesting or unusual designs than you can in any other color. This is partly due to the penchant for black in modern design, and partly because any other color (with the possible exception of whit) would make most intricately designed bathroom vanities simply look too busy. But in black even a very complex design is made simple, elegant, and interesting – certainly more interesting than whatever’s over at the Jones’s.
If you prefer the simpler, more minimal aspect of modern design, though, black bathroom vanities won’t fail you there either. As with many (many) modern bathroom vanities, black bathroom vanities are available in all the simple, sleek, squared designs that make up the bread and butter of modern bathroom design. Of these, though, I’d like to say that I think the most interesting ones are the ones that create visual interest in the simplest way: by adding contrast. White vessel sinks and shiny chrome hardware, for example, can create a little pop of contrast that’s simple, but elegantly eye-catching, perfect either for a simple modern design or a showier black and white bathroom.
If you’re looking to dress up your bathroom, black bathroom vanities are a great place to start, whether you have a traditional, historical home, a chic urban loft, or anything in between. What type of bathroom are you looking to decorate? Do you think you’ll use a black bathroom vanity?